France has been for a long time lagging behind on the field of anti-corruption laws.
In 2012, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development raised serious concerns regarding the lack of bribery convictions in France, and stated that France should intensify its efforts to combat the corruption.
This is about to change radically: France has just started examining new draft legislation on the fight against corruption. Discussions before the French Parliament are expected to begin in April 2016, but one could already understand that this is going to be a milestone event in the French history of anti-corruption laws. And a legal revolution.
The draft legislation, which has not been publicised yet, is about to be presented to the French State Council (Conseil d’Etat) for legal validation. The legislative process will only start afterwards.
- Creation of a proper anti-corruption national agency
- Mandatory requirement of implementation of a compliance program
- The implementation of “Sunshine” requirements all across the board: the publication of links of interests with lobbyists
- A true legal status for whistle-blowers
- Possibility of signing off-setting agreements in case of prosecution
- A dissuasive fining arsenal
- Applicability of the French law to bribery offence committed in foreign countries
In any case, a real legal revolution seems to be underway in France. The French Bribery Act will be a major piece of international anti-corruption legislation in 2016.