Nov. 28, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

Oct. 6, 2020

Thesaurus : 05. CJCE - CJUE

Full reference: CJEU, Grand Chamber, 6th of October 2020, Privacy International c/ Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, C-623/17.

Read the judgment 

Read the summary of the judgment (in French)

Read the opinion of the Advocate General 

Read the reference for a preliminary ruling from the Investigatory Powers Tribunal - London (United Kingdom)

Aug. 21, 2020

Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation

Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., Being obliged by Law to unlock telephone is not equivalent to self-incrimination: Cour de cassation, Criminal Chamber, Dec. 19, 2019Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 21st of August 2020

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


Summary of the news

The Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Judicial Court) made a decision on 19th of December 2019 about a case concerning a refusal to communicate his mobile phone's unlock code to the police while the police found him with a significant quantity of narcotic and a lot of cash and that there was a certain probability that this mobile phone get proofs of culpability of its owner. The individual was indicted not for narcotic trafficking but for not having communicate its unlock code which constitute an offense to article 434-15-2 of code pénal, from the loi du 3 juin 2018 renforçant la lutte contre la criminalité organisée, et le terrorisme et leur financement (law reinforcing organized crime, terrorisme and their financing).

The accused invokes before the court its right to not incriminate oneself. Indeed, the configuration face to policemen was such that if he refused to communicate its unlock code, he will be punished because of this obligation to communicate his code and that if he accepted, he will also be sanctioned because of the proofs contained into the mobile phone. Such a configuration therefore offered him no alternative to confessing, which is contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights and to European and national jurisprudence.

Face to such a case, the Cour de Cassation chose to segment the information and proposed the following solution: if the researched information cannot be obtained regardless of the suspect willingness, it is not possible to constraint this person to communicate this information without violating its procedural rights, but if the information can be obtained regardless of the suspect willingness then the individual is obliged to communicate his code. In the current case, as it was possible for policemen to obtain information contained in the phone by technical means, longer but existent, then the refuse of communication of the unlock code by the suspect constitute an obstruction that should be sanctioned. 

Such a decision is an exemple of the conciliation by the judge of two fundamental but contradictory "monumental goals" of Compliance Law: transparency of information towards public authorities and very sensible personal data protection. 

To go further, read Marie-Anne Frison-Roche's working paper: Rethinking the world from the notion of data



July 13, 2016


Par sa décision du Conseil d’État, BFM TV, .!footnote-562, Le Conseil d'Etat laisse le Régulateur - ici le CSA - décider selon son propre objectif - ici l'intérêt général et la mise en balance des risques, en visant le Droit de l'Union de l'Union communautaire qui n'a pas à en être contrarié.

En effet, le 17 décembre 2015, le CSA a agréé la décision de la chaîne LCI à ne plus faire payer l'accès à ses programmes.

Ce passage 'en clair" a été agréé d'une façon non ouverte alors que les textes communautaires visent avant tout le principe de concurrence et sont hiérarchiquement supérieurs au droit français qui organise la régulation du secteur.

On comprend donc que les concurrents de LCI, BFM TV et NextRadio TV aient attaqué cette décision devant le Conseil d’État, en demandant purement et simplement que l'autorisation d'émettre soit retirée à LCI en raison de sa décision de passer à la gratuité. Leurs requête sera pourtant rejetée, et cela par une forte motivation, qui s'appuie justement sur le Droit de l'Union européenne, son esprit et les relations entre l'Europe et le Droit français.


Lire ci-dessous.


Référence complète : CE, 13 juillet 2016, Société BFM TV et NextRadio TV, n° 395824 et 399098

Aug. 5, 2014


Political power has often difficulties, or takes a long time to admit the principles of law, such as express the judges.

So it was quite certain that the penalty proceedings held before the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et de la Poste -ARCEP  (French Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Post, as the investigation body and the judgment body were not sufficiently distinct crumpled the constitutional principle of impartiality.

It was acquired about 15 years. Yet the organization has continued.

It has been enough that an operator has been sanctioned. He used the procedure of Question Prioritairre de Constitutionnalité -Q.P.C.  Priority Question of Constitutionality) and Numéricable July 5, 2013 decision by the Constitutional Council came to declare that any sanction proceedings before ARCEP unconstitutional, because of objective procedural partialité, thus causing difficulty to the regulator.

It took until the 0rdonnance of March 12, 2014 and finally the decree of 1st August 2014 to organize an efficient sanctions procedure, making this time an intern wall within the ARCEP between the services responsible for the instruction and those which are responsible for judging.

The great judge Pierre Drai used to say: "Ne pas respecter le droit coûte cher (Do not respect the law is expensive)".

We see here that this is true also for the Government which writes laws and regulations. So, for months, the regulator has been without power, to the delight of the operators, who often are tacticians or turbulent.

Aug. 1, 2014

Thesaurus : 03. Décrets, réglements et arrêtés

July 27, 2014