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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

France - October 2023

Government introduces bill to enshrine abortion rights in the Constitution
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The government introduced a bill to the State Council, intended to amend Article 34 of the Constitution to make women’s access to an abortion irreversible. The State Council is the highest court for public administration and is tasked with advising on proposed legislation. By introducing a bill to Parliament directly, the government has the power to convene a special congress, requiring a three-fifths majority for the legislation to pass and boosting the bill’s prospects of being adopted. An existing bill, originating from MPs, has been pending in Parliament since October 2022. Since there have been no successful constitutional reforms initiated by legislators since 1958 and this pathway to constitutional reform would require approval by referendum, the government has opted to introduce its own bill bound by a different process.  As a next step, the government’s bill will be introduced to the Council of Ministers by the end of 2023.

Sources: RFI, France24, The Guardian, Vie Publique, Politico

Primary categories and factors
Rights 0 Rights  (0)
Political Equality
Gender Equality

Court finds bans on pro-Palestine protests must be decided locally

On 12 October, the Ministry of the Interior instructed local authorities not to permit the organisation of pro-Palestinian protests on the grounds that they may create unrest and disturb public order. Protests took place across the country in defiance of the ban, and several protesters were arrested, including ten arrests in Lille. Days later, a ruling by the State Council, the highest court for public administration, found that there cannot be a blanket ban on protests in support of Palestinians but instead these events should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and the decision should be left to prefects and administrative judges at the local level. The case was brought to the State Council by the Palestine Action Committee, a French pro-Palestinian association, citing a breach of freedom of expression. The ruling rejected the association’s request to overturn the decision and found that the communication from the Ministry of the Interior did not seriously violate the rights to freedom of association or freedom of expression.

Sources: RFI, CNN, Le Monde (1), Le Monde (2), State Council

Primary categories and factors
Rights -1 Rights  (-1)
Civil Liberties
Freedom of Association and Assembly
Freedom of Expression
Participation 0 Participation  (0)
Secondary categories and factors
Participation 0 Participation
Civic Engagement

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