To link to this article, copy this persistent link:
http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205402288_text

(Oct 04, 2010) The French Constitutional Council recently reviewed the constitutionality of several articles of the Code of Criminal Procedure relating to the National DNA Database (Fichier National Automatisé des Empreintes Génétiques (FNAEG)). (Conseil Constitutionnel, Décision 2010-25 QPC du 16 Septembre, 2010, Legifrance, http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr [File: Les autres textes législatifs et réglementaires].)

This database was initially created in 1998 and was designed to include only the genetic data of convicted sexual offenders. Its content was further extended to cover other serious offenses and to include suspected offenders by various laws (Vie Publique, Empreintes génétiques: décision du Conseil Constitutionnel (Sept. 22, 2010), http://www.vie-publique.fr/actualite/alaune/empreintes-genetiques-decisi
on-du-conseil-constitutionnel.html
).

The Council rejected arguments that the provisions violated principles on the safeguarding of human dignity and the inviolability of the human body, respect for private life, presumption of innocence, non bis in idem (the double jeopardy rule), and the principle that a criminal penalty must be necessary if it is to be imposed. It found that the purpose of the database was to identify an individual and that it is only to be consulted where it is useful to help uncover the truth in a criminal investigation. (Décision 2010-25 QPC, supra.)

The Council found the provisions constitutional, however, with two reservations. First, the list of offenses for which DNA can be collected must be strictly interpreted; second, the time period during which this data is to be kept must be regulated by decree and be proportionate to the nature and the seriousness of the offenses. (Id.)

Author: Nicole Atwill More by this author
Topic: War crimes More on this topic
Jurisdiction: France More about this jurisdiction

Search Legal News
Find legal news by topic, country, keyword, date, or author.

Global Legal Monitor RSS
Get the Global Legal Monitor delivered to your inbox. Sign up for RSS service.

The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It is updated frequently and draws on information from the Global Legal Information Network, official national legal publications, and reliable press sources. You can find previous news by searching the GLM.

Last updated: 10/04/2010