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La société d’avocats Damy

La Société d'avocats Damy à Nice assure une prestation de haut niveau, de la consultation d’un avocat à la représentation en justice. Les avocats du cabinet sont compétents en droit des affaires, des sociétés, droit immobilier, droit bancaire, droit social, droit des victimes et cas de dommages corporels. Membre de l’Association des avocats praticiens en droit social, Maître Grégory Damy dispose de certificats de spécialisation.  

The abuse of corporate property is a violation of the law on commercial companies. Consequently, the reference text is not the Penal Code but the Commercial Code, which in a full title devoted to criminal provisions, is equivalent to a genuine Penal Code for commercial companies.

The problem is complex because the leader is not always aware of the illicit nature of his or her behaviour, since the abuse of social goods is considered by the social body to be an artificial offence. That is why the intervention of the criminal judge in the business world is delicate. However, a moralization of business life is necessary, because corporate leaders may be led to give in to certain temptations to which they are exposed by the administration of society.

In particular, there may be confusion between personal and social heritage. This behaviour must therefore remain a criminal offence. Its seriousness in the light of business life precludes any idea of decriminalisation. This is an offence which raises concerns with regard to its definition because the terms of the law are insufficiently precise (*). Thus, the abuse of social goods is a formidable weapon against economic and financial crime. It even seems that judges tend to take advantage of this situation to take some liberties with the main foundations of the criminal case and in particular with the principle of legality, which is the keystone of French criminal law.

The new Penal Code enshrined the principle that criminal law is strictly interpreted (2). However, when it comes to the abuse of social goods, extensive interpretation tends to become the rule. Although the objective is laudable, the method is highly questionable because it is up to the legislator to intervene to create clear and precise texts in the name of the principle of legality. The judge cannot be asked to replace the legislator.

Download the article published in "the palace gazette" in pdf format