• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Paris attacks aftermath
States of emergency may have no time limits
Photo: AFP

States of emergency may have no time limits

The Local/AFP · 3 Dec 2015, 11:24

Published: 03 Dec 2015 11:24 GMT+01:00

A proposed change to France's constitution would not place a time limit on states of emergency of the kind introduced after the Paris attacks, according to a draft text seen by AFP on Thursday.

However, the draft change to the constitution says exceptional measures taken during a state of emergency -- such as powers of house arrest -- could be prolonged "for a maximum period of six months" after the original state of emergency was declared.

The exact duration of any specific state of emergency would remain fixed by law at the time of its introduction, as is the case now, according to the draft text.

Sources said the legal framework to extend special powers beyond the current three-month limit, set out by President Francois Hollande after last month's attacks on Paris, will be put to ministers on December 23rd.

Senior parliamentary figures were expected to examine the proposed changes later Thursday, government sources said.

The special powers have allowed authorities to ban public demos and enabled police to carry out thousands of raids on addresses across the country.

The government has insisted the emergency measures are needed to ensure security but criticism over the lengthening of the state of emergency is growing.

Lawyers and supporters of activists who have been placed under house arrest to prevent them from protesting during the UN climate talks taking place outside Paris have accused the government of abusing the powers.

This week a leading human rights lawyer Patrick Baudouin told The Local that "there is no justification for the state of emergency to last so long."

“This state of emergency grants the forces of order like the police and the army exceptional powers that puts people’s liberties at risks – whether it’s night-time raids on their homes, house arrests, or the ban on demonstrations," he said.

Critics like the lawyer Baudouin, who is the Honorary President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) say the ban on demonstrations restricts social movements and a vital element of the democratic process.

“The ban on demos goes beyond the need to avert the risk of any terrorist attack. It has been implemented to avoid any trouble rather than an attack,” he said.

“If Air France workers want to strike tomorrow, are they going to ban them too?”

Story continues below…

"All these measures have been taken without any of the natural checks of government from the judiciary. We are there to protect liberties, but we have had no involvement,” Baudouin said.

SEE ALSO: What does the state of emergency mean for France?

 

The Local/AFP (news.france@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The burning questions about Brexit facing British expats
Sarlat in the Dordogne where there are many concerned Britons right now. Photo: Ben Salter/Flickr

The Brexit vote has not changed anything yet, but there's no doubt our heads are full of questions about what might happen?

The ten most expensive motorways in France
Photo: AFP

A new study has shone a light on which stretches of motorway in France cost the most per kilometre.

British royals in France to mark Somme centenary
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince William are to attend the vigil on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Prince William, his wife Kate and brother Harry are set to attend a vigil in France.

Mont-St-Michel (where bikes are banned) all set for Tour
Photo: Screen grab BFM TV

The Tour de France will start in possibly the only village in France where bikes are banned.

The 16 must-visit towns in France you've never heard of
Photo: calips96/Flickr

Sarlat, Rocamadour? Old news.

Opinion - Brexit
Brexit: Brussels should have stood up for itself more
Photo: AFP

Why didn't Brussels join the scrap instead of allowing itself to be bashed up by the British media, argues France based author Stephen Clarke, who knows a thing or two about the EU.

Good news for renters: New caps to hit Paris region
Sunset over Val de Marne to the southeast of Paris. Photo: Gabriel de Castelaze/Flickr

France's rental cap laws will soon be rolled out across the greater Paris region.

'Giving in to fear': Anger as Paris gay pride cut back
Gay Pride Paris 2015. Photo: AFP

The annual Paris gay pride parade on Saturday will be half as long as usual due to security concerns, but members of the LGBT community say this is just giving in to fears.

Tour de France: 23,000 police and special ops join the ride
Photo: AFP

Not to mention the elite special-ops forces who will also be on duty.

What France says will be the impact of Brexit
Photo: Oli Bac/Flickr

The French president and his government have been talking about the impact of Brexit in several areas. Here's what they had to say.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Paris to honour Ireland's two sets of 'wonderful' fans
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
When France 'ignored' the result of an EU referendum
New app aims to rid Paris pavements of dog poo
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
No more plastic bags! See what changes in France from July 2016
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
National
How Brexit could now scupper that dream move to France
Brexit limbo: What happens next for Brits in France?
Gallery
Ten reasons why you should think about becoming French
Analysis & Opinion
Brexit: Life for Brits in France 'will get more complicated'
Culture
20 English words that 'should be banished' from French
National
Best Briehaviour: A guide to French cheese etiquette
Features
And the best city in France for expats to live in is...?
Society
Forget bikes, Paris is set to roll out scooter rentals
National
'We fear for our safety': French police feel the strain
Lifestyle
Why Rennes (and not Paris) is the best city in France for expats to live
National
Why are the French losing appetite for baguettes?
Lifestyle
Naturism booms in France as young eager to ditch clothes
Lifestyle
Is working life better in London or Paris?
National
Dear Americans: Please come to Paris
National
It's official (kind of): French work fewest hours in EU
And the best football fans of Euro 2016 in France are?
National
Paris has wettest spring in 100 years and it's hitting morale
Police murders remind France of complexity of terror threat
2,764
jobs available