Let's talk about France!No. 23 April 2007
Now in the News
2007 Presidential Election
The President of the Constitutional Council proclaimed the list of the twelve candidates in the first round of the presidential election on 19 March.
Now in the News
First Livret du Citoyen presentation ceremony
Jean-François Lamour, Minister for Youth, Sport, and Voluntary Organisations and Associations, visited the Issy-les-Moulineaux city hall on 22 march to attend the first ceremony for giving the Livret du Citoyen ("Citizen's Handbook"). The French President wanted Citizenship Ceremonies to be instituted and the first ones are being organised this year by Mayors to present young French citizens who come of age with their voting card and the Livret du Citoyen. The Citizen's Handbook summarises the main rights and duties of French citizens and the fundamental principles underlying the French Republic, democracy, and the French political system. The Livret du Citoyen was written by the Ministry for Youth, Sport, and Voluntary Organisations and Associations together with entrepreneurs, union officials, association representatives, members of the French National Youth Council, journalists and academics.
FRENCH CURRENT ISSUES
Combating racism and xenophobia: 2006 Annual Report of the National Consultative Commission of Human Rights (NCCHR)
There was a significant overall reduction in 2005 in racist and anti-Semitic acts reported to the authorities and a worrying increase in the percentage of people who admitted to being racists; figures for 2006 show a degree of stability, and even a decrease in racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic acts.
The NCCHR advocates continued vigilance and further strengthening anti-racist measures and above all developing preventive actions. It recommends showing strong and targeted political will in this respect and recalls that the fight against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism must be addressed through specific and concerted policy actions.
Adoption of the Law on delinquency
The Law on delinquency promulgated on 5 March 2007 focuses chiefly on ways of addressing juvenile delinquency; it also contains measures concerning spousal violence and drug consumption. The Law's principal measures are as follows:
diversification and individualisation of measures available to judges: placement in a distant educational institution, giving extra schoolwork, placement in a boarding school, etc.
possibility to use the criminal settlement procedure from the age of 13 (it enables prosecutors to offer a measure to a person who admits to committing an offence and thus to avoid proceedings in a criminal court);
possibility to try persistent minor offenders aged over 16 at the next hearing, without waiting for a period of 10 days following police custody;
aggravation of penalties applicable to perpetrators of spousal violence who may be placed under judicial supervision.
introduction of voluntary national service in the national police force;
improved labelling of products (including video media) containing violent or pornographic messages or messages that encourage drug consumption, and prohibition of their being made available or sold to minors;
extension to 72 hours (instead of 24 hours previously) of the observation period required to take the automatic institutionalisation decision;