chapter  15
20 Pages

France

ByCatherine Elliott

This chapter examines that the Cour de cassation will normally only impose corporate liability where the prosecution can identify one or more culpable individuals within the corporate organ. Firstly, a crime must have been committed by a principal offender; secondly, there must have been an act of complicity; and thirdly the accomplice must have the requisite mens rea. If the principal offence has been committed in France, it does not matter that the act of complicity has been committed in another country, it is punishable in France. Thus, acts carried out after the principal offence has been committed do not give rise to secondary party liability. There are many similarities between English and French law on the criminal liability of accomplices. This is partly because both systems have the same starting point: that liability of the accomplice is dependent on the existence of a principal offence and the accomplice is equally liable as the principal offender.