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International Regulatory Enforcement

Human Rights Diligence Catching Up To Anti-Corruption
An April 29 announcement from Didier Reynders, the Commissioner for Justice of the EU may be the final step in elevating human rights due diligence to a business imperative, akin to anti-corruption diligence.
Anti-Corruption and Contractual Relations: Beyond Words, Legal Consequences
Recently, the Court of Cassation had the opportunity to rule on the effectiveness of anti-corruption clauses in contracts and their consequences with regards to the termination of a business relationship between a French subsidiary of a U.S. company and a French company. This decision is rich in concrete lessons regarding the effects of such clauses, too often inserted without their scope being really measured in terms of the rights and obligations they generate for the contracting parties.
COVID-19 and Corruption-Related Risks: High on the International Agenda
As countries around the world grapple with providing quick relief from the COVID-19 pandemic to individuals and companies, many governments have taken a two-pronged response: providing significant public funds while simultaneously implementing regulatory changes aimed at quickly addressing the ongoing crisis. The availability of public funding, combined with changes in the regulatory environment, presents new opportunities for fraud and corruption, and a number of international organizations and enforcement agencies have begun to sound the alarm regarding this rising risk. Their concerns highlight the fact that this new risk environment may be one of the most troubling and unintended (but not unique) consequences of the response of governments around the world to the COVID-19 pandemic. To paraphrase George Santayana (later borrowed by Winston Churchill), “those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”
All Eyes on Me: Practical Tips for Anti-Corruption Compliance In and After a Time of Crisis
Many in-house compliance and legal officers, as well as others in gatekeeper roles with compliance responsibilities, are balancing increasing scrutiny with decreasing resources as they navigate unprecedented crises and find a path toward a new, post-crisis normal. Others may find their resources unchanged, but their compliance programs and plans may no longer be well-tailored to their company’s risk profile if the company has radically changed operations or business models. We offer some practical questions to ask and tips to consider when confronting peak crisis mode and charting the course forward.
French Anticorruption Agency Issues Detailed New Guidelines for Compliance with Sapin II
The new French Anticorruption Agency recently issued a set of guidelines detailing the agency’s expectations for corporate compliance programs. The guidelines, which are not legally binding but are required by France’s Sapin II law, provide public and private commercial organizations with a framework for ensuring that their compliance programs adequately protect the organizations from corruption-related risks. The guidelines are also intended to help certain commercial organizations meet the statutory requirements of Article 17 of Sapin II, which requires certain French companies to adopt identified compliance program requirements. The AFA Guidelines are far more detailed than similar anticorruption compliance guidance documents issued by U.S. and U.K. authorities. Although many multinationals may have implemented compliance programs based on international best practices previously highlighted by the U.S., the U.K., and other authorities, such companies may wish to revisit elements of those programs in light of the AFA’s most recent guidance.
DOJ May Rely on FCPA Policy in Resolving Securities and Financial Fraud Cases
On March 1, 2018, senior DOJ representatives stated that the DOJ will use the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Corporate Enforcement Policy as nonbinding guidance in non-FCPA criminal cases. This potential shift in approach could impact a corporation's determination as to whether, and how, to cooperate with the DOJ in criminal fraud investigations.
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