Updated: March 15, 2023 (Initial publication: May 18, 2021)


► Full Reference: M.-A. Frison-Roche, "Place and rôle of Companies in the Creation and Effectiveness of Compliance Law in situation of crisis", in M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), Compliance Monumental Goals, series "Compliance & Regulation", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Bruylant, 2023, p.


► Article Summary:  This article has a very topic: the place of private Companies, regarding the chapter's issue: "the ordeal of a crisis". The crisis constitutes a "test", that is to say, it brings evidence. Let us take it as such.

Indeed, during the health crisis, Companies have helped the Public Authorities to resist the shock, to endure and to get out of the Crisis. They did so by force, but they also took initiatives in this direction. From this too, we must learn lessons for the next crisis that will come. It is possible that this has already started in the form of another global and systemic crisis: the environmental crisis. In view of what we have been able to observe and the evolution of the Law, of the standards adopted by the Authorities but also by the new case law, what can we expect from Companies in the face of this next Crisis, willingly and strength?


🚧Read the bilingual Working Paper, with more developments, technical references, and hypertext links.


📘go to the general presentation of the book, Compliance Monumental Goals, in which this article is published


► read the presentations of the other Marie-Anne Frison-Roche's contributions in this book: 

📝Compliance Monumental Goals, beating heart of Compliance Law

📝Definition of Principe of Proportionality and Definition of Compliance Law,

📝 Assessment of Whistleblowing and the duty of Vigilance



Feb. 2, 2023


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 Full Reference: M.-A. Frison-Roche, "Le juge, l'obligation de compliance et l'entreprise. Le système probatoire de la Compliance" ("The judge, the compliance obligation, and the company. The Compliance probationary system"), in M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), La juridictionnalisation de la Compliancecoll. "Régulations & Compliance", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, 2023, p 409-442.


📝read the article (in French)


🚧read the bilingual Working Paper which is the basis of this article, with additional developments, technical references and hyperlinks 


📕read a general presentation of the book, La juridictionnalisation de la Compliance, in which this article is published


 Summary of the article (done by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance): the article aims to identify the link that must be established between the company in its relationship with the compliance obligations it assumes and the judges to whom it is accountable in this respect: this link is established by evidence. The evidentiary system of proof has yet to be constructed, and it is the purpose of this long study to lay the groundwork. 

To this end, the article begins with a description of what is designated here as the "probatory square" in a "probatory system" that is superimposed on the system of rules of substantive legal system. This is all the more important because Compliance seems to be in frontal collision in its very principles with the general principles of the evidentiary system, in particular because it seems that the company would have to prove the existence of the Law or that it would have to bear in a definitive way the burden of proving the absence of violation, which seems to be contrary not only to the presumption of innocence but also to the principle of the freedom of action and of undertaking. In order to re-articulate Compliance Law, the obligations of compliance which legitimately weigh on the company, it is necessary to return to the probatory system specific to Compliance, so that it remains within the Rule of Law. This presupposes the adoption of a substantial definition of Compliance, which is not only compliance with the rules, which is only a minimal dimension, but implies that Compliance Law should be defined by the Monumental Goals on which the public authorities and the companies are in substantial alliance.

The evidentiary system of principle makes play between its four summits that are the burden of proof, the objects of proof this evidentiary square of principle, between the burden of proof, the means of proof and their admissibility. Compliance Law does not fall outside this evidential square, thus marking its full membership of the Rule of Law

In order to lay the foundations of the evidential system specific to Compliance Law, the first part of the article identifies the objects of proof which are specific to it, by distinguishing between the structural devices, on the one hand, and the expected behaviours, on the other. The first involves proving that the structures required to achieve the Monumental Goals of Compliance have actually been put in place. The object of proof is then the effectiveness of this implementation, which presents the effectiveness of the system. As far as behavioral obligations are concerned, the object of proof is the efforts made by the company to obtain them, the principle of proportionality governing the establishment of this proof, while the systemic efficiency of the whole reinforces the evidential system. However, the wisdom of evidence lies in the fact that, even though the principle remains that of freedom of evidence, the company must establish the effectiveness, efficiency, and effectiveness of the whole, independently of the burden of proof.

The second part of the article concerns those who bear the burden of proof in Compliance Law. The latter places the burden of proof on the company in principle, in view of its legal obligations. This burden comes from the legal origin of the obligations, which blocks the "round of the burden of proof". But in the interference of the different vertices of the evidentiary square, the question becomes more delicate when it comes to determining the contours of the compliance obligations that the company must perform. Moreover, the burden of proof may itself be the subject of proof, just as the company's performance of its legal obligations may also be the subject of contracts, which brings us back to the evidentiary system ordinarily applicable to contractual obligations. The situation is different when it comes to a "compliance contract" or when it comes to one or more compliance stipulations, concepts that are still not very well developed in Contract Law. 

Furthermore, as all branches of Law belong to a legal system governed by the Rule of Law, other branches of law interfere and modify the methods and solutions of proof. This is the case when the fact, which is the object of proof, can give rise to a sanction, the Law of repression imposing its own solutions in the matter of the burden of proof. 

In the third part of the article, the relevant means of proof in Compliance Law are examined, used in that Compliance Law is above all a branch of Law whose object is on the one hand information and on the other hand the Future. Open questions remain, such as whether companies could be forced by the Judge to build technologies to invent new means of proof. To show that they are indeed achieving the Monumental Goals they are charged with. 

In the fourth part, the vital character of the pre-constitution of evidence is shown, which is the reflection of the Ex-Ante nature of Compliance Law: evidence must be pre-constituted to avoid the very prospect of having to use it, by finding all the means to establish the effectiveness, efficiency and even the effectiveness of the various Compliance Tools. 

If companies do all this methodically, the Compliance evidence system will be established, in harmony with the general evidence system, Compliance Law and the Rule of Law.


Updated: Feb. 2, 2023 (Initial publication: June 23, 2021)

Thesaurus : Doctrine

 Full Reference: Ch. Lapp, "La compliance dans l'entreprise : les statuts du process" ("Compliance in the company: the statues of processes"), in M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), La juridictionnalisation de la Compliancecoll. "Régulations & Compliance", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, 2023, p.141-150. 


📕read a general presentation of the book, La juridictionnalisation de la Compliance, in which this article is published


 The summary below describes an article following the colloquium L'entreprise instituée Juge et Procureur d'elle-même par le Droit de la Compliance (The Entreprise instituted Judge and Prosecutor of itself by Compliance Law) , co-organized by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and the Faculté de Droit Lyon 3. This manifestation was designed under the scientific direction of Marie-Anne Frison-Roche and Jean-Christophe Roda and took place in Lyon on June 23, 2021. During this colloquium, the intervention was shared with Jan-Marc Coulon, who is also a contributor in the book (see the summary of the Jean-Marc Coulon's  Article).

In the book, the article will be published in Title I, devoted to:  L'entreprise instituée Juge et Procureur d'elle-même par le Droit de la Compliance (The Entreprise instituted Judge and Prosecutor of itself by Compliance Law ).


 Summary of the article (done by the author): The Company is caught in the grip of Compliance Law, the jaws of which are those of Incitement (1) and Sanction that the Company must apply to ensure the effectiveness of its processes to which it is itself subject (2 ).

First, the Company has been delegated to fabricate reprehensible rules that it must apply to itself and to third parties with whom it has dealings. To this end, the Company sets up "processes", that is to say verification and prevention procedures, in order to show that the offenses that it is likely to commit will not happened.

These processes constitute standards of behavior to prevent and avoid that the facts constituting the infringements are not themselves carried out. They are thus one of the elements of Civil Liability Law in its preventive or restorative purposes.

Second, the sanction of non obedience of Compliance processes puts the Company in front of two pitfalls. The first  dimension place the company, with regard to its employees and its partners, in the obligation to define processes which also constitute the quasi-jurisdictional resolution of their non-compliance, the company having to reconcile the sanction it pronounces with the fundamental principles of classical Criminal Law, constitutional principles and all fundamental rights. The processes then become the procedural rule.

The second dimension is that the Company is accountable for the effectiveness of the avoidance by its processes of facts constituting infringements. By a reversal of the burden of proof, the Company is then required to prove that its processes are efficient. at least equivalent to the measures defined by laws and regulations, the French Anti-Corruption Agency (Agence Française Anticorruption - AFA), European directives and various communications on legal tools to fight breaches of probity, environmental attacks and current societal concerns. The processes then become the constitutive element, per se, of the infringement.

Thus, in its search for a balance between Prevention and Sanction to which it is itself subject, the Company will not then be tempted to favor the orthodoxy of its processes over the expectations of the Agence Française Anticorruption - AFA , regulators and judges, to the detriment of their efficiency?

In doing so, are we not moving towards an instrumental and conformist Compliance, paradoxically disempowering with regard to the Compliance Monumental Goals of Compliance?


Oct. 5, 2022


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 Référence complète : M.-A. Frison-Roche, " Youporn : Le Droit doit se renouveler face à la transformation du monde par l'espace numérique", entretien avec Olivia Dufour, Actu-juridique, 5 octobre 2022.


💬Lire l'entretien dans son intégralité


Lire l'entretien précédent : 💬L'efficacité de la Compliance illustrée par l'affaire Youporn


 Présentation de l'entretien par le journal : "Comment parvenir à bloquer efficacement l’accès des mineurs aux contenus pornographiques sur internet ? C’est à cette difficile question que s’est attaquée l'Arcom (Autorité de régulation de la communication audiovisuelle et numérique). Avec pour l’instant un succès mitigé. Début septembre, alors que le régulateur demandait au juge de bloquer les cinq sites n’ayant pas obéi à son injonction de modifier leurs conditions d’accès, la justice a décidé de renvoyer le dossier devant un médiateur. Entre temps, un rapport sénatorial publié le 28 septembre souligne l’urgence d’agir. Nous avons demandé au professeur Marie-Anne Frison-Roche, spécialiste de droit de la compliance, comment à son avis il est possible de lutter efficacement contre les dérives de l’industrie pornographique".  


 Questions posées :

  • Dans l'affaire Youporn, la décision du tribunal judiciaire de renvoyer le dossier vers la médiation a suscité un certain émoi. N'est-ce pas le signe d'une forme de renoncement de la justice, avec tout ce que cela implique d'un point de vue symbolique ?


  • En quoi le droit de la compliance serait-il plus efficace que les méthodes traditionnelles ?


  • Mais n’est-ce pas, d’une certaine façon leur permettre de s’autoréguler, solution que précisément le rapport sénatorial écarte radicalement, estimant qu’elle n’est pas efficace ?


  • Le problème, à en croire les sites concernés, c’est qu’il n’y aurait pas de solution qui soit à la fois efficace et respectueuse de la protection de la vie privée…


  • Pensez-vous que la compliance ait une chance de réussir là où les outils plus traditionnels connaissent un échec relatif ?



Sept. 17, 2021

Thesaurus : Doctrine

 Full Reference complète : Beaussonie, G., Do Criminal Law and Compliance form a system?, in Frison-Roche, M.-A. (ed.),Compliance Monumental Goals, series "Compliance & Regulation", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Bruylant, to be published.


► Article Summary:  By nature, Criminal Law is a system that is not intended to develop, principles which limit it being internal to it. Nevertheless if Proportionality is respected, its extension may be legitimate to preserve “fundamental social values” because Criminal Law is the branch of Law concerning what is grave, grave in consequences as in causes.

Not always being concerned by Efficiency, the temptation is important to supplement Criminal Law with other repressive mechanisms , not only Administrative Repression but today Compliance which pursues concordant objectives and aims by the "Goals Monumental ”to what would be most important and therefore for which Efficiency would be required, in particular because victory (for example against corruption) should be global.

Efficiency is obtained by the internalisation in powerful companies, but this efficiency comes at a price and Criminal Law should not impose too many obligations to do maintaining only a potential link with the commission of a "real offense ”. Its association with Compliance can therefore also only be exceptional and must not lead to forget  that Freedom must always remain the principle.



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



Jan. 6, 2021


Référence complète : Frison-Roche, M.-A., Environnemental Compliance Law, as an Ex Ante Responsability, for an annexe in a French Report on the liability for the environmental Damages, for the European Commission, janvier 2021. 


Nov. 16, 2019


The Finance Bill has proposed to the Parliament to vote an article 57 whose title is: Possibilité pour les administrations fiscales et douanières de collecter et exploiter les données rendues publiques sur les sites internet des réseaux sociaux et des opérateurs de plateformes (translation: Possibility for the tax and customs administrations to collect and exploit the data made public on the websites of social networks and platform operators).

Its content is as is in the text voted on in the National Assembly as follows:

"(1) I. - On an experimental basis and for a period of three years, for the purposes of investigating the offenses mentioned in b and c of 1 of article 1728, in articles 1729, 1791, 1791 ter, in 3 °, 8 ° and 10 ° of article 1810 of the general tax code, as well as articles 411, 412, 414, 414-2 and 415 of the customs code, the tax administration and the customs administration and indirect rights may, each as far as it is concerned, collect and exploit by means of computerized and automated processing using no facial recognition system, freely accessible content published on the internet by the users of the online platform operators mentioned in 2 ° of I of article L. 111-7 of the consumer code.

(2) The processing operations mentioned in the first paragraph are carried out by agents specially authorized for this purpose by the tax and customs authorities.


(3) When they are likely to contribute to the detection of the offenses mentioned in the first paragraph, the data collected are kept for a maximum period of one year from their collection and are destroyed at the end of this period. However, when used within the framework of criminal, tax or customs proceedings, this data may be kept until the end of the proceedings.

(4) The other data are destroyed within a maximum period of thirty days from their collection.

(5) The right of access to the information collected is exercised with the assignment service of the agents authorized to carry out the processing mentioned in the second paragraph under the conditions provided for by article 42 of law n ° 78-17 of January 6, 1978 relating to data processing, the files and freedoms.

(6) The right to object, provided for in article 38 of the same law, does not apply to the processing operations mentioned in the second paragraph.

(7) The terms of application of this I are set by decree of the Council of State.

(8) II. - The experiment provided for in I is the subject of an evaluation, the results of which are forwarded to Parliament as well as to the National Commission for Data Protection at the latest six months before its end. "


This initiative provoked many comments, rather reserved, even after the explanations given by the Minister of Budget to the National Assembly.

What to think of it legally?

Because the situation is quite simple, that is why it is difficult: on the one hand, the State will collect personal information without the authorization of the persons concerned, which is contrary to the very object of the law of 1978 , which results in full disapproval; on the other hand, the administration obtains the information to prosecute tax and customs offenses, which materializes the general interest itself.

So what about it?

Read below.

Nov. 27, 2018


► Full Reference : Frison-Roche, M.-A., Droit de la concurrence et droit de la compliance ("Competition Law and Compliance Law), November 2018,  in Revue Concurrences n° 4-2018, Art. n° 88053, pp. 1-4. 



 Summary: Compliance Law is a new branch of Law, still under construction. One can have a “narrow definition” of seeing it as the obligation of businesses to show that they are constantly and actively complying with the law. One can have a richer definition, of a substantive nature, defining it as the obligation or the own will of certain companies to achieve “monumental goals” that go beyond economic and financial performance. Competition Law partly integrates its two conceptions of Compliance: Precursor, Competition Law concretizes dynamically the first conception of Compliance Law. It is with more difficulties but also much more future that Competition Law can express in dialectic the second conception of Compliance Law as internationalization of these “monumental goals”, especially in the digital space.


📝 read the article (in French)

📝 read the Working Paper on which this Article is based, with footnotes, technical references and hypertext links.  



Updated: March 20, 2015 (Initial publication: Jan. 28, 2015)


La répression est indissociable de la façon de réprimer. C'est pourquoi les difficultés de procédure sont des révélateurs de problèmes de fond. Actuellement, le problème de fond mis à jour par les batailles autour des procédures de sanctions en matière financière est ce pour quoi sont faites les sanctions.

Pour le régulateur, la sanction est un outil parmi d'autres pour réguler les marchés financiers. La sanction, dans un continuum avec son pouvoir normatif, sont ses dents et ses griffes grâce auxquelles les marchés financiers se développent. Cette finalité de politique financière justifie une répression objective avec un système probatoire reposant souvent par présomption conduisant à imputer des manquements à des opérateurs dans certaines positions sur ou à l'égard des marchés. Le régulateur doit avoir cette carte en main et l'utiliser selon cette méthode.

Par ailleurs, s'il arrive que des personnes commettent des fautes reprochables et ressenties comme telles par le groupe social, il convient qu'elles soient punies, jusqu'à la prison. Seule la justice pénale est légitime à le faire, légitimement alourdie par la charge de prouver l'intentionnalité, etc.

Il faut distinguer ces deux catégories d'incrimination. C'est à partir de là que les deux procédures et les deux systèmes probatoires peuvent se dérouler en même temps, mais sur des incriminations différentes. Pour l'instant cela n'est pas le cas, car les "manquements financiers" ne sont que le décalque des "délits financiers", allégés des charges de preuve qui protégeaient la personne poursuivie et qui doit pour l'instant répondre deux fois.

Problème de procédure ? Non, problème d'incrimination, dont on ne sortira pas par des solutions procédurales, la plus hasardeuse étant de créer une nouvelle institution, la plus calamiteuse était d'affaiblir le système en supprimant une des voies de poursuites,  mais en distinguant dans les incriminations qui sont pour l'instant redondantes.

Ainsi, la répression comme outil de régulation utilisée par le régulateur est au point, mais le véritable droit pénal financier demeure à consolider pour atteindre son objectif propre et classique : punir les fautes, y compris par de la prison.

C'est au législateur de remettre de l'ordre. Il est possible que la décision dite "EADS" du 18 mars 2015 rendue par le Conseil constitutionnel l'y pousse.