State of emergency in France

Deliverable AFFECT BR-03-2018 

Summary – The state of emergency measures are set out in a 1955 law and are designed to be used in “cases of imminent danger resulting from serious breaches of public order, or in case of events threatening, by their nature and gravity, public disaster”. The measures give a number of exceptional powers to the authorities, including the right to set curfews, limit the movement of people and forbid mass gatherings, establish secure zones where people can be monitored and close public spaces such as theatres, bars, museums and other meeting places. It also gives more powers to the security services and police, such as the right to conduct house searches at any time without judicial oversight, enforce house arrest and confiscate certain classes of weapons, even if people hold them legally.

Author: Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet

Date: December 2018

Language: French

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