July 10, 2024

Publications

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► Full Reference: M.-A. Frison-Roche, "Devoir de vigilance : progresser" (Duty of vigilance: the way forward), in A. Bres & C. Maubernard (dir.), Le devoir de vigilance des entreprises : l'âge de la maturité ? (The duty of vigilance: the age of maturity?), Bruylant, coll. "Droit & Economie", to be published.

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📝read the article (in French) 

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🚧 read the bilingual Working Pape on which this article has been made, with more developments, technical references and hypertext links. 

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► English summary of this article: In 2017 in France the so-called Vigilance law expressed great ambition. So did the draft directive. But in 2024 the European institutions moderated this ambition by refusing to increase either the type of companies subject and the constraints to which the duty of vigilance is associated. The directive has essentially halted what was for some the "march of progress". Does the ambition no longer exist? Does the future lie in an extension of the philosophy of the duty of vigilance, i.e. companies that should always be more concerned about others? This would undoubtedly be reaching the "age of maturity", where others see the age of madness, because it would be a contradiction in terms to ask a company to be concerned about anything other than its own development.

It is therefore appropriate to consider this very hypothesis of an "age of maturity" as being an ambition maintained despite a European directive which, in its adopted version, is weakened and while the oppositions are intact (I). First of all, it must be admitted that the notion of "maturity" most often conceals a value judgment when applied to a legal concept (I.A.) and that this is blatantly obvious with regard to the duty of vigilance, which is considered by some and by nature by some as a good and by others as an evil (I.B).

In order not to remain in what appears to be trench warfare, we must not get too bogged down in the reference French legislation of 2017 and what appears to be a European stutter in 2024, arguing so loudly that we can hear them reasoning in print, by paying attention to less visible and now more promising avenues of progress (II). In fact, the duty of vigilance can progress simply by the passage of time (II.A), by a better definition of the vocabulary (II.B), by the consolidation of the principles of Responsibility and Dialogue (II.C), by the uniqueness of the jurisdictional route (II.D).

This last perspective of the progress that will be made possible in France by the uniqueness of the judicial route leads to a final avenue of progress. By their very nature, laws are jolts, all the more violent for being disputed. At the moment, if we want to make progress, these two other sources - the contract and the judge - must be favoured (III). The European directive is rightly concerned with access to the courts and takes a measured view of the effectiveness of contracts as a means of making the duty of vigilance effective, with the courts having to ensure that the contract does not destroy the spirit of the system. This is what the law already organises about the relationship between the contract, the judge and the duty of compliance (III.A). What is new in Europe in 2024 is the introduction of a Supervisor (III.B). Here again, vigilance is the "cutting edge" of Compliance Law, as it is an extension of Regulatory Law. 

The result is that, through interpretation and the handling of principles, and to formulate a more general conclusion, it is the judge who holds and will hold the balance of the duty of vigilance.

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May 27, 2024

Conferences

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 Référence complète : M.-A. Frison-Roche, "Un système systémique in vivo : le cas dit des sites pornographiques", in Les contrôles techniques des risques présents sur les plateformes et les contentieux engendrésin cycle de conférences-débats "Contentieux Systémique Émergent", organisé à l'initiative de la Cour d'appel de Paris, avec la Cour de cassation, la Cour d'appel de Versailles, l'École nationale de la magistrature (ENM) et l'École de formation des barreaux du ressort de la Cour d'appel de Paris (EFB), sous la responsabilité scientifique de Marie-Anne Frison-Roche, 27 mai 2024, 9h-10h30, Cour d'appel de Paris, salle Cassin

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🧮consulter le programme complet de cette manifestation

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🧮consulter le programme de l'ensemble du cycle Contentieux Systémique Émergent

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🔲consulter les slides ayant servi de support à l'intervention

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🎤consulter une présentation de la seconde intervention de Marie-Anne Frison-Roche prononcée lors de cette conférence-débat : "Le contentieux Systémique Emergent du fait du système numérique"

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 Résumé de cette conférence 

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April 30, 2024

Interviews

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 Full ReferenceM.-A. Frison-Roche, "GPA : "Il faut cesser de passer la femme par pertes et profits"" ("Surrogacy: "We have to stop writing off women""), interview with Olivia Dufour, Actu-Juridique, April 30, 2024

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💬read the interview (in French)

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► Presentation of the interview by the journal: "Le 23 avril 2024, les députés européens ont adopté une loi élargissant le champ d’application des mesures actuelles pour combattre et prévenir la traite des êtres humains et mieux soutenir ses victimes, par 563 voix pour, 7 contre et 17 abstentions. La maternité de substitution, ou GPA, entre désormais dans le champ de la traite des êtres humains. Mais depuis quelques jours, la polémique fait rage. Le nouveau texte réprime-t-il uniquement la GPA contrainte organisée par une association criminelle, ou toute forme de GPA ? Nous avons demandé au professeur Marie-Anne Frison-Roche, auteur d’un ouvrage intitulé « GPA : dire Oui ou dire Non » publié chez Dalloz en 2018, de nous éclairer sur les enjeux attachés à cette question et sur la position de l’Europe.".

(Free translation: "On April 23, 2024, Members of the European Parliament adopted a law extending the scope of existing measures to combat and prevent human trafficking and provide better support for its victims, by 563 votes to 7 with 17 abstentions. Surrogacy (gestation pour autrui - GPA in French), now falls within the scope of human trafficking. But in recent days, controversy has been raging. Does the new text punish only forced surrogate motherhood organised by a criminal association, or all forms of surrogacy? We asked Professor Marie-Anne Frison-Roche, author of a book entitled "GPA: dire Oui ou dire Non" ("Surrogacy: say Yes or say No") published by Dalloz in 2018, to shed some light on the issues surrounding this question and on Europe's position".)

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🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche, 📕GPA : dire Oui ou dire Non (Surrogacy: say Yes or say No), 2018

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► Questions asked, answers given:

Actu Juridique. Question : La GPA est une pratique ancienne même si elle est longtemps restée marginale, qu’est-ce qui a changé et nécessite aujourd’hui l’attention des pouvoirs publics et du législateur ?  

Surrogacy is a long-standing practice, even if it was marginal for a long time. What has changed that now requires the attention of public authorities and legislators?  

Marie-Anne Frison-Roche. Answer. : Two things have changed this practice. The first is the possibility of introducing a man's gametes and a woman's oocyte into a woman's body, thus reducing her to being a "carrier" and providing this service, which is very much in demand. The second is the transformation of the desire for a child, an eternal desire shared by many, into a "right to a child". This right to a child would need to be put into practice by any means, for the benefit of any holder who is unable or unwilling to suffer the inconvenience of pregnancy. This is how the practice developed. The legislator intervened, following case law, by declaring, as the Cour de cassation (French Court of cassation) had done, that this practice was contrary to the dignity of the human being, punishable under both the Code civil (French Civil Code) and the Code pénal (French Criminal Code).

 

 

A.J. Q. : Autrement dit, les innovations techniques couplées à l’émergence d’un sentiment de droit à l’enfant ont fait exploser la demande de maternité de substitution…

In other words, technical innovations coupled with the emergence of a sense of entitlement to a right to a child have led to an explosion in demand for surrogacy...

MaFR. A. : Yes, but this demand has to be matched by an offer. There are few fertile women prepared to bear children for others. The desire to have children is not matched by a desire to bear them for others without compensation. And the few women who are willing to do so are in countries far removed from the people who want them. The practice has only developed because of the very prosperous agencies on which everything depends. Without this intermediation, towards Ukraine for example, the practice could not have spread.

 

A.J. Q. : L’Europe avait-elle déjà pris position sur la GPA et si oui, par quels textes et dans quel sens ?

Has Europe already taken a position on surrogacy and, if so, in what texts and in what direction?

 

MaFR. A. : In Europe, it was the case law of the ECHR which in 2014 (Mennesson judgments) broke with French jurisprudence to impose that the filiation of a child born as a result of a surrogacy carried out abroad in a country where surrogacy is lawful can be established with regard to the father whose gametes had been used. All that remained was for the child to be adopted by the father's spouse. This did not change domestic legislation, but the way civil status works means that the prohibition can be rendered ineffective. But this meant saying Yes and No at the same time... The challenge was therefore to amend the texts, either to exclude surrogacy more strongly, or to admit it more openly.

 

 

A.J. Q. : Dans ce contexte, quelle nouveauté apporte le texte adopté par le Parlement européen le 23 avril dernier ?

Against this backdrop, what is new about the text adopted by the European Parliament on 23 April?

MaFR. A. : It depends on how you interpret it. When the text of the directive was being discussed, no one disputed that its adoption would result in the effective prohibition of surrogacy throughout the European Union and the strengthening of the basis of this prohibition in that surrogacy constitutes trafficking in human beings, the woman who carries the child and who legally remains the mother since she gives birth to the child, and that child. But once voted, the text gives rise to another interpretation, supported by some. It is argued that trafficking in human beings is not the "legal category" into which surrogacy falls, but the "condition" under which surrogacy is punishable; So, if surrogacy is practised without "trade" (trafficking is a trade), if there is no money involved, if there is only altruism and concern for the other person, then not only is surrogacy not punished, but what is more, this so-called "altruistic" surrogacy becomes legitimate by the very fact of this directive! The scope is therefore quite simply the opposite... This could give rise to litigation.

 

A.J. Q. : Dans l’ouvrage que vous avez consacré à la GPA en 2018 chez Lefebvre-Dalloz préfacé par Éliette Abécassis, vous montrez qu’on peut dire Oui ou Non à la GPA, mais qu’il faut répondre et surtout vous mettez en lumière les implications de ces choix. Pourquoi faut-il forcément répondre à cette question ?

In your book on GPA published by Lefebvre-Dalloz in 2018, with a preface by Éliette Abécassis, you show that we can say Yes or No to surrogacy, but that we must answer, and above all you highlight the implications of these choices. Why do we have to answer this question?

MaFR. A. : The question of whether or not to allow surrogacy must be answered (say Yes or say No), because it is a question of society. Not to answer it, to say neither yes nor no, to say yes and no at the same time, is not to choose the society in which we want to live.

 

A.J. Q. : Imaginons que l’on choisisse le Oui. Qu’implique-t-il sur les valeurs de la société et l’état du droit ?

What does this mean for the values of society and the Rule of Law?

MaFR. A. : If we accept that surrogacy is legal, then it is the will of the people involved that gives birth to the child. The agreement between the person or persons planning to have a child and the woman who agrees to carry the child, with the agent acting as intermediary. It is the society of the contract, because the State is nothing, it is only the scribe who copies the stipulations onto the civil status register. Parentage ceases to be the institution guarded by the State through which the individual is anchored in the social group. Parentage becomes a private matter. This contract-based society is in fact a market society. 

 

A.J. Q. : Et si l’on dit Non à la GPA, on le fait sur quel fondement et pourquoi ?

And if we say No to GPA, on what grounds and why?

MaFR. A. : If we maintain the prohibition of surrogacy and seek to make it effective, in particular by taking action against agencies, we are referring to a society where the State, through public order, watches over human beings and where the law controls power and protects women.

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April 25, 2024

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

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 Full ReferenceM.-A. Frison-Roche, "La directive européenne sur le devoir de vigilance est votée. A juste titre, les contrats et le juge y ont la part belle" ("The European directive on duty of vigilance has been passed. Rightly so, contracts and the courts have a major role to play"), Newsletter MAFR Law, Compliance, Regulation, April 25, 2024

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🧱Duty of vigilance directive leaves plenty of room for contracts, and therefore for the judge


On April 24, 2024, the European Parliament passed the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligences Directive (CS4D).
After many twists and turns, it is fairly close to the French “Vigilance” law of 2017.

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📧read the article published on 25 April 2024 on this topic in the Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation ⤵️

April 2, 2024

Conferences

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 Full ReferenceM.-A. Frison-Roche, "Les voies d'innovations juridiques face aux nouveaux "défis climatiques" ("Innovative legal solutions to the new "climate challenges""), in C. Arnaud, O. de Bandt et B. Deffains (dir.), Nouveaux défis - Regards croisés : Droit, Économie et Finance. Quel Droit face au Changement Climatique ? (("New challenges - Crossed perspectives : Law, Economics and Finance. What Law in the Face of Climate Change?"), Banque de France (French Central Bank) and CRED/Paris Panthéon-Assas University, Paris, Centre de Conférence de la Banque de France, April 2, 2024

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🧮See the full programme of this event

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🔲see the slides, basis of this conference (in French)

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 Summary of this conference: In response to the question of how the Law can produce 'innovations' to meet the 'climate challenges', the process is based on the three traditional sources of Law, which are, firstly, laws and regulations, secondly, the commitments of individuals, mainly contracts, and thirdly, court rulings.

At first sight, the Law in its traditional conception and practice is weak in the face of climate change. This weakness is inherent in the nature of climate change, which is at once future, global and systemic, in the face of these three sources of Law, which do not address all three dimensions at once. The scale of the legal innovation required to ensure that one or more articulated sources can grasp the future, the global and the systemic is therefore clear. And yet this is what is happening.

As far as laws and regulations are concerned, they do not seem very appropriate because they are, by their very nature, a territorial limit, and international treaties are very difficult to negotiate. The interweaving of European regulations, for example the CSRD and the CS3D, which mirror each other, may be more effective. As far as 'commitments' are concerned, a concept which in Law is not very precise outside of contracts and liability cases📎!footnote-3568, contracts are above all a means for companies to fulfill their legal obligations, and a contract always implies a judge. At first sight, however, the judge is the least well placed to respond to 'climate challenges', particularly in France where he is said or wished to be powerless, where he rules on the past and where, especially the civil judge, he settles a one-off dispute between two singular parties.

But a major change has occurred with the emergence of a new branch of law: the Compliance Law, a teleological branch of Law whose legal normativity is lodged in the Monumental Goals📎!footnote-3572 that it pursues, namely the preservation of systems, for example the climate system. In France, the so-called "Sapin 2" law in 2016, followed by the so-called "Vigilance" law in 2017, illustrate this. And the Judge is at the centre of it all.

In this global, systemic, extraterritorial perspective, the object of which is the future - Compliance Law is, moreover, rejected by many legal experts - the legislative innovation is major. Indeed, the law of 23 March 2017, known as "Vigilance" designated large companies, because they are "powerful", because they are "in a position to act" to "detect and prevent" breaches of the environment and human rights. The 2017 law copied the "compliance tools"📎!footnote-3573 put in place by the Sapin 2 anti-corruption law: risk mapping, plans, alerts, audits, internal investigations, and so on. 

Only large companies are subject to the Compliance Law, notably the Vigilance Law, since they are the only ones in a position to act, in this case "parent companies or principals", and borders are no longer limits since the obligation, creating personal liability for the company📎!footnote-3574, extends throughout the "value chain". The notion and fact of "systemic dispute" is emerging before the courts. In France, the Paris Court of First Instance has exclusive jurisdiction. European legislation is proving more difficult to draw up, because although it is compulsory to provide information on these "extra-financial" subjects (CSRD), the directive on the duty of vigilance, which has just been adopted, does not go any further than the French law of 2017.

On the second point, that of commitments, we are only at the beginning. Judges do not transform ethical statements into "unilateral legal commitments", and vigilance does not transform company law into co-management. But contracts do form a global network through which companies adjust their various legal obligations. This is why arbitrators, the only "global judges", will soon be involved in this systemic litigation📎!footnote-3575, and more general case law is to come on "compliance contracts and clauses"📎!footnote-3576.

But the most innovative aspect undoubtedly comes from the courts. Perhaps and notably in France because it is from where we least expect it, the civil courts, that the imagination comes, but also the guarding of the great principles of the Rule of Law, because for the moment the case law is reasonable. This innovation has not come about proprio motu: the judges are not taking action, it is the NGOs that are conducting a kind of litigation policy, systematically giving formal notice to the major energy companies, but also to the major banks and insurers on climate issues, alleging non-compliance with their vigilance plans. The interim relief judge at the Paris Court of First Instance must then provide answers in systemic disputes, of which the so-called "Total Uganda"📎!footnote-3577 case is an example.

The courts are demonstrating a great deal of innovation. The Court of First Instance's interim relief judge has appointed amici curiae📎!footnote-3569, the Paris Court of Appeal has set up a specialised chamber📎!footnote-3570, and training conferences have been set up on this "Emerging Systemic Litigation"📎!footnote-3571.

In conclusion, Law is in the process of being rebuilt through a new branch of Law, Compliance Law, whose the very purpose, as an extension of and going beyond Regulatory Law📎!footnote-3578, is to preserve systems, in particular the climate system, in a profoundly renewed role for judges📎!footnote-3580.

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1

🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche, 📝What a commitment is, in 🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), 📘Compliance Obligation, 2024.

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🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), 📘Compliance Tools, 2021.

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🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), 📘Compliance Obligation, 2024, of which a chapter is dedicated to "International Arbitration in support of the Compliance Obligation".

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🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche🚧Compliance contract, compliance clauses, 2022 ; 🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), 📘Contrat and Contract, 2024.

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🕴️N. Cayrol, 📝L'amicus curiae, mesure d'instruction ordinaire, 2022.

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On the creation on the new 5-12 Chamber, Contentieux émergent – Devoir de vigilance et responsabilité écologique see 🕴️J. Boulard, 💬Contentieux systémique : "Il est important, pour les magistrats, de rester au plus près des réalités" (Systemic litigation: "It is important for judges to remain as close as possible to reality"), March 28, 2024.

Sept. 28, 2023

Conferences

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 Full ReferenceM.-A. Frison-Roche, "Conclusion", in Club des avocats environnementalistes, L’eau : entre protection de la ressource et conflits d’usage, Maison des Avocats, Auditorium, September 28, 2023.

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🧮see the full programme of this event

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July 13, 2023

Thesaurus : Doctrine

► Référence complète : N. Ida, "Contrat et devoir de vigilance des sociétés", JCP E, n° 28, 13 juillet 2023, pp.17-26.

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► Résumé de l'article (fait par l'auteur) : "Le contrat constitue l’instrument indispensable de déploiement de la vigilance sociale et environnementale dans les « chaînes de valeur » des sociétés donneuses d’ordre. Pourtant, la loi n° 2017-399 du 27 mars 2017 sur le devoir de vigilance des sociétés mères et entreprises donneuses d’ordre n'évoque pas le contrat, dont les liens avec le devoir de vigilance ont en conséquence été peu étudiés. Ce silence étonne car les sociétés concernées ne peuvent exercer leur devoir légal qu’en devenant créancières d’obligations de vigilance au moyen de clauses insérées dans leurs contrats commerciaux. Cette vigilance contractuelle imposée par la loi et bientôt par la directive européenne en cours d’adoption ne pourra atteindre son but qu’à la condition d’adapter les clauses de vigilance aux spécificités des relations contractuelles entretenues avec les fournisseurs et sous-traitants des sociétés donneuses d’ordre.".

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🦉Cet article est accessible en texte intégral pour les personnes inscrites aux enseignements de la Professeure Marie-Anne Frison-Roche

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July 10, 2023

Public Auditions

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 Référence complèteM.-A. Frison-Roche, audition par les rapporteures de la Commission des affaires européennes de l'Assemblée Nationale, Sophia Chikirou et Mireille Clapot dans le cadre de l'élaboration du Rapport sur devoir de vigilance des entreprises, 7 juin 2023.

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Ce résumé a été publié après la publication du rapport parlementaire, pour ne pas gêner l'élaboration de celui-ci.

► Résumé de l'audition : À la demande des députées, il n'y a pas eu de présentation  ex cathedra mais plutôt une discussion à partir de questions posées par celles-ci. 

La première demande faite par Sophia Chikirou a été de formuler une définition de ce qu'est la "Régulation", puisque j'ai été présentée au début de l'audition comme ayant eu un rôle déterminant dans l'élaboration du Droit de la Régulation.

J'ai donc expliqué à la fois la façon dont les régulations peuvent être d'origines techniques ou politiques (souvent un mixte des deux), la place corrélative de l'Etat, l'évolution de cela depuis 20 ans, la constance du Droit de la Régulation au-delà de la diversité des secteurs et des sensibilités politiques des Gouvernements successifs, et l'importance du projet Européen.

J'ai montré que le Droit de la Régulation est par nature Ex Ante, porte sur l'avenir qu'il construit, demeure pour maintenir un équilibre par nature instable, l'Autorité de régulation n'étant que l'indice du Droit de la Régulation et non pas sa source.

Puis j'ai montré que la Compliance, dont la Vigilance est la pointe avancée, est le prolongement du Droit de la Régulation, le Droit de la Compliance ayant la même logique Ex Ante, trouvant sa normativité dans les buts poursuivis. Mais elle déploie le Droit de la Régulation et en démultiplie l'ambition puisqu'elle charge les entreprises de concrétiser ses buts, qu'elles le veuillent (RSE) ou qu'elles ne le veuillent pas (par exemple Sapin 2) avec une portée naturellement extraterritoriale.  En cela le Droit de la Compliance est tout à fait ancré, ancré dans le Droit de la Régulation, et constitue une sorte de Révolution, dont la loi de 2017, dite "loi Vigilance", est la plus perceptible manifestation.

C'est ainsi opérée le passage du Droit de la Régulation au Droit de la Compliance, lequel a transformé les Autorités de Régulation, qui construisent, surveillent et maintiennent en équilibre les structures des secteurs en Autorités de Supervision, car la Supervision porte techniquement sur les opérateurs (ce que font les contrôles mis en place par la Vigilance) et non sur les structures, lesquelles sont prises en charge par les opérateurs (par exemple dans les chaines de valeur).

Cela explique que techniquement le Droit de la Vigilance emprunte au Droit de la Régulation et de la Supervision bancaire, car le secteur bancaire gère les risques systèmiques par la solidité et la puissance des acteurs bancaires et les outils sont les mêmes.

On se rend compte aujourd'hui de cette logique systémique de la Vigilance mais cela était déjà visible dès 2016📎!footnote-2966 (M.-A. Frison-Roche, "Le Droit de la Compliance", 2016).

 

La deuxième demande faite par Sophia Chikirou a porté sur le sens du projet de directive, notamment ses enjeux et son effectivité au regard de ces explications, apparaissant comme nouvelles et éclairantes.

J'ai montré que ce texte est effectivement important et doit être compris comme l'expression politique d'une Europe qui a une sorte de "plan".  Ainsi la  CS3D doit se comprendre comme le texte gémellaire de la CSRD. De la même façon la loi de 2017 doit se comprendre au regard de ce plan européen. Lequel doit embrasser le DMA et le DSA. Tout cela est du Droit de la Compliance, dont la Vigilance est, et dès la loi de 2017, la  "pointe avancée". 

Tout le sens, et c'est le même dans tous les textes, est dans les buts. Ce sont des buts systémiques, qui portent sur le futur : éviter dans le futur une catastrophique, faire en sorte par une action présente qu'elle n'arrive pas (but "négatif"), ou (si l'on est encore plus ambitieux) faire en sorte que quelque chose arrive (but "positif") : équilibre climatique, respect d'autrui, égalité effective, probité, dignité, comme principes de fonctionnement des systèmes.

Pour cela, et pragmatiquement puisqu'il s'agit d'obtenir de l'effectivité, l'on repère les organisations qui peuvent réaliser cela : les entreprises. Plus elles sont puissantes et plus cela est possible. La puissance des entreprises n'est pas seulement bienvenue : elle est nécessaire. Le Droit de la Compliance constitue donc, et les textes qui l'expriment, une alliance entre l'Etat et les entreprises, et non pas une défaite de l'Etat (puisqu'il est plus ambitieux que jamais), la puissance des entreprises étant recherchée et devant s'exprimer.

Plus précisément, il s'agit (trilogie essentielle en Droit de la Compliance) d'obtenir l'effectivité, l'efficacité et l'efficience des textes. J'ai expliqué la définition de ces trois notions et leur articulation en pratique, notamment sur le terrain probatoire.

 

La troisième demande faite par Mireille Clapot a porté sur la présentation faite par moi de la logique préventive du système de Compliance, de Vigilance et notamment dans la loi de 2017, mais elle observe que le centre du dispositif est bien la réparation du dommage et non la prévention. 

Effectivement, j'ai donc développé cette question essentielle de l'Ex Ante et de l'Ex Post, pour montrer que les débats avaient lieu à juste titre car le fonctionnement du dispositif n'étaient pas encore fixés par la jurisprudence. Mais si le Droit de la Régulation est bien de l'Ex Ante, le Droit de la Compliance, puisqu'il est entré dans l'entreprise même et dans des supervision, est davantage dans un continuum entre l'avant et l'après : ainsi une notion-clé est la "durabilité" (dans le titre même de la directive) et sous la "responsabilité" ce que l'on demande à l'entreprise c'est avant tout de rendre des comptes de l'usage qu'elle a fait de sa puissance (accountability), mais de sauver le monde (puisqu'à l'impossible nul n'est tenu). Si le dommage est survenu, sa responsabilité est acquise, mais l'enjeu central est de prévenir la survenance d'un dommage systémique, autant que faire se peut, voire d'améliorer les systèmes.

 

La quatrième demande, faite par Sophia Chikirou a porté sur la mise en place par chaque Etat-membre d'une autorité de régulation.

J'ai souligné la différence entre une Autorité de Régulation et, ce dont il s'agit ici, d'une Autorité de Supervision, la mission dont il s'agit ici étant de superviser les entreprises en charge du devoir de vigilance. 

Dans son état actuel le texte ne précise pas la forme juridique institutionnelle que devrait prendre l'organe en charge de cette supervision. La difficulté technique vient du fait qu'il ne s'agit pas d'un secteur et qu'il est difficile de construire un "régulateur sans secteur" ou un superviseur ayant grand pouvoir sur ce qui n'est pas un secteur, sauf à faire autant d'Autorités qu'il y a d'industries concernées, ce qui produirait une myriade d'institutions... C''est sans doute techniquement le sujet le plus difficile dans la transposition, l'exemple allemande pouvant aider le Législateur français.

 

La cinquième demande faite par les deux députées porte sur la façon dont les entreprises peuvent assumer de telles obligations engendrées par ces textes, certains affirmant que cela est impossible.

J'ai expliqué que pour ma part il faut raison garder et que ce sont les juges qui sont gardiens de cela. Les entreprises ne peuvent pas sauver le monde, mais ce n'est pas ce que les textes leur demande et ce serait méconnaitre l'esprit des textes que d'affirmer cela.

Les entreprises ne sont assujetties au devoir de vigilance qu'en raison de leur aptitude à agir (détecter, prévenir, éduquer, ajuster les comportements, etc.), c'est-à-dire parce qu'elles "sont en position", non pas parce qu'elles seraient déjà "coupables".  C'est un contresens que de dire cela.

C'est une chance pour l'Etat d'avoir sous sa main des entités qui ont la puissance de porter ses ambitions et c'est aussi pour cela qu'il faut absolument que le Droit de la Compliance, dont la Vigilance fait partie, soit de portée extraterritoriale, pour qu'il n'y ait pas d'effet d'aubaine.

L'entreprise fait ensuite ce qu'elle peut. Elle doit donner à voir ce qu'elle fait, dire ce qu'elle fera, le dire aux personnes concernées et au juge qui sera éventuellement saisi, l'exprimer au regard des buts monumentaux (changer le futur...) négatifs et positifs qui donne sens à tout le système : tout cela mais pas plus que cela. 

 

La sixième demande faite par  Mireille Clapot a porté sur l'impact négatif que la loi de 2017, puis potentiellement la Directive, peuvent avoir sur des contrats, notamment internationaux, conclus par des entreprises français.

J'ai tout à fait souligné comme elle le caractère essentiel de cette analyse économique du Droit. C'est pour cela d'une part que dans les contrats les entreprises soient incitées à insérer des "clauses de compliance", dont les "clauses de vigilance" font partie (notion que j'ai proposée), que les juges interprètent et appliquent celles-ci en articulant Droit des contrats et Droit de la compliance, et que leur portée à la fois sur les tiers et sur d'autres territoires soient reconnues.

En effet le Droit de la Compliance, dont la Vigilance est la pointe avancée, est une façon d'humaniser l'économie et non de remettre en cause le principe de liberté qui doit continuer à animer celle-ci. Le contrat est un outil essentiel de détecter et de prévenir et les entreprises doivent pouvoir l'utiliser librement. J'ai développé sur ce point le rôle que le juge, y compris le juge de droit commun, va jouer.

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► Voir dans mes travaux ceux qui peuvent présenter un intérêt au regard de cette discussion menée par les deux Rapporteures⤵️

🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche, 🎤Le rôle du Juge dans le déploiement du Droit de la Régulation en Droit de la Compliance, et le document de travail sous-jacent :  juin 2023.

🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche, 🚧La vigilance, pièce d'un puzzle européen, mars 2023.

🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche, 🚧Penser et manier la Vigilance par ses Buts Monumentaux de Compliance, mars 2023.

🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche, 📝Contrat de compliance, clauses de compliance, mars 2022.

🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche, 🚧L'invention de la vigilance : un terme nouveau pour une Responsabilité en Ex Ante, février 2021. 

🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche, 📝Le Droit de la compliance, 2016.

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lire le rapport parlementaire

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1

🕴️M.-A. Frison-Roche, 🚧Compliance Law, 2016.

July 10, 2023

Thesaurus : Doctrine

 Référence complète : R. Maurel, « Directive vigilance des entreprises en matière de durabilité. À propos de la proposition ambitieuse du Parlement européen », JCP G, n° 27, 10 juillet 2023, pp. 1304-1306.

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► Résumé de l'article

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🦉Cet article est accessible en texte intégral pour les personnes inscrites aux enseignements de la Professeure Marie-Anne Frison-Roche

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June 28, 2023

Thesaurus : Soft Law

► Référence complète : Assemblée Nationale, Rapport d'information sur le devoir de vigilance des entreprises en matière de durabilité, déposé par la Commission des affaires européennes, présenté par Madame la députée Sophia Chikirou et Madame la députée Mireille Clapot, 28 juin 2023.

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📓lire le rapport

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June 14, 2023

Conferences

🌐follow Marie-Anne Frison-Roche on LinkedIn

🌐subscribe to the Newsletter MAFR Regulation, Compliance, Law

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► Full Reference: M.-A. Frison-Roche, "L'esprit des Lois en matière de vigilance" ("Spirit of Law in Vigilance (Due Diligences) matters"), in Haut Conseil du Commissariat aux Comptes (H3C), Réalités et défis de la CSRD - Perspectives du devoir de vigilance, Paris, 14 June 2023.

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🎥watch the video of a part of the speech (in French)

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🧱read the description of the speeches of other speakers of this panel (in French)

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The speech took place during the third-round table devoted to the Perspectives du devoir de vigilance (Perspectives of the duty of vigilance), the first round table having been devoted to the lessons that the DPEF can provide for the CSRD, and the second to the transposition work of the CSRD.

🧮See the full programme of this annual event (in French)

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► English summary of the speech: In consideration of and in addition to what has been said, explained and even affirmed by other speakers, I have emphasised that 'vigilance" laws is not a 'regulation' like any other, but the leading edge of a very vast movement, Compliance Law, in which the 2017 French law is the driving force. For its application, the Judge, who is at the centre because of the will of the Legislator, is already taking into consideration the CS3D, the twin text of the CSRD.

The texts must not be seen in isolation. If we isolate them from each other, they become almost incomprehensible, their meaning appearing uncertain, even threatening: we need to understand the spirit of these texts, which are indeed new, because they aim to provide answers to the new world we have entered. We must all rejoice in this political ambition, which is taking a legal form, and work to make it efficient: Legislators, companies, auditors, Regulators and Judges.

If we do not stop at the letter, which would be to reduce Compliance to conformity, whereas Compliance Law, particularly Vigilance, is the extension of Regulation, finds its meaning in the Goals, we see that the French law of 2017, known as the "Vigilance law", which copies all the techniques of the French law known as "Sapin 2", gives goals simple to understand to the companies subject to the Legislator's will: detect and prevent environmental and human rights abuses in the value chains.

The logic is therefore Ex-Ante.

This Ex-Ante logic is retained by the CS3D directive.

The Judge is central to it. But the responsibility which the NGOs will ask him to trigger is itself an "Ex Ante responsibility", the Compliance trials being like "accountability" trials, to ensure that companies act in accordance with the Goals set by the Legislator.

This is transforming the role of the Judge, who must find effective solutions for the future. The discussion and the adversarial principle will become more important. Mediation will be encouraged. Stakeholders and the company will have to work together, and this method, which was intended by the Legislator for drawing up the vigilance plan, will be continued in the supporting legal proceedings.

This will also transform the company, and the role played by those who accredit the information on the company's actions and long-term strategies: auditors therefore have a central role to play.

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May 25, 2023

Conferences

♾️ flollow Marie-Anne Frison-Roche on LinkedIn

♾️subscribe to the Newsletter MAFR Regulation, Compliance, Law 

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► Full Reference: M.-A. Frison-Roche, "Conclusions", in Ch. Maubernard et A. Brès (dir.), Institut de droit européen des droits de l'homme et Centre de droit de l'entreprise, Université de Montpellier, Le devoir de vigilance des entreprises : l'âge de la maturité?("The Entreprises duty of vigilance: the maturity age?") , Montpellier, May 25, 2023.

The conference is held in French.

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🧮see the manifestation programme (in French)

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🌐 read the report done on LinkedIn (in French)

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► English summary of this final speech of the manifestation: It is rather difficult to draw a conclusion after listening so many contributions. For three reasons: firstly, because of their richness and extreme diversity; secondly, because of the fact that we do not know whether the duty of vigilance is under the French law of 2017 (known as the Vigilance Law) or in other national, European and international texts or beyond or below the legal rules; thirdly, because we do not know what is meant by the "maturity" of a legal concept. But in the end, since the question posed by the title itself of the colloquium is Duty of Vigilance: the age of maturity? the answer is clearly: no.

But this is regrettable. It is therefore essential to explore the ways in which the duty of vigilance can mature.  If we find merit in this duty which has now entered the legal system, there are eight intersecting avenues, which must be exploited.

The first path is progression through the passage of time, rediscovering what in the past was already vigilance and what in the future will be its deployment.

The second way is to progress by fixing the vocabulary, because we are witnessing a great battle of words, overtly or covertly, in French or English.

The third path is progression through the emergence of principles, or even a principle, rediscovered or invented.

The fourth path is progression through coherence brought to the legal system(s), which at present suffer from gaps and inconsistencies, which could be remedied by methods such as centralising litigation or, more radically, ignoring borders.

The fifth path is progression through the fact that it works, because vigilance techniques are those of Compliance, of which vigilance is the leading edge, and the challenge is to find solutions.

The sixth path is progression through using power of the legal system not only to create new areas of relevance - starting with the notion of vigilance, but also that of the value chain - but also to impose new indifferences, namely indifference to the figure of the market (to which laws prefer the company and the value chain) and indifference to borders.

The seventh path is progression through bringing perspectives closer together, in order to find solutions even when interests are opposed. This is where the two techniques of contract and mediation are very welcome.

The eighth path is progression through culture, because the culture of vigilance, like the culture of compliance, must be developed within companies and supply chains, and must become common to them and their stakeholders.

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🚧read the Working Paper written just after this oral conclusion in preparation for the article to be published.

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May 8, 2023

Thesaurus : Soft Law

► Full Reference: Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament, Report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence and amending Directive (EU) 2019/1937, 8 May 2023.

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📓read the report

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Dec. 14, 2022

Thesaurus : 06.1. Textes de l'Union Européenne

► Full reference: Directive (EU) 2022/2464 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 14 december 2022, amending Regulation (EU) n° 537/2014, Directive 2004/109/EC, Directive 2006/43/EC and Directive 2013/34/EU, as regards corporate sustainability reporting (called "CSRD" (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive)).

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► Read the text 

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Sept. 7, 2022

Thesaurus : Doctrine

► Référence complète : G. Lhuilier, "La proposition de directive européenne sur le devoir de vigilance des entreprises en matière de durabilité", RDAI/IBLJ, n°5, 2022, p. 423-452. 

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► Résumé de l'article : 

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July 6, 2022

Thesaurus : Doctrine

► Full Reference: A. Danis-Fatome, "The proposal for a European Directive on the duty of vigilance: brief views on civil liability", International Business Law Journal, 5, 2022, p. 489-497.

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► Summary of the article (done by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance): 

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June 16, 2022

Thesaurus : Doctrine

 Référence complète : M. Pellissier & S. Cheikh, "Du nouveau domaine de la protection du lanceur d’alerte et de quelques difficultés d’articulation avec les dispositifs de droit du travail", in Fr. Drummond & J. Icard (dir.), Le nouveau cadre légal des lanceurs d’alerteJCP E, n° 24, 16 juin 2022, étude 1214, pp. 22-28

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► Résumé de l'article (fait par l'auteur) : "Les modifications apportées au domaine de la protection du lanceur d’alerte seront présentées en portant une attention particulière à l’articulation du dispositif de droit commun et des dispositifs d’alerte intéressant le droit du travail.".

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🦉Cet article est accessible en texte intégral pour les personnes inscrites aux enseignements de la Professeure Marie-Anne Frison-Roche

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June 16, 2022

Thesaurus : Doctrine

 Référence complète : J.-B. Barbièri, "Lanceur d’alerte et droit des sociétés", in Fr. Drummond & J. Icard (dir.), Le nouveau cadre légal des lanceurs d’alerteJCP E, n° 24, 16 juin 2022, étude 1217, pp. 40-44

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► Résumé de l'article (fait par l'auteur) : "Cette étude revient sur trois séries de questions soulevées par le nouveau statut du lanceur d’alerte issu de la loi du 21 mars dernier, à savoir les acteurs sociétaires bénéficiaires du statut de lanceur d’alerte et l’articulation du régime posé par la nouvelle loi avec des règles sociétaires et des dispositifs d’alerte existants.".

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🦉Cet article est accessible en texte intégral pour les personnes inscrites aux enseignements de la Professeure Marie-Anne Frison-Roche

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June 16, 2022

Thesaurus : Doctrine

► Référence complète : A. Danis-Fatôme, "La responsabilité civile dans la proposition de directive européenne sur le devoir de vigilance", D. 2022, p. 1107-1116.

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► Résumé de l'article (fait par l'auteur) : La proposition de directive européenne sur le devoir de vigilance en matière de durabilité du 23 février 2022 est source d'espoir pour tous ceux qui souhaitent orienter les pratiques des entreprises dont les activités comportent des risques d'atteintes aux droits humains et à l'environnement. En renvoyant au mécanisme de la responsabilité civile, ce texte montre quelles ressources contient cette source d'obligations. La conception qu'en retient le texte européen présente l'intérêt de donner toute sa place à la fonction préventive de la responsabilité civile. La proposition de directive est cependant critiquable à plus d'un égard ce qui mène à plaider pour que plusieurs modifications lui soient apportées.

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June 16, 2022

Thesaurus : Doctrine

 Référence complète : Fr. Drummond & J. Icard, "Le nouveau cadre légal des lanceurs d’alerte", JCP E, n° 24, 16 juin 2022, étude 1213, pp. 19-21

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Cet article constitue l'avant-propos d'un dossier consacré à la transposition en droit français de la directive européenne 2019/1397 du 23 octobre 2019 sur la protection des personnes qui signalent des violations du droit de l’Union par la loi n° 2022-401 du 21 mars 2022 visant à améliorer la protection des lanceurs d’alerte.

📙Consulter une présentation des autres articles du dossier : 

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► Résumé de l'article

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🦉Cet article est accessible en texte intégral pour les personnes inscrites aux enseignements de la Professeure Marie-Anne Frison-Roche

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June 7, 2022

Thesaurus : Doctrine

 Référence complète : F. Barrière, "Vers davantage d'alertes professionnelles : un nouveau paradigme à anticiper pour les entreprises", Revue des sociétés, 2022,  p. 327-334.

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 Résumé de l'article (fait par l'auteur) : "La protection des lanceurs d'alerte a récemment été renforcée - par deux lois qui entreront en vigueur le 1er septembre 2022 -, à l'occasion de la transposition de la directive (UE) n° 2019/1937 du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 23 octobre 2019 sur la protection des personnes qui signalent des violations du droit de l'Union, signe qu'un tel lanceur d'alerte est de nature à participer à la défense de l'intérêt général, voire d'être un participant clé de la démocratie contemporaine au niveau de chacun des États de l'Union européenne. Le droit français, tel qu'issu de la loi dite « Sapin 2 », semble l'avoir au demeurant en partie inspiré ; il est néanmoins modifié sur plusieurs aspects. La définition du statut d'alerte est élargie, les canaux de signalement ne sont plus hiérarchisés, les facilitateurs des opérations de signalement seront considérés, la liste de représailles prohibées est étendue, les mesures de protection au bénéfice du lanceur d'alerte sont renforcées, avec également un possible recours au Défenseur des droits ou encore une aide financière en cas de procédure « baillon » destinée à dissuader un lanceur d'alerte. Modifications de la définition du lanceur d'alerte, des procédures de signalement et des mesures de protection sont donc au coeur de la nouvelle législation. À côté des incitations, parfois obligations, des entreprises à s'auto-dénoncer auprès de certaines autorités (notamment étrangères mais également auprès du procureur en cas de suspicion de corruption internationale), existe maintenant une probabilité plus forte qu'une irrégularité au sein d'une entreprise fasse l'objet d'une alerte, du fait de ce cadre législatif renforcé. Signe d'un changement de paradigme, les entreprises auront à anticiper et gérer le risque d'alerte, d'autant plus que dorénavant une protection légale est accordée au lanceur d'alerte de faits illicites recueillis dans le cadre professionnel, sans qu'il n'ait à respecter un ordre de priorité interne dans le signalement effectué."

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🦉Cet article est accessible en texte intégral pour les personnes inscrites aux enseignements de la Professeure Marie-Anne Frison-Roche

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Nov. 25, 2020

Thesaurus : 06.1. Textes de l'Union Européenne

Full reference: Directive (EU) 2020/1828 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2020 on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and repealing Directive 2009/22/EC

Read the directive

May 28, 2020

Publications

Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., L'impossible unicité juridique de la catégorie des "lanceurs d'alertes" ("The impossible legal unicity of the category of "whistleblowers""), in Chacornac, J. (dir.), Lanceurs d'alertes, regards comparatistes, ("Whistleblowers, comparative perspectives"), Publications of the Centre français de droit comparé ("French Comparative Law Center"), May 2020, Volume 21, p.13-31. 

 

Read the article (in French).   

Read the general presentation of the collective book in which this article is published

Read the bilingual working paper which had served of basis for this article. 

Read the presentation of the conference "Les lanceurs d'alertes: glose" (Whistleblowers: glose") and especially the slides elabored for the colloquium organized by the Centre français de droit comparé ("French Comparative Law Center") on 23th of November 2018 under the direction of Jérôme Chacornac

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Introduction of the article

"Whistleblowers". This is a new expression. Which is a great success. Barely heard once, we hear it everywhere ...

A topic not of course or knowledge test, but rather a topic of daily conversation. Because it is spoken to us every day, in more or less gracious terms. For example President Donald Trump on October 1, 2019 declared to the press "want to question" the whistleblower who would have illegally denounced him and would not, according to him, have the right to conceal his identity, proof in this according to him of the lying character of his assertions against him, while his lawyer indicates on October 6, 2019 that he is not speaking on behalf of a single whistleblower thus taken to task but of a plurality of people who gave information against the President of the United States. Even the most imaginative screenwriters would not have written such brutal and rapid twists and turns. Spectators, we are waiting for the next episode, secretly hoping for the escalation.

And precisely if we go to the cinema, it is still a whistleblower whose dedication and success, we are told about, even the drama, for the benefit of global society, and in particular democracy, since the secrets are fought for the benefit of the truth. The Secret Man designates Mark Felt as the first whistleblower. Returning to what we often present as being a more "serious" media!footnote-1391, we listen to France-Culture and here is another story told by a historian who worked as an archivist on events that political power would have liked to keep hidden by possibly destroying their traces but which its trade led to preserve: here it is expressly presented to the studious listeners like a "whistleblower" .... While the same radio tries to find the one who could well be, as in a kind of contest the "first whistleblower"!footnote-1727? .... This rewriting of History can be defended because ultimately what did other Voltaire do for Calas, or Zola for Dreyfus?

It is also a subject of legislative discussion since in the United States the Dodd-Frank law of 2010 inserted in the law of 1934 which established the Securities & Exchanges Commission a complete device of remuneration and remuneration of the whistleblowers, whereas after having developed flexible but guiding lines in this regard in 2012!footnote-1698, the European Commission published on November 20, 2018 the text of what will become a Directive intended to give a unified European status to the character, in the system gradually developed to protect the one who was presented in 2018 as that "cannot be punished for having done what is right".

In Europe, the Directive first approved by a Resolution of the European Parliament on April 16, 2019 on the protection of persons denouncing breaches of Union Law and then adopted on October 7, 2019 (Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of European Union on the Protection of Persons who Report Violations of European Union Law, different title, it should be noted, will have to be transposed into the laws of the Member States within the next two years. , since only "violations of Union Law" are targeted, but the character of the "whistleblower" is more generally targeted: he is "whole"!footnote-1699.

In short, the whistleblower is a star!footnote-1390. A sort of historical figure, covered in blows and glory, going from Voltaire to Snowden, both of whom find themselves embodied on the screens!footnote-1681 ....,

Consecrated by law, which associates with it a legal regime of protection to such an extent that, like a Nessus tunic, it is this legal regime which will define the character and not the reverse. When we read the law of December 9, 2016 relating to transparency in the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life, known as "Sapin 2", we notice that the Legislator makes much of this character, since 'he dedicates its chapter II to him!footnote-1682: "From the protection of whistleblowers", and that it is by his very protection that he formally opens the door of Right to him.

But why a plural? Admittedly when we read the recitals of the Community Directive of October 7, 2019 on the protection of whistleblowers!footnote-1702, it is only a list of all the subjects on which it is a good idea to protect them, which therefore prompts us to see in this plural only the index of this non-exhaustive list of subjects which it is good to tell us, a sign of the lack of definition of who should alert us. Reading the French law known as "Sapin 2" makes it less severe but more perplexing. Indeed, this plurality referred to by the title of the chapter devoted to "whistleblowers", there is no longer any question in the rest of the law, in the very definition which follows, article 6 which opens this chapter devoted to "whistleblowers" offering the reader immediately a singular since it begins as follows: "A!footnote-1684 whistleblower is a person ...". No mention of diversity. The art of legislative writing would however have required that the qualifying article not only be singular but that it should not yet be undefined. Stendhal if he had still deigned to have the law for bedside book would have wanted to find at the beginning of chapter a sentence like: "The!footnote-1683 whistleblower is a person ...".

Thus seem to contradict themselves within the law "Sapin 2 the very title which presents the character, in that it uses a defined plural (the) while the defining article which presents it is in the undefined singular (one). ...

Here is a first reason not to advance any more but in a very careful way, in this "step by step" that constitutes a reading word for word: a gloss. This consists of taking the expression itself literally. The second reason for this technical choice is that the gloss is well suited to the introduction of a collective work, thus allowing more targeted developments to take place in other contributions, on the techniques, the difficulties and the limits of this protection, or on its history, or the reasons for the arrival in French law of these whistleblowers and the way they develop, or not, elsewhere.

I am therefore going to content myself with taking this already legal expression to the letter: The (I) whistle (III). blowers (II). 

 

 

 

Updated: Oct. 8, 2019 (Initial publication: Nov. 22, 2018)

Publications

This working paper served as a basis for a conference done in French for the Centre de droit comparé (Center for Comparative Law) in Paris on 23 November 2018.

Updated, it has served as a basis for an article published in French in a book of the Société de Législation comparé (Society of Comparative Legislation).

 

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"The whistleblowers". This is a new expression. Which wins a full success. Barely heard once, we hear it everywhere ...

A theme not only of academic teaching, but rather a topic of daily conversation. Because it is every day that we speak about it, in terms more or less graceful. For example President Donald Trump on October 1, 2019 told the press he "wants to interrogate" the whistleblower who would have unlawfully denounced him and would not have, according to him, the right to conceal his own identity, evidence in this according Donald Trump of the false character of his assertions against him, while his lawyer indicates on October 6, 2019 that he does not speak on behalf of a single whistleblower thus taken apart but of a plurality people who gave information against the President of the United States. Even the most imaginative scriptwriters would not have written twists as abruptly or so fast. Spectators, we wait for the next episode, secretly hoping for climbs and slashs.

Precisely if we go to the cinema, it is still a whistleblower whose dedication and success, or even drama, we are told, for the benefit of the global society, and especially of Democracy, since the secrets are fought for the benefit of the truth. Thus, the movie The Secret Man designates Mark Felt as the first whistleblower. Returning to what is often presented as a more "serious" media, for example in France the radio "France Culture" we can learn the story of a historian who worked as an archivist on events that the political power would have wanted to keep hidden by possibly destroying their traces but that his profession led to preserve!footnote-1391: here it is expressly presented to the studious listeners as a "whistleblower" ... While the same radio is trying to find the one that could be, as in a kind of contest, the "first whistleblowers"!footnote-1727?. This rewriting of History can be made because finally Voltaire for Calas, or Zola for Dreyfus did they anything else? 

It is also a topic of legislative debate since in the United States the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 inserted in the 1934 law that established the Securities & Exchanges Commission (SEC) a complete system for retribution and remuneration of whistleblowers, while after elaborating guidelines about about in 2012!footnote-1698, the European Commission has published the text on November 20, 2018 in order to give the character a unified European status, in the device gradually developed to protect the one that was presented in 2018 as who  like that : ""The new whistleblowers' protection rules will be a game changer. In the globalised world where the temptation to maximise profit sometimes at the expense of the law is real we need to support people who are ready to take the risk to uncover serious violations of EU law. We owe it to the honest people of Europe.". Step for the Directive of October 7, 2019. 

In Europe, the Directive first approved by a Resolution of the European Parliament on 16 April 2019 on protection of persons reporting breaches of Union law and then adopted on 7 October 2019 (Directive 2019/78 (EU) of the European Parliament European Union and the Council of the European Union on the Protection of Persons Reporting Breaches of Union law, will have to be transposed in the next two years to the legal systems of the Member States. is not general, since only "violations of European Union Law" are targeted but the character of the "whistleblower" is more generally referred to: it is "whole"!footnote-1699.

In short, the whistleblower is a star !footnote-1390. A kind of historical character, covered with blows and glory, going from Voltaire to Snowden, one as the other being incarnated on the screens!footnote-1681 ....

Recognized by national legislations, which associate to him a legal regime of protection to such a point that, like a tunic of Nessus, it is this legal regime which will define his character and not the opposite. When we read the French law of December 9, 2016 relative à la transparence à la lutte contre la corruption et à la modernisation de la vie économique (on transparency in the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life), usually known as "Sapin 2 Act", we note that the lawmaker makes much of this character, because he devotes to him the chapter II: "De la protection des!footnote-1682 lanceurs d'alerte" ("The protection of!footnote-1682 whistle-blowers") and that it is by his very protection that the French Parliament formally opens the door of Law to him and throws it openly.

But why a plural? Certainly when we read the recitals of the European Directive of 7 October 2019 on the protection of whistleblowers!footnote-1702, this is only an enumeration of all the subjects about which it is a good idea to to protect them, which encourages us to see in this plural only the index of this non-exhaustive list of topics about which it is good that we are alerted, sign of the lack of definition ... Reading the French law known as "Sapin 2" makes us less severe but more perplex. Indeed, from this plurality covered by the title of the chapter devoted to Les lanceurs d'alerte ("The whistleblowers"), there is no longer any question in the rest of the law, in the very definition that follows, Article 6 which opens this chapter devoted the "whistleblowers" offering the player immediately a singular since it begins as follows:  "Un!footnote-1684 lanceur d'alerte est une personne ..." (A! footnote-1684 whistleblower is a person ..."). No more mention of diversity. The art of legislative writing would have even required that the qualifying article should not be singular but not yet indefinite. 

Thus seem to contradict in this law "Sapin 2" itself the very title which presents the character, in that it uses a definite plural ("the whistleblowers") while the article of definition which presents the topic does it by using the singular indefinite : "a whistleblower....".

This is a first reason to move forward only in a very cautious way, in this "step by step" that constitutes a word-by-word reading: a gloss. This method consists in taking literally the expression itself. The second reason for this technical choice is that the gloss is well suited to an introduction of a collective work, allowing more specific developments to take place in other contributions, for example on the techniques, the difficulties and the limits of this protection, or the history of it, or the reasons for the arrival in French law of these American or Brithish whistleblowers and the way they develop, or not, in other legal systems or other countries.

I will therefore content myself with taking again literally this already legal expression: The (I) launchers (II) of alert (III).

See below developments.

 

1

On the more general fact that cinema is undoubtedly the medium which most seriously restores the state of the Law, c. Frison-Roche, M.-A., Au coeur du Droit, du cinéma et de la famille : la vie, 2016.

2

L'histoire du premier lanceur d'alerte, France Culture, septembre 2019. 

4

However, precisely the so common use of plurality ("whistleblowers") raises doubts about the uniqueness of the character. On this question, see. all the first part of the developments of this study, which leads to the conclusion rather than beyond the multitude of particular cases, there are rather two kinds of whistleblowers. V. infra I.

6

Thus, the adventures of Snowden were brought to the screen by Oliver Stone in 2016, Snowden. On the question of knowing whether this film "faithfully reproduces" or not the case, Schetizer, P., Le film Snowden est-il à la hauteur de la réalité?, 2017. This article is favorable to the whistleblower, and to the film which tells us with emotion his case, in particular because (sic), it is easier than to read the Washington Post.

7

Underlined by us.

8

Underlined by us.

9

About this directive, v. the developments infra

10

Underlined by us.

Sept. 14, 2016

Thesaurus : Soft Law

Lire la proposition de directive formulée formulée par la Commission Européenne (version anglophone)