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France: Law on the Fight Against Corruption

(Dec. 2, 2007) Law 2007-1598 of November 13, 2007, on the Fight Against Corruption amends the Penal Code to bring it into conformity with the 1999 Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and the 2003 United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The Law punishes any public official who engages in corruption, including public officials from foreign states and officials from public international organizations. Under the previous legislation, foreign officials were only punished when the corruption was committed within the framework of international trade. The Law also criminalizes trading in influence, stating that both the public officials and the original instigators may be prosecuted. The Law also punishes obstruction of justice designed to interfere with foreign and international judicial systems.

Finally, the Law provides for additional penalties when the offenses described above are committed by legal entities. It amends the Labor Code to include provisions protecting employees who report or testify about acts of corruption that take place at their companies. (Loi 2007-1598 du 13 novembre 2007 relative a la lutte contre la corruption, JOURNAL OFFICIEL [Official Gazette of France], Nov. 14, 2007, at 18648.)