8 November 1991


Communication No. 439/1990; U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/43/D/439/1990


human rights committee

  Fourty-Third Session  
  21 October – 8 November 1991  

C. L. D.






  Return Home
BEFORE: CHAIRMAN: Mr. Fausto Pocar (Italy)
VICE-CHAIRMEN: Mr. Francisco Jose Aguilar Urbina (Costa Rica), Mr. Vojin Dimitrijevic (Yugoslavia), Mr. S. Amos Wako (Kenya)
RAPPORTEUR: Mr. Nisuke Ando (Japan)
MEMBERS: Miss Christine Chanet (France), Mr. Omran El Shafei (Egypt), Mr. Janos Fodor (Hungary), Mr. Kurt Herndl (Austria), Mrs. Rosalyn Higgins (United Kingdom), Mr. Rajsoomer Lallah (Mauritius), Mr. Andreas V. Mavrommatis (Cyprus), Mr. Rein A. Myullerson (Soviet Union), Mr. Birame Ndiaye (Senegal), Mr. Julio Prado Vallejo (Ecuador), Mr. Waleed Sadi (Jordan), Mr. Alejandro Serrano Caldera (Nicaragua), Mr. Bertill Wennergren (Sweden)

All the members attended the forty-third session of the Committee except Mr. Ndiaye, Mr. Serrano Caldera and Mr. Wako. Mrs. Higgins and Mr. Mavrommatis attended only part of that session.

PermaLink: http://www.worldcourts.com/hrc/eng/decisions/1991.11.08_CLD_v_France.htm
Citation: C. L. D. v. Fr., Comm. 439/1990, U.N. Doc. A/47/40, at 424 (HRC 1991)
Publications: Report of the Human Rights Committee, U.N. GAOR, 47th Sess., Supp. No. 40, U.N. Doc. A/47/40, Annex X, sect. X, at 424 (Oct. 9, 1992)


1.         The author of the communication is C. L. D., a French citizen born in 1956 and a resident of Lorient, Bretagne, France. He claims to be a victim of violations by France of articles 2, paragraphs 1 to 3, 14, 26 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In 1987, the author had submitted a communication to the Human Rights Committee, in which he claimed that the refusal of the French postal authorities to issue his postal cheques in Breton violated articles 2, paragraphs 1 to 3, 19, paragraph 2, 26 and 27 of the Covenant. His previous communication was declared inadmissible on 18 July 1988 on the ground of non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.




2.1       On 1 October 1988, the author was fined for refusing to pay parking fees in a street of Quimper, Bretagne. He requested to appear before the police tribunal of Quimper, which heard him on 28 February 1990. In court, he requested the assistance of an interpreter, or to be allowed to express himself in Breton, which he claims is the language in which he expresses himself with a maximum of ease. The judge refused his request, upon which C. L. D., in turn refused to resume his own defence; he was found guilty and fined 220 French Francs.


2.2       The author affirms that the judge's refusal to call an interpreter was discriminatory, and that the judgment incorrectly reflects his own attitude, because it notes that "the accused presented his defence and had the last word" (" le prevenu a presenté ses moyens de défense, ayant eu la parole le dernier").


2.3       As to the requirement of exhaustion of domestic remedies, the author claims that the judgment of the police tribunal of Quimper is final. On 14 November 1990, he addressed a letter to President François Mitterrand, requesting a presidential pardon. By letter of 7 December 1990, his request was rejected.




3.         The author claims that the refusal of the judge to hear him in Breton or to call an interpreter violates his rights under articles 2, paragraphs 1 to 3, 14, 26 and 27 of the Covenant.




4.1       Before considering any claims contained in a communication, the Human Rights Committee must, in accordance with rule 87 of its rules of procedure, decide whether or not it is admissible under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant.


4.2       The Committee has noted the author's claim to be a victim of violations of articles 14 and 26 of the Covenant. It considers that the author has failed to substantiate, for purposes of admissibility, how he was discriminated against within the meaning of article 26 and how his right to a fair trial was violated by the court's refusal to provide him with the services of an interpreter. The Committee reiterates that article 14, paragraph 1, juncto paragraph 3(f), does not imply that the accused be afforded an opportunity to express himself in the language which he normally speaks or in which he expresses himself with a maximum of ease. ' In this respect, therefore, the author has failed to advance a claim within the meaning of article 2 of the Optional Protocol.


4.3       As to the author's claim of a violation of article 27 of the Covenant, the Committee reiterates that France's "declaration*'made in respect of this provision (" in the light of article 2 of the Constitution... article 27 [of the Covenant]is not applicable so far as the Republic is concerned")is tantamount to a reservation and therefore precludes the Committee from considering complaints against France alleging violations of article 27 of the Covenant.


5.         The Human Rights Committee therefore decides:


(a)        That the communication is inadmissible under article 2 of the Optional Protocol:


(b)        That this decision shall be communicated to the author and, for information, to the State party.






home | terms & conditions | copyright | about


Copyright © 1999-2011 WorldCourts. All rights reserved.