Religious Installations in French City Halls: A Christmas Crib Story

Christmas, in certain circumstances, has its place in the Republic. Judges have agreed in a plenary session reviewing two different Court of Appeal cases (courtyard of Melun’s town hall and hall of the departmental council of Vendée) that a Christmas crib in a public building doesn’t a priori represent a threat to secularism. In fact, the installation is legal, says the Conseil d’Etat, provided that particular circumstances give it « a cultural, artistic or festive character ». The decision is questionable for two main reasons: its foundation is doubtful, and its outcome unsatisfactory.

Continue Reading →

L’état d’urgence in the wake of the Paris attacks and its judicial aftermath

With the shock of the Paris attacks still fresh, further images started to flood the media in their immediate aftermath: Soldiers were not only seen boarding Rafale fighter jets but also patrolling the streets in France and Belgium, police raids were and are still conducted day and night throughout France, numerous arrests were made and even more people set under house arrest. Those internal executive measures in France are based on the déclaration de l’état d’urgence (in parts already discussed here). Now that the situation slightly calmed down, but with the state of emergency still enacted, the first administrative court decisions on those measures are in, deeming the police behavior just on all points.

Continue Reading →

Der Dschungel von Calais, der Conseil d’Etat und die Menschenwürde

Der Staat Frankreich muss das Flüchtlingscamp von Calais mit Trinkwasser und Toiletten versorgen. Das hat der Conseil d’Etat festgestellt: Als Garant des Verfassungsprinzip der Menschenwürde müsse der Staat dafür sorgen, dass niemand in unmenschlichen Bedingungen leben muss. Eine Entscheidung, die auch außerhalb Frankreichs Beachtung verdient.

Continue Reading →