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France: Major Reform of Penal Code

(Sept. 2, 2014) An important reform of the French Penal Code was signed into law on August 15, 2014. (Loi No. 2014-896 du 15 août 2014 relative à l’individualisation des peines et renforçant l’efficacité des sanctions pénales [Law No. 2014-896 of August 15, 2014, on the Individualization of Sentencing and Reinforcing the Efficacy of Penal […]

France: Government Must Apply Law Requiring Anonymous Job Applications

(July 30, 2014) The Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest jurisdiction for administrative matters, recently ordered the government to implement a 2006 anti-discrimination law requiring employers of more than 50 employees to anonymize job applications. (CE [Conseit d’Etat], 9 juillet 2014, M.A… et autres, Nos. 345253, 352987, & 373610.) The Court’s July 9, 2014, decision is mainly […]

European Court of Human Rights; France: Recent Court Decisions on Islamic Veil Bans

(July 11, 2014) The European Court of Human Rights has recently ruled that the French ban on veiling one’s face in public does not breach the European Convention on Human Rights. (S.A.S. v. France, Eur. Ct. H.R. (July 1, 2014), Application No. 43835/11.) This ruling ends a case regarding a 2010 French law banning concealment […]

Belgium: Class Action Lawsuits Introduced

(June 26, 2014) On March 28, 2014, the Federal Parliament of Belgium enacted a law adding a new section on “collective compensation action” to the Code of Economic Law. The new title on collective compensation action will be part of Book XVII, Special Jurisdictional Procedures of the Code. (Loi portant insertion d’un titre 2 “De […]

France: GMO Prohibition Confirmed

(June 19, 2014) The Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest court for administrative matters, has rejected a request from corn producers to strike down a government regulation prohibiting the sale, use, and growing of a type of genetically modified corn known as MON 810. (Ordonnance du 5 mai 2014, Association générale des producteurs de maïs (AGPM), SARL […]

France: Denial of Adoption for Same-Sex Parents of Child Conceived Through Medically Assisted Reproduction

(May 23, 2014) A court in Versailles has denied a same-sex couple the adoption of a child conceived through medically assisted reproduction (M.A.R.). [Gaëlle Dupont, Premier refus d’adoption à un couple de femmes ayant conçu un enfant par PMA [First Refusal for the Adoption of a Child Conceived through M.A.R. by Two Women], LE MONDE […]

France: Animals Granted New Legal Status

(Apr. 25, 2014) The French National Assembly recently adopted a legislative amendment changing the status of animals in the Civil Code. Since the inception of the Civil Code in 1804, the legal status of animals was that of mere objects. (Code civil [Civil Code], art. 528 [as worded from Jan. 25, 1804, to Jan. 7, […]

Belgium: Removal of Age Restriction for Euthanasia

(Mar. 11, 2014) On March 2, 2014, Belgium’s King Philippe signed into law an amendment to that country’s euthanasia law that would open the medically assisted suicide option to children. (Christian Laporte, Le Roi a signé la loi sur l’extension de l’euthanasie [The King Has Signed the Law Extending Euthanasia], LA LIBRE (updated Mar. 3, […]

France: New Law Places Limits on Holding Multiple Political Offices

(Feb. 18, 2014) On January 22, 2014, the French Parliament adopted two laws placing limits on the ability of politicians to hold multiple concurrent political offices. (Projet de loi interdisant le cumul de fonctions exécutives locales avec le mandat de représentant au Parlement européen [Draft Law to Prohibit the Concurrent Holding of Local Executive Offices […]