In two important judgments, the European Court of Human Rights has partially invalidated the search and seizures procedure implemented under Article L. 450-4 of the French Commercial Code. In both cases the companies Canal Plus (Groupe Canal Plus and Sport Plus) and Primagaz challenged the lawfulness of court orders authorising the search of their premises and the seizure of documents. According to the procedure applicable at the time of the facts, the order giving authorisation was only able to be appealed to the Court of Cassation. The European Court has condemned this review mechanism and has transposed to competition cases its famous Ravon remedy - where a virtually identical review process was invalidated in respect of raids in tax cases (ECHR, 21 Feb. 2008, Case n° 18497/03,
The EU Court of Human Rights rules against the French search and seizure procedure before the 2008 reform, including the transitional system (Canal +) (Primagaz)
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