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France: Constitutional Council Invalidates Carbon Tax

(Jan. 5, 2010) On December 29, 2009, France's Constitutional Council, which ensures the constitutionality of laws prior to their promulgation by the President of the Republic, invalidated the carbon tax set forth in article 7 of the draft 2010 Finance Law. The tax on carbon-emitting products was scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2010, […]

France: Google Infringes Copyright Law in Scanning Excerpts of Books Without Authorization

(Jan. 5, 2010) On December 18, 2009, the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance (Court of General Competence) ruled that Google has infringed French copyright law by digitalizing and publishing online excerpts of French books without the authorization of the rights' owners. (TGI Paris, 3eme, 2eme, 18-12-2009, nº 09/00540, Société Editions du Seuil SAS c/ Société […]

France: Tax on Bankers’ Bonuses

(Jan. 5, 2010) On December 16, 2009, following a Council of Ministers meeting, Christine Lagarde, the French Minister of Economy and Finances, announced that any bonuses above €27,500 (about US$39,345) paid to bankers for the year 2009 will be taxed at a rate of 50%. (Lagarde annonce une taxe de 50% sur les bonus des […]

France: Supreme Court Denies Recognition of an Islamic Divorce in France

(Dec. 3, 2009) In a decision rendered on November 4, 2009, the Cour de Cassation, France's Supreme Court for civil and criminal decisions, denied recognition in France of an Islamic divorce obtained in Morocco. The spouses, both citizens of Morocco, were married in Morocco in 1975 and reside in France. The wife filed for divorce […]

France: Compensation of Financial Market Professionals

(Nov. 18, 2009) On November 3, 2009, the Ministry of the Economy, Industry and Employment (MEIE) of France issued a regulation on compensation of financial market professionals, more specifically, on variable compensation, e.g. bonuses. The regulation is in line with decisions made at the G-20 summit. It was published in the JOURNAL OFFICIEL of November […]

France: Measures to Fight Tax Evasion in Connection with Tax Havens

(Oct. 9, 2009) The French government has proposed inserting in the Finance Amendment Law 2009, scheduled for adoption by Parliament at the end of the year, several measures to reinforce its fight against tax evasion in uncooperative tax haven jurisdictions. These measures would apply to countries that at the beginning of 2010 would still be […]

France: Internet Piracy Law

(Oct. 1, 2009) On September 22, 2009, the French Parliament adopted an additional law on Internet piracy to replace a provision of Law 2009-669 of June 12, 2009, on Favoring the Diffusion and the Protection of Creation on the Internet. The earlier provision was found to be unconstitutional by the Constitutional Council. (Projet de loi […]

France: Carbon Tax Plan

(Sept. 21, 2009) On September 10, 2009, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced his government's controversial plan to impose a new “carbon tax” (taxe carbone), to take effect on January 1, 2010, on emissions from fossil fuels such as coal, heating oil, gasoline, and natural gas. The tax, called a climate-energy contribution, is to be stipulated […]

France: Tax Treatment of Two Islamic Finance Instruments

(Sept. 3, 2009) The French Ministry of the Economy recently clarified the tax treatment of two of the main Islamic finance instruments used in France: Murabaha and Sukuk. The term Islamic finance covers all financial transactions and financial products complying with Sharia principles that prohibit, among other activities, charging interest, trading in unethical goods and […]

France; New Zealand: The Government of France Changes Its Position on Returning Preserved Tribal Heads to New Zealand

(July 30, 2009) In recent years, the Government of New Zealand has made concerted efforts to recover preserved Maori heads taken abroad so that they can be returned to the appropriate tribe (iwi) for burial. New Zealand has signed both the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Means of Prohibiting […]