Jacques Toubon, the Defender of Rights, July 6, 2020 in Strasbourg. - Christelle Rewiako / Sipa

A week before handing over, Jacques Toubon (79) still has messages to transmit. In a decision addressed to the new Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, successor of Christophe Castaner, the Defender of Rights insists on "the urgency" to change the maintenance of order, in particular by prohibiting the launchers of ball of defense ( LBD) and the wearing of a hood by the police.

Jacques Toubon, who will have spent six years at the head of this independent authority, updates his recommendations for maintaining order, in the light of the almost 200 complaints he received during the movement of "yellow vests".

2014-2020, 6 years of Defender of Rights: Jacques Toubon's mandate in 22 main themes. To be rolled out ⬇️

- Defender of rights (@Defenseurdroits) July 1, 2020

The Defender of Rights takes up a good number of recommendations already formulated by the institution since the beginning of 2018. He therefore still calls for the ban on the use of LBD in demonstrations, accused of causing serious injuries such as gamboling.

"Traps" to be avoided

He also recommends putting an end to "traps", this technique of "enclosure" used by the police to surround the demonstrators, and to stop "delocalized identity checks", which consist in arresting a person in the demonstration to then control it on the sidelines of the parade, sometimes in a police station. These practices lead to “depriving people of liberty without a legal framework”, summarizes the Defender.

The institution also questions the "legal framework" of "preventive arrests" carried out during demonstrations of "yellow vests". Often "motivated by the possession of objects" such as eye masks, swimming goggles or simple yellow vests, which "represent no danger", they can "deprive an individual of his right to demonstrate", she believes. She also asked that the "legal framework" allowing the police to confiscate objects "be clarified".

"Guarantee the identification of the police"

The Defender also calls for measures to "guarantee the identification of the police" and protests against the "plainclothes police" who wear "full-face helmets" or "hoods". Practices adopted "outside of any legal or regulatory framework", recalls the institution, which notes "a form of acceptance, of tolerance on the part of the police hierarchy" on this subject.

"The confidence that the population must have in their police rests on the transparency of their action," she believes, judging "hardly admissible" that complaints be closed because an official is not identified.

Jacques Toubon finally recommends that the police force grant "special vigilance" to journalists and association observers, to enable them to carry out their missions during the demonstrations, and to "increased vigilance" regarding the proportionate use of force when the demonstrators are minors.


Who is Claire Hédon, the (very likely) future Defender of rights?


On the departure, Jacques Toubon invites the French to seize the Defender of Rights more

  • Yellow vests
  • Demonstration
  • Christophe Castaner
  • LBD
  • Gérald Darmanin
  • Police
  • Jacques toubon
  • Defender of rights
  • Society
  • Video