Nov. 1, 2020


Nov. 1, 2020

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., Due process and Personal Data Compliance Law: same rules, one Goal (CJEU, Order, October 29, 2020, Facebook Ireland Ltd v/ E.C.)Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 1st of November 2020

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Read Marie-Anne Frison-Roche's interview in Actu-juridiques about this decision (in French)


Summary of the news: 

As part of a procedure initiated for anti-competitive behaviors, the European Commission has three times requested, between the 13th of March and the 11th of November 2019, from Facebook the communication of information, reitarated in a decision in May 2020.  

Facebook contests it alleging that the requested documents would contain sensitive personal information that a transmission to the Commission would make accessible to a too broad number of observers, while "the documents requested under the contested decision were identified on the basis of wideranging search terms, (...) there is strong likelihood that many of those documents will not be necessary for the purposes of the Commission’s investigation". 

The contestation therefore evokes the violation of the principles of necessity and proportionality but also of due process because these probatory elements are collected without any protection and used afterwards. Moreover, Facebook invokes what would be the violation of a right to the respect of personal data of its employees whose the emails are transferred. 

The court reminds that the office of the judge is here constraint by the condition of emergency to adopt a temporary measure, acceptable by the way only if there is an imminent and irreversible damage. It underlines that public authorities benefit of a presumption of legality when they act and can obtain and use personal data since this is necessary to their function of public interest. Many allegations of Facebook are rejected as being hypothetical. 

But the Court analyzes the integrality of the evoked principles with regards with the very concrete case. But, crossing these principles and rights in question, the Court estimates that the European Commission did not respect the principle of necessity and proportionality concerning employees' very sensitive data, these demands broadening the circle of information without necessity and in a disproportionate way, since the information is very sensitive (like employees' health, political opinions of third parties, etc.). 

It is therefore appropriate to distinguish among the mass of required documents, for which the same guarantee must be given in a technique of communication than in a technic of inspection, those which are transferable without additional precaution and those which must be subject to an "alternative procedure" because of their nature of very sensitive personal data. 

This "alternative procedure" will take the shape of an examination of documents considered by Facebook as very sensitive and that it will communicate on a separate electronic support, by European Commission's agents, that we cannot a priori suspect to hijack law. This examination will take place in a "virtual data room" with Facebook's attorneys. In case of disagreement between Facebook and the investigators, the dispute could be solved by the director of information, communication and medias of the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission. 


We can draw three lessons from this ordinance: 

  1. This decision shows that Procedural Law and Compliance Law are not opposed. Some often say that Compliance guarantees the efficacy and that Procedure guarantees fundamental rights, the protection of the one must result in the diminution of the guarantee of the other. It is false. As this decision shows it, through the key notion of sensitive personal data protection (heart of Compliance Law) and the care for procedure (equivalence between communication and inspection procedures; contradictory organization of the examination of sensitive personal data), we see once again that two branches of Law express the same care, have the same objective: protecting people. 
  2. The judge is able to immediately find an operational solution, proposing "an alternative procedure" axed around the principle of contradictory and conciliating Commision's and Facebook's interests has shown that it was able to bring alternative solutions to the one it suspends the execution, appropriate solution to the situation and which equilibrate the interest of both parties. 
  3. The best Ex Ante is the one which anticipate the Ex Post by the pre-constitution of evidence. Thus the firm must be able to prove later the concern that it had for human rights, here of employees, to not being exposed to sanctioning pubic authorities. This Ex Ante probatory culture is required not only from firms but also from public authorities which also have to give justification of their action. 





Oct. 27, 2020

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., From Competition Law to Compliance Law: example of French Competition Authority decision on central purchasing body in Mass DistributionNewsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 27th of October 2020

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Summary of the news: Through its decision of 22nd of October 2020, the Autorité de la concurrence (French Competition Authority) accepted the commitments proposed by retail sector's firms Casino, Auchan, Metro and Schiever so that their agreement by which a common body centralizes purchases from numerous retailers, allowing each to offer these products under private label, is admissible with regard to competitive requirements. 

In this particular case, the Authority had self-sized in July 2018, estimating that such a purchase center could harm competition, opening immediately a large consultation on the terms of the contract. In October 2018, the law Egalim permitted to the Authority to take temporary measures to suspend such a contract, what the Authority did from September. 

The convention parties' firms committed on the one hand to update their contract limiting the power on suppliers, especially small and very small suppliers, excluding totally of the field of the contract some kind of products, especially food products and reducing the share of bought products volume dedicated to their transformation in distributor brand. 

The Autorité de la concurrence accepts this proposal of commitments, congratulates itself of the protection of small suppliers operating like that and observe the similarity with the contract consisting in a purchase center between Carrefour and Tesco, which will be examined soon. 



We can draw three lessons of this innovating decision, which could be a model for after: 

1. The technique of Compliance Law permits to the Autorité de la concurrence to find a reasonable solution for the future. 

  • Indeed, rather than punishing much later by a simple fine or to annihilate the performing mechanism of the purchase center, the Authority obtains contract modifications. 
  • The contract is structured and the obtained modifications are also structural. 
  • The commitments are an Ex Ante technique, imposed to operators, for the future, in an equilibrium between competition, operators and consumers protection and the efficacy of the coordination between powerful operators. 
  • The nomination of a monitor permits to build the future of the sector, thanks to the Ex Ante nature of Compliance Law. 

2. The retail sector finally regulated by Compliance technics.

  • "Distribution law" always struggle to find its place, between Competition law and Contract Law, especially because we cannot consider it as a common "sector". 
  • The Conseil constitutionnel (French constitutional court) refused a structural injunction power to the authority because it was contrary to business freedom and without any doubt ethics of business is not sufficient to the equilibrium of the sector.
  • Through commitments given against a stop of pursuits relying on structuring contracts, it is by Compliance law that a Regulation law free of the condition of existence of a sector could leave.

3. The political nature of Compliance law in the retail sector

  • As for digital space, which is not a sector, Compliance law can directly impose to actors imperatives that are strangers to them. 
  • In the digital space, the care for fighting against Hate and for protecting private life; here the care for small and very small suppliers. 




See in counterpoints the pursuit of a contentious procedure against Sony, whose the proposals of commitments, made after a public consultation, were not found satisfying.

To go further, on the question of Compliance law permitting through indirect way the rewriting by the Conseil of a structuring contract (linking a platform created by the State to centralize health data with an American firm subsidy to manage them).

Oct. 15, 2020

Thesaurus : Soft Law

Full reference: Serious Fraud Office, Operational Handbook about Deferred Prosecution Agreements, October 2020

Read the Operational Handbook

Sept. 21, 2020

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., Regulation, Compliance & Cinema: learning about Internet Regulation with the series "Criminals"​Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 21st of September 2020

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Summary of the news: 

Season 2 Episode 3 of the British version of the series "Criminals" features the character of Danielle. Danielle is a mother which has decided to hunt down pedophiles on social networks in order to trap them and show to the world their acts. Danielle insists on the efficiency of her action with regard to the police and justice that she finds unproductive. In the episode, Danielle is accused of defamation by the police. While policemen try to explain to Danielle the importance of using a regular procedure and to respect the Rule of Law aiming to prove its accusations, she makes efficiency her only principle. According to her, her methods get results (on the contrary of those used by the police which respect procedures) and those she accuses to be pedophiles do not deserve defense rights. 

We can learn three lessons from Danielle's story: 

  1. If Compliance Law is just a process of application of mechanical rules, then Rule of Law is not salient face to the principle of efficiency. But, if Compliance Law is defined by its "monumental goals" and that the respect of Rule of Law is erected in "monumental goal", then efficiency and Rule of Law become compatible and congruent. 
  2. The digital space must be disciplined by crucial digital firms supervised by public authorities, like in France or Germany for hate speeches and disinformation. 
  3. Compliance Law, and Law in general, must be pedagogue towards individuals as Danielle which do not understand why their behaviors are reproachable. 

Sept. 16, 2020


Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., Se tenir bien dans l'espace numérique, in Penser le droit de la pensée. Mélanges en l'honneur de Michel Vivant, Lexis Nexis and Dalloz, 2020, pp. 155-168

Read Marie-Anne Frison-Roche's article (in French)

Read the working paper, written in English, on which this article is based, enriched with additional developments, technical references and hyperlinks


Summary of the article: 

The digital space is one of the scarce spaces not framed by a specific branch of Law, Freedom also offering opportunity to its actors to not "behave well", that is to express and diffuse broadly and immediately hateful thoughts through Hate speechs, which remained before in private or limited circles. The intimacy of Law and of the legal notion of Person is broken: Digital permits to individuals or organizations to act as demultiplied and anonymous characters, digital depersonalized actors who carry behaviors that are hurtful to other's dignity. 

Against that, Compliance Law offers an appropriate solution: internalizing in digital crucial operators the mission to disciplinary and substantially hold the digital space. The digital space has been structured by powerful firms able to maintain order. Because Law must not reduce digital space to be only a neutral market of digital prestations, these crucial operators, like social networks or search engines, must be forced to substantially control behaviors. It could be about an obligation of internet users to act with their face uncover, "real identity" policy controlled by firms, and to respect others' rights, privacy rights, dignity, intellectual property rights. In their Regulatory function, digital crucial firms must be supervised by public authorities. 

Thus, Compliance law substantially defined is the protector of the person as "subject of law" in the digital space, by the respect that others must have, this space passing from the status of free space to the one of civilized space, in which everyone is obliged to behave well. 



Read to go further: 

Sept. 2, 2020

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., Compliance & Regulatory Soft Law, legal Certainty and Cooperation: example of the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network new Guidelines on AML/FTNewsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 2nd of September 2020

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Summary of the news

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is an organ, depending on the American Treasury, in charge of fighting against financial criminality and especially against money laundering and terrorism financing. For this, it has large control and sanction powers. 

In August 2020, the FinCEN published a document untitled "Statement on Enforcement" which aimed to explicit its control and sanction methods. It reveals what firms risk in case of offense (from the simple warning letter to criminal pursuits passing through financial fines) and the different criteria on which FinCEN is based to use one sanction rather than another. Among these criteria, we find for examples the nature and the seriousness of committed violations or the firm's history but also the implementation of compliance program or the quality and the spread of the cooperation with FinCEN durning the investigation. 

One of the objectives of the publication of such an information document is to obtain the cooperation of firms by creating a confidence relationship between the regulator and the regulated firm. However, it is very difficult to ask to the firms to cooperate and to furnish information if they can fear that this same information can be used later as proof against them by the FinCEN. 

Another objective is to reinforce legal security and transparency. However, the FinCEN's declaration does not seem to commit it, because it is not presented as a chart but as a simple declaration. Indeed, the list of the possible sanctions and the criteria used by the FinCEN are far from being exhaustive and can be completed in concreto by the FinCEN without any justification.

Aug. 31, 2020

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., Compliance by Design, a new weapon? Opinion of Facebook about Apple new technical dispositions on Personal Data protectionNewsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 31st of August 2020

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Summary of the news:

Personal Data, as they are information, are Compliance Tools. They represent a precious resource for firms which must implement a vigilance plan in order to prevent corruption, money laundering or terrorism financing, for examples. It is the reason why personal data are the angular stone of "Compliance by design" systems. However, the use of these data cannot clear the firm of its simultaneous obligation to protect these same personal data, that is also a "monumental goal" of Compliance Law. 

In order to be able to exploit these data in an objective of Compliance and protecting them in the same time, the digital firm Apple adopted for example new dispositions in order to the exploitation of the Identifier For Advertisers (IDFA) integrated in the iPad and in the iPhone and broadly used by targeted advertising firms, is conditioned to the consumer's consent.

Facebook reacted to this new disposition explaining that such measures will restrict the access to data for advertisers who will suffer from that. Facebook suspects Apple to block the access to advertisers in order to develop its own advertising tool. Facebook guaranteed to advertisers who work with it that it will not take similar measures and that it will always favor consultation before decision making in order to concile sometimes divergent interests. 

We can sleep and already make some remarks:

  • GDPR imposing to companies that they guarantee a minimal level of protection for personal data does not apply in the United-States. It is then possible that Apple acted through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), more than through legal obligation. 
  • The mode of regulation used here is the "conversational regulation" theorized by Julia Black. Indeed, regulators let the forces in presence discuss. 
  • This "conversational regulation" does not seem to be very efficient in this case and an intervention of administrative authorities or of judges could be justified via Competition Law, Regulation Law or Compliance Law, knowing that Competition Law will favor access right to information and Regulation or Compliance Law private life right. 

The whole paradox of Compliance Law rests in the equilibrium between circulation of information and secret. 

Aug. 26, 2020

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., Difficulty of Compliance in Self-Regulation system: example of the Summer 2020 meetings of OPEC about the "conformity"​ for Oil Market Stability​Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 26th of August 2020

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Summary of the news

The world production of oil is largely coordinated by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and especially by its Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC). On 15th of July 2020, this Committee decides to reduce the world production of oil in order to maintain a certain price stability in a context of restricted demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, such a stability can be maintained only if each member respects this decision and effectively reduce its production level. This meeting of 15th of July also aimed to get member's conformity. In order to get this conformity, the JMMC declared that it will use "name and shame", shaming countries which do not respect the Committee's declaration and naming those which respect it. A second meeting, on 19th of August 2020, reminded to non-compliant countries their obligation and urged them to comply before the 28th of August. 

We can observe two things: 

  • The term used by the Committee is "conformity" and not "compliance", which implies less adherence to "monumental goals than the mechanical respect of formal rules.
  • In an self-regulation system where there is not supposed to be a need for "conformity", the need for it is a clue that this self-regulation is malfunctioning.

Aug. 25, 2020

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., The always in expansion "Right to be Forgotten"​: a legitimate Oxymore in Compliance Law built on Information. Example of​ Cancer Survivors ProtectionNewsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 25th of August 2020 

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Summary of the news

The "right to be forgotten" is an invention of the Court of Justice of the European Union during the case Google Spain in 2014. It implies that digital firms block the access to personal data of someone who asks it. This "right to be forgotten", which permits to impose secret to third parties has largely been generalized by GDPR in 2016. This new fundamental subjective right is a very political and European right. United-States which, on the contrary of Europe, did not experience nazism, links the "right to be forgotten" to the protection of consumer, conception which especially leads California Consumer Privacy Act adopted in 2018 to link this right to a situation of absence of necessity of this data for the firm which obtained it. 

In Europe, this willingness to protect directly the person increases the scope of such a subjective right. Thus, in France and in Luxembourg, since 2020, a cancer survivor can thus ask that such an information is not accessible among his or her health data, especially for insurance companies which use them in their risk calculus to set premium amount. Netherlands will do the same in 2021 to fight against discrimination between banks' and insurances' clients. 

The "monumental goal" is therefore not so much here the protection of individual freedoms as the protection of the vulnerable person, which is bye the way the keystone of a Compliance Law, concealing sometimes prohibition to circulate information (as here) and sometimes obligation to circulate information (in other cases, where the alert must be given) depending on whether vulnerable people are protected either by one or by the other.

Aug. 20, 2020

Thesaurus : Doctrine

► Référence complète : Dreyfuss, S., Remplacer la culture de la corruption par une culture de la compliance : l’Europe prend ses responsabilités pour son propre avenir, Le Grand Continent, août 2020. 



📝 Lire l'article. 

Dec. 12, 2019

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Référence complète : Malik, A., La conformité dans les établissements financiers sous le prisme du droit pénal, thèse Toulouse, 2019. 


Lire la thèse. 

Nov. 21, 2019

Thesaurus : Doctrine

COMPLIANCE : EXTERNALISATION ET TIERCE INTRODUCTION EN MATIÈRE DE LUTTE ANTI-BLANCHIMENT Iris M. Barsan De Boeck Supérieur | « Revue internationale de droit économique » 2019/4 t. XXXIII | pages 535 à 557

April 15, 2019

Publications : Chronicles MAFR - Compliance Law

 Full Reference : Frison-Roche, M.-A., Compliance et personnalité, in Recueil Dalloz, n°11/7812, avril 2019, pp. 604-606



► Chronique English Summary: Compliance is often presented as a set of mechanical procedures, in which human beings are absent. It's the opposite.

It is an Information Law, in its function of preventing systemic risks and a markets protection Law, which poses the requirement of knowing “truly” the person who is “relevant”, generalizing what Company or Competition Law had partially admitted.

Even more, beyond systems, Compliance Law, insofar as it is a Protection Law, aims to protect human beings, directly or indirectly concerned, establishing them as legal persons, true final subjects of law of this new branch of Law.


📝read the chronique (in French).


🚧  read the bilingual Working paper, Compliance and Personality, basis of this chronique,    working paper including footnotes, technical references and hyperlink


📖 read the other chroniques Chronique MAFR Droit de la Compliance


March 25, 2019

Thesaurus : Doctrine


 Référence complète : Gaudemet, A,  Qu'est-ce que la compliance ?, Commentaire, 2019/1, n°165, p.109-114.  


Dec. 15, 2018

Thesaurus : Doctrine

► Référence complète : Kaleski, N., Les entreprises face au défi de l’anticorruption. La question de la création de valeur, Institut Friedland, déc. 2018.


► Lire l'étude. 


July 21, 2018

Publications : Chronicles MAFR - Compliance Law

Full reference : Frison-Roche, M.-A., Le Droit de la Compliance au-delà du Droit de la Régulation, Recueil Dalloz, 2018, chronique, pp. 1561-1563.


Summary : A movement started from precise legal requirements linked to identified actors, as the financial or banking sector, to transform itself in legal norms of Compliance. Compliance Law is thus the extension of Regulation Law. But Compliance Law is taking its full autonomy with regards with Regulation Law, while retaining its violence, its radicalisé, and even its archaism, even though it concerns companies which do not act on regulated sectors, putting down, for instance, notions linked to territoriality (I). How companies should react face to this unequaled news (II)? 

Read the article (in French)

Read the table of contents of the Review (in French).

This document is based on a working paper with footnotes, technical references and hypertext links. 


June 30, 2017


This working paper is the support for the article to appear in the collective book  dedicated to our very dear friend and colleague Philippe Néau-Leduc.

It uses the Bilingual Dictionary of the Regulatory and Compliance Law.

Compliance Law has the same teleological functioning as the Economic Law to which it belongs, which consists in placing the normativity of rules, decisions and reasoning in the aims pursued. Once we know what the goals of compliance techniques are, then we know who should be responsible for them, who must be subject to them, who must activate the rules: compliance rules must be activated by those who are in the best position to achieve the outcome in order to achieve the goal sought by the authority which designed the compliance mechanism. The "circles" are thus plotted in a rational and pragmatic way. That, all of it ("useful effect"), but not beyond that. The notion of efficiency does not always imply balancing: on the contrary, it can involve drawing circles which designate those who are "placed" to carry the burden of the rules because they are capable of producing them the desired effects. Within these circles, the rules must apply without restriction and without compromise, but they must not apply beyond these circles.

Drawing such circles requires defining the Law of Compliance itself, since on the one hand the choice of those who must implement the Compliance depends on the aims of the Compliance and on the other hand the definition of the Law of Compliance is itself teleological in nature. This is why, contrary to the assertion that the exercise of definition would be useless in these matters, which would be above all on a case-by-case basis, this effort to define and determine the purposes is, on the contrary, necessary in practice to show which enterprise must bear the obligations of compliance and which must not.

But it is enough to have posed this to reveal the major difficulty of the Compliance, that explains resistances, and even gives the impression that one is confronted with an aporia. If, as a matter of principle, what is expected of the "users" of the Compliance mechanisms must be articulated to the aim that is affected by the authors of the compliance mechanisms to them, we must have a minimum correspondence between the aims of these authors (Legislators and Regulators) and the aims pursued by those who are responsible for implementing them: companies. However, this correspondence does not exist at first sight, because the compliance mechanisms are found to be uniquely based on "monumental goals" which the public authorities have a legitimate concern, whereas companies have for their own interest . The two circles do not match. The internationalization of concern for these aims in companies would therefore be only a mechanism of violence of which enterprises are the object, violence felt as such. (I).

To resolve this violence, it is better to stop confusing the State and enterprises, whose goals are not the same, and draw the circle of subjects of law "eligible" for Compliance. It is highly legitimate to target certain entities, in particular this category of companies, which are the "crucial operators", in a binding way, as it is legitimate to govern companies that have expressed a desire to surpass their own interests. These circles of a different nature can overlap on a concrete operator: for example, if a bank - alway a crucial operator that is structural because it is systemic - is also international - a crucial operator because of its activity - decides to worry about others by commitments verified by the authorities to overcome their own interest (social responsibility), but these different circles are not confused. In any case, companies may belong to only one circle, or even belong to none. In the latter case, they must therefore remain beyond the reach of the pressure and cost of Compliance Law, in particular because they are not objectively required to realize the "monumental goals" aimed at effectiveness and do not want it: in a liberal system, it is for the public authorities to aim at the general interest, the ordinary people indirectly participating in it by paying the tax. (II).

It is by making these "Compliance Circles" of eligible subjects of this specific Law to implement the heavy but justified and controlled burden of Compliance with regard to the monumental goals that this new system  aims, that then opens a royal way in order to find a uniqueness and to increase the "monumental function" of the Compliance Law by a relation of Trust towards the global general interest, rather than the mechanical application of rules whose meaning is not understood and whose perception is no longer perceived than violence.

March 27, 2017

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Référence complète : Lequet, P., Loi « devoir de vigilance » : de l'intérêt des normes de management des risques, in Revue juridique de l'environnement, vol.42, n°4, 2017, pp.705-725.


Les étudiants de Sciences po, peuvent consulter l'article via le Drive, dossier "MAFR- Régulation & Compliance"

March 10, 2016


  ► Référence complète : Frison-Roche, M.-A., Le Diable dans la bouteille des Codes de bonne conduite. Hommage à Gérard Farjat, Centre de Recherche en droit économique de Nice, 10 mars 2016.


  ► Voir la conférence.


  ► Présentation de la conférence : En 1978, notre ami commun Gérard Farjat a écrit un article mémorable sur "les codes de conduite privés" qui depuis ont fait florès. Je me souviens que cela lui causait du souci car tout à la fois il se doutait de la part de rhétorique, voire de contradiction, que ces codes contiennent, et en même temps il ne voyait pas quoi pouvait arrêter désormais cette façon légitimer pour les entreprises internationales d'organiser chez elles un "ordre" puisque le Droit n'était plus apte de leur proposer de l'extérieur un tandis qu'il n'était pas davantage capable de limiter la tendance moins vertueuse des entreprises à façonner des normes par lesquelles elles exercent un pouvoir non plus seulement pour s'organiser elles mais encore pour régir autrui et le monde extérieur.

Et encore Gérard Farjat lorsqu'il écrivit cet article, en 1978, n'avait pas été conçue l'aimable Corporate Social Responsability...

En sommes-nous au même point ? Peut-on même dire que la situation s'est aggravée, le monde étant "normé" et "gouverné" par des entreprises "globales" qui écrivent et imposent des Codes de "bonnes" conduites qui expriment ce qui est "bon" en soi et finissent par constituer de véritables "Constitutions mondiales" ?

Non. On peut penser même l'inverse. Par la puissance des Régulateurs et des Superviseurs, institutions de puissance publiques, les normes publiques sont internalisées dans les entreprises "globales" qui les répètent dans les codes de bonnes conduites et deviennent les régulateurs et les superviseurs d'elles-mêmes.


  ► Consulter le plan de la conférence.

  ► Consultermedia/assets/slides/les-codes-de-bonne-conduite.pdf"> les slides servant de support à la conférence.


March 5, 2016

Thesaurus : Soft Law

Référence complète : Lellouche, P. et Berger, K., L'extraterritorialité de la législation américaine, Rapport Assemblée Nationale, 2016. 



Lire le rapport. 


Plan du rapport :




1. Vues d’Europe, de nombreuses lois ou réglementations américaines « extraterritoriales »

2. Mais du point de vue américain, la plupart ne sont pas extraterritoriales


1. Le droit comme instrument de puissance économique et de politique étrangère

a. Le droit mis au service des objectifs de la politique étrangère et des intérêts économiques des États-Unis

b. … et aussi au service direct des intérêts des firmes américaines ?

c. La mobilisation des moyens policiers et de renseignement américains au service de la politique juridique extérieure

2. Mais un droit américain qui ne saurait être l’objet d’une négociation internationale




1. Des pénalités considérables et en forte croissance, qui, de fait, frappent très souvent les entreprises européennes 

a. Les pénalités pour corruption internationale d’agents publics

b. Les pénalités pour non-respect des sanctions économiques américaines

2. Le doute sur l’équité : des entreprises européennes particulièrement ciblées ?

a. Les pénalités pour corruption internationale

b. Les pénalités pour non-respect des embargos et/ou de la législation anti-blanchiment

3. Un prélèvement sur les économies européennes

4. Une donne nouvelle : le poids croissant des économies émergentes et de leurs entreprises


1. Le mécontentement des pays tiers et même des alliés des États-Unis

2. Une fragilisation potentielle du rôle international du dollar et du système financier international

3. La difficulté à régler finement les politiques de sanctions : le cas de l’Iran 38



1. Le droit américain 41

2. Le droit français et européen 42

a. En matière pénale 42

b. En matière civile et commerciale 43


1. Les lois qui s’appliquent à toutes les sociétés présentes sur les marchés financiers réglementés américains 46

a. La lutte contre la corruption internationale 46

b. Un autre exemple, la loi Sarbanes-Oxley 48

2. La lutte contre le blanchiment d’argent d’origine criminelle : une législation qui impose aux banques américaines de contrôler leurs correspondants étrangers 48

3. Les autres cas de figure (violations de sanctions économiques, lutte contre les organisations mafieuses, fiscalité personnelle) : plutôt une conception « extensive » des principes généraux de compétence territoriale et/ou personnelle ? 49

a. Les sanctions économiques et embargos 49

i. Des sanctions qui peuvent être ouvertement extraterritoriales 49

ii. Une dimension de « sécurité nationale » susceptible de « justifier » une extraterritorialité débridée 50

iii. Mais des pénalités contre les banques européennes plutôt fondées sur une interprétation très extensive du critère de rattachement territorial via l’usage du dollar 50

b. La lutte contre le crime organisé (loi RICO) : une volonté de sanctionner globalement les organisations mafieuses qui permet une territorialité « large » 53

c. La fiscalité : l’emploi large du critère de compétence personnelle à côté du critère territorial 53

4. La question particulière de la remise en cause des immunités souveraines 54


1. Des critères de compétence territoriale ou personnelle pour le moins incertains 57

a. Le problème de l’implication des « US Persons » 57

b. Des définitions législatives ou plus vraisemblablement jurisprudentielles ? 58

c. Quelle accessibilité du droit ? 58

2. Le problème de l’incidence des méthodes de l’administration et de la justice américaines : de l’extraterritorialité d’édiction à celle d’exécution 59

a. Des méthodes très intrusives 59

b. La loi FATCA, exemple d’option pour une méthode de recueil d’informations intrusive et sans limite de territorialité 60

c. De multiples administrations et agences américaines impliquées : le partage du butin 61

d. La menace de sanctions très lourdes et imprévisibles qui contraint à transiger et à renoncer à la voie judiciaire 62

e. Pourtant, en cas de procès, une justice américaine assez prudente sur l’extraterritorialité 64

i. La jurisprudence récente de la Cour suprême 64

ii. Les jugements sanctionnant certains abus de l’application de la loi FCPA 66

f. Les autres conséquences du recours aux transactions 67

i. Les engagements de conformité et de contrôle 67

ii. Les engagements de non-recours et de silence 70


1. L’extraterritorialité d’édiction n’est pas en soi contraire au droit international 71

2. D’autres pays ou entités adoptent des législations ou des jurisprudences extraterritoriales 72

a. L’Union européenne 72

i. Les règlements européens de sanctions économiques : un champ bien délimité mais potentiellement extraterritorial 72

ii. Des jurisprudences parfois peu exigeantes quant au lien nécessaire pour imposer une règle européenne hors du territoire communautaire 73

b. La multiplication des législations anti-corruption à portée plus ou moins extraterritoriale 74

3. Le débat sur la conformité au droit international des législations américaines en cause 77

a. Le passé : l’exemple topique de la loi Helms-Burton 77

b. Les lois FCPA et FATCA : des textes confortés par leur inscription dans une démarche internationale partagée 77

c. Des mesures de sanctions et d’embargo en contrariété avec les règles de l’Organisation mondiale du commerce ? 79



1. Une possible limitation de l’intrusion américaine par le « partage » coopératif et l’application du principe non bis in idem 81

a. La convention OCDE de 1997 : un appel explicite au « partage » coopératif des procédures entre juridictions 81

b. La jurisprudence française : vers une reconnaissance élargie du principe non bis in idem dans le cas de procédures étrangères 82

c. La position américaine : aucune garantie que des poursuites parallèles ne soient engagées 84

2. Un droit français incapable d’engendrer une coopération et des poursuites coordonnées 87

a. Le constat : jusqu’à présent, des condamnations peu nombreuses, tardives et d’une sévérité modérée 87

b. Un renforcement du dispositif engagé en 2013 88


1. Le choix ancien d’une politique coopérative 89

a. La convention fiscale bilatérale 89

b. L’accord « FATCA » 90

2. L’application très insatisfaisante de la convention fiscale bilatérale : les « Américains accidentels », des français victimes de son application 91


1. Des sanctions adoptées majoritairement au niveau européen 93

2. L’état du droit : la violation d’embargo est généralement une infraction douanière 94

3. Les sanctions concernant l’Iran : une politique de coordination coopérative décevante 96

a. Les enjeux de l’accord sur le nucléaire iranien 97

b. Une bonne volonté de principe de l’exécutif américain 98

c. Cependant, un dispositif qui reste entaché d’interrogations paralysantes pour les entreprises européennes 98

d. Le maintien de l’essentiel des sanctions « primaires » américaines, y compris sur la compensation des opérations en dollars via le système financier américain 99

e. Le problème des « lettres de confort » 102

f. La « guerre psychologique » 103

g. Les contre-arguments américains 103

4. L’inefficacité des « lois de blocage » 104

a. Un dispositif français utile mais mal adapté pour se protéger contre le caractère invasif de la justice américaine 104

b. Le règlement européen de 1996 à rénover 107



1. Le projet de loi relatif à la transparence, à la lutte contre la corruption et à la modernisation de la vie économique : être à armes égales dans la lutte contre la corruption internationale 110

2. Les solutions envisagées au problème des « Américains accidentels » 112


1. La possibilité de rendre les dispositifs plus efficaces et transparents en s’inspirant des pratiques américaines 114

a. Le projet de loi relatif à la violation des embargos et autres mesures restrictives 114

b. Vers un « OFAC européen » ? 115

2. Une demande de clarification du régime des sanctions concernant l’Iran 117

3. Les options de confrontation 119

a. Les précédents 119

i. L’affaire du gazoduc sibérien 119

ii. Les lois Helms-Burton et d’Amato-Kennedy 119

b. Saisir l’Organisation mondiale du commerce ? 120

c. Le renforcement des « lois de blocage » 121

4. Les stratégies de contournement : promouvoir l’euro, privilégier les cotations boursières en Europe, … 122


1. En matière de renseignement économique 124

2. En matière d’organisation judiciaire et d’outils juridiques 127



April 16, 2014

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Référence complète : Hermitte, M.-A., Le lanceur d'alerte, héros des sociétés scientifiques et techniques ?, in  Réseau européen de recherche en droits de l'homme (RERDH), Héroïsme et Droit, coll. "Thèmes et Commentaires", Dalloz, 2014, p.135-148. 


Dec. 12, 2013

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Full reference: Collard, C., and Roquilly, C., Les risques juridiques et leur cartographie : proposition de méthodologie (Legal Risks and Their Mapping: proposition of Methodology)La Revue des Sciences de Gestion, vol. 263-264, no. 5, 2013, pp. 45-55.

Sciences Po's students can read this article via Sciences Po's Drive in the folder MAFR - Regulation & Compliance

April 17, 2013

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Référence complète : Mignon-Colombet, A. et Buthiau, F., Le Deferred Prosecution Agreement américain, une forme inédite de justice négociée. Punir, surveiller, prévenir ? , JCP, éd. G., 2013, p.621-627.


Nov. 17, 2011

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Full reference: Bon-Michel, B., La cartographie des risques : de la rationalisation du futur à l'apprentissage du risque. Cas de l'identification du risque opérationnel au sein d'un établissement de crédit (Risks Mapping: from Rationalization of the Future to Risk Learning. Case of the Identification of the Operational Risk in a Credit Establishment)Management & Avenir, vol. 48, no. 8, 2011, pp. 326-341.

Sciences Po's students can read this article in the Sciences Po Drive in the folder MAFR - Regulation & Compliance