French Council of State suspends dissolution of two pro-Palestinian organisations

Décision de justice
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On 9 March, the French Government announced the dissolution of Comité Action Palestine (Palestine Action Committee) and Collectif Palestine Vaincra (Palestine Will Win Collective). In an emergency ruling, the Council of State’s summary applications judge suspended both dissolutions, upholding that neither the investigation nor the hearing provided sufficient evidence. He took the view that the positions adopted by the associations, although clear-cut and sometimes virulent, did not constitute incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence, or behaviour likely to provoke acts of terrorism.

On 9 March 2022, the Government announced the dissolution of Comité Action Palestine(1) and Collectif Palestine Vaincra(2) on the grounds of Article L. 212-1 of the CSI (Code de la Sécurité Intérieure [France’s homeland security code]). Both associations appealed to the State Council to suspend these dissolutions as a matter of urgency.

The homeland security code (CSI) states that France's council of ministers has the power to dissolve by decree any association that incites or contributes to discrimination, hatred or violence or behaves in a way likely to provoke acts of terrorism.

However, the summary applications judge ruled that, although Comité Action Palestine's stance regarding the situation in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was radical and sometimes virulent, the investigation and the proceedings at the hearing did not establish that it constituted incitement to discrimination, hatred and violence, which would have justified its dissolution. He similarly upheld that Collectif Palestine Vaincra’s call to boycott Israeli products could not in itself justify dissolution, as no other acts likely to incite hatred or violence were committed.

The judge also held that some of the Governments’ claims in the dissolution decree accusing the associations of antisemitism had not been established. Based on the information that the administration provided to the summary investigation, such claims could not be attributed to the associations. 

Lastly, the judge noted that the information provided by the administration did not establish that the associations’ positions regarding organisations in the Middle East or people convicted of acts of terrorism could qualify as behaviour likely to incite acts of terrorism in France or abroad.

For these reasons, the judge ruled that, based on the emergency proceedings, these two associations could not be dissolved under Article L. 212-1 of the French homeland security code. He therefore suspended the dissolution decrees against Comité Action Palestine and Collectif Palestine Vaincra.