Deja-vu: France's three-strikes law referred to Constitutional Council

By EDRi · October 7, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Deja-vu: Frankreichs 3 Treffer-Gesetz an den Verfassungsrat weitergeleitet |]

As expected, on 28 September 2009 the socialist group of the French
National Assembly submitted their referral to the Constitutional Council
against the second version of the three strikes law (so-called Hadopi 2)
passed in September through both chambers of the French Parliament.

The text of the referral, obtained exclusively by Liberation, challenges the
law article by article. The main argument supported by the socialist group
against the law is the non-observance by the Assembly of the “procedural
guarantees regarding the sanctions involved”, meaning the right to a fair
trial, right to defense, presumption of innocence etc. Other arguments are
some of those which caused the rejection of the first version of the law,
Hadopi 1, by the Constitutional Council in June 2009, such as the
sanctioning of a user for negligence.

Another anti-constitutional provision is related to the simplified procedure
chosen by the government in the application of sanctions. According to the
French Criminal Code, “the public ministry can appeal to the simplified
procedure only when it results from the police enquiry that the deeds the
defendant is investigated for are established”. A simple IP address sent by
HADOPI authority to the judge is not enough to prove the facts the user is
accused of. The procedure looks more like an administrative procedure,
putting the judge in the position of just approving an already taken

The Constitutional Council has a month to take its decision on the matter.

Hadopi 2: the appeal to the Constitutional Council submitted on Friday (only
in French, 24.09.2009)

Hadopi-2 goes to Constitutional Council

Hadopi 2: Exclusively, the referral submitted to the Constitutional Council
(only in French, 28.09.2009),8192.html

EDRi-gram: The French Constitutional Council censures the 3 strikes law