Thesaurus : Doctrine

Référence complète : Toth, A., Framework for the recognition of Competition Compliance programs and Dilemmas faced by Competition Authorities, Loyola Consumer Law Review, 2018, p.95-108.

Compliance and Regulation Law bilingual Dictionnary

The liberal professions such as lawyers, doctors or accountants are organized into professional bodies and consider that they can not be reduced to mere companies operating in markets because the service they offer includes a human and moral dimension, translated by ethics, under the supervision of their internal professional organization, particularly through ex ante their power to adopt their own standards of behavior, and in ex post, the disciplinary power of their professional order.

Competition law refutes this organization from the Old Regime and simply considers the "markets of legal or medical services, firms having to compete with each other and not having to organize the sector, by  or fixing Numerus clausus, etc.

In the perspective of regulation, the liberal professions are, on the contrary, the ones most pertinento organize self-regulation in a globalized economy from the moment they give rise to a credible surveillance system and thus deserve the confidence of customers and public regulators.


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 Full ReferenceM.-A. Frison-Roche, "Le droit processuel, prototype de l'Obligation de Compliance"  (General Procedural Law, prototype of Compliance Obligation), in M.-A. Frison-Roche (dir.), L'obligation de ComplianceJournal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, coll. "Régulations & Compliance", 2024, forthcoming.


📝read the article (in French)


🚧read the bilingual Working Paper on which this article was based, with additional developments, technical references and hyperlinks


📕read the general presentation of the book, L'obligation de Compliance, in which this article is published


 English Summary of this article: A number of ideas are beginning to emerge to describe the relationship that needs to be built up between General Procedural Law and Compliance Obligation, if only to take account of the emerging litigation in the field of Compliance Law.

At first sight, however, it would appear that Compliance Law does not give rise to any procedural obligation, since Compliance is designed to develop ex ante, in order to avoid the courts. Compliance by design should perfect this aim, the presence of any jurisdictional proceedings being a failure in itself and because of the delays and uncertainties that are associated with them by nature.

If we accept the presence of judges, lawyers and procedural rights and obligations, in particular the right of action and the rights of defence, for many it would be only in order to respect the Rule of Law, a tribute that must be paid, a dose of inefficiency within efficiency, thus pitting the disciplines against each other, in this case Law on the one hand and Economics and Management on the other. More often than not, we leave it at that, either to admit it and strike a balance, or to regret it and wait to see which logic will prevail, between procedural rights and obligations on the one hand and compliance rights and obligations on the other...

On the contrary, we must reject this logic of communicating vessels.

In fact, Compliance Law is an extension of Regulatory Law, which it extends beyond sectors and borders, and whose normativity is anchored in the Compliance Monumental Goals set by political and public Authorities, which aim to ensure that in the future systems do not collapse, or even improve so that the human beings who depend on them are not crushed by them but, on the contrary, benefit from them.

This gives rise to "systemic compliance litigation", which gives rise to specific procedural principles. First of all, it is important to clarify what a "systemic case" is, a concept that I proposed in 2021, and to which the cases that are now being brought before the courts correspond. The specific nature of these emerging systemic compliance disputes, which are objective disputes, similar to administrative disputes, which fully justifies the presence of the public prosecutor and raises the question of whether there would be a 'natural judge' for these systemic compliance disputes, have major procedural consequences, particularly on procedural rights and obligations: in particular the right to be a party to the proceedings, even if you are a party to the dispute, which is the case for the stakeholders.

The result is a new alliance between the Compliance Obligation and General Procedural Law, which gives rise to compliance obligations of a procedural nature within Compliance Law itself. It is no longer necessary to divide Ex Ante and Ex Post, but to borrow compliance principles and insert them into jurisdictional procedures, as envisaged by the Haut Conseiller François Ancel (moving from Ex Ante to Ex Post), while it is necessary to insert procedural principles into compliance obligations within companies (moving from Ex Post to Ex Ante), as shown in the book Compliance Jurisdictionalisation. This is particularly illustrated in relation to the Obligation of Vigilance, which is the spearhead of the Compliance Obligation. 

This is particularly relevant in relation to three procedural obligations which must now structure the compliance obligations in the behaviour of the companies and parties concerned, even independently of any jurisdictional proceedings, since the court may be called upon to verify their fulfillment on both sides and to promote them, which gives him/her an ex ante role: the obligation to discuss (adversarial principle), the obligation to provide information (evidentiary system) and the obligation to demonstrate (principle of the motivation).

This alliance thus changes both Compliance Law and Procedural Law, since it changes the role of the judge. But this question of the judge's office is the subject of a separate contribution for this book.



Feb. 2, 2023

Thesaurus : Doctrine

 Full Reference: A. Bruneau, "L'entreprise juge d'elle-même : la fonction compliance dans la banque" ("The company judge of itself: the compliance function inside the bank"), in M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), La juridictionnalisation de la Compliancecoll. "Régulations & Compliance", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, 2023, p. 115-131. 


📕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 author): First of all, it should be remembered that the compliance function was born within finance, and that by being structured, it has evolved to support the transition from regulatory law to compliance law. Through these changes, compliance has gone from an ex-post controlling function to an ex-ante binding function. The LIBOR crisis imperfectly illustrates the primacy of this transition. The evolution of this role is illustrated by concrete examples

Firstly, the management of reputational risk is a fundamental part of the company as prosecutor and judge of itself. Reputational risk is a significant element for a financial institution, because it can have negative consequences on its capitalization, or even culminate in a systemic crisis. Avoiding a large-scale financial crisis is also part of the monumental goals of compliance.

In order to avoid complex and inopportune scenarios, compliance law intervenes as early as possible and identifies issues that may impact reputation. The regulations require the implementation of certain ex ante mechanisms. The French law known as "Sapin 2" requires the implementation of tools that concern all companies (and not just banks). Indeed, beyond the risk of reputation, it is essential to consider the risk of corruption. Consideration of reputational risk may justify refusing to execute certain transactions. From this perspective, compliance must assess the potential consequences of entering into a relationship with a new client upstream, sometimes to decline the provision of services. The compliance function therefore unilaterally judges the relationship with a view to managing the company reputational risk.

Secondly, the internal sanction mechanism established by compliance law is also discussed in this article, in particular the internal sanctions adopted by compliance in a financial institution.

Compliance can act as a prosecutor via management committees set up within the business lines. In addition, compliance can determine and apply sanctions against employees. In this way, there is a dual role of prosecutor and judge for the compliance function within the framework of an extraordinary mechanism of ordinary law.

Finally, the analysis deals with the case of the "judge-judged": following a decision by the bank, the regulator may take an even stricter position by believing that the bank is applying its guidelines incorrectly. Thus, the compliance law, which takes hold within the banking enterprise, finds itself under the judgment of its own regulator. The company finds itself judged and comes to be a prosecutor and judge of itself, but also of its clients.


April 21, 2021

Thesaurus : Doctrine

► Full Reference : Th. Amico, "La Compliance ou le passage de l'ex post à l'ex ante. Une révolution copernicienne pour l'avocat pénaliste ?" ("Compliance or the passage from ex post to ex ante: a Compernican revolution for the criminal lawyer?"), in M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), Les outils de la Compliance, coll. "Régulations & Compliance", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, 2021, p. 145-154.


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


► Summary of the article (done by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance): After referring to various definitions of Compliance Law, the author insists on the usefulness of the criminal lawyer in that he, familiar with the Ex-Post that constitutes the sanction, can be of good advice. in the Ex-Ante in which new compliance mechanisms are being developed, such as risk mapping or third-party assessment.

Addressing the punitive dimension of Compliance Law, the author shows that the criminal lawyer therefore naturally has a place there, whether it concerns the powers exercised by an administrative authority or the criminal law itself. In that he can "anticipate criminal proceedings", the criminal lawyer is therefore best able to ensure that the company does not expose itself to them, in particular in a good mastery of internal investigations, thus ruling out the criminal risk.


Aug. 11, 2020

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., Against money laundering, what time matters? Does it work, between ExAnte and ExPost? (BIL case)Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 11th of August 2020

Read, by freely subscribing, the other news in the Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation


Summary of the news

The activity of money laundering is detrimental not only in itself but also because it permits the development and the sustainability of other criminal activities such as drug trafficking, weapon trafficking or human beings selling. Fighting against money laundering could permit to indirectly fight against these underlying activities, by the way very difficult to fight. Thus, the fight against money laundering has become a "monumental goal", which justifies the adoption of tools sometimes much more powerful than those used by classical criminal Law. For the sake of efficiency, the legal obligation to prevent money laundering is given to every body able to do it, as banks, real estate agents or gaming society, under the penalty of sanction. 

On 10th of August 2020, the Luxembourgish financial market supervisor convicts the International Bank of Luxembourg to pay a fine of 4,5 millions of euros because of weaknesses detected in its process of fight against money laundering. However, when the sanction has been pronounced, the bank had already remedied the weaknesses identified. It is important to observe that what is important for Compliance Law, it is not that a non compliant behavior is punished but rather that the crucial firm modifies its behavior in order to being more efficient in the realization of the "monumental goal", only concern of the public authority. Thus, an Ex Post sanction against the crucial operator is not an end in itself and can be justified only if it permits to incite the crucial operator to act or rather to desincite to do anything. Compliance Law is an Ex Ante legal system. 


To go further, read: 

Oct. 22, 2010


 Référence complète : M.-A. Frison-Roche, " Ex ante - ex post, justicacion de un derecho proprio y especifico de la regulacion", Revista de Responsabilidad civil y seguros, pp.3-13, LA LEY ed., 2010.


 Résumé en français de l'article (rédigé en espagnol) : L'analyse économique du droit utilise très fréquemment la distinction "ex ante/ex post " pour opposer le droit qui intervient avant que la situation ou la difficulté ou le fait générateur n’advienne, alors que l’ex post désigne une intervention juridique une fois que ceux-ci sont constitués. C’est pourquoi on affirme souvent que la Régulation est ex ante alors que le droit de la concurrence est ex post. Mais c’est réduire la Régulation à la réglementation qui seule est ex ante, alors que le régulateur dispose de nombreux pouvoirs ex post. En outre, par le mécanisme de la jurisprudence et les stratégies anticipatrices des agents économiques, toute décision ex post constitue un "ex ante cognitif". Cet article, écrit en espagnol, reprend la démonstration pour montrer la dialectique entre l’ex ante et l’ex post, dont les rapports entre l’assurance, mécanisme justifié parce que l’agent sait qu’il peut être responsable (ex ante cognitif), et la responsabilité civile, sont le meilleur exemple. C’est pourquoi les régulateurs utilisent toujours les mécanismes de responsabilité.


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March 11, 2006


Référence complète : FRISON-ROCHE, Marie-Anne, Le couple Ex Ante – Ex Post, justificatif d’un droit spécifique et propre de la régulation, in Les engagements dans les systèmes de régulations, coll. "Droit et Économie de la Régulation", vol.4, Presses de Sciences-Po / Dalloz, 2006, pp. 33-48.

L’analyse économique du droit utilise très fréquemment la distinction "ex ante/ex post " pour opposer le droit qui intervient avant que la situation ou la difficulté ou le fait générateur n’adviennent, alors que l’ex post désigne une intervention juridique une fois que ceux-ci sont constitués. C’est pourquoi on affirme souvent que la Régulation est ex ante alors que le droit de la concurrence est ex post. Mais c’est réduire la Régulation à la réglementation qui seule est ex ante, alors que le régulateur dispose de nombreux pouvoirs ex post. En outre, par le mécanisme de la jurisprudence et les stratégies anticipatrices des agents économiques, toute décision ex post constitue un "ex ante cognitif". Cela correspond à un mode rhétorique de la régulation, qui se construit sur un modèle circulaire que le rapport linéaire entre l’ex ante et l’ex post restitue mal.

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