On December 9, 2016 the “Law Regarding Transparency, the Fight Against Corruption and the Modernization of Economic Life” or Sapin II, completed its long journey from first proposal in July 2015 to the statute books. The shortcomings of pre-Sapin II French law were plain to see and attracted more than a little criticism and resulted in some notable failures to secure convictions in seemingly clear cases. Michel Sapin said when presenting the bill that: “In the fight against corruption, France cannot just satisfy itself with the existing situation”.
Sapin II brings French laws into alignment with those existing in countries such as the US and UK. This will now enable French authorities to exert jurisdictional claims in cases of overseas corruption with a French connection.
Sapin II will also have implications for any internal investigations into suspected corporate bribery. Sapin II expands jurisdiction to the conduct of all French citizens and to persons of any nationality resident in France. This will increase the amount of both internal and external investigations.
We can now expect to see greater coordination with French authorities when overseas regulators look to prosecute French companies.
Read FRA’s Simon Taylor and Yousr Khalil’s full article in the FCPA blog.