Adoption of the anti-terrorism act: “The legal battle is not over”, warn associations

General view of the first session of Questions to the Government of the new Assembly, the Palais Bourbon, in Paris, on July 5, 2017. — SIPA

  • Wednesday, October 11, the national Assembly has definitively adopted the law strengthening the internal security and counter-terrorism.
  • The text, which must still be voted on in the Senate on 18 October, will replace the state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the attacks on the 13 November 2015.
  • The text changes remain superficial in the eyes of the associations for the defence of individual freedoms.

Also read : The draft anti-terrorism act adopted by a large majority in the national Assembly

Thus, the administrative authorities (prefect or minister of Interior), can now assign someone in a perimeter, conduct searches, to close a place of worship, or to perform identity checks near the borders without a green light from judicial (except raids) and against people who are not worried by the justice. Muscled during the discussions of the assembly, the law was eventually “smoothed” in the beginning of the week. Objective : move out of the spectrum of a seizure of the Constitutional Council and a possible snub to the government.

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Before its final adoption, several issues have pushed some representatives of the opposition. The requirement for a person subject to a measure of individual supervision (assigning, for example) to declare the subscription numbers and the identifiers of its electronic means of communication, such as the enlargement of the areas of control of identity have been particularly criticized. However, the first has been deleted, and the second amended during the discussions in the mixed joint committee bringing together members of parliament and senators.

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Also read : Fight against terrorism: Gmail, Facebook, Twitter… Does not transmit its id could be expensive

A “clause” limitation in time has also been added. All measures of administrative police will lapse on 31 December 2020. Of a temporary nature designed to “reassure” and yet largely outdated. This was the case with several articles of a law on terrorism passed in… 2006. Modified in 2008, in 2012 and then in 2015, the articles were each time extended with new texts. Finally, the law adopted Wednesday calls for a ” parliamentary control “.

So, anticipate of a temporary nature, accompanied by an annual report to an extent contrary to the freedoms = joke

— Pierre Januel (@PJanuel) September 25, 2017
“The question no longer arises”

To be clear, the elements likely to be found unconstitutional have been changed. A time considered, and the seizure of the constitutional Council made possible if 60 deputies or 60 senators unite, today seems unlikely. Contacted by 20 Minutes,
the chairman of the group New Left, Olivier Faure, said : “It was discussed between us on Tuesday, and taking into account changes in the law, it is considered that there is no reason to refer the text to the constitutional Council. The question of the constitutionality does not arise for us. “

Also read : Gérard Collomb: “This new anti-terrorism law adapts to the evolution of the threat”

“The discussions about them are to the point of death “, recognizes Ugo Bernalicis, member of BIA (France insubordinate). “We have not yet discussed formally with all the groups opposed to the text… We will see if we can do” approach, shade the elected. According to him, if the most egregious elements have been smoothed, articles 3 and 4 on the searches and the assignments could raise issues of constitutionality.

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No battle is not lost ! Enter your mps against #PJLSILT #democrature !
The vote is Tuesday, we have the option to act

— Ugo Bernalicis φ (@Ugobernalicis) September 29, 2017
“The battle is not over”

An analysis shared by the many associations in opposing the text. “These amendments are little points but they do not change large-thing to the philosophy of the text (…) It is not excluded that we place in the future of the QPC (priority question of constitutionality), but we don’t want to rush so that the final text is not voted on by the Senate. The legal battle is not over, we think just the way the lead now “, explains the president of
the League of Human rights (LDH), François Dumont.

Also read : Draft anti-terrorism law: Agreement mps-senators on a common version

Ditto for Dominique Curis, in charge of advocacy for Amnesty France : “This text is very disturbing and repressive. The criminal law already allows for all these measures, then we will pass the judicial judge. We will try, once the adopted text, to identify specific issues, rather than calling into question the entirety of the text. We turn to the French courts and, if necessary, to international courts. “