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#85643 - 11/29/03 05:39 PM The law is changing in France at last !
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Since I am a member from Paris, France, I want to tell you about the changes that are about to happen over here.
Last night the Parliament has voted unanimously the 139 Amendment to the Penal Law Code which will allow incest and pedophilia survivors to press charges to a penal court up to 20 years after the majority (18 years old in France) for sexual harassment and 30 years for rape cases (oral rape is considered a crime in the French law just as standard rape).
Until now, victims had only 10 years after their majority to press charges. They could eventually go to a civilian court but the big difference is that the survivor has to prove the facts by himself (with the help and the investigation of the police). So this is nearly impossible for most of incest survivors due to the lack of evidence.
The 139 amendement has now to be validated by the Senate (which rejected it last month in a first reading).
At the same time, another law has been put forward to purely abolish the pre>
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#85644 - 11/29/03 08:57 PM Re: The law is changing in France at last !
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
The extension of time seems a big step towards justice--and safety for survivors.

Incest is really difficult to prove I guess. Even if more than one person makes an accusation it is still a case of his words versus theirs.

It all is good news. Thanks for sharing.

Your English is excellent.
My French is very limited and quite a linguistic travesty.

Bob

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If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#85645 - 11/30/03 10:03 AM Re: The law is changing in France at last !
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Sorry I made a mistake regarding civilian court. It should be read "without" instead of "with" The survivor is being helped by the police only when the charges are made in a Penal Court.
I was too fast and too enthusiastic about the writing.
\:\)

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#85646 - 11/30/03 02:47 PM Re: The law is changing in France at last !
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Caetel, I think it is pretty much the same here in the USA. The police and District Attorney gets invovled in criminal charges. But if it is a civil case I think all the investigation and building of a case is down by the lawyer, possibly with the helped of a hired private investigator.

However, child abuse is automatically a criminal case, investigated by the police and prosecuted by the DA.

The biggest part of your news for me is the extension of time to prosecute--starting at the age of majority, not at the age of the last offense. That would make a huge difference here.

Bob

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#85647 - 12/01/03 03:09 PM Re: The law is changing in France at last !
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Ok maybe I'm a legal geek but I do know that French law is based upon a "civil code" and that the majority of North America (other than Louisiana and Quebec) we are operating on a common law code - I think that in "civil code" locations it is easier to pass laws that are "for the good of the community" vs. laws that may infringe on "individual rights"... (i.e. would a child porn law be easier to pass in a common law vs. a civil law environment? Interesting to find out...) Anyhow I am just musing if the difference in legal systems has a lot to do with the difficulties in recognizing sexual abuse as a serious offence and it being treated/punished as such. It just seems to me that it is such an uphill battle for survivors of sexual abuse to get recognition/credit/support through the legal system in much of North America (short statutes of limitations, "blame the victim" approaches, lenient penalties, etc.).

FYI - on the French civil code:

"The Code Napoléon ... was conceived as a complete legislative statement of principles rather than rules and as a truly revolutionary enactment designed to remake the law in the image of a new and better society. It was founded on the premise that for the first time in history a purely rational law should be created, free from all past prejudices and deriving its content from 'sublimated common sense'; its moral justification was not to be found in ancient custom or monarchical paternalism but in its conformity with the dictates of reason."

- William Tetley, Professor of Law, McGill University, Montreal


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#85648 - 12/02/03 07:30 PM Re: The law is changing in France at last !
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Dear Pas

Our laws are based on several "code". "Code civil" is only one of them, the oldest so it seems. All criminal prosecutions are based on "Code pénal". I can't say more about it.
I have the feeling that one of the reasons why the issues are "in the air" is that in January the trial of Marc Dutroux will start in Belgium. Have you heard about that ? This is going to be a major blow since a lot of high officials took part in the pedophile network for which Dutroux worked for. We believe such a network exists in France and politicians are concerned with the fact that they could be investigated by the media if they refuse to pass the law. The media would want to know with reason why deputies would turn dow a law that protects the victims.
I have written this afternoon a long letter to the senators to encourage them to pass the amendement instead of rejecting it (they did that last month bastards !)
If I have the courage I will translate it for you !!!!
Love to all,
Caroline

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#85649 - 12/03/03 12:33 AM Re: The law is changing in France at last !
gryffindor Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 131
Loc: St. Charles, Illinois
______________________________________________________________

I have the feeling that one of the reasons why the issues are "in the air" is that in January the trial of Marc Dutroux will start in Belgium. Have you heard about that ? This is going to be a major blow since a lot of high officials took part in the pedophile network for which Dutroux worked.
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Caetel,

I'm a news hound, and I haven't seen anything in the U.S. media about what must be a major scandel. Are these "high officials" E.U. officials, or are they officials of various nations, e.g. Belgium (France?)? Is there evidence that a pedophilia network exists in France? I assume that the media must have been investigating and has found something. It sounds very interesting. Maybe it will lead to legislation which will protect the rights of victims.

Caetel and PAS,

Your discussion of the differences between the Code Civil and the common law system of civil law led me to Black's Law Dictionary, unfortunately the 1968 edition, but better than nothing. In the U.S. the civil law of the individual states (except Louisiana) is common law. The criminal law is in the code form. This is difficult for me to explain without writing a treatise so maybe I should stop before I get started. Suffice it to say that criminal law at the state level as well as at the federal level is strictly statutory law as opposed to common law. At the state level the criminal codes are limited by the state's Constitution and by the federal Constitution. The Federal Code of Criminal Law is limited only by the U.S. Constitution, which in reality means whoever is sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court at the time a particular case comes up for appeal. This is because we have a court of nine appointed people who have taken it upon themselves to write laws for the whole country. This is called "interpreting" the Constitution.

PAS, does Canada have a written or unwritten Constitution? The U.K. has what they call an "unwritten Constitution," whatever that is. I've never understood it. It seems to me that an unwritten Constitution is whatever whoever is in power says it is. Perhaps Lloydy will enlighten us.

Mary

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"Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in darkness, I would not have recognized the light." Midrash Tehillim Ch. 22

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#85650 - 12/08/03 06:17 PM Re: The law is changing in France at last !
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Dear all

I will be going to the French Senate tomorrow with the webmistress of inceste.org
We are going to be heard by the president of the law commission (regarding the Amendement 139). I will be bringing a letter I wrote to all the senators personnally (I will try to translate it for you soon in this section)and other testimonies.
Regarding pedophilia networks, the one in Belgium is massive and involves even ministers in the government. In France, though a few arrests have been made (one guy arrested was actually a judge in charge of a commission follwing cases and judging pedophiles !)nothing has been proven yet. It seems that stuff get covered up except from time to time when the police dismantle a pedophile network on the internet.
I certainly hope the Dutroux case in Belgium will shake the journalists in France and that they would start investigating !
Speak soon
Caro

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