On 9 November 2004, the Criminal Division of the Cour de cassation
rendered a decision on economic discrimination. A French firm
had accepted to certify, within the framework of a documentary credit, that
the goods sold to another firm established in the United Arab Emirates had no
Israeli origin and would not be transported via Israel or by an Israeli company.
Those documents had been signed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The
Court considered that the French firm did not commit any discrimination with
respect to the certification of the goods’ origin. But it judged that
the document relating to the goods’ transport constituted a discrimination.
On 18 October 2004, M Canivet, the first President of the Cour de cassation,
passed the report on the relationship between industrialists and supermarket
distribution to Mr Sarkozy, the then Finance Minister. The purpose
of this report is to limit the price of household goods.
On 5 October 2004, the ECJ condemned the French legislation prohibiting remuneration
of sight accounts on the grounds that it constituted a restriction to the freedom
of establishment and to the activity of the other Member States’
company subsidiaries set up in France.
On 11 February 2004, the Commercial section of the Cour de cassation held that
the spouse of a person registered as commerçant cannot be included in
insolvency proceedings against his/her spouse.
A government paper on insolvency has been published (www.justice.gouv.fr).
This is the first step towards a major reform of French insolvency law, expected
for 2004. The government paper extends insolvency proceedings to free-lance
professions (“professions liberals”). It is also suggested in the
paper that judicial administration could occur when insolvency is anticipated
in the short term (before it actually takes place). A simplified procedure
(up to a maximum of one year) is finally envisaged for simple cases.