On October 13th 2010, the ministry of Justice introduced Bill 2855 to the National Assembly (House of Representative of the French Republic) to reform police custody to comply with articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention. On November 29th 2010, Human Rights Watch submitted a brief on Bill 2855 to the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.

Representative Philippe Houillon (UMP) submitted amendments proposals CL108, CL109, CL110, CL111 , CL117 (see below) to the Bill 2855, in order comply with  judgment Moulin v. France (37104/06).

The amendments proposals CL108 and CL109 require that police custody are under the control of a judge  instead of a prosecutor in compliance with article 5-1-c) of the Convention. The explanatory note of  CL108 names this new control a French “habeas corpus“. But CL108 doesn’t comply with article 5-4 of the Convention as there is no provision allowing the lawyer of the detainee to file a release motion with the judge (Zervudacki v. France (73947/01)).

CL110 and CL111 require all detention in police custody over 24 hours to be ordered by a judge.

Lastly, CL117 makes mandatory to bring suspect before a judge if they are not released by the prosecutor following police custody. Unfortunately, this is not in compliance with article 5-3 of the Convention as police custody can last up to 2  to 6 days in France, and the time limit to be brought before a judge is not set.

Moreover, it could be the same judge who ordered the detention over 24 hours and who later control this same order.

Update : On December 15th, the Legal Affairs Committee voted in favor of amendments CL108 and CL109 but against CL111 and CL117. CL110 was removed by the Representative Philippe Houillon.

The general debate on the bill 2855 will start on January 18th 2011.

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