June 12, 2024

Thesaurus : Doctrine

 Full Reference: J.-B. Racine, "L’arbitre, juge, superviseur, accompagnateur ?" (The arbitrator, judge, supervisor, coach?), in M.-A. Frison-Roche (dir.), L'Obligation de ComplianceJournal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, coll. "Régulations & Compliance", 2024, forthcoming.


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


► English Summary of this article (done by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance - JoRC) : From the outset, the author sets out what is at stake in these terms:  "Quel rôle peut ou pourrait jouer l’arbitre dans les dispositifs de compliance ? Selon le rôle qu’il est amené à jouer, il peut ou pourrait venir en renfort de l’obligation de compliance. Poser cette question, c’est poser la question des pouvoirs de l’arbitre et de son office. C’est aussi, d’une certaine manière, renvoyer à la notion même d’arbitrage." (What role can or could the arbitrator play in compliance systems? Depending on the role he/she is called upon to play, he/she can or could reinforce the compliance obligation. Asking this question raises the question of the powers of the arbitrator and his/her office. In a way, it also goes back to the very notion of arbitration)

In practice, arbitrators deal with compliance issues in their office as judges. This is illustrated by disputes involving allegations of corruption, where the arbitrators' ruling obviously cannot give effect to a corrupt practice unless they violate themselves international public order. But in this, the arbitrator is only applying a legal standard, the main issue being then the question of evidence, with compliance tools often serving as indicators of the corruption itself. Leaving behind the strict legal source and coming to the standards issued by the ICC about the fight against corruption, we really enter into the "compliance obligation", in the strict sense, when a contract appears.

International business practices standards are emerging, not only in the area of probity but also in the protection of human rights, for which arbitrators can now act as guarantors. Arbitrators can do this, in particular, through the emerging litigation relating to vigilance obligation, either directly when vigilance plans are at issue,, even if a legal rule gives a specific competence to a State court (as the French 2017 law does) or if we imagine that a plan itself includes a system for recourse to arbitration, which would imply a change in culture, or if we consider that soft law is in the process of emerging from the practices of international trade laying down a duty of vigilance that arbitrators could take up.

In the second part of his contribution, the author takes a second, bolder approach, namely that of an arbitrator who understands Compliance Law in that he/she would be more than a Judge, i.e. he/she would do more than settle a dispute by applying the law.

This would be conceivable given the tendency to consider that the arbitrator could modify contracts and if example is taken from the technique of arbitration practised for concentration disputes in merger law. To give arbitration the required regulatory dimension, this third party would have to be able to exercise a supervisory function, which the notion of "dispute" hardly lends itself to, especially as an arbitrator is only set up to be a judge, and if he/she ceases to be one it is difficult for him/her to remain an arbitrator.... However, it is conceivable that in Ex Post the arbitrator could perform the monitoring function often required in Compliance Law. The technique of disputes boards is inspiring in this respect. The two fields, Arbitration and Compliance, are thus destined to move closer together, as the two traditional limits, arbitrability and litigation, are in the process of evolving so that they no longer stand in the way of such rapprochements.

The author can therefore conclude: "C’est aux différents acteurs de la compliance de penser à l’arbitrage, et à la souplesse, la plasticité et la liberté qu’il offre, pour éventuellement le configurer spécialement au service des buts de la compliance." (It is up to the various players in Compliance to think about Arbitration, and the flexibility, plasticity and freedom it offers, in order to configure it specifically to serve the goals of Compliance Law).


March 1, 2018

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Référence complète : Dedieu, D., et Gallois-Cochet, D., Obligations et responsabilité des dirigeants dans le cadre des exigences de compliance en droit français, in Bulletin Joly Sociétés, Lextenso, n°3, mars 2018, pp.173-184.



L'étude appréhende les dispositifs de compliance résultant des lois Sapin 2 et Vigilance sous l'angle des dirigeants de sociétés. Elle examine l'identité des dirigeants responsables de ces deux dispositifs et la nature des obligations préventives leur incombant personnellement. Elle analyse enfin les sanctions, tant répressives qu'au titre de leur responsabilité civile personnelle, encourues par ces dirigeants ès qualité pour tout manquement à ces dispositifs préventifs.




Les étudiants de Sciences-Po peuvent consulter l'article via le Drive, dossier "MAFR - Regulation & Compliance".

Updated: July 31, 2013 (Initial publication: Oct. 25, 2011)

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