The Constitutional Council is now the last step before the promulgation of the comprehensive security bill supported by the government and strongly criticized on the left, despite a rewrite by the Senate before the vote of the National Assembly.
Final vote for a controversial text: the parliament adopted definitively on April 15 the bill on comprehensive security and its article 24 rewritten but still sanctioning the malicious dissemination of images of police officers.
After this last green light from the National Assembly, the text defended by Gérald Darmanin, which was the subject of a strong dispute on the part of the defenders of public freedoms, will probably have to pass under the caudine forks of the Constitutional Council before its promulgation.
The left in any case promised it and Jean Castex had announced in November during the first examination of the text at the Palais Bourbon the referral of the wise men of the rue Montpensier on its article 24. History of trying to deflate the controversies around a proposal of law now rich in 70 articles but which ended up, in its media treatment, by being summed up in its most controversial provision.
Disregarded on the left, denounced by journalists’ organizations but widely supported by the large police union organizations, article 24 aims to protect the security forces in operation by penalizing the malicious dissemination of the image of police and gendarmes.
Going beyond militant circles, the protest was expressed in the street, sometimes with violence. The most important day of mobilization had gathered at the end of November between 133,000 and 500,000 people depending on the sources.
The Senate has partly rewritten Article 24 by creating in the Penal Code an offense of “provocation to identification”. But above all, there is no longer any reference to the 1881 law on freedom of the press.
In line with what the upper house had voted for, the parliamentarians meeting in a joint committee signed this drafting on March 29 and renamed this text, initially associated with the two walking co-editors Alice Thourot and Jean-Michel Fauvergue, “law global security preserving freedoms ”.
“As the drafting of the Senate was going well to us, it was done”, summarizes with AFP Jean-Michel Fauvergue, former boss of the Raid.
The government can say “thank you the Senate”, for its part ironied the leader of deputies LR Damien Abad, after the cacophony between the majority and the executive in December on the rewriting of the article.
However, is this sufficient to deflate the protest? The coordination against the bill which brings together journalists’ unions and organizations for the defense of freedoms demanded on April 13 once again the withdrawal of this text. A press conference is being organized this afternoon near the Palais Bourbon.
As RT France had underlined through various articles from the autumn, the text is not however limited to its emblematic article 24, because its ambition was above all to install the safety continuum detailed by the same two walking deputies. on several occasions since the beginning of their term of office, in particular in the Fauvergue / Thourot report.
The elements of this report on the safety continuum made by the walkers in September 2018 had largely foreshadowed their proposal for a law on global safety first tabled in its original version in early 2020 before the extensive rewriting of the text by Beauvau and a new proposal. in autumn.
Among these objectives: setting to music a new balance between the various French internal security forces (national police, gendarmerie and municipal police), but also with the private security sector. In some cases, the text acts on reality (in particular the relationship between municipal police and the national police), in others it aims to better supervise the increasingly numerous players in private security.
Some ambitions on this last aspect have been planed according to AFP. “There are major advances [mais] we also had to find a balance in order to be able to respect entrepreneurial freedom, ”argues Alice Thourot.
“With this law, the municipal police will take off and for private security, it is a founding text”, rejoices for his part Jean-Michel Fauvergue, quoted by AFP.
We therefore find an increase in sovereign powers entrusted to security actors who would no longer be only the national police and the gendarmerie, but rather local or even private entities (in particular for body searches and anti-terrorist research).
This raises the question, ultimately, of potentially unequal security and conditional on budget issues, even electoral issues. Another major trend: a clear desire to move forward on the subject of the battle of images, whether produced by the media, demonstrators, the general population, the internal security forces or private companies.
In addition, under the objectives displayed for the moment, the stake of securing the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 and the Rugby World Cup in 2023 is repeatedly brandished, in particular on the phone by Alice Thourot herself to from RT France.
Expanded use of police pedestrian cameras, drones, or even the creation of a municipal police force in Paris: other measures continue to be a matter of debate.
The leader of the Insoumis Jean-Luc Mélenchon had judged that the whole of the text was to “throw in the trash”, when the boss of the RN Marine Le Pen, rather discreet on the merits of the measures, had voted the bill .
At the first reading in the National Assembly in November, the level of protest among the walkers was high but far from the records: 30 representatives of LREM abstained and 10 voted against.
“I support the work on the safety continuum of my colleagues Fauvergue and Thourot, not that of Beauvau”, justifies Sacha Houlié for example. This walker from the Vienne, who does not vote on the text on April 15, believes that the controversial provisions for which the Interior Ministry has held the pen “are not necessary”.