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Arrêt n° 04PA00430 , Cour administrative d'appel de Paris, 7 octobre 2004 (publication : AJDA 2004 Jurisprudence p. 2397)

Facts: the students of the College Henri IV published an article in the number 2 of the newspaper Ravaillac, a newspaper distributed only within the College and composed only of articles written by students from Henri IV. One article was a critical analysis of sexuality, its place in society and in the College in particular. Pictures of naked students from Henri IV illustrated the article. The director of Henri IV forbade the distribution of the number 2 of the revue on the ground that it was provocative and could shock the conscience of young students and violated the students' dignity. The students claimed this decision from the director violated their freedom of speech guaranteed by article 511-2 of the Code of Education.

Holding: the Tribunal administrative de Paris cancelled the decision of the director of Henri IV because found a violation of the students' freedom of expression. The Minister of Education appealed to the CAA of Paris which upheld the decision below.

Reasoning: under article L. 511-2 of the Code of Education du code de l'éducation : « in high schools and colleges, students have a freedom of information and expression as long as this freedom does not hurt the educational system". Under article 3-4 of the decree n° 85-924 of August 30, 1985 : « articles published by students in colleges can be distributed in the school. However, if the article contain defamatory or insulting remarks, or violates the rights of somebody or the public order, then the director of the school can forbid the distribution and publication of the article within the school". The Court ruled that the director could not forbid the distribution of the article because the content did not violate the students' dignity or any other rights of others.


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