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On November 14th 2007, Mrs Rivet a citizen of Cameroon, wife of a French citizen, obtained from the prefecture of Charente a family reunification permit for her two children Rene and Leopoldine living in Cameroon. Leopoldine is suffering from chronic neurological problems. On November 27th 2007, the immigration agency transmitted the permit to the consulate of France in Doula.

On January 23rd 2008, the applicant applied for immigration visas for her two children. On June 6th 2008, the consulate rejected her application. On July 2nd 2008, the decision was notified to the applicant.

On July 15th 2008, the applicant appealed the decision to the appeal agency for visa denial (“commission de recours contre les refus de visa“) which rejected her appeal without notification. On August 25th 2008, she sought an emergency order and appealed the decision of the appeal agency to the administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat). On September 23rd 2008, her emergency order application (case 320022) was rejected on allegation of fraud.

On December 16th 2008, she did a DNA paternity test with her 2 children. The result stated that she was the mother with an accuracy of 99.99%.

On April 9th 2009, the applicant filed their application with the E.C.H.R (see below)  arguing that the denial of visas was a discrimination based on national origin, together violations of articles 8 and 14 of the Convention, that the length of the proceedings at conseil d’etat was a violation of article 6-1, and that the emergency order application was not an effective remedy in violation of article 13.

The appeal of the decision of the appeal agency was rejected by the administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat) on April 9th 2009 without a public hearing. The decision didn’t even mention the DNA paternity test.

On September 13th 2010, the N.G.O GISTI submitted a amicus curiae brief to the Court.

On July 12th 2010, the case was communicated to the agent of the French Republic, along with questions to be answered before  November 3rd 2010. The applicant is represented by Me Jean-Eric Malabre.

In 2006, only 486 appeals of visa denial were made to the conseil d’etat (report of the French Senate). For the same year, around 300,000 visa denial decisions were officially taken. In 2010, N.G.O Cimade published a report on visa denial decisions.

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.


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