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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 June 6th 2006, the Court found in judgment Clement v. France (37876/02) a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention on the ground that the length of the disciplinary proceedings wasn’t “within reasonable time” and awarded him €5,000 for damages. In fact, it took more than 8 years (1995-2003) and 3 courts for the applicant to have a definitive decision on a disciplinary complain against him in Roubaix. The applicant was represented by Me Nadia Weiler-Strasser (Sarreguemines).

On September 15th 2010, the Committee of Ministers adopted a Resolution DH(2010)128 which found satisfying the general measures taken by the French government to prevent further violation of article 6-1 of the Convention. The first measure is that a chief inspector of the administrative justice might make recommendations upon request (art. R112-2 of the code of administrative justice). The second measure is according to the French government the law 2002-1138 of September 9th 2002. But according to the Me Nadia Weiler-Strasser (see below her opinion), none of this measures are preventing further violation of article 6-1.

Indeed, according to the statistics of the annual report 2010, the length of proceedings in 2009 was still on average 5 years and 1 month if the litigation reaches the 3 administrative courts (administrative tribunal, administrative appeal court and administrative supreme court).

The Committee of Ministers found also satisfying the new remedy (art.R311-1 of the code of administrative justice) to obtain damages in the administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat) following a violation of the right to “a hearing within a reasonable time”. But according to Me Nadia Weiler-Strasser (see below her opinion) the administrative supreme court is not an independent and impartial tribunal because his members are directly nominated by the executive (art.13 of the Constitution). who is the defendant in this litigation.

She added that damages awarded are very low. Her findings are confirmed by the decision Durand v. France (4912/10) in which the Court found that the damages awarded by the administrative supreme court are 50% lower than the ones awarded by the Court.

Since September 2005, according to the case-law database Legifrance, the administrative supreme court have only heard 28 cases. In 2010, the average length of this remedy was 16 months (on 4 cases).


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