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Written correspondence from persons remanded in pretrial detention

May 11, 2020

The French Constitutional Council declares the provisions recognizing the right of persons in pretrial detention to correspond in writing with any person of their choice to be unconstitutional, provided that the judicial authority does not oppose it. It considers that the absence of any right of appeal against such opposition by the judicial authority deprives the detainee of his right to an effective remedy before a court.

“In consideration of the consequences of such a refusal for a person placed in pretrial detention, the lack of a legal remedy allowing the judge’s decision to be challenged therefore leads to the contested provisions infringing the requirements resulting from article 16 of the Declaration of 1789.

Consequently, and without the need to examine the other complaints, the words “provided that the judicial authority does not oppose it” in the first paragraph of article 40 of the Law of 24 November 2009 must be declared contrary to the Constitution.”

Decision No. 2018-715 QPC of 22 June 2018