April 4, 2023

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

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► Full Reference: M.-A. Frison-Roche, "Face aux clauses de Compliance : le Juge (colloque du 7 avril 2023)" ("Facing Compliance clauses: the Judge (symposium of 7 April 2023)"), Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 4 April 2023.

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Compliance Law is starting to be known; mainly through two blocks:

Firstly the spectacular sanctions by which it made as its entry in Europe by the "BNPP sanction" of 2014.

🔴M.-A. Frison-Roche, 📝Le Droit de la Compliance, 2016

Secondly, the accumulation of tools, legal and non-legal, with which companies have equipped themselves: plans to detect and prevent breaches, internal investigations, mapping, ad hoc training, etc.

🔴M.-A. Frison-Roche (dir), 📘Compliance Tools, 2021

 

But what is the "compliance obligation" in the name of which these fearful and heavy sanctions are pronounced and these new and multiple tools are put in place?

We do not have a very clear idea.

That is why the Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and its partner universities have chosen to focus on the topic of the Compliance Obligation in a series of symposiums held in 2023.

🔴JoRC, 🏗️L'obligation de compliance, 2023

 

It could be said that the company is "obliged" by Compliance because it is obliged by the Law, as Compliance would only mean obeying "regulations" (a term used to describe everything that is obligatory, from the Constitution to ethical charters, etc.). The English vocabulary "comply with" suggests this, as does the Chinese practice of Compliance. The difference would then only be the fact that the company shows its "stakeholders" that it does in fact respect all these texts that commit it.

 

But the practice and the jurist remember that what is sometimes considered as the heart of the Law, since Roman Law, is Obligations Law, having as its object Contract Law and Tort Law.

 

Yet, in practice, companies have put contracts concerning compliance everywhere, and they are relatively little studied.

🔴M.-A. Frison-Roche, 📝Contrat de compliance, clauses de compliance, 2023

These may be entire contracts whose very purpose is to entrust another with the task of fulfilling all or part of the compliance obligation incumbent on the company, with regard to personal data.

These may be clauses inserted in contracts with another purpose, for instance sales contracts in a value chain, where the company stipulates that the other company will also ensure compliance obligations for itself or for the other company, e.g. detect and prevent corruption, be vigilant, etc.

Contract Law has already taken on compliance in practice, especially in long-term economic transactions with an international dimension.

The judge has always been present in Obligation Law.

 

How is the triangle articulated: Judge - Compliance - Obligation?

 

The Judge has been present from the outset in the development of the Compliance Obligation through criminal liability, administrative liability and the obligation for the company to become a judge of itself, particularly through internal investigations.

🔴M.-A. Frison-Roche (dir.), 📘Compliance Jurisdictionalisation, 2023

 

The Judge is also present through Obligation Law stricto sensu, first of all through liability, which is transformed under the effect of the compliance system, which operates more in the logic of "accountability" and generates legal mechanisms of "ex ante liability".

🔴M.-A. Frison-Roche, 📝La responsabilité Ex Ante, pilier du Droit de la Compliance, 2022

 

In contractual matters, the Judge will intervene, in particular with regard to the stipulations which, in the contracts which form the architecture of the value chains, ensure the efficacy (and no longer only the effectiveness) of the duty of vigilance.

The Judge will then intervene under the French law of 2017, known as the "Vigilance Law",

🔴M.-A. Frison-Roche, 🚧Vigilance, Buts Monumentaux de la Compliance et "Société vigilante", 2023

but also, because the Judge is the "judge of the contract", he will intervene as such.

 

To identify the Obligation of Compliance, 

🔴M.-A. Frison-Roche (dir.), 📘Compliance Obligation, 2024

it is therefore necessary to analyse the way in which the Judge apprehends or should in the future apprehend contracts and compliance clauses.

 

That's why, in the above-mentioned cycle of symposiums, a symposium is being held on 7 April 2023. It is co-organised by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and the Law Faculty of Perpignan, and has been designed under the scientific direction of Walid Chaiehloudj and Marie-Anne Frison-Roche.

🧮Le juge face aux clauses et aux contrats de compliance (The Judge facing clauses and contrats of compliance)

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Dec. 1, 2022

Publications

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► Full Reference: M.-A. Frison-Roche, "Contrat de compliance, clauses de compliance", Chronique of Compliance Law, D.2022, p.2115-2117.

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📝reac the article (this article is written in French)

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► English summary of the article: Compliance Law is often seen only as an obligation to comply with regulations. Contract Law is masked by the study of texts and sanctions. Civil liability cases are beginning to highlight the commitments of companies, acts of will. It remains to discern the importance of contracts.

First, there is a specific contract: the "compliance contract". Its purpose is to provide a third party with a service, the means for the company to "comply" with the legal systems requirements ("contract of conformity"), and/or to enable the company to achieve the monumental goals that characterize Compliance Law (contract of compliance). The interpretation and the regime of these compliance contracts must be marked by the Compliance Law that permeates it. Secondly, there are a multitude of stipulations aimed at conformity and Compliance.

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🚧read the working paper written in English: Compliance contract, Compliance stipulations

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📚read the other articles published in this chronique of Compliance Law published in the Recueil Dalloz.

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Sept. 30, 2022

Thesaurus : 10. Autorité de la Concurrence

► Full Reference: Autorité de la concurrence (French Competition Authority), Décision relative à la prise de contrôle exclusif de la société McKesson Europe par le groupe Phoenix (Decision on the acquisition of sole control of McKesson Europe by the Phoenix Group), 30 September 2022, n° 22-DCC-186.

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🏛️read the decision (in French)

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Sept. 5, 2022

Publications

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► Full Reference: M.-A. Frison-Roche, Compliance contract, compliance clauses, working paper, September 2022.

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Summary of this working paper:  Compliance Law has multiplied obligations. However, although Tort Law is emerging in Compliance issues and contracts are multiplying in practice, for the moment the relationship between Compliance Law and Contract Law is not very visible (I).

However, there are contracts whose sole purpose is to give concrete form to Compliance, which creates a specific contract and must influence its implementation (II). Moreover, there is much to learn from the diversity of compliance stipulations scattered throughout a wide range of contracts (III).

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🔓read the developments below⤵️

June 2, 2022

Thesaurus : Doctrine

► Référence complète : L. Tenreira, "La rédaction des clauses d'application du devoir de vigilance par les Global Lawyers : l'exemple des clauses de flow-Down", RDAI/IBLJ, n°5, 2022, p. 453-466.

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► Résumé de l'article

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Oct. 16, 2014

Blog

"Juge et contrat", thème classique ; "Relevé d'office de la règle de droit par le juge", thème classique. Quand on croise les deux, il en résulte l'arrêt rendu par la première chambre civile de la Cour de cassation le 1ier octobre 2014, UFC de l'Isère c/ Mutualité française de l'Isère.

Pour Motulsky, il allait de soi que le juge a l'obligation de relever d'office les règles de droit applicable et, par exemple, sanctionne l'illicéité d'une clause contractuelle, alors même que la partie au litige n'avait pas invoqué la règle de droit contrariée. En effet, le juge a l'apanage du droit et doit le concrétiser, tandis que la partie doit lui apporter l'édifice de faits qui constitue la prétention articulée, cela mais seulement cela.

Mais la Cour de cassation n'est aujourd'hui guère motulskienne .... Ainsi, le plus souvent, ses arrêts énoncent que le relevé d'office constitue pour les juges non pas un devoir mais bien plutôt un pouvoir. Dès lors le juge "peut" appliquer le droit sans que la partie au litige le lui demande, mais n'y est pas contraint par le système juridique. Pourtant, ce retour à la conception traditionnelle du procès civil s'arrête là lorsque l'ordre public réapparait, car la règle d'ordre public "demande" à être appliquée, indépendamment du désir que la partie au procès exprime de se la voir appliquer. Dans le cas présent, l'ordre public est constitué par le droit de la consommation. Cela est d'autant plus justifié lorsque le demandeur est une association de consommateurs, qui s'appuie sur des dispositions spécifiques du Code de la consommation lui permettant d'obtenir l'annulation de clauses abusives de tous les contrats particuliers, reflet d'un "contrat-type". Mais le professionnel échappe alors à la perspective d'annulation en construisant un nouveau type de contrat et le demandeur, dans cette action en cessation de comportement illicite, précurseur de l' "action collective" mise en place par la  loi du 17 mars 2014), n'avait pas songé à viser non seulement l'ancien contrat-type mais encore le nouveau contrat-type.

La Cour de cassation rend un arrêt de cassation et de principe, en posant que "le juge est tenu d'examiner d'office le caractère abusif des clause contractuelles invoquées par une parties dès qu'il dispose des éléments de droit et de fait nécessaires à cet effet.

On note donc le principe : obligation de relever d'office le caractère abusif de la clause. Mais la Cour y met trois conditions : 1° la clause doit être invoquée par la partie ; 2° le juge doit "disposer" des faits pour l'application du droit ; 3° le juge doit disposer aussi des éléments de droit pour y procéder. A la réflexion, la Cour de cassation demeure peu motulskienne ...

Pourtant l'adage traditionnel ne pose-t-il pas que "la Cour connait le droit" ?

 

Updated: July 31, 2013 (Initial publication: Nov. 22, 2011)

Teachings : Les Grandes Questions du Droit, semestre d'automne 2011