France

Facies checks: the courts seized of a class action against the State, a first – France



In January, these associations had called on the government to initiate “structural reforms” and “take concrete measures” in order to put an end to these facies checks. The four-month period allowing the authorities to respond having expired, they seized the Council of State on Thursday.

The highest administrative court “then has several ways of proceeding”, explains Me Antoine Lyon-Caen, lawyer who carries the file with My Slim Ben Achour and Alexandra Denis. “It can ask the State what it intends to do, then check whether the proposed responses are satisfactory”, as when it was asked by the municipality of Grande-Synthe on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions . “He can also be more interventionist and draw lines by saying: things must evolve on such and such a point”.

The amended Code of Criminal Procedure?

In their request, the associations demand, in particular, the modification of the Code of Criminal Procedure to “explicitly prohibit discrimination in identity checks” or to make available “to any person checked a proof of check”, on the model of the receipt.

We are identified as a problem factor and it is unbearable

In January 2017, a report by the Defender of Rights concluded that a “young man perceived as black or Arab (…) had a 20 times higher probability” of being controlled than the rest of the population as a whole.

“Today, when you have a skin color that is not white, you are much more controlled (…). We are identified as a problem factor and it is unbearable ”, had, for his part, recognized Emmanuel Macron in an interview with Brut in December 2020.

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