COMPETITION • FRENCH LAW • PROCEDURE
An appeal in cassation may be lodged against the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal within one month of its notification (Commercial Code, Art. L. 464-8, para. 4). The appeal is only open to the parties to the proceedings before the Court of Appeal. This is the case in particular for the “voluntary intervener”. On the other hand, an undertaking that participates in an agreement may not pursue an incidental appeal relying on the cassation decision in favor of another undertaking, as the existence of an identical finding of an agreement does not constitute an indivisibility that would allow it to rely on the cassation decision. The Minister of the Economy may in any event appeal against the judgment handed down by the Paris Court of Appeal. The Competition Authority may also appeal against decisions of the Paris Court of Appeal that overturn or annul its decisions.
All Court of Appeal rulings without exception may be appealed to the Commercial Chamber of the Court of Cassation. The appeal may only relate to the pleas set out previously in the notice of appeal. Under Article 619 of the Code of Civil Procedure, new pleas are not admissible before the Court of Cassation, unless they are purely grounds of law or arise from the challenged decision. The Court of Cassation must respect the principle of adversarial proceedings. For this reason, the European Court of Human Rights has considered that the first part of the report of the reporting judge (conseiller-rapporteur) submitted to the Advocate General of the Court of Cassation must be communicated to the parties or is in violation of Article 6 ECHR.
The review by the Court of Cassation concerns the application of procedural and substantive rules. In the event of a referral back after cassation, the Paris Court of Appeal, which has exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases involving anticompetitive practices, re-hears the case but with a different bench of judges.