France counterterrorism bill signed into law

France counterterrorism bill signed into law

French President Emmanuel Macron [official website, in French] formally signed a law [materials, in French] Monday to replace a two-year-old state of emergency established in the wake of violent Paris attacks that killed 130 people in November 2015.

The new law gives police and other law enforcement officials authority to conduct searches, and more. It will take effect Tuesday, just as the state of emergency is set to expire November 1.

The lower house of parliament approved [JURIST report] the bill October 3 with a sweeping 415-127 majority, and the French Senate voted 244-22 on October 17 to approve the bill.

Then-President François Hollande declared the initial state of emergency November 13, 2015. The state of emergency had been extended six times first in November 2015 [JURIST report], and most recently on July 6.

The current state of emergency application has been criticized by human rights groups, including the UN Committee for Human Rights [press release], which argued that “these measures do not seem to adjust to the fundamental principles of necessity and proportionality.”