Insulting a mayor to become a criminal offence, French Justice Minister says

Any insult targeted at a French mayor will now be treated as contempt - an offence that carries a maximum penalty of community service or a €7,500 fine - France's justice minister has announced.

Insulting a mayor to become a criminal offence, French Justice Minister says
French Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti leaving the Elysée. Photo: AFP

“Any attack perpetuated against a mayor is an attack perpetuated against the Republic”, warned French Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti on Wednesday after a ministerial meeting to which local mayor associations were invited, according to BFMTV.

As France is facing increasing violent behaviour targeted towards its elected representatives, he announced that insulting a mayor would now be treated as an offence of contempt, whereas before it was qualified as an “insult”.

The offence of contempt carries a maximum penalty of community service of up to 280 hours or a maximum fine of €7,500 under French law.

The Minister said he will put the idea to the public prosecutor’s department because “a mayor who is insulted is a mayor who, in legal terms, is abused”.

Local councillors have previously criticised the French justice system for being to slow when it came to them being assaulted.

Eric Dupont-Moretti promised that from now on there will be “a systematic, immediate and proportionate answer” to any aggression.

According to the latest numbers published by l’Association des maires de France, at least 233 mayors were attacked from January to July 2020. They were 383 in 2019 and 361 in 2018. 

Mayors are hugely important within the French political system, they have wide-ranging powers and represent a wide range of communities, from small villages to jobs with a multi-million euro annual budget such as the Mayor of Paris. 

READ ALSO Why village mayors are so important in France

Meanwhile the mairie of Lhéraule (a small town in Picardie in northern France) made good manners compulsory in 2012 and you can be removed from the premises if you don’t greet staff politely with a bonjour or if you don’t say “please” during your exchange. Read the full story here


Member comments

  1. Hmmm…seems to be an attempt to avert criticism…how does the Republic improve if bad behaviour and poor performance cannot be pointed out, commented on?

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French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

France’s Economy Minister has praised the work of Bordeaux law officers, after they seized more than 2.4 tonnes of cannabis resin with an estimated street value in excess of €19 million.

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

Bruno Le Maire and Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal in a joint statement: “Once again, Customs distinguished itself with an exceptional seizure of cannabis, recalling its key role in the fight against drug trafficking. We congratulate the customs officers for their daily commitment to the protection of our fellow citizens.”

Two people were taken into custody after officers stopped a lorry from Spain on the A63, near the Saugnac-et-Muret toll area, just south of Bordeaux, on Monday.

According to Le Figaro, the drugs were hidden in side compartments of the lorry, and concealed by its stated load of wheat, and were discovered by a sniffer dog during the stop.

In total, 2,414.8kg of cannabis resin and 9.75kg of cannabis herb were intercepted by the Bordeaux brigade, with an estimated value of more than €19 million on the illicit market.

Since the end of July, 2022, Customs officials have seized nearly 73 tonnes of drugs, including 41.2 tonnes of cannabis.

The French drugs squad is now investigating to determine the point of origin of the drugs, as well as their destination and the crime network behind the smuggling attempt.