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France: Compensation of Victims of French Nuclear Testing

(July 8, 2009) On June 30, 2009, the French National Assembly adopted a draft law on the compensation of victims of French nuclear testing (Projet de loi relative à la reconnaissance et à l'indemnisation des victimes des essais nucléaires français, 30 juin 2009, Assemblée Nationale website, available at The draft law provides for the […]

France: Law on Favoring Diffusion and Protection of Internet Creations

(July 6, 2009) Law 2009-669 of June 12, 2009, on Favoring the Diffusion and Protection of Creations on the Internet, also known as the HADOPI Law, was published in the Journal Officiel, France's official gazette, on June 13, 2009, and came into effect that day. (Loi 2009-669 du 12 juin 2009 favorisant la diffusion et […]

France: Creation of Commission to Study Wearing of Burqa

(July 2, 2009) On June 23, 2009, the Presidents' Conference of the National Assembly, which comprises all the presidents of that body's political groups, upon the proposal of the President of the National Assembly created a commission to study the wearing of the burqa or niqab in French territory. The decision was unanimous. (Assemblée Nationale, […]

France; Switzerland: Exchange of Bank Information for Tax Purposes

(June 25, 2009) On June 12, 2009, France and Switzerland agreed to amend their existing bilateral tax treaty by adding a provision that allows the exchange of bank information for tax purposes, bringing the treaty up to the standard of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Model Tax Convention (OECD, Centre for Tax […]

France: Constitutional Council Validates Audiovisual Reform

(May 22, 2009) Law 2009-257, on the appointment of the presidents of the companies France Televisions, Radio France, and the Company Tasked with External Audiovisual [Communications], and Law 2009-258, relating to audiovisual services and the new television public services, both dated March 5, 2009, extensively reformed the status of public audiovisual communication in France. The […]

France: EU Directives on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Transposed

(Mar. 5, 2009) The French government recently issued Ordinance 2009-104 of January 30, 2009, which transposes into national law the EU Directive on the Prevention of the Use of the Financial System for the Purpose of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, known as the “third money laundering directive,” and the EU Directive that implements it […]

France: Council of State Acknowledges Responsibility of French State in WWII Deportation of Jews

(Mar. 2, 2009) On February 16, 2009, the French Council of State, France's highest administrative court, issued an advisory opinion on the responsibility of the French State in the deportation of Jews resulting from anti-semitic persecution during World War II. The Paris Administrative Court had sought the Council's opinion to rule on a reparation claim […]

France: Prohibition on Blood Donation by Gay Men

(Feb. 4, 2009) France's Minister of Health recently signed a regulation increasing the maximum age for donating blood to 70 from 65. The regulation also reiterates the prohibition on blood donations by gay men. During an interview, the Minister of Heath justified her decision by stating: [T]he epidemic data cannot be contested: between 10 to […]

France: Fight Against Terrorism

(Jan. 13, 2009) Law 2008-1245 of December 1, 2008, prolongs the application of articles 3, 6, and 9 of Law 2006-64 of January 23, 2006, on Combating Terrorism and on Various Provisions Concerning Security and Borders Controls, which was passed by the French Parliament following the London bombings of July 2005. These three provisions were […]

France: Reform of the Criminal Investigation System

(Jan. 13, 2009) On January 7, 2009, during his address to the Cour de Cassation, France's highest judicial Supreme Court, President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed his wish that investigating judges no longer lead criminal investigations in France; if his wish is fulfilled, it would end a 200-year-old tradition. Investigating judges are specifically designated to investigate serious […]