Compliance in companies is a very current topic. In its judgment of 17 July 2009 (ref. 5 Tax Amendment Law 394/08), the German Federal High Court of Justice sentenced the director of a legal department and audit to a fine for conspiracy to fraud by omission. In its judgment the court explicitly mentions the compliance officer of the company whose area of responsibility was the prevention of statutory violation, in particular of offences which are committed by the company. The area of responsibility of a compliance officer is interpreted quite broadly by the German Federal High Court of Justice. He is expected to advocate that no offences are committed in the company. In particular the fact that the compliance officer is part of the company itself makes it necessary in difficult questions that they are verified by external experts. Also in the training of employees it is often useful that the compliance department here draws on external support.
In this field of activity, which can generally also be called preventive counselling of companies on criminal law, there are not only substantial links to the fields of criminal law on corruption, but also to general commercial criminal law, insolvency criminal law, labour criminal law and criminal law in relation to tax offences..