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Penalties

Individuals
What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by individuals?

For individuals, the principal penalties for corruption offences are imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine of up to €1 million or twice the profits drawn from the offence. There is no clear guidance as to how to assess such a profit (Article 433-1 and 432-11 of the Criminal Code).

The other penalties that can be imposed on individuals are:

  • loss of civic, civil and family rights;
  • disqualification from holding public office or any professional or social activity related to the offence; and
  • prohibition against undertaking industrial or commercial activity, including management functions and confiscation of the profits resulting from the corruption (Article 433-22 of the Criminal Code).

Companies or organisations
What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by companies or organisations?

Concerning companies or organisations, the principal penalty is a fine of up to €5 million for corruption (Articles 433-1, 432-11, 433-25 and 131-38 of the Criminal Code).

Other penalties that can be imposed on companies include:

  • temporary or definitive prohibition against undertaking an activity related to the infringement;
  • judicial supervision;
  • debarment from public tenders; and
  • confiscation of profits related to the offence (Article 433-25 and 131-39 of the Criminal Code).

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