Remedies and enforcement

AuthorLatraverse, Sophie
6.1 Judicial and/or administrative procedures (Article 7 Directive 2000/43,
Article 9 Directive 2000/78)
a) Available procedures for enforcing the principle of equal treatment
In France, the following procedures exist for enforcing the principle of equal treatment
(judicial, administrative and alternative dispute resolution such as mediation).
There are judicial and non-judicial means of legal action in France.
Administrative procedure for access to disabled people’s rights
Article 64 of the Law No. 2005-102 on Disabili ty creates a Departmental Centre (Maison
départementale) for people with disabilities that is intended to centralise all administrative
procedures for enforcing the rights of disabled people. It further creates a claim reference
person with in these Departmental Centres (Article 146-13 CSW), who will transmit the
disabled person’s claim to the competent authority or jurisdiction. The decree establishing
these Departmental Centres was adopted on 19 December 2005 (Decree No. 2005-
Non-judicial means of intervention
Both private and public employers can initiate a non-judicial in-house inquiry if a victim of
harassment brings to their attention, or i f they suspect, an incidence of discrimination, as
they must guarantee a working environment free of such practices.
Staff representatives, the human resources manager or work councils (Comité
d’entreprise) also have the power to request social dialogue on the integration of disabled
workers (L2241-5, L2242-13 and L2242 -14 of the Labour Code (LC)) and w orking
conditions (L2241-3 and L2241-44 LC).
Labour Inspectors have reinforced investigative powers. They can enter all premises
(Article L8113-5 LC), obtain communication of any document or information providing
evidence of the facts, wh ether on paper, computeris ed or other (L8113-4. LC). They may
also draft a contravention report certifying their observations (L8113-7 LC) and submit this
report to the Public Prosecutor (Article 40 Code of Penal Procedure, CPP).
With regard to mediation, Articles 21 and 131 of the New Code of Civil Procedure expressly
refer to the duty of the judge to favour mediation and to designate a third-party mediator
upon obtaining the consent of the parties to that end. Conciliation is proposed to all parties
as the first stage of any legal action before the Employment Tribunal in application of Article
L1423-13 LC. The labour inspector (L611-1 ff.) can also initiate these non-judicial means
of action. However, it is not compulsory.
Article 6 quinquies of Law No. 83-634 sets out the principle of disciplinary sanction against
any public servant committing discriminatory actions.
With respect to claims against the public service, mediation can be pursued by the
Defender of Rights (fenseur des droits) or one of the many medi ators put in place by
specific public services relating to social protection, education, public transport, the postal
service, finance etc. This mediation is pursued without prejudice to the administrative legal
action, which must be pursued independently.
299 Decree No. 2005-1587 of 19 December 2005 on the creation of the departmental centre for disabled people
(Décret No. 2005-1587 du 19 décembre 2005 relatif à la maison départementale des personnes
handicapées),available at:

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