Overseas Chambers of Peter Harris

Maison de la Boucterie
Rue de la Boucterie
Saint Saviour
Jersey, JE2 7ZW

C'est la Terreur par erreur: despite the Conseil d'Etat juge des référés suspending the public consultation of the French Trust register.

July 27th 2016

Enfin c'est la terreur administrative avec expropriation illégale....

sic: "Un trust, c'est un contrat privé : on fait ce que l'on veut. C'est ce que l'on appelle, en droit, l'autonomie de la volonté."

Cette "définition" lapidaire incohérente proférée par une avocate incompétente dans la matière est la source de cette erreur. Si un trust peut être défini juridiquement en Français sans fraude sur la loi étrangère, on n'aurait pas besoin de la Convention de la Haye pour permettre la résolution de cette incohérence de compréhension.  Le chaos vient de telles erreurs délibérément publiées pour promouvoir une cause.

C'est alors la terreur par erreur. Un trust n'est pas un contrat privé messieurs les députés et sénateurs bien que Maître Claude Dumont Beghi ait affirmé le contraire sans confession d'incompétence et sous serment, pardevant vous à risque d'une procédure pénale pour affirmation fausse devant le parlement. Enfin: revenant à la langue des trusts pour éviter des lacunes de traduction et, apparament, de compréhension. Le chaos ne vient que de votre incapacité d'apprécier une réalité juridique et économique que vous ne maitrisez point.

Ceux qui  trouvent ceci bizarre - oui le mot est prononcé - devraient lire plus attentivement les travaux préparatoires de la Convention de la Haye de 1985, qui affiment que le trust est une créature de la loi de propriété et n'est alors pas un contrat privé provenant de l'imagination surmenée d'une avocate française, ni des fonctionnaires frustrés par la décision du tribunal de Nanterre dans l'affaire Poillot en 2004. En gros, si la perception du trust n'existe pas, ne faudrait-il pas l'inventer?

Following a decision of the juge des référés of the Conseil d'Etat, The Register of Trusts open to online consultation since 5th July is no longer available to the French tax paying public: any French taxpayer with online filing references could consult it prior to this embargo.  Given the French penchant for underdeclaration, one can hardly call this a threshold of propriety.

N.b. The initial French proposal was to anticipate the EU Directive in allowing access only to certain categories of person from the public to access the Register such as investigative journalists etc, with a modicum of a public interest element to avoid kidnapping issues etc.  The point of the Council of Ministers' subsequent rejection of the admission to public scrutiny was that the information provided on such registers was designed to be made available to government departments and agencies in order to enable those organs to fulfill their  respective rôles. My comment is even the Frech Registers' current position goes far beyond even the EU 4th Money Laundering Directive's attempts to secure snooper's access to trust information.

The juge des référés du Conseil d'Etat referred the constitutionality of the  implementing provisions of article 1649AB to the Conseil constitutionnel.

The Public Register of Trusts is not even in compliance with the proposal for a Public Register of Trusts which the European Parliament slipped in at the last minute in the 4th Money Laundering Directive. There is no longer a "legitimate interest" watershed. That proposal was rejected by the Council of Minsters as disproportionate. The EU Commission is now preparing a proposition to reinsert such a proposal.  Doubtless encouraged by Pierre Moscovici;  in turn egged on by the French Green contingent in the European Parliament.  The dirty trick of using last minute amendments in Parliamentary proposals to secure a minority change in a law is an offence to that Institution's status.

The judge noted that the provision gave any person entirely free access to the information contained on on the Register  who was in possession of a fiscal identity reference who followed the elementary fixed identification procedure for access to DGFIP services on line.

These included the identity of beneficiaries of the trusts.

The judge found that there was  a serious argument that the free access to the personal data was a disproportionate breach of the right to respect of the private life of the individual guaranteed by article 2 of the Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen.

The judge also suspended the execution of the décret of 10th May 2016 which sets down the consultation procedure on an interim basis awaiting decision of the  Conseil constitutionnel within three months and also the decision of the Conseil d'Etat on the case.

Whilst any individual looking at this trans-border and trans institiutionalised organised farce might wonder why the Conseil Constitutionel or the Conseil d'Etat have not been seized with the more fundamental issue of the breach of confidentiality implicit in the abusive publication of information given on a tax return prior to 2013 and thereafter to a tax administration in good faith and in reliance upon that duty of confidentiality; that is merely an absence of any procedural right to do so . Tom Stoppard's "Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are dead" is appropriate light relief reading for this type of trans institutional and trans-border backstage "noise off", provided that you use the French language translation  in which the effective script of this assault on English law is rewritten.

The Emperor's New Clothes now being total transparency through the distorting lens of French administrative and legal incompétence - I use the term in its French sense- perhaps a dose of reality and self-assessment is needed at the French administrative level?

Unfortunately, the attempt made to insert the Trust into the continental perceptions of monetising assets is spreading to Brussels, where the EU Commission's is proposing an amendment to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive to predicate a public register of trusts as a matter of principle, on the basis of course that it is a form of contract as opposed to a property issue. The trust is a fundamental part of the law of English real property, and it is singularly disproportionate and innappropriate to associate it with a money laundering vehicle unless where there is a corporate holding.

How the British economy and its approach to money is to address this ridiculous idea is becoming a test of our notions of property and of the monetisation of assets within our currency "jurisdiction".  We are in  danger of allowing a fundamental part of our property law to be effectively outlawed by jurisdictions who simply do not understand it and who have made it their intent to denigrate and to destroy. There is no point in having  a Ministry of Justice or for that matter a Lord Chancellor who is incapable of defending our legal heritage and system of property rights, other than for political advantage.

The United Kingdom Government will need to be very aware of this issue in any Brexit negotiations and take steps to ensure that the English law trust, and those depending upon it, is considered as a property law concept, and insist upon that rather than simply treating this  frolick by the French and now by Europe to make it into something else as misguided continental innocence lost in translation.

Whence la Terreur ...France is no longer a State within which what is internationally recognised as the rule of law applies.  This is no longer tax law as such. Perhaps ENA should issue a tricoleur sash, a cocked hat and a tricoleur rosette with every diploma, coupled with a portable guillotine?