Skip to content


Basic Facts about the Country

Membership of the European Union

1 January 1958

Membership of the Council of Europe

5 May 1949

Entry into force of the European Convention on Human Rights

3 May 1974

Basic Facts about the Judiciary

Budget per inhabitant

Number of professional judges per 100,000 inhabitants


Tiers in the ordinary court system


First Instance Courts

Higher Courts (appeals)

Supreme Court (Court of Cassation)

Constitutional Court

Yes (Constitutional Council)

  • Nine appointed members, each of whom holds office for a non-renewable term of nine years. One-third of the members are renewed every three years. Three of the members are appointed by the president of the republic, three by the president of the National Assembly, and three by the president of the Senate.
  • The Council also consists of former heads of state.

Public Prosecutor

The prosecution service is part of the judiciary, and falls under the authority of the minister of justice.

Gender breakdown of judges

All instances


Supreme court

View source

Judicial Governance

Type of governance system

Judicial council model - Moderate

High Council for the Judiciary

  • Has two sections – one with jurisdiction over judges, and the other with jurisdiction over prosecutors
  • The judicial section consists of the president of the Court of Cassation (the section president), five judges, one public prosecutor, one Councilor of State, appointed by the State Council, one practising lawyer, and six qualified citizens (lay members) who do not belong to any of the three branches of power. Lay members are appointed by the president of the republic, the president of the National Assembly, and the president of the Senate, two by each of these actors. This means that the section has a total of 15 members, out of which six are judges.
  • The prosecutor’s section of the Council is presided over by the chief public prosecutor, at the Court of Cassation. It also includes five public prosecutors and one judge, as well as the Councilor of State and a lawyer, together with the six qualified prominent citizens, who also sit in the section with jurisdiction over judges. This means that the section has a total of 15 members, of whom 6 are prosecutors.
  • When deciding on disciplinary proceedings, the two sections consist of 16 members each. In the section that decides over the discipline of judges, this includes a judge that normally sits in the section with jurisdiction over prosecutors, while the section that decides over the discipline of prosecutors includes a prosecutor that normally sits in the section with jurisdiction over judges. This brings the number of magistrates on par with the non-judicial members of the section.
  • There is a general perception that judge members being in the minority does not undermine judicial independence and is preferable for reducing the risk of corporatism within the Council. Nonetheless, the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission has recommended contemplating a constitutional amendment increasing, at least by one member, the number of judicial members of the section with jurisdiction over judges.
  • The president of the republic is no longer the president of the Council (since 2008).
  • The minister of justice may participate in all sittings of the sections of the Council, except those concerning disciplinary matters (in practice, the minister never participates).

Minister of Justice

  • Within the Ministry, there is the Judicial Services Directorate, which is in charge of all organisational/administrative matters related to tribunals and magistrates.
  • Another body associated with the executive is the Commission d’avancement (Promotion Committee). It is partly composed of judges and partly of top civil servants from the Ministry (coming from both the General Inspectorate and the Judicial Services Directorate administration).

Court Presidents

  • Are in charge of the yearly individual assessment of judges
  • Have important administrative powers in terms of organising daily allocation of cases and the overall organisation of the court

Judicial School

  • Is placed under the “tutelle” of the minister of justice, who nominates its director

Judicial associations

  • The Union syndicale des syndicats claims more than 2,200 members, out of about 8,000 judges, holding the largest majority within the judiciary. The left-wing Syndicat de la magistrature has remained in the minority, but is still influential, through its connections with various human rights organisations. Both are committed to the defense of judicial independence.

Distribution of Responsibility

High Council for the Judiciary
  • The Council co-manages judicial careers with the minister of justice and, hence, the system is dyadic.
  •  The judicial section of the Council has the power to propose appointments to the Court of Cassation, and also those of court presidents.
  • Concerning all other judicial appointments, the power to propose belongs to the minister of justice. The Council gives its binding opinion on the candidates proposed by the minister. A judicial appointment can only be made if the Council approves the minister’s proposal. The Council can only accept or reject a candidate, however, and does not have the power to modify the minister’s proposal.
  • The Council gives a non-binding opinion on the proposed candidates to be appointed as prosecutors.
  • The Council acts as a disciplinary court.
  • Overall, the Council is not as powerful as, for example, its Italian counterpart, due to the reluctance of politicians to grant it a prominent role, including in terms of directly participating in public discussion about defending the independence of the judiciary. While a 2008 reform officially recognised the Council’s advisory function where the latter’s opinions are requested by the president or the minister of justice, it forbade spontaneous intervention in public debate.
  • The Council has no role in the so-called “concours complémentaires” (“additional competitions”), which recruit judges based on previous professional experience (such procedures account for the recruitment of about 26 per cent of magistrates).
Minister of Justice
  • Administration and management of the judiciary (outside the scope of the Council’s competences and general prerogatives of court presidents) are under the direct influence of the executive.
  • The minister: proposes candidates for judicial positions (except for those in the Court of Cassation and of court presidents), who are then appointed subject to the binding (positive) opinion of the High Council for the Judiciary; proposes candidates to be appointed as prosecutors, and the High Council issues a non-binding opinion on these candidates; appoints the director of the judicial school; plays a role in disciplinary proceedings, and can initiate disciplinary proceedings against judges; prepares and administers the judiciary’s budget; and prepares bills on various legal issues related to the judiciary.
  • Has a formal role in judicial appointments
  • Is a guarantor of judicial independence
Court Presidents
  • Have a role in court administration
  • Monitor performance and the distribution of cases
  • Perform professional evaluations of judges
  • Initiate disciplinary proceedings
  • Are responsible for implementing the operational budget and authorising expenditures
Judicial School
  • Organises competitive examinations
  • Provides training for judicial candidates
Ministry of Justice
  • The Commission d’avancement, which is composed of judges and Ministry officials, has important competences at the early stage of careers – it is in charge of establishing the “tableau d’avancement” (promotion table), listing the judges with more than 10 years of service who are entitled to apply for higher judicial offices. The promotion table is based on an evaluation of the judge’s performance by their superior, the judge having had an opportunity to be heard. Judges who have been promoted to a higher rank or office are appointed by a decree of the president, upon a proposal of the minister, as approved by the Council.
  • The Direction des Services Judiciares (Directorate of Judicial Services, within the Ministry, is in charge of proposing judicial candidates for appointment to the High Council for the Judiciary.


Political (including parliamentary) appointments of (Supreme Court) judges

The minister of justice is responsible for proposing candidates for judicial appointments, excluding the judges of the Court of Cassation. The High Council for the Judiciary possesses the authority to either accept or reject candidates, but lacks the power to modify the minister’s proposal. In its June 2023 opinion, the Venice Commission criticised this system, noting its potential to grant undesirable power to the executive over judicial appointments. The concern was that political considerations would influence the selection of candidates for judicial positions.


The Venice Commission also emphasised that the power of the Council to reject some candidates may not be sufficient to mitigate this risk. It recommended granting the Council a more decisive influence, suggesting that it be allowed to modify the minister’s proposal, reintegrating or replacing certain candidates as needed.


The appointment process differs for higher level positions, particularly concerning the involvement of the president of the republic in nominating candidates for higher judicial positions (judges of the Court of Cassation and court presidents). The president typically follows the proposals of the High Council for the Judiciary. The Venice Commission acknowledged that presidential involvement in these high-level appointments may not pose a problem. It underscored, however, that the absence of political influence by the president does not guarantee such influence in the future, given the current constitutional framework.

Politicised appointments to the Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Council comprises nine appointed members, each serving a non-renewable term of nine years. To maintain continuity, one-third of the Council members are renewed every three years. The president of the republic, the president of the National Assembly, and the president of the Senate each choose three members of the Constitutional Council. This indicates a significant role for political authorities in shaping the composition of the Constitutional Council.


The risk of politicisation is heightened by the absence of specific requirements for appointees in terms of legal background and experience. Since the 2008 constitutional revision, the Law Committees of the National Assembly and Senate can veto presidential appointments, while appointments made by the president of each house undergo a mere consultation with the relevant standing committee. Importantly, the required threshold (three-fifths of the votes cast by the two committees) makes the use of this veto very unlikely. The appointment of the members of the Constitutional Council is considered an “act of government”, and cannot be subject to judicial review.


French academics (Sébastien Platon and Diane Fromage) theorise that if a single political party controls the presidency of the republic, and the majority in the National Assembly and in the Senate for two consecutive terms, they could potentially appoint up to nine members of the Constitutional Council. While not impossible, this scenario is highly unlikely. The Senate, which represents local authorities, is usually not controlled by the governing majority. So far, no party has ever been able to appoint all members of the Constitutional Council. If this happens, the presence of the former presidents of the republic (they are ex officio members of the Council for life) could raise the majority to seven, and serve as a counterbalance.


Although the prospect of appointing all nine members by a ruling party is unlikely, that party could still be able to influence its members. The absence of a cooling-off period for former members after their terms expire could open avenues for promises of prestigious public offices in exchange for leniency, or for an early departure, facilitating the replacement with a new, loyal member of the Council.

Danger of politicisation/lack of guarantees of prosecutorial independence

In France, judges and prosecutors constitute a unified body of magistrates, allowing transitions between the two roles throughout their careers. Guarantees of independence for prosecutors are comparatively weaker, however, than those in place for judges. Notably, only judges benefit from the security of tenure, a critical aspect of judicial independence. As noted by the Venice Commission, the French legal culture and tradition strongly adhere to a hierarchical model of public prosecution service, placed under the authority of the minister of justice. The minister is allowed to give general instructions shaping national criminal policy. While this hierarchical control over prosecutorial decision-making is not uncommon in countries where the prosecution service is part of the executive, it is deemed acceptable only if robust guarantees protect prosecutors from undue political influence. The government has argued that prosecutorial independence is upheld in France, since the minister cannot issue instructions to prosecutors in individual cases (as opposed to general instructions about penal policy).


Concerns arise, however, regarding the minister of justice’s role in prosecutorial appointments and disciplinary procedures against prosecutors, potentially compromising their independence. Currently, the minister of justice proposes candidates for prosecutorial positions. Although the High Council for the Judiciary has been able to provide its opinion on these candidates since 1993, its input is non-binding on the minister. In contrast, the Council’s advice on candidates for judicial positions is binding. The Venice Commission warns that, while the minister of justice has systematically followed the Council’s negative advice on candidates over the last 15 years, there is no guarantee the minister will not disregard the Council’s opinion in the future. Notably, as highlighted by French academics, the Council rarely gives the ministry negative opinions on the candidates proposed for prosecutorial positions; between 2006 and 2012, out of 550 to 650 nominations considered by the Council, only five to 15 received negative opinions in any given year. This trend appears to be consistent with judicial appointments during the same period.


The reform process, aimed at aligning the prosecutorial appointment procedure with that of judges, by making the Council’s opinion on candidates binding for the minister of justice, was halted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has yet to resume. French authorities explained the lack of progress by insufficient support for constitutional reform in the legislature. The Venice Commission has emphasised that the above-mentioned reform would help safeguard prosecutorial autonomy, and has called for its finalisation.


Similar concerns extend to the disciplinary regime for prosecutors. The minister of justice investigates allegations against prosecutors and imposes disciplinary sanctions, with the High Council for the Judiciary playing only an advisory role. The potential abuse of power by the minister is tempered by the ability to subject decisions to review before the Council of State. The French authorities have emphasised that the Council’s opinion is respected in practice. Taking into account the risks of politicisation, however, the Venice Commission recommended entrusting the authority to impose disciplinary sanctions on prosecutors to the High Judicial Council and aligning the disciplinary procedure for members of the prosecution service with that applicable to judges.


There were efforts in 2013 to give the Council a substantial role in terms of discipline as regards prosecutors (not just the consultative role it currently has). Reform proposals were ultimately abandoned, due to the lack of the qualified majority required for constitutional reforms. Academics have attributed this failure to a general reluctance within the French political and legal culture to align the status of prosecutors with that of sitting judges.


Civil society organisations (CSOs) have raised concern about French prosecutors’ lack of independence from the executive, for example, after the French minister of justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti, remained in position despite being under formal investigation after the anti-corruption group Anticor and three magistrates’ unions filed conflict of interest complaints against him in 2021. There were accusations that the newly appointed minister used his position to settle scores with judges with whom he had clashed as a lawyer, by initiating disciplinary inquiries and administrative proceedings for alleged breaches of ethical obligations.


Under-resourced judiciary

The state does not provide the French justice system with adequate financial resources. France lags behind some other major EU member states in this respect. According to the 2020 data from CEPEJ, 72.53 EUR per inhabitant is provided for the justice system, including 52.50 EUR for the judiciary. This is lower than less, for example, than Spain (87.90 EUR), Italy (82.2 EUR) and, the Netherlands (125.30 EUR) provide. This shortage of funds also means limited human resources, given limited interest in getting into the profession, due to poor working conditions. The situation is even more alarming for prosecutors, with only three prosecutors per 100,000 inhabitants.

Positive Developments & Achievements

Over the past two decades, France has calibrated institutional arrangements to make the judiciary both more independent and accountable. Some reforms signalled the retreat of the “political” reinforcing judiciary and moving the High Council for the Judiciary to a greater distance from political bodies. Other reforms were focused on the overall reinforcement of judicial accountability.

With the 1993 reform of the High Council for the Judiciary, the executive gave up part of its control over the judiciary. Magistrates are now in the majority in the Council, and are elected from among themselves. The reform increased the Council’s control over judicial careers as well. However, after series of widely discussed judicial errors in the 1990s and 2000s that caused public outrage (for example, the “Outreau scandal”, in which people were wrongfully imprisoned), discussion shifted from judicial self-government to judicial accountability. The new constitutional reform, adopted on 23 July 2008, emerged in this context. An expert committee (comité Balladur) highlighted the risks and flaws of judicial corporatism. The new institutional design downsized the role of magistrates, who do not constitute a majority in the Council anymore. In each of the two specialised chambers of the Council (sitting prosecutors and judges), lay members (those chosen from outside the judiciary) were made more numerous (eight out of 15) than the elected representatives of magistrates (seven out of 15). The reform allowed plenary sessions, but made sure that magistrates would remain in the minority when the Council met in plenary session. This did not mean, however, that the 2008 reform marked a return to the pre-1993 situation. The president and the Ministry of Justice did not regain any competences. To the contrary, they were further marginalised, as they were no longer part of the Council itself.

Another important development is the opening of a new procedural pathway for the opening of disciplinary proceedings. Only the Ministry of Justice could open disciplinary cases until 2002, when the capacity to initiate a case was extended to court presidents. The 2008 constitutional reform went further, opening this possibility to litigants themselves.

The system of judicial governance, based on a division of responsibilities between the Ministry of Justice and the High Judicial Council, is widely considered as balanced and functional, even though enhancing the role of the High Judicial Council in certain areas is still deemed desirable. The mixed composition of the Council is viewed as adequate by many, including judges, even though judge members are not in the majority, contrary to the European standard. There appears to be a general perception (with the exception of among the representatives of a union of magistrates) that judge members being in the minority in the Council does not affect the independence of the judiciary. The presence of civil society representatives as non-judge members is perceived as a way of avoiding both politicisation and judicial corporatism, or accusations thereof. It is also seen as a way of legitimising the Council, connecting it with the rest of society, improving the quality of decision-making as non-judge members bring a different perspective, and tempering clashes between different judicial factions inside the Council. Some highlight however, that there is a theoretical risk of politicisation if all non-judge members elected by the legislature have the same political leaning, and that this justifies revisiting the composition to give judge members at least parity on the Council. One reason for the lack of concern over the setup is that judge members have greater influence in the High Council for the Judiciary than non-judge members, due to information asymmetry and better meeting attendance and, hence, corporatism is a greater risk than politicisation.

Rankings and Surveys

Expert Recommendations

European Commission, Rule of Law Report, 2022 - 2023

Overall, concerning the recommendations in the 2022 Rule of Law Report, France has made:

  • Some progress on continuing efforts to complete ongoing projects aimed at full digitalisation of civil and criminal court proceedings.
  • Significant progress on continuing efforts to ensure adequate human resources for the justice system, including to improve its efficiency, taking into account European standards on resources for the justice system


On this basis, and considering other developments that took place in the period of reference, it is recommended to France to:

  • Further continue efforts to complete ongoing projects aimed at full digitalisation of civil and criminal court proceedings
  • Further continue efforts made to ensure adequate human resources for the justice system, particularly by completing the development of the workload measuring tools to better evaluate the needs.
GRECO, Fourth Evaluation Round, Second Compliance Report, Corruption Prevention 2022

Recommendation x:

  • GRECO recommended:
    • i) that legislative reform establish a procedure for the appointment of prosecutors in line with that for judges, making it possible for the Judicial Service Commission to issue an opinion which is binding on the Minister of Justice;
    • ii) that consultations take place on the possibility of aligning the disciplinary procedure for members of the prosecution service with that applicable to judges (with the CSM holding sole authority).

With regard to the first part of the recommendation, the French authorities point out that the draft constitutional reform (draft constitutional law for a renewal of democracy) amending the process of appointing prosecutors and the disciplinary procedure that applies to them was presented to parliament on 29 August 2019.

The draft has not yet been adopted as it is still pending before the parliament (the Congress bringing together both houses has not yet been convened).

GRECO takes note of the information provided and the fact that there has been no progress on the constitutional reform and concludes that recommendation x remains partly implemented.

The Venice Commission, Council of Europe, 2023

Joint Opinion of the Venice Commission and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe on the Superior Council of Magistracy and the Status of the Judiciary as regards Nominations, Mutations, Promotions and Disciplinary Procedures, Adopted by the Venice Commission at its 135th Plenary Session (Venice, 9-10 June 2023)


  • 77. Concerning the composition of the CSM, the Commission recommends:
    • envisaging a constitutional amendment aimed at increasing, at least by one member, the number of judicial members of the section with jurisdiction on judges;
    • providing in the organic law appropriate (in)eligibility criteria for the selection of the prominent citizens and at constitutional level, setting the requirement of a qualified majority (with due anti-deadlock mechanisms) for the selection of the prominent citizens, in order to ensure the maximum diversity;
    • considering re-balancing the representation of lower and higher courts and abolishing the indirect suffrage by “collège de grands électeurs”, as regards the selection of judicial members by their peers;
    • considering, in light of evolving best practices, the continued merit of Article 65.9 of the Constitution according to which the “Minister of Justice may participate in all the sittings of the sections of the Superior Council of Magistracy except those concerning disciplinary matters”.
  • 78. Concerning the power of the CSM to propose the nomination (but also promotion or mutation) of judges, the Venice Commission recommends:
    • attributing to the CSM, at least, the power to modify the proposal of appointments made by the Minister of Justice.
    • The Commission also recommends proceeding to the legislative and constitutional reforms needed to align the appointments’ procedure of prosecutors to the current procedure for judges;
    • pursuing the constitutional reform and amend the first paragraph of article 64 in order to clarify the primary role of the CSM as guarantor of the independence of the judiciary.
  • 79. As to disciplinary proceedings, the Venice Commission, while welcoming the proposal of the current draft organic law to assign some powers of investigation to the filtering panel of the CSM, recommends:
    • shifting from the Minister of Justice to the CSM the power to initiate the disciplinary proceedings ex officio, and to request the IGSJ to carry out an investigation;
    • aligning the disciplinary procedure for members of the prosecution service with that applicable to judges.
  • 80. In addition, the Venice Commission, while acknowledging the added value of the Compendium of deontology for magistrates developed by the CSM, recommends:
    • rewording article 43.1 of the organic law in order to define in a more complete and concrete manner the duties of office of a judge and the other notions in the provision, as well as to explicitly mention the principle of proportionality of disciplinary sanctions;
    • expressly providing in the law that all useful acts of investigation may also be carried out at the request of the accused magistrate, in fulfilment of his or her right of defence.
Liberties, Key recommendations, 2023
  • More resources need to be allocated to the justice system.
  • Reform the justice system with a real consultation of judicial authorities (the methodology of the General Estate of Justice in 2021-2022 has been qualified by judicial authorities as a “communication weapon” by the government).
  • Respect the legal framework for working conditions

Compliance with European Courts' Judgements

Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)

State Performance


Number of unimplemented CJEU rulings related to the judiciary

European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

State Performance


Implementation record


Number of leading judgments pending implementation Moderate

36 %

Percentage of leading judgements from the last 10 years still pending implementation Significant



Average time leading judgments have been pending implementation Moderately Low
Non-Implementation of European Courts Judgments and the Rule of Law | EIN & DRI

Judgements with pending implementation

Selected on relevance to the judiciary / rule of law

Xavier Lucas v France,

This case concerns the violation of the applicant’s right of access to a court, arising from excessive formalism on the part of the Cour de Cassation, which in 2019 required, on pain of inadmissibility, that his 2013 annulment appeal against an arbitral award be lodged with the Douai Court of Appeal by electronic means, despite the practical obstacles he had encountered (violation of Article 6 § 1).

The Court noted that the electronic submission of the application for annulment via e-barreau required the applicant’s lawyer to complete a form, using inappropriate legal concepts. Indeed, the notions of “appellant” and “respondent” exist only in appeal proceedings. The Government has also failed to demonstrate that precise information on how to lodge the disputed appeal was available to users. Furthermore, the applicant states without being denied that case law on this subject was non-existent at the time, including before the courts of appeal (§§ 54-55).

On March 13, 2023, an action plan was submitted for this dossier (DH-DD(2023)330).

The judgment has been circulated to the Ministry of Justice, the national courts and the Cour de Cassation. It has also been commented on in the specialist press.

A working group has been set up between the Ministry of Justice and the Conseil National des Barreaux to assess the feasibility of several modifications that could be made to the e-barreau platform (in particular, the creation of a specific tab for arbitral awards). The possibility of qualifying parties as “plaintiff” or “defendant” is also being studied.

View case details



A.L. v France

This case concerns the failure of the domestic courts to comply with their duty of exceptional diligence, due to the excessive length of the proceedings (from 2013 to 2019) concerning the applicant’s request to establish his biological paternity towards his son, born of surrogate motherhood in France, after the latter had been entrusted by the surrogate mother to a third couple (violation of Article 8). The proceedings in this case lasted six years and around one month, which is not compatible with the duty of exceptional diligence that was imposed, given that when a person’s relationship with his child is at stake, the passage of time can result in the legal question being decided in the light of a fait accompli. The Court stressed, however, that its finding of a violation “cannot be interpreted as calling into question the Rouen Court of Appeal’s assessment of the best interests of child S. and its decision to reject the applicant’s claims, upheld by the Court of Cassation”.

General measures: The ruling has been sent to the Ministry of Justice, which has distributed it widely within the Ministry, the judicial courts and the Cour de cassation. The judgment is also available on the Légifrance website for the general public, and has been distributed to the general public and the specialized press. According to the authorities, no further general measures are required, as the violation is of an isolated nature and the judgment has been brought to the attention of judges and the legal community.

View case details



Garcia y Rodriguez v France,

This case concerns the unfair nature of the criminal proceedings concerning the applicant, due to the late communication in October 2013 of the grounds for his conviction in July 2012 at first instance (violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 b)). In addition, the Court noted that “the situation in which the applicant found himself does not comply with French law, which requires that the originals of judgments, containing the reasons and operative part, be deposited with the court registry no later than three days after the judgment is handed down” (§ 34).
The ruling has been sent to the relevant Court of Appeal and the Cour de Cassation, which have distributed it widely to their departments. The judgment is available on the Légifrance platform for the general public, and has been circulated and commented on by the specialist press.
The authorities consider that no further general measures are required. Given the entry into force of Law no. 2016-731 of June 3, 2016, Article 500 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has in fact been amended since its application, in 2014, to the facts of this case. Whereas before, the withdrawal of an appeal had to take place within one month of the declaration of appeal to be able to cause incidental appeals to lapse, this deadline has been extended. Henceforth, such appeals will lapse if withdrawn at least two months before the date of the hearing.
With regard to communication of the correctional judgment to the parties, paragraph 2 of article 486 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (also applicable before the Court of Appeal) stipulates that the minutes of the judgment are to be made available to them within three days of its pronouncement. The judgment must therefore be reasoned and drafted within this timeframe. The authorities produce a table of statistics on notification times, which takes into account only convicted offenders (with or without a prison sentence) whose date of knowledge of service could be determined by the Decision Information System

View case details



N.H. and others v France,

The case of N.H. et al. concerns the degrading treatment of three asylum seekers, due to their living conditions over a period of four to eight months, between January 2013 and March 2015, combined with the lack of an adequate response from the authorities, and the fact that the domestic courts systematically countered their lack of means in view of their conditions as young single adults, in good health and without family responsibilities (violation of Article 3). As a result, the applicants lived on the streets, with no resources, no access to sanitary facilities and no means of meeting their basic needs, in constant fear of being attacked and robbed, given the saturation of accommodation facilities and the administrative delays (in particular, delays in registering their asylum application) which prevented them from accessing the reception conditions provided for under domestic law (accommodation and financial allowance) (§ 174).
The Court noted that it was aware of the steady increase in the number of asylum seekers since 2007 and the gradual saturation of the national reception system. However, despite the authorities’ efforts to create more accommodation places and shorten the time taken to examine asylum applications, the facts of the case fall within the scope of Article 3 because they are part of a gradual increase and not in a context of humanitarian emergency (§ 182).
On September 11, 2023, the authorities submitted an action plan concerning the execution (DH-DD(2023)1090)

View case details



Further Readings

Fromage, D., & Platon, S. (2020). France – The Resilience of the Constitutional Order to Populism so far and Potential Threats to the Separation of Powers. In S. Hardt, A-W. Heringa, & H-T. Nguyen (Eds.), Populism and Democracy (pp. 169-192). Eleven Publishing.