- France: Student movement! does the police have the right to evacuate Universities! Video

France: Student movement! does the police have the right to evacuate Universities! Video

The tradition of "university franchises" means that the police can not intervene in the faculties, even if they are blocked by the students. The reality is more nuanced.
"The police do not have the right to evacuate the college". In the ranks of French universities, the idea is widespread, without anyone knowing precisely where it comes from. While the protest movement against the law on the new modalities of access to the university is gaining momentum,

interventions of the police have nevertheless taken place in recent days in Bordeaux and Strasbourg in particular. The latter are part of the tradition of "university franchise", in a framework well defined by the legislator.
What is the university franchise?
In 1229, the brutal repression of a student revolt by the Paris guard killed several people. There followed a two-year strike and a papal bull taken by Pope Gregory IX. Named Parens Scientiarum , the latter consecrates the legal independence of the university: it is no longer the State but the bishop who decides on a possible intervention of the police, or the imprisonment of students having committed crimes, for example.
This principle, known as "university franchise", has evolved with the secularization of secondary schools. The role previously entrusted to the bishop was gradually passed on to the Rector. Since the Faure law, in 1968, it is the responsibility of the president of each university, or, in case of absence or impediment to a director of training and research unit (UFR), for example. This is still the case today.
How is it transcribed in the law?
This principle is found in article L712-2 of the Code of Education , which states that the university president "is responsible for maintaining order and may appeal to the police under conditions determined by decree en Council of State ", and this in" the premises assigned primarily to the establishment for which he is responsible ". "This means that with a few exceptions - a judge's warrant, a flagrant offense or a disaster - the police can not intervene without the agreement of the president," says Europe 1 Robi Morder, lawyer and president Group Study and Research on Student Movements ( Germ ).

In practice, what are the uses?
"Over the years, this has caused tension," says Robi Morder. The intervention of the police, even if validated by the president of the university, is not always unanimous. "In 1983, the former president of Paris 8 Claude Frioux brought in the police to evacuate a rally of support to foreign students.This still caused a crisis: a posteriori, the board of the university has disavowed his choice. "
And today ? Spotted by Le Monde, a legal guide from the conference of university presidents explains that in practice the decision "is made in direct contact with the departments of the prefecture of the department concerned and the cabinet of the Rector." "The administrative judge often considers that such an intervention is disproportionate", adds the document, seeming to urge caution against possible political pressure. "The President, having informed the Rector-Chancellor and taken the appropriate measures against the disturbances, would not be concerned in the courts in case of refusal to appeal to the police."
"In the schools, police interventions are always poorly seen and remain very rare," says Robi Morder. "They sometimes even have the opposite effect to that expected: it has recently been seen in Bordeaux that a peaceful occupation of an amphitheater has resulted in evacuation in great violence, after the intervention of the police ..." But the violence does not last: for the expert, these evacuations police do not arouse "more a stir comparable to that of formerly", at the time, for example, of May 68. And to specify: "today, it is something else when the violence is committed by outsiders, who could be part of the teachers, as in Montpellier, where we saw a real indignation, and a mobilization. "

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