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On September 26th 1994, Ms. Agnes Klouvi filed a complain for rape and sexual assault. She alleged that she was raped and molested several times from 1992 to 1994 by her ex-boss T.. On January 1998, an investigating judge of the tribunal of Paris refused to charge T. and closed the investigation.
On October 21th 1999, she was condemned to 6 months suspended prison sentence for “false accusation” (art.226-10 of the penal code) by the tribunal of Paris and to pay €12,195 of damages and €3,048 of legal cost to T. On December 5th 2001, the appeal court of Paris confirmed the ruling. On March 25th 2003, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected her appeal (02-80569).
On September 18th 2003, the applicant lodged her case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that article 226-10 of the penal code forced judges to condemn for “false accusation” all the plaintiffs whose allegations didn’t result in the suspect being charged, in violation of articles 6-1 and 6-2 of the Convention.
On February 2nd 2007, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government.
On June 30th 2011, the Court found a violation of articles 6-1 and 6-2 of the Convention on the ground that the article 226-10 of the penal code didn’t allow judges to examine the allegation of the plaintiff but forced them to consider the allegation as false and malicious and to condemn the plaintiff for “false accusation” if no charge were brought against the suspect. The applicant was represented by Me Christophe Pettiti (Paris). The Court awarded her €8,000 for moral damages and €4,832 for legal fees.
Under article 626-1 of the code of penal procedure, the applicant can now request a new trial at an appeal court from a special commission of the supreme court, in order to redress the violations of article 6 found by the European Court of Human Rights.
On July 11th 2010, article 226-10 of the penal code was slightly modified by article 16 of law 2010-769. But according to Me Christophe Pettiti the change is not fully satisfying for plaintiffs in sexual crime cases. He added that it is now the responsibility of French judges to take into account judgment Klouvi v. France (30754/03) when ruling on accusations of “false accusation”.
On May 28th 2011, the applicants submitted their case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that their deportations to n/a will be a violation of articles 2 and 3 of the Convention. They added that the detention of their 7 months old baby in the immigration facility of n/a was a violation of articles 3 and 5-1-f). Finally, they complained that there was no proceeding to rule on the lawfulness of their detention and to release them if their detention was unlawful (habeas corpus), in violation of article 5-4.
The applicants are represented by Me Jerome Canadas (Toulouse) who didn’t return our emails.
n/a : non available on the Hudoc database of the Court.
From April 9th to April 18th 2008, the applicant accused of armed robbery, appeared at the criminal court of Pau. Each day of court appearance, the applicant was strip searched naked for up to 8 times and asked by masked guards of the ERIS to bend over and/or squat. When the applicant was bending over and/or squatting, the ERIS guards were doing a visual inspection of his anus. These acts were videotaped by one of the guard. On April 11th 2008, the applicant refused to squat. Nevertheless the masked guards coerced him to squat naked. Later in the day, they forcibly removed his clothes, coerced him to squat naked and forced him to appear in court.
On April 11th 2008, the judge presiding the criminal court ruled that he couldn’t order the ERIS guards to stop these acts. On April 15th 2008, the judge of the administrative tribunal of Pau ruled that only the judges of the criminal court of Pau could order the ERIS guards to stop. On November 14th 2008, the administrative supreme court annulled the ruling of the administrative tribunal of Pau (case 315622) but refused to rule on the violation of article 3 of the Convention.
On October 15th 2008, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the multiple strip searches, the bending over, the coerced squatting, the visual inspection of his anus and the videotaping of these acts were violations of articles 3 and 8 of the Convention. He added that the lack of effective remedy was a violation of article 13 and also that these acts prevented him to defend himself during the trial in violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3. On June 16th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On January 20th 2011, the Court found a violation of article 3 of the Convention on the ground that the multiple strip searches, the bending over, the forced squatting. and their videotaping by masked guards were overall a degrading treatment. The Court also found that the applicant didn’t have any effective remedy to obtain redress, in violation of article 13 but forgot to examine the allegations of violations of articles 6-1 and 6-3.
The applicant was represented by Me Patrice Spinosi (Paris) who was not available for comments.
On December 12th 2005, Mr. Jalal Boukneter and Mr Nabil Boukneter were arrested for a drug trafficking investigation. They were detained in the police station of Villeneuve-sur-Lot where they were put under oath and interrogated for 3 days before they could meet their lawyer.
On November 22nd 2006, the investigation chamber of the appeal court of Agen refused to suppress the transcripts of police interrogation of the first 3 days of police custody. On March 20th 2007, the supreme court rejected their appeal (06-89555).
On September 19th 2007, the applicants lodged their application with the Court arguing that the refusal of the police to allow their lawyer to assist them in police custody, was a violation of article 6 of the Convention. On May 2nd 2011, the application was communicated to the agent for the French government. The applicants are advised by Me Laurence Morisset (Agen) who wasn’t available for comments.
From November 28th 1995 to January 18th 1999, the tax department audited the accounts of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) in France. On February 8th 1996, the minister responsible of the tax department, Mr Alain Lamassoure, publicly supported at the national assembly, the harassment of minority religion by tax (“the tax department, whose actions on several occasions resulted in a certain repression of the activity of sects”) .
On May 14th 1998, the department decided to tax at the rate of 60% the donations from believers of JW for years 1993 to 1996, refusing to tax-exempt them. The department applied also a penalty rate of 80% which resulted that the donations to JW were taxed at rate of..108% and fixed the annual interest at 9% on late payments.
On July 4th 2000, the tribunal of Nanterre rejected the applicant’s claim. On February 2002 the appeal court of Versailles confirmed the ruling. On October 5th 2004, the supreme court rejected the appeal of the applicant (03-15709) on the ground that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were not recognized and authorized by the government as a religion.
On February 24th 2005, the applicant lodged its case (see below) to the Court arguing that the tax rate of 108% on donations to JW was a discrimination in violation of articles 9 and 11 of the Convention with article 14. He added that the tax rate in itself was a violation of article 1 P1 and that the use of a tax to harass a minority religion a violation of articles 18 and 1 P1. The applicant submitted also allegation of violations of articles 6-1 and 13.
On June 17th 2008, the Court found inadmissible all the allegations of violations of the Convention except the one of articles 9 and 14. On September 21st 2010, the Court found admissible the allegation of violation of article 9.
On June 30th 2011, the Court found a violation of article 9 of the Convention on the ground that the tax rate of 108% applied to the donations to the applicant was not foreseeable and therefore not “according to law”. The Court will rule on damages at a later date. The applicant was represented by Me Philippe Goni (Paris).
According to Me Philippe Goni (comments), this is the first time that the Court found that the French Republic violated article 9. He added that this raises serious questions about the “passiveness of the national courts” . He requested that the tax department annulled the whole demand of tax and penalties (more than €50 millions) and reimbursed the amount already seized.
From October 9th 2003, according to Mr. Pierre-Yves Chereul, the new headmaster T. of a junior high school in Nimes, began to harass him at work. On May 12th 2004, T. obtained a disciplinary sanction against the applicant. On December 7th 2006, the administrative tribunal of Nimes annulled the sanction.
On March 24th 2004, T. wrote a private letter about the alleged behavior of the applicant during a meeting on March 22nd, to G. head of the local parent association (FCPE). T. informed G. that he will use his answer in a disciplinary proceeding against the applicant. The letter was communicated to the two members of the parent association present at the meeting. They both denied the veracity of the allegations of T.
The applicant was denied legal aid by the employer of T. to sue T. for libel. Nevertheless, the applicant sued T. for libel at the tribunal of Nimes. On May 19th 2004, the district attorney submitted on behalf of the employer of T. a motion to dismiss the case arguing that the tribunal was not competent to hear the case. On October 14th 2004, the tribunal ruled to be non competent to hear the case. On November 21st 2006, the appeal court of Nimes confirmed the ruling. On March 5th 2008, the supreme court rejected the appeal of the applicant (case 07-12451).
On May 7th 2008, the applicant lodged a case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the refusals to hear his case were against the supreme court case-law in violation of article 6-1 of the Convention.
Surprisingly, on May 19th 2011, Judge Karel Jungwiert (Czech Republic) of the 5th section of the Court deemed the case Chereul v. France (24631/08) inadmissible. The registrar of the Court also informed the applicant that no ground for the decision will be given and that they will destroy all files of the case in 1 year.
On July 12th 2007, the national council of bar in France (CNB) established in the decision JUSC0757656S the rules for lawyers in reporting confidential information to the government agency Tracfin. Tracfin is a national intelligence agency of the ministry of finance gathering information on money laundering and financing of terrorism.
On October 10th 2007, Mr. Patrick Michaud who is a lawyer in Paris, lodged his case to the administrative supreme (conseil d’etat) to annul the decision JUSC0757656S. On July 23rd 2010, the supreme court annulled partially the decision (case 309993).
On January 19th 2011, the applicant lodged his case (see below) to the Court arguing that the mandatory report of confidential information to Tracfin was a violation of both articles 8 and 6 of the Convention. He added that the disciplinary sanctions for lawyers who didn’t report the information are violations of article 7 He is represented by Me Bertrand Favreau (Bordeaux).
On December 8th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the French Republic with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On February 21th 2008, the Court found a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention in judgment Ravon and others v. France (18497/03) on the ground that the applicants couldn’t appeal the tribunal order of searches of their offices and their home. The searches in Marseilles and Paris were at the request of the tax administration (art.L16B of book of tax procedure). The applicants were advised by Me Delphine Ravon (Paris).
On August 4th 2008, article 164 of law 2008-776 modified article L16B and introduced the right to appeal the tribunal order to the president of the appeal court. This right is extended retroactively to almost all tax searches carried since January 1st 2005 even though an appeal to the supreme court was rejected.
According to Me Delphine Ravon (see below), the right to appeal was applied retroactively to prevent tax cases to be dismissed by the administrative tribunals, saving the French government €1.3 billion (years 2006-2007). She believed that this measure will provoke further violations of article 1 of protocol 1 and article 6-1 of the Convention and complained that it is not possible for citizens and companies to reach the judge during the searches.
In fact, the Court strike out cases SAS Arcalia (33088/08), Naco Trading v. France (29377/08) and found inadmissible cases Sarl Comptoir Aixois des Viandes (19863/08), Provitel (29437/08) and Etoc v. France (40954/08) on the ground that the right of appeal was available.. after they filed their cases at the Court. The Court rejected the allegations of the applicants (Provitel v. France (29437/08)) that the appeal is not effective and affirmed that the effectiveness of this new remedy can’t be judged on the first 6 months of its case-law.
Furthermore, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) will have to rule again on cases it had previously rejected and it raises the issue of the impartiality and the composition of the supreme court to respect article 6-1 of the Convention.
Mr. Ernst Haas is suffering from bipolar disorder for the last 20 years. On July 1st 2004, he became a member of the NGO Dignitas in order to commit suicide. Then, he requested in vain from several psychiatrists to prescribe him the lethal drug pentobarbital sodium. On August 3rd 2005, the health department of the county of Zürich refused to deliver him this drug without prescription.
On November 17th 2005, the administrative tribunal of Zürich rejected his challenge of the decision of the health department. On December 20th 2005, the federal department of interior refused also to deliver him the lethal drug without prescription. On November 3rd 2006, the federal tribunal rejected his appeal and ruled that a mental health exam was required before prescribing the lethal drug.
On July 18th 2007, the applicant lodged his case to the Court arguing that that the refusal to deliver him the lethal drug without a prescription and a mental health exam was a violation of article 8 of the Convention. On October 16th 2008, the application was communicated to the agent of the Swiss government. On November 17th 2008, The NGO Dignitas submitted a brief amicus curiae to the Court (see below).
On January 20th 2011, the Court found no violation of article 8 of the Convention on the ground of the “margin of appreciation” and didn’t rule if States have a positive obligation to ensure that one can end his life with dignity. The appeal to the grand chamber was not accepted by the Court. The applicant was represented by Me Patrick Schaerz (Zürich) .
On January 1st 1963, the Muslims in Algeria lost automatically their French citizenship (art.2 of executive order 1962-825) including the hundreds of thousands Muslims veterans of the French army. At the same date, the French administration set the pensions of the Muslim veterans, newly citizens of Algeria (art.71-I of law 1959-1454) at the rate of July 3rd 1962, date of independence of Algeria.
Following the administrative supreme court ruling of November 30th 2001 (case D. 212179) which found a violation of articles 1P1 and 14 of the Convention, the French government introduced a new discriminatory pension based on “residence at the time of the first allowance of pension” by article 68 of the law 2002-1576.
Ms. Achour is a widow of a Muslim veteran of the French army (17 years of service). On November 16th 1985, she was denied a military pension following the death of her husband on the basis of her “citizenship“. On December 22nd 2003, she obtained a pension lower than the regular one received by the widows of “French” veterans. On June 16th 2006, the administration denied her the right to receive the regular pension. She challenged the decision at the administrative tribunal of Poitiers who rejected her complain on December 27th 2007. She was denied legal aid at the administrative tribunal of Poitiers and at the administrative supreme court level on the ground that her claim was frivolous. On April 22th 2009, the applicant lodged her case to the Court arguing that the lower pension based on citizenship was a violation of articles 1P1 and 14 of the Convention.
Ms. Ben Ahmed is also a widow of a Muslim veteran of the French army (15 years of service). On May 25th 2005, the administration refused to compensate her for the lower pension that her husband received and that she received following his death. On September 20th 2007, the administrative tribunal of Nantes rejected her complain. Her appeal was transferred illegally by the administrative appeal court of Nantes to the administrative supreme court. The administrative supreme court denied her legal aid and on October 21st 2008 rejected her appeal. On January 9th 2009, the applicant lodged her case to the Court arguing that the lower pension based on citizenship was a violation of articles 1P1 and 14 of the Convention. She added that the proceeding in the administrative justice system were in violation of articles 6 and 13 of the Convention (see below).
Mr. Chikr is a Muslim veteran of the French army (15 years of service). In 2006, he was receiving a monthly pension of €70 (15 times lower than the regular one) and annual allowance of €40. On April 24th and June 16th 2006. the administration refused to grant him a regular pension. He was denied legal aid at the administrative tribunals of Dijon and Poitiers and his claims were rejected by the administrative tribunals. On July 31st 2008, the administrative supreme court denied him legal aid. On November 7th 2008, the applicant lodged his case to the Court arguing that the lower pension based on citizenship was a violation of articles 1P1 and 14 of the Convention.
Ms. Kouri is a widow of a Muslim veteran of the French army (15 years of service). In 2003, she was receiving a monthly military pension of €12,22. On February 25th 2005, the administrative tribunal of Poitiers found that she was only eligible for a limited revision of her pension with effect from January 1st 1999. She was asking for revision of her pension and her husband one from September 1st 1962. On December 20th 2006, the administrative supreme court rejected her appeal. On July 18th 2007, the applicant lodged his case to the Court arguing that the lower pension based on citizenship was a violation of articles 1P1 and 14 of the Convention.
On March 2nd 2010, case Achour (22276/09). case Ben Ahmed (4301/09), case Chikr (55073/08) and case Kouri v. France (31721/07) were communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. Ms. Achour, Mr. Chikr and Ms.Kouri were represented by Me Vincent Schneegans (Marseille). Ms. Ben Ahmed was represented by Me Andre Thalamas (Toulouse).
On May 28th 2010, the agency constitutional council found unconstitutional (decision 2010-1) the laws (1981-734, 2002-1576 and 2006-1666) regarding the lower pensions for veterans of the French army.
From January 1st 2011, any veteran with a lower pension can request the benefit of a regular pension under the article 211 of the law 2010-1657.
On March 23rd 2011, A committee of 3 judges of the Court decided to strike out the 4 cases after receiving promise from the French government that Ms. Achour will receive €25,000, Ms. Ben Ahmed €65,000, Mr. Chikr €95,000 and Ms. Kouri €70,000. But the French government didn’t acknowledge any violation of the Convention. The committee considered no public interest in pursuing the examination of the 4 cases.
In Algeria, 47,500 Muslims veterans and 11,000 widows of Muslims veterans might disagree with the view of the committee of the Court composed of judges Mark Villiger (Liechtenstein), Isabelle Berro-Lefevre (Monaco) and Ann Power (Ireland).