"The obligation to pay relates to the amount by which the Constitutional Council has found the ceiling to have been exceeded. This would appear to show that it is in the nature of a payment to the community of the sum of which the candidate in question improperly took advantage to seek the votes of his fellow citizens and that it too forms part of the measures designed to ensure the proper conduct of parliamentary elections and, in particular, equality of the candidates. Furthermore, apart from the fact that the amount payable is neither determined according to a fixed scale nor set in advance, several features differentiate this obligation to pay from criminal fines in the strict sense: no entry is made in the criminal record, the rule that consecutive sentences are not imposed in respect of multiple offences does not apply, and imprisonment is not available to sanction failure to pay. In view of its nature, the obligation to pay the Treasury a sum equal to the amount of the excess cannot be construed as a fine."
CoE (ECHR): Case of Pierre-Bloch v. France, par. 58

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Case of Pierre-Bloch v. France