RACIAL PUBLIC DEFAMATION
LexInter | June 5, 2012 | 0 Comments

RACIAL PUBLIC DEFAMATION

Court of Cassation
Criminal Chamber

Public hearing of January 5, 1993 Rejection

Appeal number: 91-81526
Unpublished

FRENCH REPUBLIC
IN THE NAME OF THE FRENCH PEOPLE
ON BEHALF OF THE FRENCH PEOPLE THE COURT OF CASSATION, CRIMINAL CHAMBER, in its public hearing held at the Palais de Justice in PARIS, on January 5th, nineteen hundred and ninety-three, delivered the following judgment:

On the report of the adviser GUERDER, the observations of the professional civil society LYON-CAEN, FABIANI, THIRIEZ, lawyer in the Court, and the conclusions of the lawyer general GALAND;

Deciding on the appeal brought by:

THE MOVEMENT AGAINST RACISM AND FOR FRIENDSHIP AMONG PEOPLES (MRAP), civil party,

against the judgment of the PARIS Court of Appeal, 11th chamber, dated January 30, 1991, which, in the action brought against Pierre X … and JeanYves Y …, on the count of racial public defamation, after having released the defendants, dismissed the civil part of its claims;

Considering the brief produced in demand;

On the admissibility of the defense:

Whereas the released defendants forwarded to the registry of the Court of Cassation, on October 17, 1991, a personal memorandum bearing their signatures, and accompanied by a copy of their appeal conclusions;

That under the provisions of article 585 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, such a memorandum, presented without the ministry of a lawyer to the Court of Cassation, is not admissible;

H On the sole ground of appeal based on the violation of articles 29 and 32 of the law of July 29, 1881, 593 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, lack of reasons, lack of legal basis;

“in that the contested invalidity judgment released the defendants from the prosecution of the offense of racial defamation and dismissed the civil part of its action;

“for the reasons that relating to the incidents which occurred in front of the town hall of Gennevilliers on September 21, 1989, having opposed sympathizers of the National Front to young” beurs “, the journalist writes in particular:” there is no inevitability of immigration uncontrolled, the arrogance of the young “beurs” results from their impunity, impunity when they travel free in public transport; impunity when they give arms of honor to police officers representing the State; impunity when they attack the town hall, police stations, businesses, as during the summer in Scionzier, Charvieu-Chavanieu, Dôle and in all the towns affected by race riots; impunity because anti-racist laws and their application gives them privileges; impunity because a bad conscience gnaws at French society and disarms the police “; considering that the first judges have, moreover, exactly described the drawing accompanying the article, signed” Chard “, which is also incriminated by the civil party, which represents a town hall besieged by demonstrators throwing projectiles while one of them says “we are not going to reproach us for integrating into municipal life!”, while another shouts “low the French! “and a third said” so pale? not with us! “; in addition, exactly describes the drawing accompanying the article, signed “Chard”, which is also incriminated by the civil party, which represents a town hall besieged by demonstrators throwing projectiles while one of them says “when are we going not even reproach us for integrating into municipal life! “, while another shouts” down with the French! ” and that a third says “so pale? not with us!” ; in addition, exactly describes the drawing accompanying the article, signed “Chard”, which is also incriminated by the civil party, which represents a town hall besieged by demonstrators throwing projectiles while one of them says “when are we going not even reproach us for integrating into municipal life! “, while another shouts” down with the French! ” and that a third says “so pale? not with us!” ; down with the French! “and a third said” so pale? not with us! “; down with the French! “and a third said” so pale? not with us! “;
 “that the expression” arrogance “imputed to the young” beurs “is not defamatory; that it cannot be the subject of judicial proof; that the expressions” privileges “and” impunity “which would benefit these young Maghreb people are not defamatory towards them but towards those who benefit them; that the evocation of their aggressive and violent behavior does not target them as a whole, but only targets those whose behavior is reported; that the The illustration of the article is not defamatory but could perhaps be qualified as provocation to discrimination and racial hatred; that the court of appeal cannot reclassify the prosecution;

“whereas, on the one hand, constitutes a precise articulation likely to be the subject of a proof and a contradictory debate and of which the defendants themselves offered to bring the proof, the allegation according to which to the during a demonstration opposing militants of the National Front to young people, some of whom were of North African origin, the latter “assisted by a few blacks” were responsible for a series of offenses which would be their own because of their origin; suggesting that because of this origin they would benefit from privileges and impunity due to the existence of laws against racism; as well as the cartoons illustrating these words showing these young “beurs” attacking a municipality and calling out : “down with the French! “;” so pale, not with us! “” we are not going to reproach us for integrating into municipal life “;” by deciding that these words were not likely to be defamatory, the Court of Appeal violated the aforementioned texts:

“while, secondly, by ruling thus without explaining the reasons for the judgment undertaken, which had found the guilty of the defendants on the grounds that neither the newspaper clippings nor the police report, nor the testimonies authorized the journalist to assert that these abuses should be attributed to only “young beurs” assisted by a few blacks “; all the more so as the said journalist offered on appeal to prove the truth of his allegations, the court of appeal deprived his decision of legal basis;

“whereas, on the third part, by removing all reference to the aim of arousing racial hatred, the legislator intended to facilitate the prosecution of the head of defamation and not make them impossible; that it follows that the offenses of defamation and of incitement to racial hatred are not exclusive; that the court of appeal which dismisses the civil party of its defamation action on the grounds that the incriminated facts could perhaps receive the qualification of incitement to racial hatred of which it does not is not seized, without explaining how statements allegedly non-discriminatory, according to it, could receive such a qualification, vitiated its decision of contradiction and deprived it of legal basis “;
 Whereas it appears from the judgment under appeal that in its number 1912 dated September 27, 1989, the periodical newspaper “Z …” published, on the first and third pages, an article entitled “The riot of Gennevilliers” , subtitled “It was occulted because it took place with the cry of: Down with the French!”, and signed by Jean-yves Y …; that by an act of bailiff of December 26, 1989, the association Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l’Amitié entre les Peuples summoned directly before the criminal court Pierre X …, director of the publication of the newspaper, and Jean- Yves Y …, under the prevention of public defamation against immigrants of North African origin, because of this origin, and complicity,

That the quote specifically incriminated the drawing illustrating the article, on the first page, and representing demonstrators stoning a town hall, with the following words in caption: “we are not going to reproach us for integrating into municipal life”, ” so pale? not with us “,” down with the French “;

That the quote also incriminated the following concluding passage of the article: “There is no inevitability of uncontrolled immigration. The arrogance of the young” beurs “results from their impunity. Impunity when they travel for free in public transport; impunity when they give arms of honor to the police officers, representatives of the State; impunity when they attack town halls, police stations, shops, as during the summer in Scionzier, Charvieu -Chavagneux, in Dôle and in all the towns devastated by the race riots; impunity because the anti-racist laws and the application which is made of them give them privileges; impunity because a bad conscience eats away at French society and disarms them. law enforcement” ;

Whereas in order to release the defendants, and to dismiss the civil party, the Court of Appeal first noted that the “arrogance” attributed to young Maghrebis is not likely to harm the honor or the consideration of this group of people, and that the term does not have sufficient precision to be susceptible of judicial proof, so that it is not a defamatory charge;

That the judges add that the assertion according to which “young beurs” would benefit from “impunity” and “privileges” when they travel for free in public transport or when they challenge the police officers or attack public buildings or businesses and this because of the application of anti-racist laws and the “bad conscience of society” is not defamatory towards the supposed beneficiaries of this tolerance;
 That the judges further specify that the evocation of the aggressive and violent attitude of “young beurs” does not target their entire community, but only individuals whose reprehensible behavior is reported;

That the judges finally analyze the content of the incriminated drawing, to deduce from it the absence of defamatory charge, and to note that supposing characterized another offense of incitement to racial discrimination or hatred, this qualification could not be substituted to that retained by the initial act of the prosecution;

Whereas in this state, the Court of Appeal, which made the exact assessment of the nature and scope of the words and design in question, justified its decision without incurring the alleged grievances;

From which it follows that the plea cannot be accepted; And considering that the stop is regular in the form;

DISMISSES the appeal;

Orders the plaintiff to pay the costs;

Thus judged and pronounced by the Court of Cassation, criminal chamber, in its public hearing, the day, month and year above;

Where were present: Mr. Zambeaux senior advisor, acting as president, replacing the president unable to attend, Mr. Guerder advisor rapporteur, MM. Dardel, Dumont, Fontaine, Milleville, Alphand, Mme Baillot, counselors to the chamber, Mmes Batut, Mouillard, Verdun, referendum counselors, M. Galand advocate general, Mme Mazard clerk of the chamber;

In witness whereof, this judgment has been signed by the president, the rapporteur and the clerk of the chamber;

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