#DeniedMyVote too: Brits in France, the European Elections and the Council of State

European Elections Day in the United Kingdom has been stained by revelations that many EU citizens were unable to vote due to various clerical errors, widely reported on Twitter with the hashtag #DeniedMyVote. It seems that something along the same lines, though on a smaller scale, happened to UK citizens residing in other Member States of the European Union, for example in France.

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30 days, six months… forever? Border control and the French Council of State

For Christmas 2017, the French Council of State – the Supreme Court for administrative matters in France – gave a nasty present to those attached to the free movement of persons in the Schengen area. In a ruling issued on 28 December (see here, in French), it upheld the decision of the French Government to reintroduce, for the ninth time in a row, identity control at its “internal” borders, i.e. borders with other Schengen countries – even though checks at internal borders are not, in fact, systematically performed. This decision, issued without even bringing the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling, sets aside, probably unlawfully, the time limit set by the Schengen Borders Code.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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