Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Controls facies: the State condemned – Le Point

The state was sentenced Wednesday to five identity checks “facies,” a first according to lawyers for the plaintiffs, who hailed a “great victory for the people who are monitored daily because of their appearance” . The First Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Paris “has sentenced the State to compensate five of our fellow citizens who had suffered discriminatory checks. This is a first in France,” announced to the press Mr. Felix de Belloy.

With Me Slim Ben Achour, he defended thirteen black men or of Arab origin who had denounced predatory controls. Five of them have been successful, the appeal court going against the first instance judgment of October 2013 and the prosecution submissions. The appeals court ordered the state to “gross negligence” and ordered him to pay 1,500 euros in damages to each of the five complainants concerned. It found that were gathered “serious presumptions, precise and concordant” for holding that the disputed checks were carried out “taking into account the physical appearance and belonging, real or supposed, of an ethnic group or race “and that public authority has failed to demonstrate how these controls were” justified Justify each control “

Me Belloy drew two conclusions”

. ” “Any person who suffers facies control will go to court to seek redress” and “now, the police, the state, the Interior Ministry will make to justify each control.” “This is a great victory for the people who are controlled lives,” he said. “I am very surprised and very happy,” responded one of the five winning customers, Regis Amponsag, reached by telephone. “The police can not discriminate in our streets today,” said another of the plaintiffs, which itself has not obtained satisfaction, Bocar Niane.

During the appeal hearing , counsel for the State, Ms. Claire Litaudon, assured that in each of the thirteen cases, control was “justified”. If there are “abusive controls,” it is not the court, but the legislator to “modify the Criminal Procedure Code,” she added. The representative of the Crown had agreed with its meaning, requesting confirmation of the decisions taken at first instance.

The Defender had supported the thirteen men, pleading for that identity controls are “sufficiently regulated “and provide” guarantees “against abuse. The institution welcomed the decisions taken Wednesday that “undoubtedly contribute [...] to advance the debate on the necessary regulation of identity checks, with the dual aim, desired by all, action better targeted, guaranteeing increased efficiency of law enforcement, and improved their relations with the population. “


Several associations and unions have welcome this outcome (SOS Racism, Stop ethnic profiling, the Union of Lawyers of France), the NGO Open Society Justice Initiative saluting a “historic decision”. Spokesperson of the collective Stop ethnic profiling, Sihame Assbague hoped the President of the Republic, “in light of this decision and in view of its promises,” returns to the receipt.

Francois Hollande s ‘pledged to fight against the controls facies during his presidential campaign, but was ultimately abandoned the idea of ​​a receipt issued after each identity check. However, the registration number is back on uniforms and police ethics code has been reformed. Citizens also now have the ability to directly enter the IGS, the “police of the police”. The State has two months to lodge an appeal. Plaintiffs’ lawyers were considering doing the same for their eight customers who have not been successful.


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