Dec. 11, 2019


This working document serves as the basis for the conference given in the symposium made under the direction of Lucien Rapp, Les incitations, outils de la Compliance

Référence : Frison-Roche, M.-A., Compliance et Incitations : un couple à propulser, in Faculté de droit de l'Université Toulouse-Capitole, et Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRc),Les incitations, outils de la Compliance, 12 décembre 2019, Toulouse. 

Consult the slides used as a basis for the conference.



The so-called incentive theory targets mechanisms that do not directly use coercion but nevertheless obtain the desired behaviors for those who set up the devices. The working document procedure in three stages.

At first, the association seems natural between the incentive mechanisms and the "Compliance Law" defined in a dynamic way. Indeed if we define it as placing its legal normativity in the "monumental goals" that it pursues, such as the disappearance of corruption, the detection of money laundering so that the criminality which is under it disappears underlying, or as the effective protection of nature or the concrete concern of human beings, then what counts is not the means in themselves but to tend effectively towards these "monumental goals. For this, what was previously public policies led by the States, because they are definitely not in a position to do so, the burden is internalized in the companies which are able to strive towards these goals: the "crucial operators", because they have the surface, the technological, informational and financial means.

In this perspective, the internalization of the public will causing a split with the state form linked to a territory which deprives the Politics of its power of constraint, the incentive mechanisms appear as the most effective means to achieve these monumental goals. They appear both negatively and positively. Negatively in that they do not require in Ex Ante clearly identifiable and localized institutional sources and no more in Ex Post of power of sanction. Interest replaces obligation. Positively, the incentives are relayed through the operators' strategies, which was the so often criticized form of public action: the "plan". Duration is thus injected thanks to the Compliance mechanism, as we can see through its development in the interest of the environment ("Climate Plan"), or through the education mechanism, which is only conceived over time.

However, in a second step, the opposition seems radical between Compliance Law and Incentives. This stems from three convictions, as strong as they are probably inaccurate. In the first place the idea that in general there is a Law only if there is a mechanism of immediate constraint which is attached to the norm. A law currently in the course of adoption shows it with envi ... As soon as the incentive would not rest on the obligation, then it would be nothing ... In the second place, and as if that were a kind of consolation ..., Compliance either would not be Law either ... It is so often said that it is only a process, without meaning, procedures to follow without trying to understand, that algorithms integrate into endless and meaningless mechanics. While the incentives are addressed to the human mind, Compliance would be a process by which machines would connect to other machines ... Third, the alpha and omega of Digital Law would be in the Competition law, because it can do without States, subject them and apprehend what is a-sectoral, in particular finance and digital, because the world is now financialized and digitalized. The violence of Competition Law which goes back in Ex Ante thanks to "compliance sanctions" by applying in particular the essential facilities while continuing to deny the relevance of the duration and taking as concern "market power" is incompatible with a coupling with incentive mechanisms that are based on duration and power, converging towards goals determined by what the Competition Law aims to ignore: the project, that of the Politics and that of the company , who use their power deployed over time to make it happen.

It is therefore necessary, in a third step, to modify our conception of the Law, in particular thanks to the Law of Compliance, in that it is autonomous from the Law of Competition, so that the insertion of the incentive mechanisms allow organizations little known by it. ci to achieve monumental goals which it is imperative today to claim. For example the Climate. This is expressly stated by the European Commission. All the texts that are expressing it are based on this reformed couple: Compliance and Incentive. This couple supposes that we recognize as such the existence of companies as they carry a project, which is other than the creation of market wealth circulating on a market, which can be an industrial project specific to an area. both economic and political. The Regulation then detaches itself from the concept of sector and is transformed into supervision of the crucial companies in the correspondence between the project and the action, which returns to the concept of "plan". In this the banking supervision is only the advanced bastion of all the energy plans or more generally industrial and technological being able by incentive to be set up, this conception of the Compliance making it possible to build zones which are not reduced to the exchange instant merchant. The incentive corresponds to the fact that Compliance Law relies on the power of the company to achieve its own political goals, for example combating disinformation in the digital space or obtaining a healthy environment. This supposes that Compliance ceases to be conceived only as a mode of effectiveness of the rules, for example of Competition Law, to be recognized as a substantial branch of Law. A branch that expresses political goals. A branch that is anchored in crucial companies whose autonomy it recognizes in relation to the markets. This allows, in particular by the culprit with the incentive mechanisms leading to long-term collaborative operations supervised by public authorities, not to be governed by simple competition law, unfit to materialize projects.

See the intervention plan below.