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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 […]

France: Compensation of Victims of French Nuclear Testing

(July 8, 2009) On June 30, 2009, the French National Assembly adopted a draft law on the compensation of victims of French nuclear testing (Projet de loi relative à la reconnaissance et à l'indemnisation des victimes des essais nucléaires français, 30 juin 2009, Assemblée Nationale website, available at http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/ta/ta0308.asp). The draft law provides for the […]

France: Law on Favoring Diffusion and Protection of Internet Creations

(July 6, 2009) Law 2009-669 of June 12, 2009, on Favoring the Diffusion and Protection of Creations on the Internet, also known as the HADOPI Law, was published in the Journal Officiel, France's official gazette, on June 13, 2009, and came into effect that day. (Loi 2009-669 du 12 juin 2009 favorisant la diffusion et […]

France: Creation of Commission to Study Wearing of Burqa

(July 2, 2009) On June 23, 2009, the Presidents' Conference of the National Assembly, which comprises all the presidents of that body's political groups, upon the proposal of the President of the National Assembly created a commission to study the wearing of the burqa or niqab in French territory. The decision was unanimous. (Assemblée Nationale, […]

France; Switzerland: Exchange of Bank Information for Tax Purposes

(June 25, 2009) On June 12, 2009, France and Switzerland agreed to amend their existing bilateral tax treaty by adding a provision that allows the exchange of bank information for tax purposes, bringing the treaty up to the standard of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Model Tax Convention (OECD, Centre for Tax […]

France: Constitutional Council Validates Audiovisual Reform

(May 22, 2009) Law 2009-257, on the appointment of the presidents of the companies France Televisions, Radio France, and the Company Tasked with External Audiovisual [Communications], and Law 2009-258, relating to audiovisual services and the new television public services, both dated March 5, 2009, extensively reformed the status of public audiovisual communication in France. The […]

France: EU Directives on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Transposed

(Mar. 5, 2009) The French government recently issued Ordinance 2009-104 of January 30, 2009, which transposes into national law the EU Directive on the Prevention of the Use of the Financial System for the Purpose of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, known as the “third money laundering directive,” and the EU Directive that implements it […]