Thesaurus : Soft Law
Référence complète : Response to the Study on Directors’ Duties and Sustainable Corporate Governance by Nordic Company Law Scholars, octobre 2020.
Compliance and Regulation Law bilingual Dictionnary
The notion of "Common Goods" refers to a political conception insofar as it concerns objectively commercial goods such as cultural goods or medical services, but which the community is going to demand that everyone should have access to it even though the individual does not have the ability to pay the exact price. It is then the taxpayer - present or future - or the social partners who bear the cost, or even some companies, through the corporal social social responsibility mechanism.
This protection of Common Goods can be done by the State in the name of the interest of the social group for which it is responsible and whose it expresses the will, particularly through the notion of the general interest. In this now restricted framework which is the State, this reference runs counter to the principle of competition. This is particularly clear in Europe, which is based on a Union built on an autonomous and integrated legal order in the Member States in which competition continues to have a principled value and benefits from the hierarchy of norms. The evolution of European Law has balanced the principle of competition with other principles, such as the management of systemic risks, for example health, financial or environmental risks and the creation of the banking union shows that the principle of competition is no longer an apex in the European system.
But it still remains to an economic and financial conception of Europe, definition that the definition of the Regulatory Law when it is restricted to the management of the market failures feeds. It is conceivable that Europe will one day evolve towards a more humanistic conception of Regulatory Law, the same one that the European States practice and defend, notably through the notion of public service. Indeed and traditionally, public services give people access to common goods, such as education, health or culture.
Paradoxically, even though Law is not set up on a global scale, it is at this level that the legal notion of "common goods" has developed.
When one refers to goods that are called "global goods", one then seeks goods that are common to humanity, such as oceans or civilizations. It is at once the heart of Nature and the heart of Human Being, which plunges into the past and the future. Paradoxically, the concept of "global goods" is still more political in substance, but because of a lack of global political governance, effective protection is difficult, as their political consecration can only be effective nationally or simply declaratory internationally. That is why this balance is at present only at national level, which refers to the difficulty of regulating globalization.
Thus, the "common goods" legally exist more under their black face: the "global evils" or "global ills" or "global failures", against which a "Global Law" actually takes place. The notion of "global evils" constitutes a sort of mirror of Common Goods. It is then observed that countries that develop legal discourse to regulate global evils and global goods thus deploy global unilateral national Law. This is the case in the United States, notably in financial regulatory Law or more broadly through the new Compliance Law, which is being born. Companies have a role to play, particularly through Codes of Conduct and Corporate Social Responsibility.
March 22, 2020
This working paper is the basis for an article in the French Law Journal Le Clunet.
When we compare the terms "Compliance" and "Extraterritoriality", it is often with dissatisfaction, even anger and indignation. On the momentum, after having expressed a principle of disapproval of such a merger, attention is focused on how we can fight against it, to break the link between Compliance and Extraterritoriality. But do we have to go so fast? Is this negative initial assessment correct?
Indeed, thus gone, it is frequently explained that the binding mechanisms of Compliance are suffered, that they come from abroad!footnote-1750, that they apply with efficiency but in an illegitimate way, without agreement of the one who must submit to it, whose resistance is therefore certainly ineffective but nevertheless justified. In the same spirit, when we start to shell the cases, like so many scars, sort of rosary, even crown of thorns, BNPP case!footnote-1718, Astom case!footnote-1717, etc., the wounds not yet closed turn into reproaches made against the rules, public authorities, even reproaches made against named people.
We are leaving this kind of complaint against X, which targets what would be this appalling "Compliance", this Law which would be both hostile and mechanical which would not have been able to stay within the limits of borders, Compliance being thus placed in contrast to sovereignty and protection, which presuppose staying within its limits!footnote-1716 and being able to protect companies from abroad. More concretely, this presentation targets more directly the United States, which uses "the legal weapon", slipped under what is then designated as "the artifice of the Law" with extraterritorial scope. But this effect would in reality be the very object of the whole: their hegemonic will to better organize at least a global racket, notably through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and at best a world government through notably the embargoes.Those who believed otherwise would be naive or foolish. This silences the opponents because who likes this costume? So the world would be put in a ruled cut; what the mafia could not have done, Compliance Law would have obtained, offering the whole world to the United States thanks to the extraterritoriality of its national Law.
Compliance Law would thus become the very negation of Law, since it has the effect, even the purpose (barely concealed by strategic, powerful and shameless States), of counting borders for nothing, whereas Public International Law, in that it is built between the sovereign subjects of law that are the States presupposes the primary respect for borders to better exceed them while Private International Law takes the same postulate to better welcome foreign Law in situations presenting a foreign element!footnote-1726. Jurists believed in the force of Law; by Compliance, we would return to the sad reality that only the powerful, here the United States, dominate and - ironically - it is under the pretext of Law that they do it. It would be necessary to be well duped, or accomplice, to see there still legal where there is only the balance of powers. When one is more intelligent or skilful than that, one understands that the "small" can only be "subject" to the Compliance Law, one would have to be powerful to be the normative source and its enforcement agent. It is then towards this mis-named Department of Justice (DoJ) that the fearful, hateful and resigned glances turn.
If you see it that way, what should you do then? The answer is obvious: react!
It is necessary to save the sovereignty, France, companies, the Law itself. If that is how the question is posed, how can we disagree? It is therefore necessary to destroy the Compliance Law and the extra-territoriality of American Law which had found this "Trojan horse", an expression so frequently used. This is the basis for the administrative reports available, for example the Berger-Lellouche!footnote-1719 parliamentary reports and the Gauvainfootnote-1720 report. Both of them broadly develop the two preceding claims, namely that the extra-priority of compliance mechanisms is illegitimate and harmful, since it is a mechanism invented by the Americans and harming the Europeans, or even invented by the Americans to harm Europeans, the description being made in much more violent terms than those used here. The description seems acquired, the reflections therefore relate to the remedies. The reaction is most often to "block" the Compliance Law in its extraterritorial effect.
But without discussing the effectiveness of the remedies proposed downstream, it is necessary to return to this description so widely shared made upstream. Because many elements on the contrary lead to affirm that ComplianceLaw first of all and by nature can only be extraterritorial and that it must be. Whether or not the State in which it was created has malicious intentions. The description which is made to us most often describes particular cases from which we draw generalities, but we cannot reduce Compliance Law to the already cooled cases, as BNPP case, or to the always hot case of the American embargo on Iran. Furthermore, one cannot take the issue of embargoes and draw conclusions, legitimate for it, but which would apply to the whole of Compliance Law. The fact that theCompliance Law is a branch of Law at the stage still of emergence can lead to this confusion which consists in taking the part for the whole, but it is very regrettable because what is justified for the embargoes does not is in no way relevant for all Compliance Law, of which precisely the Law of embargoes is only a small part, even an abusive use. This overlapping is not often perceived, because the definition of Compliance Law and its criterion are not clearly enough defined, namely the existence of a "monumental goal"!footnote-1725, which does not exist in an embargo decided unilaterally by an order decreed by the President of the United States, but which exists in all other cases and fully justifies extraterritoriality, extraterritoriality which is even consubstantial with Compliance Law (I).
Once we have distinguished the embargoes, as an atypical, sometimes even illegitimate part, of Compliance Law, we should continue this work of distinction by emphasizing that the United States has certainly invented Compliance Law!footnote-1721 but only developed a mechanical concept for the prevention and management of systemic risks. Europe has taken up this systemic conception of the protection of systems, for example financial or banking, but superimposed another conception, drawing on its deep humanist tradition!footnote-1722, whose protection of personal data is only an example and whose monumental goal is the protection of the human being. This primary concern then justifies the European use of Compliance mechanisms to interfere with global objects regardless of their location, especially the environment, and to block the entry onto the ground of objects that enter, which is contrary to Competition Law but builds a legitimate barrier under this Compliance Law, in the indifference of an extraterritorial origin (II).
Indeed, this branch of the new Law which is Compliance Law is not reducible to Competition Law!footnote-1723, any more than it is not reducible to a method. It is a substantial, extraterritorial Law because the "monumental goals" which give it substantial unity are extraterritorial. This can directly contribute to the future of a Europe which on the one hand will be able to pursue, in an extraterritorial manner, monumental humanist goals, in the field of the environment or the protection of personal information or access to the Law (in particular by the technique of compliance programs) and which, on the other hand, by the techniques of traceability of products!footnote-1724, will have the means not to bring in products manufactured in an indecent manner, except in countries which do not grant value than in Competition Law to enter the WTO.
Read the developments below.
Jan. 16, 2020
Thesaurus : Doctrine
June 28, 2019
It is often observed, even theorized, even advised and touted, that Compliance is a mechanism by which public authorities internalize political (eg environmental) concerns in big companies, which accept them, in Ex Ante, because they are rather in agreement with these "monumental goals" (eg saving the planet) and that this shared virtue is beneficial to their reputation. It is observed that this could be the most successful way in new configurations, such as digital.
But, and the Compliance Mechanism has often been brought closer to the contractual mechanism, this is only relevant if both parties are willing to do so. This is technically true, for example for the Deferred Prosecution, which requires explicit consent. This is true in a more general sense that the company wants to choose itself how to structure its organization to achieve the goals politically pursued by the State. Conversely, the compliance mechanisms work if the State is willing to admit the economic logic of the global private players and / or, if there are possible breaches, not to pursue its investigations and close the file it has opened, at a price more or less high.
But just say No.
As in contractual matters, the first freedom is negative and depends on the ability to say No.
The State can do it. But the company can do it too.
And Daimler just said No.
Publicly, including through an article in the Wall Street Journal of June 28, 2019.
The company sets out in a warning to the market that it is the object of a requirement on the part of the German Motor Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt) of an allegation of fraud, by the installation of a software, aimed at misleading instruments for measuring emissions of greenhouse gases on cars using diesel.
It is therefore an environmental compliance mechanism that would have been intentionally countered.
On this allegation, the Regulator both warns the company of what it considers to be a fact, ie compliance fraud, and attaches it to an immediate measure, namely the removal of the circulation of 42,000 vehicles sold or proposed by Daimler with such a device.
And the firm answers : "No".
Which is probably only beginning, since a No ends the dialogue of Ex Ante to project in the Ex Post sanction procedures, calls 6 observations:
May 19, 2018
Il y a quelques jours, dans une réunion j'écoutais Alain Supiot.
Et cela m'a fait penser à un article sous presse que je viens de lire d'une ancienne élève à laquelle j'avais consacré des journées entières pour la guider dans son travail.
Puis ce matin, j'ai lu un extrait d'un livre de Bernard Maris.
Et cela m'a fait penser à des pages de Nietzsche.
Et je me suis dit : la question n'est-elle pas d'échapper non pas du tout à celle de la dette, qui est une question éthique et juridique fondamentale, une notion vaste et belle, mais à une sorte de piège, étroit et mortifère dans lequel il n'y aurait comme "place de référence" comme la place de "débiteur" ou bien la place de "créancier". A la fois en éthique, en économie et en droit.
Et si l'on a tant de mal à trouver notre place, n'est-ce pas parce qu'être "débiteur" peut renvoyer à deux positions qui n'ont rien à voir l'une avec l'autre ? L'une dans laquelle nous portons une dette qui suppose l'existence d'un créancier (ce qui suppose toujours une exécution à venir, une opposition, une violence), et l'autre dans laquelle nous portons une dette qui pourrait exister sans qu'existe un créancier ?
June 23, 1999
Thesaurus : Doctrine
Full reference: Godé, P., Le droit de l'avenir (un droit en devenir), in Mélanges en hommage à François Terré, L'avenir du droit, Dalloz, Puf, Éditions du juris-classeur, 1999, p.61-78.
Sciences Po Students can read this article via the Drive in the folder "MAFR - Régulation".