jeudi 20 décembre 2007

Wow !!! Lakota 1 USA 0

The Lakota Indians have withdrawn from treaties with the United States :

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.


lundi 17 décembre 2007

Mwahahaha (mwahahaha ?) about Rachida Dati and her family

I've already posted about her:

"Boire du petit lait"

Now another brother of hers has been sentenced to 8 months of jail for drug trafficking...

But I dunno if I feel glad that her family is having a hard time for the precise reasons she has asked the Parliament to be tougher against recidivists.

What could have turned a hurted teenager that felt rejected in her own country (see about the letter she sent at 17 saying that she felt immigration policy in France was an insult to the very people that made France) into the monster of coldness and arrivism she is now...

I really would like to read a trustful biography of hers...

dimanche 16 décembre 2007

Pax britannica in Basra

As the rhythm of my posts shows it, I'm extremely busy. But today I'm so outraged that I want to share my bad vibes (sorry) because I think anger is sometimes good.

So, apparently we (the West) invaded Iraq to protect democracy and human rights. It was a duty for some (Kouchner our French foreign minister for example, who is a big fan of "le droit d'ingérence").

Today, the UK troops left Basra into the hands of the new Iraq authorities.

Everybody wonders about the security of people there now.

So, okey, maybe the security is not ensured, but hey ! now Basrans live in democracy !

Yeah, right... Basra used to be a city where women walked unveiled and where night life was very much appreciated.

Since the invasion, this has come to change dramatically as The Vancouver Sun told the 8th of December:

Women in Iraq's southern city of Basra are living in fear. More than 40 have been killed and their bodies dumped in the streets in the past five months for behaviour deemed un-Islamic, the city's police chief says.

Fuck pax britannica and americana!

mercredi 21 novembre 2007

Long live Cugnaux !!!

I'm considering very seriously to live forever in Cugnaux (a little town near Toulouse).

This is the reason (click on the image to make it bigger) :

For you non French speakers, this is what it basically says :

"The Mayor of Cugnaux,

Considering that the cemetary of Cugnaux does not have anymore space to inhumate with dignity anyone"

Art 1 : it is forbidden to anyone who does not have already a reserved spot in our cemetary to die in the territory of Cugnaux
Art 2 : the ones who will violate this rule will be severily sanctionned

Cugnaux, 16th of November 2007"

You better move there fast 'cause it's gonna get crowded !!!

This is not a hoax btw...

mardi 20 novembre 2007

Sweet reward

Sometimes is just very very sweet to be a lawyer...

dimanche 18 novembre 2007

I'm a Maître Chanteur but never a blackmailer !

One of the best things that happened when I met my best friend Delphine is that I started to sing in public for friends... and then for family... and then for my fellow lawyers... and maybe one day for everyone...

Well, come to think about it, I already started singing for everyone since I have uploaded some vids on YouTube.

Anyhoot, last 14th of November, my fellow lawyers (frèrescon pour les intimes) organized a show about first names and cities and we sung something like 30 songs for a public of around 100 people.

Here are the three songs that I sung (far from being perfect and me being a goldfish I forgot half of the lyrics...) followed by the original version of each artist :

free music

- Lili from Aaron

- Andy from les Rita Mitsouko

- Marcia from les Rita Mitsouko

I really enjoyed that evening because for the first time in my life I felt at ease with the public and encouraged them to sing and clap their hands, which they gracioulsy did for my great joy and fun.

Feel free to ask for the rest of the show's recording if you feel like because even if we were not perfect, my fellow maîtres chanteurs were really good.

Internet is super great !

Peace !

lundi 5 novembre 2007


It's been a while... and it's gonna be a while for a real post here since like Sissi I'm super bissi.

Anyhoot, since this is supposed to be a good vibes blog, lemme just share the good vibes shining from me, because it dawned on me this week-end that I've been out to myself for a year !!!

Yay !!!

That was exactly the 2 of November 2006.

So I'm happy and gay and wanted to share that with you !

dimanche 14 octobre 2007


Chabal even cried...

dimanche 7 octobre 2007



Very interesting to compare with the one before this match :

Les Bleus had the intelligence to go as closest as possible to the All Blacks to dominate them during the haka and to look them in the eyes and make "funny" faces too.

It was superbe !

Les Bleus as always win when they have nothing to lose.

It was just the best rugby match I've ever seen and I even got palpitations at the end of the second time.



lundi 24 septembre 2007

Lethal demagogy

In Paris, a Chinese woman, illegal alien in France, jumped over a window from the 2d floor afraid of the Police.

The Police had apparently come to deliver an injunction to one of her neighbors.

She died Friday because of a head injury.

Ivan, a Russian teenager of 12, was also severely wounded last 9 August, after jumping during the arrest of his parents who were going to be deported because they are illegal aliens.

And old Arab woman was also arrested by the Police while she was taking a bath.

The Minister of the so-called "Integration", recently reminded Police and Administration that the deportation numbers needed to be of 25000 by the end of this year. 25000 "persons" that is, because it is never really specified clearly. Come to think about it, there is no use to specify it.

Bernard Kouchner (our Foreign Affairs Minister) should seriously stop saying that France is the country of Human Rights...

samedi 22 septembre 2007

Connecting dots: from Snow in Kar to Sarko in Dakar

I have this theory: our brain's main activity during our first 30 years of life consists in collecting, storing information and learning. Then, even if we continue learning, our brain's main activity becomes connecting dots, using all the information it has stored, analyzing etc...

I have no scientific ground whatsoever to say this, but I base myself on my own experience: my memory has become a mess, and I find difficult to learn new languages. On the other hand I've been "connecting dots" more often now than ever. But maybe I'm under the influence of my every day work.

Anyhoot, here's the result of my last "dot connection".

I quoted Snow on my last post, and particularly this:

Chapitre 31
Young excited Kurd: Suppose a Westerner meets someone belonging to a poor people ; well, first he would feel towards this person an instinctive contempt. He would think right away that if this person is so poor is because he belongs to an idiotic people. And he would very probably think that the head of this person is full of nonsense and idiocy which makes his people drawn into poverty and misery.

And here's Nicolas Sarkozy's speach at the Université de Dakar the 26 July 2007:

"The tragedy of Africa, is that the African man has not entered enough in History. The African peasant, who lives with the seasons since millenaries, and whose ideal is to live in harmony with nature, only knows the eternal restarting of time at the rythm of the everlasting repetition of the same gestures and words.

In that imagination, where everything starts all over again and again, there is no place for human adventure, nor for the idea of progress.

In that universe where Nature commands all, the human being avoids the anguish of History that the modern man suffers, but the human being stays still in the middle of an immutable order where everything seems to be written in advance.

Never the human being hurls himself to the future. Never can he imagine to get away from repetition in order to invent a destiny for him.


The challenge of Africa is to learn to see its accession to the Universal not as a denial of what she is, but as an accomplishment.

The challenge of Africa, is to learn to feel herself the heiress of everything that is universal in in all human civilisations.

Is to appropriate human rights, democracy, liberty, equality, justice as the common heritage of all civilisations and of all men."

This speech outraged Africans and if you are not "ethnocentered" you can understand why. Achille Mbembe, a Cameroun born political science professor in Johannesburg, wrote about his outrage:

The third reason for my incredulity is the tired old vision that the new French Head of State has, at present, chosen to convey of Africa and its people. As I pointed out in a previous article, this vision descends directly from 19th century racist dogma.

The President delves copiously into this mire, without the slightest distance or irony. He repeats entire pages of the wild imaginings of Hegel, Lévy-Bruhl, Leo Frobenius, Placide Temples and other inventors of the "African soul", in the process constructing his "truth" from the off-shoots of yesterday's ethno-philosophy, just as others before him invested in ethno-zoology in the hope of discovering the "fundamentally animal essence of the negro".

But doesn't he realize that the narrow-mindedness that characterizes colonial racism - that terrorism before the word was invented - has been the object of sustained criticism on the part of African intellectuals themselves since the second half of the 19th century? Doesn't he know that respecting a friend also means referring honestly to his/her opinions?


After all, who still ignores today that the recourse to clichés such as "the black soul" or "African authenticity" is, above all, a part of the tactics corrupt regimes and their political and intellectual elites use to promote "cultural difference" in the effort to legitimate their brutality and venality? Isn't it true, moreover, that, since decolonization, many French networks have unashamedly "cooperated" with this spirit of venality, networks which, for the occasion, hardly trouble themselves with skin colour?"

As for me, I like Pamuk's books a lot, but sometimes I would like that fiction never meets reality to prove him right...

jeudi 20 septembre 2007



Chapter 14
Ipek talking to Ka: In other words, you are in love with me because you don't know me at all. Is it really love, that, for you?


Ka talking to Ipek: Instead of giving a negative answer, don't say a thing.

Chapter 25
Kadife talking to Ka: She finds you very handsome, but she cannot believe you. She also needs time to believe. Because the impatients of your kind don't think about loving a woman but rather about how to own her.

Chapter 28
About Ka: He remembered that he feared to be in love because of that devastating pain caused by the wait.


By showing himself more ardent and more touchy, when their relationship was but starting, Ka felt that the power balance had turned against him. Fearing to appear too weak and in order to hide the suffering he had endured, he put Ipek in an ackward situation. But, didn't he want precisely to be in love to be able to share everything? Wasn't it love the desire to be able to say everything?

Chapter 33
Ka realized that what we called "family", in spite of misfortune and problems, was an institution founded on the pleasure of the stubborness of being together.


Chapter 27
Turgut Bey talking to Ka: The question is as follows: me being today a comunist, modernist, secularist, democrat and patriot man, do I have to believe first in the Enlightment or in the people's sovereignty? If I believe till the end in the Enlightment and westernization, I have to support this military coup against the religious. But if I put the people's sovereignty before anything else and if I am a democrat without concession, then, in that case, I have to go and sign that declaration. What do you reckon?

Ka: Be on the side of the oppressed and come sign this declaration.

Turgut Bey : It is not enough to be oppressed, you need to be right too.

Chapitre 31
Young excited Kurd: Suppose a Westerner meets someone belonging to a poor people ; well, first he would feel towards this person an instinctive contempt. He would think right away that if this person is so poor is because he belongs to an idiotic people. And he would very probably think that the head of this person is full of nonsense and idiocy which makes his people drawn into poverty and misery.

Chapter 35
Lazuli: For a person to be Westerner, she has first to be an individual. But, according to them, there is not a single individual in Turkey. There lays the meaning of my execution. Me, as an individual, I oppose Westerners, and it's because I'm an individual that I won't imitate them.

Excerpts from Snow, a book written by Orhan Pamuk



Chapitre 14
Ipek s'adressant à Ka : Autrement dit tu es amoureux de moi parce que tu ne me connais pas du tout. C'est vraiment de l'amour, ça, d'après toi ?


Ka s'adressant à Ipek : Plutôt que de donner une réponse négative, ne dis rien.

Chapitre 25
Kadife s'adressant à Ka : Elle vous trouve très beau, mais elle ne peut vous croire. Il lui faut aussi du temps pour croire. Parce que les impatients de votre espèce pensent non pas à aimer une femme mais plutôt à se l'approprier.

Chapitre 28
A propos de Ka : Il se souvint qu'il redoutait d'être amoureux à cause de cette douleur ravageuse que cause l'attente.


En se montrant ainsi plus ardent et plus susceptible, alors que leur relation ne faisait que s'esquisser, Ka sentit que le rapport de force lui était devenu défavorable. Craignant de paraître trop faible et pour cacher la souffrance qu'il avait endurée, il mit Ipek dans une situation inconfortable. Or, est-ce qu'il ne voulait précisément pas être amoureux pour désormais partager toute chose ? L'amour, d'ailleurs, n'était-ce pas le désir de pouvoir dire toute chose ?

Chapitre 33
Ka réalisait que ce qu'on appelle " famille ", malgré les malheurs et les problèmes, était une institution fondée sur le plaisir de s'obstiner à demeurer ensemble.


Chapitre 27
Turgut Bey s'adressant à Ka : La question est la suivante : moi, à présent, en tant que communiste, moderniste, laïc, démocrate et patriote, est-ce qu'il faut que je croie d'abord aux Lumières ou en la souveraineté du peuple ? Si je crois jusqu'au bout aux Lumières et en l'occidentalisation, il faut que je soutienne ce coup d'Etat militaire mené contre les religieux. Mais si je place la souveraineté du peuple avant toute chose et si je suis un démocrate sans concession, alors, dans ce cas, il faut que j'aille signer cette déclaration. Vous, vous penchez pour quoi ?

Ka :
Soyez du côté des opprimés et venez signer cette déclaration.

Turgut Bey : Il ne suffit pas d'être opprimé, il faut aussi avoir raison.

Chapitre 31
Jeune kurde exalté : Supposons un Occidental qui rencontre quelqu'un d'un peuple pauvre ; eh bien, il éprouvera en premier lieu evers cette personne un mépris instinctif. Il pensera aussitôt que si cet homme est pauvre à ce point c'est parce qu'il appartient à un peuple idiot. Et il pensera que très probablement la tête de cet homme est pleine d'inepties et idioties qui font sombrer tout son peuple dans la pauvreté et la misère.

Chapitre 35
Lazuli : Pour qu'une personne soit occidentale, il faudrait d'abord qu'elle soit un individu. Or, selon eux,il n'existerait pas d'individu en Turquie. Là réside le sens de mon exécution. Moi, en tant qu'individu, je m'oppose aux Occidentaux, et c'est parce que je suis un individu que je ne les imiterai pas.

Extraits de Neige d'Orhan Pamuk

lundi 17 septembre 2007

Are we going to fight this war?

Well, apparently we are going to war. That's what our Foreign Affairs Minister is saying...

And why ? Because Iran is getting the N bomb (the buzz is going as far as North Korea... the Evil Axis... remember?).

And that is just unbearable for France (and the US of course). My my my, our two countries have never been so close. If Sarkozy was the president in 2001, we could have gone to that horrible and disastrous war in Irak.

But hey, honestly, if I were Iran considering :

  • the stupidity with which the US have handled the Irak conflict
  • the greediness of the 1st superpower in terms of oil supply
just to be able to make Georgy come to his senses, if I hadn't got the N bomb yet, I would be hurrying my ass to have it!

Let's be logical here: Iran is not Al Quaeda. Agreed? So Iran is not going to "kamikaze" its people in the name of Jihad. Agreed? So they are not going to send us N bombs for the sake of religion. Agreed? If Iran is going to this extent is because if feels threatened and rightly so.

But don't misunderstand me. I'm against sharia and I'm against the State and Religion being mingled together (by the way, the US is not an example of secular country considering that Presidents have to swear on the Bible).

The only question here is: are we entitled (we the West) to kill civilians (the Iranians, because that's what war is about) in the name of our sacrosanct democracy? Or better yet: in the name of what are we going to start killing civilians in Iran? Democracy? Freedom? That has been already blown up by Bush in Irak and Afghanistan no? The control of a very important geo-strategical country? I think that's the only logical reason that could be accepted as a reason to go to war.

A logical reason is not always a good reason though...

dimanche 16 septembre 2007

Copy or Creation?

Do you know something that makes us superior from machines and computers? The ability to connect information, concepts, to tie them together in order to compare them and to come up with a brand new analysis out of it. The brain is great! I don't think any machine could make the links we make between all the information that we digest everyday. But is this ability a source of creation?

Orhan Pamuk keeps repeating in "The Black Book" that nothing that we could say, imagine, or create is virgin from influences of readings, conversations, education. So what is it that makes the difference between an original work and a vulgar plagiarism?

I think is the "added value" that our brain could have produced (sorry if it sounds too economical), this unexpected link between ideas and informations, that piece of thought that makes us think or wonder and that makes us in return produce some more "added value".

In other words, a plagiarism is arid whereas an original work carries the seed that will lead to another original work if it grows in the brain of the one that's reading or listening to us.

This led me to think about a controversy that arose in France this summer after Mazarine Pingeot published a novel about a mother that killed her babies and deep freezed them. Some people think that she just exploited a gruesome piece of news and interfered in the private life of a family. I have not read the book, but apparently Mazarine Pingeot did not base her book only on what happened to that French couple in Korea. And even if she had... if the book is well written, if it carries the original mark of her thoughts about infanticide, then I don't see why she should not be entitled to inspire herself on true facts!

samedi 15 septembre 2007

Why Starbucks has a chance in France

Even with a strong tradition of "cafés" and "bistrots" here in France, Starbucks has been developping in Paris and spreading like mushrooms.

The first Starbucks shop opened the 16 January 2004 near the Opera. Today, it has 28 stores in Paris and 7 stores in the Parisian area.

Me, I discovered Starbucks in London and was so greatful to have found one that I took my quarters in the Starbucks store that's near the Centre Pompidou (the modern art museum called also Beaubourg) every time I have to go to Paris and work during the day.

We could think that success comes from the turistic factor and that Americans and other aliens are reassured to recognize this brand where products are standard (it surely helped me when I was in Turkey).

But you have also two other factors:

  1. The fact that you can stay forever in a Starbucks store and nobody's going to pressure you to leave if you don't order something every 30 minutes

  2. The French don't know how to make good coffee in general. Most of the "cafés" that you can find in France serve you a very bitter coffee made out of robusta coffee (cheaper than the arabica, but also very bitter)
My mom always recalls a scene she witnessed in Paris some years ago in a café terrace located in a very bourgeois neighbourhood. An old and very elegant lady called the proverbial unpleasant parisian waiter:

- Garçon !
- Yes Ma'am.
- Your coffee is downright lousy!
(Votre café est parfaitement dégueulasse !)

Now my brother was asking me the other day after we heard that Starbucks had to leave the Forbidden City in Beijing:

"What would you say if Starbucks opened a store in La Tour Eiffel ?"

Frankly, I don't give a damn. I don't see why a coffee shop could not open in La Tour Eiffel just because it's called Starbucks and it's an American chain. Oh well... okey... maybe not in La Tour Eiffel then...

But I like their coffee. It's better than most French coffees. And the ambiance that you find in the stores is as (if not more) agreeable than those of traditional French coffees.

So for me a venti capuccino with an extra shot of expresso !

vendredi 14 septembre 2007

My homage to Jacques Martin

Good Kelkians and people who don't live in France:

Jacques Martin was a very popular TV man from the 70's through the middle of the 90's.

He died today and the media of course was all over his death.

I didn't like much his programs, I thought they were too cheesy (yeah, I don't like cheesy). But apparently he was capable of a more acid humor and I did not know that:

My homage is to translate what he's blabing about...

Pierre: Hum... Maryse... Look carefully at this. What do you see? What is it?

Maryse: It's a... um... a mini-curler?

Pierre: No Maryse! Look at it again. What else?

Maryse: Hihihi... I dunno... a... mini-rolling pin in paper? Hihihi

Pierre: Let's not joke about it. No no. It is some kind of cigarette. Bigger than a normal one. And it is closed at the two ends. It's a cigarette 100% natural that only contains herb.

Maryse: Herb?

Pierre: Oui, Maryse. A marvelous herb that is brought to us from Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria... A herb that is scrupulously selected by sales representatives that deliver it in France hidden in trucks or concealed in boat holds.

Maryse: So Pierre, if I follow you well, this kind of cigarettes is absolutely not harmful.

Pierre: Absolutely not Maryse. Moreover, we are going to prove it to our viewers: you are going to light one.

Maryse: But I don't smoke Pierre!

Pierre: But it is not tobacco! It is herb...

Maryse: If you say that it is not harmful at all...

Pierre: That's right. You will see. You won't feel no nausea at all. And you won't have... (lights a match) that unpleasant odor of chain smokers... (lights the spiff) there you go... I only advice you: inhale the smoke, keep it in your lungs as long as you can, an exhale only when you can't hold it.

Maryse: (Inhales, holds, exhales) Oh yeah...

Pierre: So... is it tobacco?

Maryse: No... hihihi

Pierre: Is it pleasant?

Maryse: Hihihihi...

Pierre: Do you have the taste of tobacco in the mouth?

Maryse: ...

Pierre: So now Maryse you are going to ask me: What is the use of this Pierre?

Maryse: What is the use of this Pierre?

Pierre: Very good question Maryse and I will answer that it's very useful! You can use it to clean your house everyday without complaining. To be able to bear your husband, no matter his mood, no matter how many years of marriage, the worries of life, the shit of every day life that you have to stand day to day, without feeling the stress that goes with it.

Maryse: Hahahahaha

Pierre: So I turn to you Maryse and I ask you, how do you find this herb? And you answer me...

Maryse: Hahahahaha !!! and I answer: it is goooood!!! it's good! it's good!!!


And for those who have been good, the bonus:

vendredi 7 septembre 2007

On Turkey, the EU, the war on Islam and other matters

Here's an interesting article I read on BBC:

Turkey's soul unveiled

Internationally acclaimed writer Elif Shafak says women's bodies have become a battlefield for competing views of modern Turkey.

Just because I spent my holidays in Turkey I've become an "expert" on Turkish matters for a lot of people. They ask me what I think about the AKP victory and the fact that Gul is the new president of Turkey. Media here in France have been calling Gul an islamist, the more moderate ones a "former islamist".

I think kinda like Elif Shafak, and I'm not that worried. So basically I say to people here in France:

  • Wait and see, the AKP has proved to be a pro-european party in the past. Gul is not going to change the way the AKP has been leading the country since 2002.

  • Turkey is a secular country and I'm confident it will remain a secular country (but that also will depend on how Turkey is considered by the West in the next years methinks, because if we enter in a West/Islam conflict... I dunno).

  • Turkey is also a muslim country and it is not because there are women covered that automatically you have to think that fundamental islamism is spreading wildly. Not once, in Istanbul or in Izmir (and yes I know those cities are the most liberal but still), did I felt weird or object of open or less open criticism because I was not covered or because I was wearing "light" clothes and it's not because people knew I was a tourist, because a lot of people actually thought I was Turkish.

    I know that there is pressure from radical islamism, but there is pressure all over the world, even in western countries, and this is linked to the way the West is overreacting to terrorism by considering that all muslims are potential kamikazes.

  • Europe would be making a terrible geopolitical mistake not to continue the negotiation about joining Turkey to the EU and Sarkozy is a demagogue dumbass.

The geopolitical stake has been underlined by the International Crisis Group in a report issued the 17 August 2007: "Turkey and Europe: the way ahead"

"Europeans who attack the prospect of Turkish membership of the EU underestimate the damage they do to European interests. The mistrust generated already has caused Turkey to reduce its contribution to Europe’s common security policy. Ankara is showing signs of independent military policies over which Europe has diminishing leverage. Europe’s energy security is not being advanced."
I think some pressure from other Western leaders and also from the business world prompted Sarkozy to change his position about the Turkish membership the 27 of August 2007 :

Here is what he said about it:

"If this essential reflection about the future of our Union ("What kind of Europe for 2020-2030 and what kind of tasks?") is launched by the 27 (members), France won't oppose that new chapters of negotiation between the EU and Turkey could be opened in the months and years to come, under the condition that those chapters are compatible with the two possible visions about the future of their relationship: membership or close association without going as far as the membership. I won't be hypocritical. Everyone knows that I only favor the association. It's the idea that I defended all along the political campaign. It's the idea I defend since several years. I think that this idea of association will be recognized one day as the most reasonable. In the meantime, like Prime minister Erdogan, I wish that Turkey and France take up again the privileged ties that they have woven over a thread of a long shared history."

In fact, what worries me the most is:
  1. The fact that the World is rearming, specially the Middle East with weapons sold by the US:

    46 billion euros in the next 10 years, said Condoleezza Rice the 2 August. Who are buying? Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrein, Qatar, Oman and the UAE. At the same time, we learn the 15 August that Washington is gonna raise by a quarter its military aid to Israel: 30 billion dollars over ten years.

    France is not the last either in this mortal business: France should sell more than 6 billion euros worth of weapons in 2007 - 3.38 billions in 2004 — said a spokesman of the French army the 18 September 2006.

    See SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) Yearbook for 2007:
    Chapter 8 - Military expenditure
    Chapter 9 - Arms production
    and specially Chapter 10 - International arms transfers

  2. The second point that bothers me is the tendency of West leaders to amalgam Islam and fundamentalist islam

    See for example the speech Sarkozy gave to the French ambassadors the same day he said he did not oppose to negotiating with Turkey:
    "The first challenge (that the World faces at the beginning of the XXI century) -and without doubt one of the most importants- is how to prevent a confrontation between Islam and the West."
    and then he goes on talking about Al Quaeda...

I would reply happily to him: the first challenge is the overwhelming poverty of the majority of humans in the World, and I mean poverty in the West and the underdevelopped countries alike, compared with the insolent wealth of so few.

If we could try to solve this challenge, even a little, then the confrontation that radical islamists are seeking would lose its fuel.

In this particular, the SIPRI Yearbook has become my own private Bible-Coran-Torah-HolyMollyBook. Allow me to cite it:

"Governments allocate large sums of money to their military sectors with the stated purpose of providing security for their citizens. The rationale that underlies this is based on a narrow traditional concept of security that links it to the risk of organized violence. Recent security analyses—taking different and broader definitions of security—call into question how far military measures can go towards providing security. They recognize a range of non-traditional security risks that cannot be addressed by military means. (...)

8 million lives could be saved annually for an annual investment of $57 billion in basic health interventions, and the cost of attaining the Millennium Development Goals has been estimated at $135 billion. These levels of investment are small compared with the level of world military expenditure, which amounted to $1204 billion in 2006.

While economic scarcity and competition for resources are potential sources of conflict and violence, using the world’s resources constructively to address hunger, environmental factors and poverty—including by transfers from the richer countries to the high-mortality developing countries—is likely both to improve human survival directly and to strengthen international security indirectly."

So my worries 1. + 2. = III WW... So needed in time of economical crisis, some would say... but are we really in economical crisis?

You think I exagerate maybe, but by 2020, the number of deaths and injuries from war and violence will overtake the number of deaths caused by killer diseases such as malaria and measles.

Now, thinking it over, wouldn't it be better for our Planet that we exterminate each other and leave Mother Nature happily and savagely alone?

jeudi 6 septembre 2007

My name is Flor. I am an alcoholic.

But I'm not going to rehab...

and don't forget to check the other crazy alcoholics on You Tube because they rule!!!

mercredi 5 septembre 2007

The advantage of having a demagogue as a President

I was thinking this morning under my shower: in the end, it's a good thing that Sarkozy is a demagogue.

Considering the fact that we don't have a perfect democracy (I think the good people of France are manipulated by media) and considering the fact that Sarkozy does not believe in anything else but for him to stay in power, he apparently has heard what his Masters told him :

"Europe needs to keep Turkey by its side for economical reasons but also for security reasons.

So now that you are elected... Stop your demagogic bullshit for Christ's sake!"
International Herald Tribune: Sarkozy offers a proposal on EU-Turkey talks
Bloomberg: Sarkozy says he's willing to back Turkey-EU talks

Of course Sarkozy defended himself for changing his mind by saying that he has not changed his mind:
"Recalling that he backed the option of closer association, Sarkozy said, ``I have not changed my mind and I think it will one day be recognized by everyone as the more reasonable one.''
Yeah, right... Well, time will tell little Nicolas. In the meantime don't bite the hand that feeds you.

PS: I should change the subtitle of my blog to "the anti-Sarkozy blog" ;)
PPS: I should stop procrastinating... NOW!!!

Women are doing it for themselves

Read on the news today:

In the suburbs (which in fact are ghettoes) of the big cities in France, women have found a way to have access to big amounts of money that banks would not lend them.

In France, the system is called "tontine".

Basically: a group of friends chip in every month a certain amount of money (from 50 euros to several hundred). Then they draw by lots who is gonna get the whole kitty (sorry if my English is aproximative, but my vocabulary on money matters is very limited).

This way, every month, one woman can have enough money to pay large things she could not pay if she had to depend on herself alone. Of course she cannot be drawn again until everybody is drawn. And of course the advantages of this system and the fact that it is based on trust but also on luck make it reliable.

I think this is brilliant!!!

La deuxième vie de la tontine

© Le

mardi 4 septembre 2007

Les chats ne font pas des chiens

Lu dans Le Monde du 5 septembre :

Jean Sarkozy, 20 ans, l'un des fils de Nicolas Sarkozy, fait l'objet d'une citation directe, le 11 septembre, devant la 10e chambre du tribunal correctionnel de Paris.

Selon l'assignation, le 14 octobre 2005, place de la Concorde à Paris, il aurait heurté avec son scooter l'arrière d'une BMW conduite par M'hamed Bellouti. Il ne se serait pas arrêté et aurait eu " un geste offensant " à l'intention du conducteur.

La compagnie d'assurances de M. Bellouti aurait relancé à trois reprises Jean Sarkozy, sans obtenir de réponse. M. Bellouti réclame 260,13 euros pour des frais de réparation, ainsi que la somme de 4 000 euros à titre de dommages et intérêts. L'Elysée n'a pas souhaité réagir.

Réaction d'une copine au clavardage :

encore un petit con
Ma réponse :

Les chats ne font pas des chiens...

Translation (read on Le Monde of 5 September 2007) :

Jean Sarkozy, 20 years old, son of Nicolas Sarkozy, has been notified to a hearing the 11 September, before the 10th chamber of criminal matters of the Tribunal of Paris.

The notification says that on 14 October 2005, place de la Concorde in Paris, he supposedly hit with his moped the back of a BMW driven by M'hamed Bellouti. He did not stop and apparently made an "offensive gesture" against the driver.

The insurance company of M. Bellouti wrote three times to Jean Sarkozy, without any answer. M. Bellouti asks 260,13 euros for repair costs, and 4 000 euros for compensation. The Elysée did not want to react.

A friend's reaction :
Shit, another little asshole
My answer :
Les chats ne font pas des chiens... (French expression meaning litteraly that cats don't give birth to dogs... I don't think you need more explanation).

lundi 3 septembre 2007

Act of Contrition

The meaning of words is not something to play with.

Hereby I'm making my act of contrition: Sarkozy is not a fascist. Sarkozy is not a racist.

But I believe he is a man who is only driven by his crave of power. I think he has no ideology. He could be a communist if that would lead him to be President of France. I also think that he does not respect democracy and don't give a damn about people or about France. He only cares for himself. He is clearly a demagogue.

I don't think he will ever be a Napoleon either, even if he has the height. You need more than craving of power to be an emperor. You need to love your people or your nation or your continent or your planet or something else than yourself to be an emperor.

But as I've been saying lately: what the hell do I know? Time will tell...

Le bon mot

Lu ce matin sur la lettre électronique des abonnés du Monde :

"Larry Craig, sénateur républicain antigay, était (plagions Guitry) contre les homosexuels, tout contre. Nul homme (citons Camus) n'est hypocrite dans ses plaisirs."

C'est le bon mot d'Hervé Le Tellier.

In English is difficult to translate... So let's be a tradditore:

"Larry Craig, antigay republican senator, was (let's plagiate Guitry) against homosexuals, pressed against them. No one (let's cite Camus) is hypocrite in one's pleasures."

jeudi 16 août 2007

I've been tagged !!!

Okey, let me start saying this : I hate chain thingies and I usually never reply to them or send them back again.

But Sissi being Sissi !!!! and this tag questions being kinda interesting… here we go :

The eight random things about me !

- I can roll my tongue in a clove shape
- I’m a coffee addict (I need to have around half a litter coffee inside me before starting a day)
- I know how to arm and disarm an AK 47
- I’m a piscis, I learned to swim at 3 years old and I just love to dive whenever is possible (do you think my astronomical sign had an influence on me ?)
- I don’t like Facebook
- I’d love to sing for a living
- I’m entitled to have 3 citizenships (Mexican, Nicaraguan and French)
- I’m a stupid and very cheesy romantic woman

mardi 14 août 2007

The identity of foreigners and of French born abroad under the influence of the immigration policies.

In France, the identity of foreigners or French born abroad is often the subject of suspicion from French authorities. This suspicion is related to the hardening of the immigration policies these last years. From the experience I gathered as a lawyer, I will talk first about the issue of contending identity certificates by the French administration, then I will talk about contending the French citizenship of adults, and finally about contending the minority of alien isolated minors, particularly by the agents who have the task of protecting the infants.

Contending foreign identity certificates by the French administration

Before the law « Sarkozy » of 26 november 2003[1] about mastering the immigration, the article 47 of the Civil Code said :

« The copies or acts of identity are to be held true, even the acts issued in foreign countries, if they are written in the usual forms of that country. »

From this version of the law two principles rise[2] :

- The foreign act had to be accepted by French authorities unless they brought the proof of the lack of authenticity and as long as that proof was not brought, the act had all effects.

- The validity of the act depending on its form and content to the law of the foreign country where it has been written and not to French law, only the foreign authorities are competent to say if the act is valid[3].

The article 47 in its old version imposed then that the identity acts would be held true in France until proven false. Foreigners (or French born abroad) could then use the identity acts written in their country without having to proceed to their legalisation[4] if the act seemed authentic. If a doubt existed, the Public Ministry needed to introduce an action againts the foreigner for false official act and use of false act if the foreigner wanted to use an act that seemed false.

On instruction of the Ministry of Justice, the Secretaries of Tribunals of First Instance started to verify foreign identity acts with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This procedure was illegal if the article 47 of the Civil Code was to be respected. The Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, passed a law the 26 november 2003 with a little modification that nobody really saw[5]. Today, if an administration thinks that the identity act is dubious, it has only to say so to the user. He has two months to ask the Public Ministry of Nantes to verify the authenticity of the act. The Public Ministry then has up to a year to verify it. Nevertheless, no sanction of this period of a year has been established. The lawmaker could have, for example, foresee that a person could use a contended act if the Public Ministry does not reply in the period of a year.

By modifying the article 47 of the Civil Code, the government and the legislator legalized a posteriori an illegal practice of the administration... resulting in a real headache for foreigners and French born abroad. That is for example the case of those who have to justify of the identity of their family to perceive family aids, or French born abroad who ask for the issue of a French citizenship certificate, and who will have to wait over a year so that the administration validates or no their identity acts.

Contending the French citizenship of adults born abroad

Several cases I had to defend to establish French Citizenship Certificate or to help people oppose to the administration their French citizenship will help understand, beyond the legal argumentation, how administrative decisions could turn to be an agression for personal identities and the feeling of being oneself.

The first case is about a woman aged 86 from Madagascar and Vietnam origin who had always been recognized as French citizen and had in the past several certificates of French citizenship.

She let the validity of her identity card expire. In that case, the Prefecture (Local State Administration) asks for a certificate of French citizenship to re-issue the identity card. Her daughter, French citizen, born in France, went to the Tribunal of First Instance to get the certificate producing the old identity card and the old certificates of French citizenship.

The secretary of the Tribunal contended the citizenship of this lady applying very complicated norms about French citizenship that have to be applied to persons from Madagascar origin. The secretary refused to deliver the certificate and gave notice of this to the Prefecture.

This lady found herself suddenly without any papers and in an illegal situation in France, where she was living for more than 50 years, although she had believed she was French since her birthday. I advised her daughter, who was mortified to have to explain to her mother that she was not French, to ask the Prefecture for a temporary permission of stay so that her mother could ask for the French citizenship since she lawfully believed and acted as a French citizen for more than 10 years (article 21-13 of the Civil Code).

The second case is about a young woman also from Madagascar, who had been adopted by her aunt. Her mother and her aunt were sisters and were both French citizens by filiation. The young woman was born in Madagascar. She had been adopted with the « simple » status by application of the Madagascar law, an adoption which has no legal consequence on the citizenship. Just before her majority, she decides to come live in France by her adoption mother side, her biological mother stayed in Madagascar. The young woman, who was a minor when she arrived in France, ask the secretary of the Tribunal of First Instance to get a certificate of French citizenship to be able to establish her identity card. The Secretary refuses saying that the « simple » adoption needed to be converted in « full » adoption so that her French citizenship could be recognized whereas, being born from a biological French mother, and adopted by a French citizen, she could only be French. She introduces an action before the Tribunal of Great Instance so that her “simple” adoption is converted into a “full” adoption. Nevertheless, because the legal dispositions about French citizenship stipulate that the establishment of filiation only has effect on the citizenship during the minority of a person[6], since the decision converting the simple adoption into a full adoption was issued after the majority it did not have any effect on her citizenship.

Holding her full adoption decision, the young woman asks again the Secretary of the Tribunal of First Instance for a certificate of citizenship, and the Secretary refuses a second time arguing that her filiation was established after her majority, although her biological and adoptive mothers were both French citizens… Again, the Tribunal of Great Instance has to be seized in order to declare that she was French since her birth notwithstanding the adoption that took place in Madagascar and in France. She stayed in France without papers and in an illegal status during the three firsts years that followed her arrival in France.

Another case: a young woman from Tunisia whose father is French. She is hence a French citizen by filiation. She had held a former certificate of French citizenship, but the Secretary of the Tribunal of First Instance refused to issue a new one, arguing that the marriage certificate (established in Tunisia) of her parents was dubious. Nevertheless, her birth certificate (Tunisian also) was not contended and it demonstrated that her father was the one who declared her birth so her filiation was doubtless, and her citizenship could not be contended either.

In another case, the mother of a young woman from Congo origin married a French citizen and acquired the French citizenship by declaration when the young woman was six years old. My client entered the French territory a minor. As soon as she got in France, her mother asked for a certificate of French citizenship. The secretary of the Tribunal of First Instance of Toulouse asked the Ministry of Justice for approval. In the meanwhile, the young woman was given temporary residence and had no answer from the Secretary of the Tribunal.

Five years after her arrival, as she renewed her residence permit, the Prefecture told her that she probably was French, and so the young woman ask the Secretary of the Tribunal to issue a certificate of French citizenship. The Secretary answered that her file opened by her mother at her arrival was still being investigated and without instructions from the Ministry of Justice no certificate could be issued for her. After one year, not receiving any answer, she asked again the Secretary who answered that he still was waiting for an answer from the Ministry of Justice about an investigation of the authenticity of her identity acts, investigation that was started 4 years after her arrival to France. Seven years after her arrival, this young woman had no option but to seize the Tribunal of Great Instance so that her citizenship could be recognized.

Nevertheless, during the procedure, the administration produced an anonymous form that was supposed to be signed by an officer of the registry of Brazzaville in Congo in 2003 by request of the French embassy, where it was said that the birth certificate of the young woman was « non existent ». It is necessary to know that after the civil war that took place in December 1998, most of the civil registry was destroyed in Brazzaville. The young woman asked the Public Ministry to reissue her birth certificate since it appeared that her birth certificate registry had been destroyed. To the request of the Public Ministry of the Court of Appeals of Brazzaville, her birth certificate was reissued in 2006. The Tribunal found, applying a jurisprudence from the Cour de Cassation (highest civil court in France), that since that reconstitution had been made after the majority of the young woman, her filiation was not established at the moment of her mother’s declaration for French citizenship, she could not take advantage of the collective effect of that declaration.

A last example shows that another kind of suspicion exists: the suspicion about the reality of belonging to the French community towards French citizens born abroad.

In a case about the citizenship of a minor from Ivorian origin who was taken in charge by his uncle, the latter having acquired the French citizenship by naturalisation[7], the Public Ministry produced two jurisprudences that rejected the citizenship application because they lacked the proof of enough integration since those minors had been taken in charge by French citizens who were too « recent » citizens, or too « close » to the minor.

The Court of Appeals of Paris found the 29 January 2004 that, even if a minor from Ivory origin completed all the legal conditions to obtain the French citizenship, he had to demonstrate a real assimilation to the French community[8]. The Court held that this minor who had been taken in charge by a member of his family, who had acquired the French citizenship by naturalisation, could not justify having enough assimilation since his relative was French only since 9 months.

The Tribunal of Great Instance of Nîmes, found the 3 October 2001 that a minor from Morocco origin lacked a sufficient degree of assimilation because he had been taken in charge by his sister who only held the French citizenship by marriage, and because of this, the minor was not sufficiently detached of his family to be considered that he deserved the French citizenship.

In those decisions, the Tribunals built a particular analysis of what is to be French: in spite of the fact that the adults who had taken in charge those minors were French, their alien origin put in doubt their « Frenchness » and could not allow to demonstrate that the minors who had been taken in charge were raised in an environment « French » enough to ensure their « integration ». Nevertheless, the law has established objective conditions that determine if a person brings enough proof of his pertaining to the French nation when the State gives the naturalisation to a foreign citizen, or when a foreign citizen acquires the French citizenship by declaration. That those Tribunals decided to appreciate of the good or bad quality of the « Frenchness » of French citizens born abroad is questionable. Is it necessary to consider that in order to be a “good” French, a person has to abandon his family, his culture, cut his roots, change his alimentation, convert to a particular religion?

Contending the age of isolated minors

The law

Alien isolated minors are beneficiaries of two principal measures of protection: they could be taken in charge by the Social Aid to Infants (financed by the departments) in accordance with article 375 of the Civil Code[9], and they could apply for French citizenship. To begin, I will recall the recent historical evolution of the French citizenship towards isolated minors.

Article 21-12 of the Civil Code in its version resulting from the law of 9 January 1973 said:

Is entitled, in the same conditions [than those of the child object of a “simple” adoption], to claim the French citizenship:

1 – The child that has been taken in charge in France and raised by a French
citizen or that has been taken in charge by the social services.

In 1973, the lawmaker specifically suppressed the condition of length of placement of 5 years for the children placed with the social services, but that condition was kept for the non isolated child. The spirit of the law of 9 January 1973 dealing with the French citizenship that resulted in the new version of article 21-12 was expressed by the reporter of the National Assembly Law Commission during the parliament debates that took place the 10 October 1972:

« France, who has forever known how to be an immigration land, affirming its genius in searching foreigners to marry our citizenship, has to follow the same generous spirit of complete assimilation of those who come to our soil to bring their support to the economical renovation enterprise that we have started.

It would be against the tradition, as well as against its role in the world, to restrain the possibilities offered to foreigner to become part of our nation; it would be against our deep liberal ideas to disappoint the hopes of all the people that, working in France, are looking for the best possible assimilation.

The acquisition of the French citizenship can be granted by simple declaration in order to make it easier: for example so that the husband of a French woman if the couple establishes its home in France; the same purpose is sought in several measures [...] related to isolated children. »

More specifically, about the modifications of article 55 of the Code of French Citizenship which became article 21-12 of the Civil Code, the reporter of the National Assembly Law Commission in its report n° 2545 says:

« The law project retakes in a first paragraph the present law dispositions about the isolated children taken in charge and raised in France whereas by a French citizen, or by the social services: in these two cases the presumption of assimilation can be applied for those children without further ado. »

And the reporter of the Senate Law Commission ads:

« This article 55 creates an exception in favour of the child of foreign parents who is not born in France but who has been taken in charge and raised in our country. [...] But, when it applies to a child taken in charge and raised in France, the presumption of assimilation is so important that it appeared more equitable to give to this child, until its majority, the right to claim the French citizenship. »

Since 1973, in spite of several reforms of the citizenship law, the lawmaker had never reinstalled that condition of period of assimilation. This was the consequence of the clear will of ensuring a stronger protection for isolated minors, making possible for them to claim the French citizenship notwithstanding their supposed lack of integration to the French society. It is only the 26 November 2003, thirty years after this legislative reform, that France, in the name of the struggle against illegal immigration, decided in the end to modify article 21-12 of the Civil Code.

The new version re-established the period of « integration »[10] of three years prior to majority, which makes mandatory to a child to be the object of a measure of judicial protection (placement by the Infants Judge in the hands of the social services) before being 15 years old in order to be able to claim the French citizenship, whereas the reality shows that isolated minors arrive to France between 16 and 18 years old.

The field practice

It is undisputable that some foreigners tried to unlawfully take advantage of this protection when their majority was blatant. The only condition required was indeed to demonstrate the minority and the fact of being the object of a judicial protection measure or the fact of having been taken care by a French citizen. Nevertheless, the multiplication of international conflicts and misery has lead parents to make their children flee notwithstanding the costs, in particular minors from Central Africa and Eastern Europe. That is why, since the end of the 90’s, a serious increase of “non-accompanied” minors (that was how they were referred back then) arriving to France has been reported[11]. Some departments, including the Haute-Garonne, knew an « explosion » of requests of judicial measures of protection. This created a budget tension that led the social services to contend the age of isolated minors and to put in doubt their identity papers. The bill for the departments has been evaluated in 74 to 120 million euros each year[12].

Nevertheless, this immigration does not result in a flood of young foreigners. The number of young ones that were presented to social services in 49 departments between 1999 and 2001 is estimated to 3.568, and even if the numbers are not certain, it is accepted that today they are no more than 5.000 in our territory[13]. Hence, contending their minority does not obey fundamentally to a budget worry.

To fight against the development of networks that organize the travel of minors to get to France because of the “automatic French citizenship”, French authorities have created a legal wall by the introduction of a period of integration of 3 years. This measure seems easier to enforce than the implementation of an efficient struggle against the networks who take an undisputable economical benefit from this human traffic[14].

Contending the age of minors and bone expertises

The reaction to the increase of isolated minors resulted in abuses that violate the dignity of the minor and the international commitments of France, in particular in regard to the International convention of the Infant Rights ratified in 1990. These abuses consist in medical expertises aiming to establish the age of the minors, in systematic suspicion of identity papers and sometimes in violation of French law.[15]

In the light of the old version of article 47 of the Civil Code which recognized the validity of foreign identity papers until proven false, the leading jurisprudence rejected the contention of the identity of isolated minors. But when they did not have identity papers, the Tribunals ordered medical expertises in order to establish the age of minors. The problem lies in the fact that these expertises are founded essentially on radiographies of bones in order to determine their maturity, based on samples that had been taken by Greulich and Pyle in the 30’s on a white North-American population.

The scientific validity of those methods was successfully contended since Greulich and Pyle tables were supposed to determine if a white adolescent presented a delay in bone growing, but absolutely not to determine his age. Differences of more than two years could exist between the real age of a minor and the bone maturity based on those tables[16]. The jurisprudence of European countries about the use of bone radiographies to evaluate the age of young adolescents rejects the results of those expertises because they are not reliable. The 28 December 1998, the Conseil d’Etat of Belgium rejected the conclusions of a bone expertise because « the method used could not be considered, at a first look, as reliable or without any risk of error. »[17].

The 12 September 2000[18], the Asylum Appeal Commission of Switzerland (CRA), reached the conclusion that:

1) In order to evaluate the real age of a person, it is not possible to draw absolute conclusions from radiographies from the hand bones, the bone age being variable from one person to another, in reason particularly of his race or gender (consid. 7)

2) A difference of two years and a half to three years between the bone age and the real age could be considered to be the norm (consid. 7c)

3) When the declared age by the person is within the standard limits admitted in bone expertises, the ODR (Refugee Federal Office) cannot take base in a radiology examination to refuse the entry to the territory for asylum purposes, because of a supposed false identity (consid. 8).

This jurisprudence is also taken by French jurisdictions.

Let’s look at the way in which took place in Toulouse the contending of the minority of a young Ivorian. He had no identity papers, but was nevertheless placed under judicial protection by the Infants Judge. His lawyer succeeded to convince the Tribunal of Great Instance to reject a bone expertise as the only way to determine his age, because of the uncertainty and unreliability of the bone expertise technique to evaluate the age of a person. The Tribunal ordered a thorough medical expertise that included nonetheless a bone expertise. This young man had to endure a medical examination by an expert who described his pilosity, as well as the size and weight of his testicles, elements the expert found necessary to determine the puberty of the young man. Without even conclude on his findings about this examination, the expert said that the young man was major on the sole base of the bone expertise. It’s easy to imagine the incomprehension and humiliation that this young man felt to see himself measured and weighted in his most intimate being to finally finish to be declared major on the sole basis of radiographies of his wrists.

Another case about an isolated minor girl from Congo who found herself in France without any adult that could take the responsibility of the parental authority. She was presented by the emergency center of the social services who normally should have seized immediately the Infants Judge in regard of article 375 of the Civil Code. Nevertheless, on the instructions of their hierarchy, the young girl was oriented to an association that helps immigrants. The president of this association put her in contact with a family from the African community who finally took her in charge. Thus, by violating the legal dispositions aimed to ensure the protection that has to be given to the minors and without any judicial intervention, the young girl was placed by the Department to total strangers without any guarantee or responsibility.

A month and a half later, the African family presented the young girl again to the Emergency Center of the social services explaining that they could not keep her because their home was too cramped. The Emercency Center asked again the hierarchy for instructions but specifically stating that « a measure of social protection is justified for this isolated minor without any legal responsible in the territory ».

Without notifying the minor to the Infants Judge, the social services seized the public ministry so that an investigation should be ordered about the reality of her age and the authenticity of her birth certificate and even asked for instructions to the public ministry about whether take her in charge or no ! It is then the Minors Brigade of the Judicial Police that finally asked the Infants Judge to order a measure of provisional protection until the results of the investigation were known.

A provisory protection was then ordered, but a week after, on the basis of the bone expertise requested by the Department and without meeting the minor, the Infants Judge lifted the protection since the expertise concluded to the majority of the young girl.

The young woman found herself between majors in an emergency shelter where she could only stay during the night. The rest of the time, she was alone, and vulnerable to the dangers of her isolation. Because of this, the social workers of the shelter seized again the Infants Judge because the shelter had to close for the summer and the young girl could not be let alone. A new measure of judicial protection was ordered, because the Judge found that the bone expertise could not bring the absolute certainty because of the variability of the data on each individual, and because differences of appreciation could exist between experts: only a range of age could be really determined with an amplitude that the doctors place between 18 months to 2 years.

The Infants Judge explicitly said:

« Being this a matter of public order, it is out of question to take the risk of not granting a minor the legal protection. »

The Direction of Department Solidarity, the authority that governs the social services for minors, appealed the decision, but the Appeals Court confirmed the protection measure.

Maybe the opinion of the National Consultative Comity of Ethic, dated 23 June 2005, that wonders about the inner legitimacy of medical expertises to determine the age of minors, could have a weight on the social actors that have to intervene in this matter. This opinion is hereafter annexed. It indicates new leads on the way to determine an age that could be better founded on multiple social or psycho-social criteria, better than in sole biological or physiological terms.

The international commitments of France towards foreign isolated minors

France ratified the 7 August 1990 the International convention on children rights, treaty that compels the country to respect and to make respect the rights of foreign isolated minors. Article 8 is particularly important:

Article 8

The States commit themselves to respect the right of the child to preserve his identity, including his citizenship, his name and his family relations, that are recognized by the law, without illegal intromission.

This obligations befall on municipalities, departments (under which the social services to minors intervene) as well as on the jurisdictions that have to decide on cases related to foreing isolated minors. The persistence to doubt his identity creates a damage on the isolated minor from the moment he is deprived of this rights and the protection that he needs.

The violation of international obligations by France resulted in a warning by the Children Rights Comity under the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights who, the 30 June 2004, recommended to France to adopt other methods than bone radiography expertises to determine the age of isolate foreign minors because of the uncertainty of those methods about a point so serious that is related to the very identity of minors.[19]

Some jurists propose that the Judge should always be guided first by the protection obligation:

« Since the aim is to protect it is necessary to use flexible means and to decide a priori that the young “isolated” is minor. Is this a priori that should be the priority and not the obsession of the irregular immigration. (…) If someone says that he is minor and this affirmation does not seem purely fantasy, he has to benefit of the protection and be presumed minor. »[20]

In matters of identity, the proof is free. With the protection aim as a priority, the declarations of minors about their identity should be considered true until the contrary is proven. Article 46 of the Civil Code says:

« When no registry exists, or if the registry is lost, the proof will be received by acts or witnesses; in this case, marriages, births and deaths, could be proved with the registry from fathers and mothers deceased or by witnesses. »


It is a paradox, but a good number of educators that have the responsibility of protecting isolated minors ask themselves the question of the legitimacy of the request for French citizenship in favour of their protégés. Under the pretext of preserving the identity and dignity of these minors, they prefer taking the risk that the minors found themselves on an illegal situation when at their majority than make them benefit of the French citizenship which we can thinks is the best possible protection. A lot of young people who now have no papers could thus have taken advantage of the possibility of become French citizens, but were deprived of this chance by the “ethical wonderings” of their educators.

Beyond the mechanisms of protection for isolated minors, today it is the protection of young majors that has become the main worry of parent’s associations and educator. They are concerned about the fate of those minors who could not benefit from the French citizenship and who, at 18, found themselves in a dire situation, without papers and deportable. The very economy of the new legal dispositions is matter of interrogation. These young people received a costly education for the departments, and they are ready to enter the work market for jobs that in general are in tension (construction, mechanics, services etc…). And nevertheless, in spite of the public investment that was granted to them, the State has not foreseen any legal mechanism that could allow them to stay in France, but only isolated legalisations[21].

Very often the sole fact of being born abroad gives birth immediately to suspicion from the French authorities about the legitimacy of the French citizenship of a person and of the identity papers issued abroad. This suspicion is often illegal and puts foreigners and French born abroad in situations that if not right way unfair are at the very least kafkaian.

As the Court of Appeals of Toulouse found the 7 June 2005:

« The nation was defined by Batifol as a community of life that supposes the will to live and last together. This will can express itself in the cases open by law among which the isolated minor taken in charge by the State is included by subscribing a declaration of citizenship. If made in the legal forms, the citizenship should then be registered by the administration or the competent judge, under the prevention of respecting the conditions expressly defined by law. »

By multiplying the opportunities of suspecting the identity of foreigners and French born abroad, does France really ensure the « republican integration »[22] of those persons? Doesn’t she give birth to resentment and rejection of republican values?


Travaux parlementaires sur la loi du 9 janvier 1973 :

Rapport n°2545 fait au nom de la Commission des Lois de l’Assemblée Nationale par Monsieur Jean FOYER

Rapport n°302 fait au nom de la Commission des Lois du Sénat par Monsieur GEOFFROY

Journal Officiel des débats de l’Assemblée Nationale – 1ère séance du 10 octobre 1972 p 4006

DIAMANT-BERGER Odile, 2000, « Une méthode qui n’a jamais été satisfaisante… entretien avec le Professeur Odile DIAMANT-BERGER, expert agréée par la Cour de Cassation et responsable des Urgences Médico-Judiciaires de l’Hôtel Dieu », Justice, n°166 - novembre 2000.

ÉTIEMBLE Angélina, 2002, « Les mineurs isolés étrangers en France – Évaluation quantitative de la population accueillie à l’Aide Sociale à l’Enfance, les termes de l’accueil et de la prise en charge. Étude effectuée pour le compte de la Direction de la Population et des Migrations », Migrations Études, n°109 – septembre octobre 2002,

—, 2004, « Quelle protection pour les mineurs isolés en France ? », Hommes & Migrations, n°1251, septembre octobre 2004 -

FERRÉ Nathalie, 2002, « La détermination de la minorité », Plein Droit, n°52, mars 2002.

LOCHAK Danièle, 2004, « L'intégration, alibi de la précarisation », Plein Droit, n°59-60, mars 2004 -

ROQUES Laurence, 2003, « Le Mineur, l’Aide sociale à l’enfance et la nationalité française », XIe colloque de Droit des Étrangers du Syndicat des Avocats de France « Le mineur étranger en exil », pp. 45-56


Opinion of the National Consultative Comity on Ethic, 23 June 2005

« The National Consultative Comity on Ethic is well aware of the importance of the question that has been submitted and in particular of the fact that the status of the minor is a protected status and that the protection that it entails could encourage a certain type of criminality of children that become the instruments of adults. But the difficulties of evaluating the real age should not entail the loss of the protection for a minor. If the justice could not take cover behind medicine, it has to assume its responsibility of respecting first the dignity of persons suspected of infractions and particularly in that moment in life where there are no real frontiers than those established by a birth date.

This temptation of the justice to delegate to medicine the task of setting a biological age that will become the real age, has another consequence: to forget how a child or an adolescent has been deprived of liberty. The principal concern should not be to set an age, but the social conditions more or less dramatic that led to that situation. The objective is not to set or not free in function of the age. It is really of granting the help needed by those children or adolescents that sometimes are abused, even if they have not conscience of it, by adults. The danger lies in the fact that the parameters of radiography and examination of puberty signs don’t solve simply a situation that by essence is always complicated. The way to deal with this situation should be to protect rather than to detect. The medical body, in this field, cannot exonerate itself from its responsibilities, but keep always in mind that its function is first to heal rather than to give an expert opinion.

It is very worrying, in a time where a medicine “founded on proofs” is developing, that examinations whose meaning and validity in regard to the very aim of the request to expertise have not been evaluated for more than 50 years, are held to judicial purposes. Could it be possible to imagine, developing research, to be able to find more reliable methods? Probably not. The human heterogeneity is such, in time and space, that it is vain to think that soon it will be possible to determine, without knowing a birth date, the exact chronological age, at a given moment, of a person.

The age of an adolescent could never be encapsulated in an image, a measure or a manifestation of puberty development. On the other hand, it is possible to evaluate more easily the status of a minor crossing psychological, social and cultural data, that could justify that if there should be an expertise, it should be collective and pluri-disciplinary. The medical body cannot exclude itself from its responsibilities, but should intervene with the utmost discernment taking in account the very complexity of the situation. It is precisely this complexity that makes more and more difficult, in the absence of identifying data, the simple setting of a purely juridical age. The difficulty lies in the fact that law has to respect fundamental rights and that the value of age is a very fragile criteria to exercice those rights.

Finally, it is difficult to see how in a moment of intense migration the same criteria should not apply in all of Europe. Indeed, several European countries face the same difficult situation, which implies that a solution should be find at an European level with a harmonisation of criteria that should be used. The harmonisation, because it concerns the protection of human rights, has very important ethical implications..

Thus, to answer to the questions submitted, the comity confirms that the medical techniques used today to set a chronological age are not adapted. It does not condemn a priori their use, but suggests that the results should be questioned so that the status of a minor could not depend alone on those tests. It is not so much the danger of those tests, that seems unfounded, but their use in a climate that is perceived as inquisitorial, in detriment of psychosocial aid that is always necessary in such a context. What is important is to protect the children, not to discriminate them; which reinforces the duty of listening of the medical body, even if it is asked to intervene for expertise purposes. »

[1] Loi nº 2003-1119 du 26 novembre 2003 - Journal Officiel du 27 novembre 2003.

[2] Roques 2003 : 48

[3] On this point refer to articles 486 and following of the General Instruction on Identity :

[4] Procedure consisting in authentifiying an official act by the authorities of the country in which this act has been delivered.

[5] The new version of article 47 says :

Any identity act of French or foreigners written in a foreign country with the usual forms of that coutnry is to be held true, unless if other acts or documents, external data or elements from the act itself establish that the act is irregular, false, or facts declared are not real.

If in doubt, the administration, seized of an application for establishment, transcription or deliverance of an act or a title, stops the application and informs the applicant that he can, in a two months period, ask the Public Minsitry of Nantes to verify the authenticity of the act.

[6] Article 20-1 of the Civil Code says : « The filiation of an infant only has effect on his citizenship if established during his minority ».

[7] The conditions to give the French citizenship to isolated minors taken in charge by French citizens were the same as those of isolated minors taken in charge by the Social Services, before the Sarkozy law of 26 November 2003, that is without a period of stay. Today, the period of stay for “integration” purposes is of 5 years for minors taken in charge by French citizens, and of 3 years for those taken in charge by the Social Services.

[8] It is necessary to remember that before the law of 26 November 2003, there was absolutely no condition of integration or assimilation that could be opposed to isolated minors.

[9] Article 375: If the health, security or morality of a non emancipated minor are in danger, or if the conditions of his education are seriously compromised, measures of educative assistance could be ordered by justice at the request of the father and mother together, or one of them, of the person or service that has taken the minor in charge or the tutor, of the minor himself or of the public ministry. Exceptionally, the judge can seize himself.

[10] Operation by which an individual or a group incorporates to a collectivity, to a social environment (opposed to segregation), acculturation, assimilation, fusion, incorporation, insertion (cf. Le Petit Robert).

[11] About the different ways in which the isolated minors were called by the social assistants and the fact that these assistants contended the fact that foreign isolated minors belonged to the category of « infants in danger » see Étiemble 2004 et 2002.

[12] « Clandestine minors could be legalized at 18 years old » - Le Figaro of 31 March 2005.

[13] Étiemble 2004 : 16.

[14] For example, I know the case of a young Angolan who was a war orphan and was “saved” from a seclusion camp for young errants in the North of Angola by a network of diamond smugglers. The smugglers bought him a fake passport and made him travel to France with a stuffed bear which belly was full of diamonds. Arriving to Paris, he was put in a train to Toulouse and abandoned, not without having been first deprived of his “toy”.

[15] In order to prevent the granting of French citizenship to a young alien, a district attorney went even up to affirm that when the law says “child”, it is understood that it refers to a minor aged of less than 16 years, whereas article 388 of the Civil Code says: « The minor is the individual of one or the other gender who has not reached the age of 18 years. ».

[16] Diamant-Berger 2000.

[17] Conseil d’État de Belgique, arrêt n°77-847 du 28 décembre 1998.



[20] cf Nathalie Ferré 2002

[21] With the exception of minors taken in charge by social services before the age of 16 years (article L.313-11 2°bis of the Code of entry and stay of foreigner and of the right of asylum) and « with the condition of the reality and seriousness of the education, of the nature of the links with the family that stayed in the country of origin and of the opinion of the structure of reception on the insertion of that foreigner in the French society » (modification introduced by the law of the 24 July 2006).

[22] Lochak 2004.