Press review
21 April 2023

Press review – Week of 17 April 2023

In this week’s press review, on the international level, ecocide has been recognized by the European Parliament, the United States Supreme Court authorizes parties under administrative investigations to challenge them directly before Federal courts, and an investigation into the veracity of the United Kingdom Prime Minister’s declaration of interests has been opened. At the national level, the Senator Marc-Philippe Daubresse’s home has been searched as part of an embezzlement investigation, the extension of the maximum duration for investigations into financial crime is envisioned by the Ministry of Justice, the alleged mismanagement of the “Fonds Marianne” in under investigation, and Air France and Airbus have been acquitted in the Rio-Paris crash case.


The European Parliament recognizes ecocide

The Members of the European Parliament have adopted the offense of ecocide into European Union law to fill a legal gap, especially regarding cross-border environmental offenses. The Council, representing the European Union Member States must still approve this offense. This forms part of the revision of the directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of environment through criminal law. This directive leaves it up to the Member States to transpose the new texts into their domestic law. In addition, cross-border cooperation between the various bodies (EUROPOL, European Public Prosecutor’s Office) will be required to address all offenses committed on European territory. > Read article


Supreme Court makes it easier to challenge structure of federal agencies

The United States Supreme Court held that persons subject to administrative investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission could challenge the constitutionality of the proceedings directly in federal court, without having to exhaust administrative remedies. > Read article


United Kingdom: Prime Minister Sunak under investigation over his declaration of interests

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is being investigated over the veracity of his declaration of interests and compliance with the Members of Parliament’s code of conduct concerning shares in a childcare company owned by his wife. The latter benefited from an advantageous tax status in the past, and her childcare company is likely to benefit from new aid. > Read article


Embezzlement: Senator Marc-Philippe Daubresse’s home searched

The home of French LR senator Marc-Philippe Daubresse has been searched as part of an investigation into the use of his mandate expenses. The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office opened the investigation in 2019 following a report by the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life. The alleged misappropriation of funds relating to the use of his parliamentary allowance between 2012 and 2017 amounted to 100,000 euros. > Read article


The Ministry of Justice is considering “softening” the framework of the preliminary investigation for financial crime

The Ministry of Justice plans to relax the duration of the economic crime’s preliminary investigation, which must currently not exceed three years. This modification proposal takes into account issues raised by the courts and investigation services which argued that the complexity of investigating economic and financial offenses makes completing them in the current timeframe challenging. > Read article


“Marianne Fund” against separatism: 4 questions on the case that undermines Marlène Schiappa

Following the revelations about the Marianne Fund aimed at combating separatism, and which subsidies may have been misappropriated, Anne Hidalgo and Mathilde Panot have referred the matter to the Paris prosecutor. This fund, created by Marlène Schiappa, aims to finance associations that fight against separatist discourse, primarily online. However, journalists’ investigations revealed that the association that benefited primarily of the funds used the money to produce content with low engagement and hire two of its ex-directors, in violation with its by-laws. A further investigation also revealed that another beneficiary had no previous known business activity and disseminated political content against Emmanuel Macron’s opponents during the presidential and legislative campaigns. > Read article


Rio-Paris flight crash: Airbus and Air France acquitted

Fourteen years after the deadliest tragedy in the history of Air France, the Paris criminal court acquitted Air France and Airbus, holding there was an insufficient causal link between the errors committed and the accident. The two companies were prosecuted for manslaughter for technical errors. The civil parties argued that these were the direct cause of the accident, not accepting the theory that the pilots were solely at fault. > Read article

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