Press review
11 February 2022

Press review – Week of 07 February 2022

The press review covers all the latest court rulings and new regulations on different branches of law, as well as events that have been in the legal news in recent days.


#Anti-Money Laundering: Cryptocurrencies and the risk of money laundering

There is a theoretical transparency in cryptocurrencies and especially in the context of a transaction. However, it is impossible to know the identity of the person of his co-contractors. Therefore, due to the inherent characteristics of cryptocurrencies, they are subject to money laundering. > Read article


#Banking, financial and financial market enforcement: Obstacles to AMF investigations and non bis in idem

The Constitutional Council declared unconstitutional art. L. 642-2 II f) relating to the administrative sanction imposed on any person who hinders the investigations and controls of the AMF (Cons. const., Jan. 28, 2022, n° 2021-965 QPC). Indeed, there is here a violation of the principle of necessity of offenses and penalties since Art. L. 621-15 II f) establishes an administrative sanction imposed by the AMF in case of obstruction of the controls of the said authority. Consequently, there is an accumulation of administrative and criminal sanctions for the same facts and which protect the same corporate interests, which is contrary to the principle of non bis in idem. > Read article


#Internal investigation: Impacts of the attorney-client privilege reform on white-collar practice

On 22 December 2021, Law n° 2021-1729 for confidence in the judicial institution was enacted. Following the initiative of the Minister of Justice , this Law has been the subject of several controversies concerning the attorney-client privilege. > Read article


#White Collar Crime: Criminal responsibility law and internal security: you shall not intoxicate yourself

Law 2022-52 of January 24, 2022 on criminal responsibility and internal security was published in the Journal officiel of January 25, 2022. This law is a continuation of the Sarah Halimi case in which Kobili Traoré was found guilty of aggravated murder. Nevertheless, he was held not criminally responsible because of his voluntary consumption of drugs which had abolished his discernment (Cass. crim., April 14, 2021, n° 20-80.135). The law thus aims at limiting the lack of criminal responsibility in case of mental disorder following a voluntary intoxication of psychoactive substance. > Read article


#Criminal Law: Appeal of the indictlent order: new way open to the civil claimant

Under the terms of article 386-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the civil party may, according to a new interpretation, appeal the order of referral to the Correctional Court not only when it considers that the facts have been wrongly corrected, but also in the event of referral ordered by the Court of Assize for a related offence. > Read article


#Criminal Law: How to assess the reasonable duration of a pre-trial detention?

In a decision dated January 19, 2022, the Criminal Division of the Court of Cassation reviewed the various criteria for assessing the reasonableness of pre-trial detention. In this case, the applicant argued that the length of her pre-trial detention was excessive (four years and eight months), and that she should be given the opportunity to be tried within a reasonable time or released during the proceedings. The judges considered that the duration of her pre-trial detention was not excessive, recalling that the assessment of such a period depends on the concrete circumstances of the case. Indeed, the nature of the dispute, the complexity of the facts and the procedure, but also the stakes for the applicant had to be taken into consideration. Finally, it specified that, in order to assess the reasonableness of the pre-trial detention, the duration of deprivation of liberty suffered abroad should not be taken into account. > Read article


#White Collar Crime: Criminal liability and unintentional homicide: clarification of the constitution of the characterized fault

In a decision dated February 8, the Court of Cassation clarified the criminal liability of an employer following the death of his employee (Cass. crim., February 8, 2022, n° 21-83.708). In principle, the employer is only liable in the event of a manifestly deliberate violation of a particular duty of care or safety provided for by law or regulation.  Nevertheless, the Court considers that criminal liability may be incurred for characterized fault. Such a fault is constituted here by the sole failure having resulted in exposing others to a risk of particular gravity that could not be ignored.


#Data Protection and privacy : Advertising cookies: Google definitively ordered to pay €100 million

The French Council of State today confirmed two fines totalling 100 million euros imposed by the CNIL against Google. The Conseil d’État found that Google had not complied with its obligations to obtain the consent of its users for the deposit of cookies. It ruled that the fines imposed by the CNIL were not disproportionate for Google, particularly in view of the significant profits generated by advertising cookies. > Read article


#Data Protection and privacy: 2021, “a record year” for the CNIL’s repressive action

The Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) monitors and controls the use of information technology to ensure compliance with French legislation. In addition, it has the power to impose financial penalties on recalcitrant individuals. In 2021, it has signed a record year since the fines have reached a total of 214 million euros. > Read article


#Dispute resolution & regulatory investigations: CNIL imposes the largest sanctions in its history on Facebook and Google

CNIL issued the largest fines in its history against Facebook and Google for infringements of the existing regulations on cookies. > Read article


#Cybersecurity & computerised fraud and protection of business secrecy: Fake hacking of the Ministry of Justice, real computer attack against a firm

A computer attack has set off alarm at the Ministry of Justice, as confidential information has been leaked. However, after verification, it was established that the hacking did not affect the ministry but targeted a law firm in Normandy. > Read article


#White Collar Crime: Sankara trial in Burkina Faso: 30 years in prison for former president Blaise Compaoré

The military prosecution requested a sentence of 30 years in prison for the former president of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré, accused and judged “in absentia” in the trial for the assassination of Thomas Sankara, president of the country between 1984 and 1987. The trial, which is being held at the Ouagadougou Military Court, resumed on February 2 after a two-day interruption at the request of the civil party, due to the suspension of the Constitution following the coup d’état which shook the country on January 24. > Read article


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