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Compliance and Regulation Law Glossary

Regulation presupposes that we move from a political conception of Act (that is to say a collective Decision expressed by the State) or a civilist one (that is, a will expressed by one or several individuals in one Contract) to an economic vision of trading organizations whose action is the expression of the market. If one relies on the adjustment of supply and demand, that is to say, the meeting of desires and interests, there will be "self-regulation", which is the "Law of the Market ", referring to competition law. The act of the operators is only a reflection of this law, in action.

La Régulation est alors plus complexe car elle vise autre chose que cette rationalité mécanique, soit en raison d’une défaillance du marché (par exemple en cas de monopole naturel) soit parce qu’on veut obtenir plus que ce que le marché peut donner (par ex. l’accès de tous à des biens communs, comme la santé, même pour des demandeurs insolvables). Dans ce cas, sont élaborées des règlementations, interventions ex ante désignées en anglais par le terme regulation. La règlementation est adéquate si elle incite des agents économiques à adopter des comportements qui concrétisent le but recherché par l’auteur de la règlementation.

Regulation is then more complex because it aims at something other than this mechanical rationality, either because of a market failure (for example in the case of a natural monopoly) or because it wants to obtain more than the market can give ( Eg access to common goods by all, such as health, even for insolvent claimants). In this case, regulations are drawn up, ex ante intervention. The regulation is adequate if it encourages economic agents to adopt behaviors that concretize the aim sought by the author of the regulatory mechanisms.

This strategic use of law then requires the necessary detour through the economic analysis of law, that is to say the analysis of law in its economic effects.

This discipline created in the United States by Ronald Coase (Nobel Prize for Economics in 1991) can be merely descriptive and reveal what economic effects the law produced. This conception, which is that of Richard Posner, makes the economic analysis of law an instrument of expertise for the political decision-maker, who can take this into account if it is necessary to modify the rules. A more radical conception of the so-called "normative economic analysis of law" is to argue that the conclusions of the analysis would oblige the decision-maker to follow it.

The issue is decisive because in the first case the law and the jurists - in particular the Legislator and the judge - still have an autonomous existence, in the second case they no longer exist, they are no more than the binding and explicit form of the "Law of the market" whose nature is a-legal.

Even in its descriptive form, economic analysis of the law is generally rejected in France in that it disregards the role of the law in that it carries moral values. It is in reality to ignore its merely descriptive, instructive and useful function, and the fact that it opens instead the amplitude of the rational choice offered to political decision-makers. Moreover, regulation is not only a technical discipline, it is also a political and philosophical issue. Descriptive economic analysis is more appropriate to it than normative economic analysis of the law, which claims to vassalize or even destroy other disciplines, which are substantially unknown.

Links : Europe

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Complete reference : Manent, Pierre, Histoire intellectuelle du libéralisme, Calmann-Lévy, Paris, 1987 ; reprint, coll. "Pluriel", Fayard, 2012.

Read the coverback (in French).

Read the summary (in French).

Read the foreword (in French).

Compliance and Regulation Law Glossary

Links : United States of America

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Compliance and Regulation Law Glossary

The concept of 'agency', sometimes confused with the one of 'Regulator', designates a way of deconcentrating the State. Away from a Jacobin outlook, states have indeed gradually devolved their sovereign responsibilities to other institutions, which are often geographically distant from the state's political capital city. These agencies are a form of technical decentralization because they are in charge of operational tasks and specific expertise, e.g., as regards employment, environment or health issues. This model, which is very common in Scandinavian countries, is often associated with federal outlooks, like in the United States. It is still fairly remote to the French model that remains to this day built on the idea of a centralized state. So far, France has only developed a few agencies (e.g., France Trésor, tasked with managing France's government debt and cash positions, or the Regional Health Agencies).

In a different perspective, although the two notions are homonyms, the American financial theory developed the notion of 'agency' to describe the relationship between the corporate officer (the agent) and the shareholder (the principal), who empowers the first to act on his behalf to serve his interest. Information asymmetry and conflict of interest mark this relationship, which explains that this theory helped developing multiple safeguards, conveyed by the Financial Regulation.

Compliance and Regulation Law Glossary

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Complete reference : BRAUDEL, Fernand, La Dynamique du capitalisme, Arthaud, 1985, reprint. Flammarion 1989, Paris, 107 p.

Read the coverback (in French).

Read the table of content (in French).

Links : France


The Conseil constitutionnel (French Constitutional Council)  was established by the Constitution of the French Fifth Republic, dated 4 October 1958. It is a court with a variety of missions, including compliance control of the law to the Constitution.

It operates a priori control of French laws but also a post-control of laws since 2008.

The French Constitutional Council regularly makes important decisions on Regulation.

Thesaurus : Texts

Dec. 13, 2018

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Nov. 15, 2018

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April 12, 2018

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March 2, 2018

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Feb. 4, 2018

Translated Summaries : Isolated Articles

Jan. 18, 2018

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Dec. 20, 2017

Releases : I. Isolated Articles

Sept. 11, 2017

Breaking news

The nature of virtual currency remains uncertain. In any case, the object is very attractive, in particular because its nature, presented as "new", implies that its handling is not regulated.

This allows, in particular for individuals or start up, to issue "tokens" to offer them in exchange of funds, by the "initial coin offerings (ICOs)" technic, tokens acquired by investors, without being banking institutions, or borrowing money , nor issuing capital securities.

Operators demand that this behavior be recognized in its novelty and be recognized as being governed only by the contract and the general principles of loyalty, commitment and information, because what it is not prohibited is permitted while what is not regulated is freely organized by the parties who consent to it.

As media report, the Banking Regulator of China, has just decided otherwise. It has decided that the fundraising by individuals or companies by means of virtual currency will now be banned.

The question is whether other Regulatory Authorities could do the same.

Read below.

Sept. 6, 2017

Breaking news

Regulation of the digital world, we agree on its necessity, we talk about it a lot but it is difficult to do it.

The stakes are multiple: management of innovation, protection of people, treatment of different sorts of powers, future of the human being, the Politics and the Judge being like a bullet that ricochets between these 4 subjects.

It then rediscovers that the first "regulators" are the Governments and that the first modality of the Regulation Law  is the taxation.

Notably in the digital field and even more so in the face of GAFA.

Indeed, the 4 American companies, Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, admit the need for rules but propose self-regulation or co-regulation. These would include not only their own behavior, but also those of others, including the fight against terrorism. Maybe, when one is stronger than the States, he should substitute himself for their core business....

Undoubtedly being dispossessed of the regalian, Europe today demands "accounts" to the GAFA in the literal sense of the term. Indeed, the French and German governments will table in September a tax proposal specific to the GAFA, the fruit of which will come back to the countries where they earn their income.

Concerned companies replied that in the tax system everyone has the right to be skilled and to organize at the best, so long as one does not fall into the abuse. In accordance with this legal conception, the French administrative high Court (Conseil d’État) has just recalled it in an important decision to their benefit.

In August 2017, the French Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Lemaire, justified  the reiteration of his will to tax them, raising this issue at European level in the name of "distributive justice", the Law being defined as what gives everyone his share. This is a strong but dangerous argument, for while it is true that in the very function of taxation, correlated with public finances, the redistributive function is essential, tax optimization becomes staggering.

In a more convincing and regulatory way, this measure of equity is presented as correlated to the construction of the European digital market. It is an economic conception. To the extent that European taxation is still embryonic, its link with such a construction would make it possible to see in vivo the strength of the tax tool in Regulation Law, more than ever distant from Competition Law.

It is in this context, and because the European Digital Market must be built at forceps, since the GAFA will benefit from it, but also must participate in its construction, that such an investment sharing is justified.

Sept. 4, 2017

Breaking news

The Internet has created an area of freedom, even libertarian space.

The flood of words is sometimes hateful. Never mind. This would be the price of freedom: it corresponds to the project of those who conceived the Internet, the places of expression and creation, even the worst, and the political and legal culture of the United States, a system in which the freedom of expression has constitutional value.

This in particular allows for the development of ideas spreading so-called "neo-Nazi" thinking, as the Stormfront site has been doing for years.

On August 25, 2017, the private company, Network Solutions that hosts the site and provides it with the domain name terminated hosting and deleted the domain name.

The host also banned the web master from rebuilding the site or transferring it in any way.

This case gives rise to a debate on the rise of extremists in the United States on the one hand and the limit of freedom of expression on the other.

What is here to be noted is the power of a web host in the matter.


At first glance, a private company does not have to make the police, let alone morality, and to remove the use of a domain name, that is to "kill" a site. But it must be taken into account that three years had passed and that this site, the basis of future events of KKK, prospered.

The manager who made the decision found it necessary to justify himself, as a Regulatory Authority would have done, giving grounds for a sanction decision, even though he can avail himself of the general conditions of use that are accepted by the entities that create and operate the sites.

Read more below.