On May 6th 2008, Greenpeace France challenged the legality of the executive order 2008-209 at the administrative supreme court (Conseil d’etat). The executive order was taken by the French prime minister after receiving secret legal advice from unknown staff of Conseil d’etat, secret report from ministry of ecology and opinion 2008-AV-0054 of French Authority of Nuclear Safety (ASN). On July 9th 2009*, the private company AREVA owned, funded and controlled by the French Republic, submitted a secret brief “amicus curiae“*. On July 10th 2009, an hearing was organized on the case (no 315980) during when the “public adviser” submitted a secret brief*. After the hearing,  the ministry of ecology submitted a secret brief*.

On July 28th 2009, Greenpeace France was informed that a groundless decision was taken not to rule on the case until further notice. On March 22nd 2010*, a secret hearing was organized where witnesses didn’t testify under oath (art.R623-5 of the code of administrative justice). On May 21st 2010*, a hearing was organized and a secret brief* was submitted by the “public adviser“. On June 30th 2010, unnamed administrative judges released a decision dismissing the legal challenge of Greenpeace.

On September 22nd 2010, Greenpeace France filed an application with the ECHR (see below) arguing that the groundless decision not to rule, the testifying of witnesses who didn’t take the oath, the secrecy of the hearing of March 22nd 2010, the lacking of the transcript of the secret hearing, the refusal to communicate to Greenpeace France the 2 secret briefs of the “public adviser” were a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention. On December 13th 2011, Judge Villiger (Liechtenstein), Judge Jungwiert (Czech Republic) and Judge Yudkivska (Ukraine) ruled the application inadmissible as manifestly ill-founded (art.35-3-a) on the ground that Greenpeace France was acting “to protect the rights of citizens to live in an healthy environment” rather than its own rights. Greenpeace France was represented by Me Alexandre Faro (Paris).

*the date of the hearings and the existence of the secret briefs was not revealed in the Conseil d’Etat decision of the June 30th 2010 but only in the ECHR application of Greenpeace France.