Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's Constitutional Court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more

FOCUS

French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more

ENCORE!

FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more

France

French genocide law 'unconstitutional' rules court

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2012-02-28

A contentious French law criminalising the denial of the Armenian genocide was ruled unconstitutional by the country's top judicial body Tuesday. The Constitutional Council said the law, which had angered Turkey, infringed on freedom of speech.

AFP - France’s top judicial body ruled Tuesday that a law backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy to punish denial of the Armenian genocide was unconstitutional as it infringed on freedom of expression.

“The Council deems the law contrary to the constitution,” the Constitutional Council said of the legislation that plunged France’s relations with Turkey into crisis.

Sarkozy immediately orders redrafting of law

President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered his government to draft a new law punishing denial of the Armenian genocide Tuesday after France's top court struck down a previous bill.

Noting the "great disappointment and profound sadness" of the law's backers, a statement from Sarkozy said: "He has ordered the government to prepare a new draft, taking into account the Constitutional Council's decision."

(Source AFP)

“The council rules that by punishing anyone contesting the existence of... crimes that lawmakers themselves recognised or qualified as such, lawmakers committed an unconstitutional attack on freedom of expression,” it said.

France had already officially recognised the killingis as a genocide, but the new law sought to go further by punishing anyone who denies this with up to a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($57,000).

The Council said that it was concerned “not to enter into the realm of responsibility that belongs to historians”.

While the Council’s ruling is final, Sarkozy, who is facing a tough re-election battle in less than two months, vowed on February 1 that he would submit a new draft of the law if the Constitutional Council rejected it.
 

Date created : 2012-02-28

COMMENT(S)