Publication of the new French Financial Prosecutor’s Guidelines on the implementation of the French Deferred Prosecution Agreement
On January 16, the French Financial Prosecutor’s (Parquet national financier – “PNF”) published a new version of its Guidelines on the implementation of the Judicial Convention of Public Interest, (i.e., the French Deferred Prosecution Agreement – “CJIP”).
Aiming to strengthen the transparency, predictability and readability of the CJIP, these Guidelines provide details concerning:
- The manner in which the prosecution assesses the company’s good faith, the latter having to actively participate in the manifestation of the truth by conducting an internal investigation;
- The bargaining terms between the company and the prosecution (for instance, the scope of exchanges’ confidentiality, access to the case files, the consequences in case of bargaining failure, etc.);
- The methods of calculating the public interest fine (amende d’intérêt public), in its two dimensions, both "restitutive" and "afflictive." The Guidelines list the criteria likely to increase or reduce the fine’s amount, as well as their ceilings;
- The validation of the CJIP and its consequences.
These new Guidelines replace a former version, adopted jointly by the PNF and the French Anticorruption Agency on June 27, 2019.