A former MP convicted of sexually harassing three colleagues has criticised French sexual harassment laws, claiming they are against the French constitution.

"/> A former MP convicted of sexually harassing three colleagues has criticised French sexual harassment laws, claiming they are against the French constitution.

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LAW

Sex pest MP demands harassment law change

A former MP convicted of sexually harassing three colleagues has criticised French sexual harassment laws, claiming they are against the French constitution.

A former MP convicted of sexually harassing three colleagues has criticised French sexual harassment laws, claiming they are against the French constitution.

Gérard Ducray, 70, went before the Constitutional Council yesterday to complain that the current law is not “sufficiently precise” and can lead to false convictions, with a view to it being removed from French law.

The text of the current law, which was voted in over 20 years ago, defines sexual harassment as “harassing another with the aim of obtaining favours of a sexual nature.”

Mr Ducray’s lawyer, Claire Waquet, said to French daily paper, Le Parisien: “With this definition, one cannot know what one can or cannot do, which is one of the fundamental principles of the constitution.”

Mr Ducray, the Secretary of State for Tourism from 1974 to 1976, was himself convicted of sexually harassing three city council employees in March 2011. He has always denied the conviction and has lodged an appeal.

Associations supporting victims of sexual harassment deny the law needs to be removed completely, but agree it is against the constitution and needs to be reviewed.

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SEX

France taken to European Court over divorce ruling that woman had ‘marital duty’ to have sex with husband

A case has been brought against France at the European Court of Human Rights by a woman who lost a divorce case after judges ruled against her because she refused to have sex with her husband.

France taken to European Court over divorce ruling that woman had 'marital duty' to have sex with husband
Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP

The woman, who has not been named, has brought the case with the backing of two French feminist groups, arguing that the French court ruling contravened human rights legislation by “interference in private life” and “violation of physical integrity”.

It comes after a ruling in the Appeals Court in Versailles which pronounced a fault divorce in 2019 because of her refusal to have sex with her husband.

READ ALSO The divorce laws in France that foreigners need to be aware of

The court ruled that the facts of the case “established by the admission of the wife, constitute a serious and renewed violation of the duties and obligations of marriage making intolerable the maintenance of a shared life”.

Feminist groups Fondation des femmes (Women’s Foundation) and Collectif fĂ©ministe contre le viol (Feminist Collective against Rape) have backed her appeal, deploring the fact that French justice “continues to impose the marital duty” and “thus denying the right of women to consent or not to sexual relations”.

“Marriage is not and should not be a sexual servitude,” the joint statement says, pointing out that in 47 percent of the 94,000 recorded rapes and attempted rapes per year, the aggressor is the spouse or ex-spouse of the victim.

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