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International Cooperation

France supports full enforcement of the UNCAC asset recovery provisions, and commits to strengthen its asset recovery legislation, including through the developing of internationally endorsed guidelines for the transparent and accountable management of returned stolen assets.

Country: France

Status: ongoing

Themes: Asset recovery

Last updated: April 2020

Classification:

Concrete: Somewhat Concrete | New: New | Ambitious: Ambitious

  • 3 Notes:

    The French government committed to passing the asset recovery bill by the end of 2019, yet the bill is with Assemblée nationale since May 2019. Right after the adoption of this bill, the French government publicly committed to engage and support such a reform by tasking two MPs to explore the best legal and budgetary options to responsibly return stolen assets to their countries of origin. The MPs released a report on November 2019 in which they propose to task the French Agency for Development to manage the restitution process in a transparent and accountable manner. The government has still not implemented this proposal into a law.

    Peer reviewer: 1

    Updated: April 30, 2020

    On May 2019, the French Senate adopted at first reading, almost unanimously, a law proposal on responsible assets repatriation. On June 2019, the French government mandated to MPs to lead a mission assessing the feasible legal and budgetary options to repatriate stolen assets in France. French government committed to passing a law allowing for responsible asset restitution before the end of the year 2019.019. Peer reviewer: Earlier this month, the French Senate agreed on a new asset forfeiture bill that would address this problem by amending existing law so that when a French court orders the forfeiture of the illicit assets of a foreign public official or other politically exposed person (PEP), those assets, rather than being forfeited to the State, would instead go into a special fund that seeks to improve living standards of victim populations, improve the rule of law, and fight against corruption in the country where the offenses took place. (The state would, however, be able to retain a portion of the assets, up to a specified limit, to cover the costs of bringing the case in the first place.) Under the proposed bill, assets would be forfeited to the French state only in those cases where it is “absolutely impossible” to return the assets to the victim populations.

    Peer reviewer: 1

    Updated: October 30, 2019

France's Commitments
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