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The European Court of Human Rights released its provisional annual report for 2009. 57,100 new applications were filed to a chamber of the Court and the total backlog reached 119,298 cases. 6,197 cases were communicated to the agents of 47 countries. 2,395 judgment were pronounced and  33,065 decisions of inadmissibility or strike out were taken.

For the French Republic : 1,589 new applications were filed to a chamber of the Court and the total backlog reached 2,464 cases. 111 cases were communicated to the agent of the government. 33 judgments were pronounced and 1,512 decisions of inadmissibility or strike out were taken. 11 out of 33 judgments found no violation of the Convention.

For the same year, the French administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat) pronounced 3,388 judgments and the judicial supreme court (cour de cassation) pronounced 10,722 judgments.

On June 27th 2006, the appeal court of Orleans sentenced under art. 322-3 1° of the penal code, Mr. Francois Mandil to 2 months suspended sentence and €1,000 fine  for damaging a genetically modified corn field of Monsanto during a political rally in 2004. On May 31 2007, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected his appeal (case 06-86628).

On December 17th 2007, the applicant refused to comply with an order of the prosecutor of the Republic, to give a sample of his mouth cells for the storage of his DNA profile on the police database FNAEG.

On June 25th 2008, the Law 2008-595 created the article L671-15 3° of the rural code which allows a sentence of up to 3 years in jail and €150,000 in fines for causing “damages to genetically modified crop field“. But police officers are not allowed to profile DNA of citizen convicted under article L671-15 3°.

On January 22nd 2009,  the court of appeal of Besançon sentenced the applicant under article 706-56-II of  the code of penal procedure, to a fine €420 for refusing to give a sample of his mouth cells. On June 10th 2009 the supreme court (Cour de cassation) ruled his appeal as inadmissible.

On December 16th 2009, the applicant filed his case with the ECHR arguing a violation of article 8 of the Convention. On October 13th 2011, an article was published in Est Republicain claiming that the applicant received a settlement proposal from the “French government” of €1,500. It is unknown if the settlement proposal was from the registry of the Court and if it acknowledges the violation of article 8 of the Convention. The lawyer of the applicant qualified the settlement proposal of “incongruous” because the applicant was looking for justice and not money.

Surprisingly, on December 13th 2011, the 5th section of the Court ruled the application inadmissible on the ground that the settlement proposal was confidential (art.39-2) and that the release of the information to the newspaper Est Republicain was “malicious” , an “abuse of process” and the lawyer statement “casted discredit on the Government’s approach“.

The applicant was represented by Me Randall Schwerdorffer.

On February 3rd 2003, an investigation was opened on an armed robbery committed in a jewelry store in Courchevel (France). On January 12th 2004, the French investigating judge requested by letters rogatory that Mr. Boban Stojkovic detained in Bruges (Belgium), be interrogated in presence of his lawyer (art. 113-3 of the code of penal instruction) on his alleged involvement in the armed robbery.

On March 11th and 12th 2004, the applicant was interrogated by Belgium police officers in the presence of the French investigating judge and a French district attorney. The applicant immediately requested the assistance of a lawyer but no lawyer was appointed to him until.. November 2th 2004.

On February 1st 2007, the applicant was formally charged for the armed robbery. On May 9th 2007, the appeal court of Chambery rejected his motion to suppress the transcript of his interrogation of 2004. On November 20th 2007, the supreme court , dismissed his appeal no 07-86503. On December 3rd 2008, the applicant was sentenced to 6 years in jail.

On May 16th 2008, the applicant filed his case with the E.C.H.R arguing a violation of article 6-3-c of the Convention., due to the lack of assistance of a lawyer during his interrogation in 2004. The applicant is represented by Me Michel Jugnet.

On December 2th 2009, the case was communicated to the French Republic  with questions in reference to the  judgment Salduz v. Turkey (no 36391/02). The agents for the French, Belgium and Serbian States were given the deadline of April 2th 2010 to submit their answers.

Update :

On October 27th 2011, the Court found a violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3-c) of the Convention and condemned the French Republic to pay €5,000 of damages to the applicant.

 Mr. Felix Chatellier was a business owner and a client of the French bank BNP for their advisory and financing services. On July 8th 1993, he contracted a 3 months personnal loan of 5 millions French francs (762,245 €) with BNP to finance one of its failing company Rouquey Textile. In late 1995, the companies controlled by the applicant started to file for bankruptcy. In 1997, all of his companies were liquidated.

On November 25th 2004, BNP-Paribas filed a civil lawsuit at the Bordeaux county court to recover the loan made in 1993. On April 6th 2006, the applicant was condemned with provisional execution to pay 625,654.10€ with interest to BNP-Paribas. On May 23th 2006, the applicant appealed the judgment. On March 7th 2007, his appeal was dismissed (art. L526 of the civil procedure) due to his lack of execution of the judgment of  first instance. He argued to no avail that he didn’t have the financial resources to do so.

On August 6th 2007, the applicant filed his case with the E.C.H.R arguing a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention. The applicant is represented by Me Olivier Hillel. On September 7th 2009, the case was communicated to the agent of the French governement.

Update :

On March 31th 2011, the Court condemned the French Republic to pay to the applicant 15,000€ of damages for violation of article 6-1 and 5,980 € for the legal fees.

On April 24th 1983, Mr. Pierre Atallah a Lebanese lawyer, is shot dead by several French soldiers of the FINUL in unclear circumstances. An investigation is done by the French military police and another one by the Lebanese military police.

In 1999, the family discovered evidence contained in the Lebanese military police report which contradicts the findings of self-defense made in the French  military police investigation.

In March 2001, the family filed at the tribunal of Paris, a civil lawsuit against the French minister of defense. On July 31th 2003, the court dismissed the case, claiming to be incompetent. On December 16th 2005, the appeal court of Paris dismissed the appeal. On May 10th 2007, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected their claim (case 06-12532).

On November 9th 2007, the applicants filed their case with the E.C.H.R arguing a violation of article 2 and 6-1 of the Convention. .On November 4th 2009, the case was communicated to the French government. The applicants are represented by Me Bertrand Favreau (Bordeaux).

Update :

On August 31st 2011, the Court ruled the application inadmissible on the ludicrous ground that the applicants should have filed their application with the Court within 6 months of…a meeting with the Lebanese military police on April 24th 1983. The Court also concluded that the applicants couldn’t hope that the civil lawsuit in French courts the death will bring a “new light to the case“.

On December 5th 2004, Mr. T. became unconscious in a cell of the police station of Courbevoie. He then fall into coma and died on January 24th 2005. First, the prosecutor of the county of Hauts-de-Seine refused to investigate the case and then close the investigation on March 10th 2005.

The family then decided to hire their own lawyer and file a complain to an investigating judge for “torture to death“. The investigation by the I.G.S (internal affairs) is ongoing for more than 4 years and no police officers have yet been charged. Since September 2009, the investigation came to almost a complete stop, even  though new evidence shows that the police officers lied in their sworn statement.

According to Amnesty International France, no credible explanations for the wounds and the death of Mr. T. has been given so far by police officers and the investigation on the complain was not effective. This would constitute a violation of both articles 2 and 3 of the Convention. In absence of an effective investigation, it could be considered that the national remedies don’t have to be exhausted in this case.

Update :

Me Yassine Bouzrou stated in an email that the investigation by I.G.S was not effective. But he decided to wait for the end of the investigation before bringing the case to the E.C.H.R.

On May 11th 2009, a bailiff mandated by the association CODEPAF found some alleged irregularities in the legal advertisement of the construction site of a new mosque in Bayonne. Furthermore, some multiple irregularities were alleged by CODEPAF to be found in the building permit application and in the process of awarding the permit itself.

CODEPAF then filed a motion to cancel the building permit at the administrative tribunal of Pau. They also seek an emergency court order to suspend the construction of the building awaiting the decision on their motion. On August 14th 2009, the administrative tribunal of Pau dismissed their application for an urgent court order, under article L521-1 of the code of administrative justice. This decision was not motivated.

On August 16th 2009, the applicants filed their case with the ECHR arguing a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention.  The application is completed on October 21th 2009 and pending. The applicants are represented by Me Philippe Fortabat Labatut.

On July 5th 1950, Mr. Raymond Mis and  Mr. Gabriel Thiennot were sentenced  to 15 years of hard labor for the murder of an employee of a wealthy landowner. They claimed to have been tortured by military police officers (gendarmes) during 6 days until they signed a written “confession“.

In 1954, the French president pardoned them and they were released from prison. They both served more than 7 years in prison.

On November 1st 1988, the protocol no 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom entered into force.  Article 3 of the protocol no 7 states :

When a person has by a final decision been convicted of a criminal offence and when subsequently his conviction has been reversed, or he has been pardoned, on the ground that a new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice, the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction shall be compensated according to the law or the practice of the State concerned, unless it is proved that the non-disclosure of the unknown fact in time is wholly or partly attributable to him.

The applicants made 5 unsuccessful attempts to have their conviction reversed. Each time, they were not authorized by a commission to bring their case to the supreme court (Cour de cassation) competent under articles 625 and 626  of the code of penal procedure to reverse the conviction and award damages.

On September 12th 2007, the applicants submitted their case to the E.C.H.R arguing of  the violations of articles 6 and 13Me Jean-Paul Thibault represented both applicants.

On May 12th 2009, Judge Jungwiert (Czech Republic), Judge Berro-Lefevre (Monaco) and Judge Villiger (Liechtenstein) ruled their application inadmissible under article 35-3 of the Convention on the ground that the application was “manifestly ill-founded“.

According to the Court, the proceeding before the commission was not related to the determination of  any of the civil rights and obligations of the applicants or of any criminal charge against them.


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