French highest administrative court to consider police racial profiling case

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The French higher administrative court, the Conseil d’Etat, heard on Friday 28th September the first class-action brought by six rights groups against France. The groups claim that black and Arab men are subjected to systematic racial discrimination during police patrols. In 2021, victims and organizations petitioned the higher administrative court for the government to draft reforms that limit the police’s power to conduct “stop-and-search”, instead of suing them. The petition calls for encounters with police to be recorded as evidence. Merzouk, a North African teenager, was fatally shot by a police officer during a stop-and-search. His death sparked widespread

in France. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed concerns about the French police using excessive force and racial profiling shortly after Nahel died. The concerns were based upon Article 14 of ECHR, and Article 1 in Protocol No 12 to the November 2000 Convention. The Committee called on France to investigate the causes of racism and prosecute those responsible for Nahel’s murder. The French government has repeatedly stated that they have a zero tolerance policy towards racial or ethnic discrimination in law enforcement. However, the court adviser and public rapporteur Esther de Moustier said that judges cannot bring about changes to government legislation and that the state cannot be held responsible if their own policing policies were not fully effective.

The Conseil d’Etat has not published their judgement and other case details yet.protests