in a circular, Eric Dupond-Moretti calls for a “rapid, firm and systematic” judicial response and targets parents in particular

Eric Dupond Moretti, at Matignon, in Paris, June 30, 2023.

Firmness and an adapted organization. After three days of violence in several French cities, following the death of young Nahel M., 17, killed on Tuesday June 27 by a policeman in Nanterre, Eric Dupond-Moretti, Minister of Justice, issued a circular asking a legal response “quick, firm and systematic”.

Follow our live: Riots after the death of Nahel M., live: 994 people arrested and 79 police and gendarmes injured overnight from Friday to Saturday, announces the Ministry of the Interior

This triptych targets the authors, but also, when they are minors, their parents. “It is not the state that educates the children, but the parents”, affirmed Mr. Dupond-Moretti in front of the journalists, Friday evening June 30. It is in line with the statements of Emmanuel Macron who had called, a little earlier in the day, “all parents are responsible”.

In a four-page document, released on Friday, the Keeper of the Seals recalls that, “ in addition to the usual qualifications on attacks on persons and property”, it may be retained “rebellion, participation in a group with a view to preparing violence or [de] degradation, and participation in a demonstration while carrying a weapon”. Emphasis is also placed on violence against the police.

Similarly, the former criminal lawyer specifies that it is possible to check – on requisitions from the prosecution – identities and vehicles, even in the absence of suspicious behavior, to search for weapons, explosives theft or concealment, within a renewable period of twenty-four hours and in a given area. It is also recalled that the prosecutors can form legal requisitions to Snapchat-type operators to identify the perpetrators of offences. Indeed, for three days, many videos of abuses have been circulating on this type of application and have been shared virally on social networks.

You will have to pay for the damage done by your children

For the major defendants“the referral for the purposes of immediate or deferred appearance, or, where applicable, appearance on prior admission of guilt [le plaider-coupable]will be privileged to respond to the most serious facts “ and ensure a quick response. It is also envisaged measures prohibiting appearances on the scene of the demonstrations. For minors, referral is also preferred. Depending on the seriousness of the facts and pending judgment, placement in a home is possible, as well as prohibitions on going out in the evening.

With regard to parents, the circular emphasizes that “offenses committed by minors engage, in principle, the civil liability of their parents”. Understand: you will have to pay for the damage done by your children. But, above all, it is on the penal aspect that the minister insists. He therefore asks to use the provision of the penal code allowing proceedings to be instituted against parents for whom “serious breaches of their legal obligations could be observed to the point of seriously compromising the health, safety, morals or education of the minor”.

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