What the “Republican Principles” Bill Contains

The law project “Reinforcing republican principles”, supposed to make it possible to fight against “separatism”, was transmitted, Tuesday, November 17, to the presidents of the National Assembly and the Senate. The text gives substance to a number of announcements already made and contains a few surprises. It must be examined in the Council of Ministers on December 9. MPs are due to start its review in January 2021.

  • File for the defense of acts of terrorism

One of the surprises of this bill arrives from its article 3. It aims to register in the Register of perpetrators of terrorist offenses (Fijait) people convicted of the offense of provocation or defending acts of terrorism. This registration will be automatic, “Unless otherwise and specially motivated by the competent court”. The objective sought, specifies the presentation, is to allow “An improvement in the follow-up of people who have demonstrated their support for ideas or acts of a terrorist nature, in order to prevent them, in particular, from performing functions in contact with the public”.

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The Fijait was created by the Intelligence Act of 2015 with the aim of “Prevent renewal” terrorist offenses “And to facilitate the identification of their authors”. It includes extremely restrictive obligations: to report every three months to the police station or the gendarmerie, justify your address and any move and notify before any trip abroad. The project specifies, however, that the persons registered in the file for offenses of provocation or apologia will not be subjected to these obligations.

  • Reinforced public service neutrality

The constitutional principle of secularism imposes strict religious neutrality on the State and on public services. It results in a double obligation: the agents of the State and of the public services cannot display their own religious convictions; they are required to treat all users equally.

The government believes that today some operators contributing to the performance of a public service escape the obligation of neutrality, particularly in the field of transport. Article 1 of the draft explicitly imposes this requirement on the holders of a public procurement contract (public contracts and concessions) and – as the case law of the Council of State already established – on any body contributing to the execution of a public service.

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