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Ms Pujol, Arręt n° 99PA02121 , Cour administrative d'appel de Paris, 7 octobre 2003 (publication : AJDA 2003 Jurisprudence p. 2269)

Facts: The applicant asked the Court to cancel the refusal of the Minister of Defense to grant her a retirement pension. She claimed that she was married since 1996 and that her marital situation should be taken into consideration. She also claimed that article L. 39 of the Code of civil and military pensions which did not take into consideration the marital life created a discrimination between couples married during 4 years and other couples, thereby violating articles 8 to 14 of the European Convention. The Administrative Court of Paris rejected the applicant's claim. She appealed before the Administrative Court of Appeals of Paris.

Holding: married and non married couples are not in the same situation. The difference made in calculating their retirement pensions by the Code of civil and military retirement pensions is therefore not discriminatory. The provision of the code is not contrary to article 14 of the European Convention.

Reasoning: articles L. 39 and L. 47 of the Code of civil and military retirement pensions provided that the widow of a military who received a retirement pension could thereafter receive it only if the marriage lasted at least 4 years if they had a child after the military stopped his military career. M. Armand Pujol was granted the retirement pension in 1977, married Mme Roselyne Ligori in 1996 and M. Pujol died in 1997. Therefore their marriage did not last 4 years and they had no child. The fact that the couple lived together 15 years did not meet the 4 years marriage condition. The Court decided that married couples and non married couples were not in the same situation, namely the lack of legal community of patrimony and the lack of obligation to contribute to common charges for non married couples. The criteria chosen by the legislator to determine the difference of situation (children; years of marriage) were objective, rational and in relation with the goals of the law. Therefore, the difference of treatment provided by the Code of retirement pensions was legal and did not violate article 14 of the European Convention because it was not discriminatory.

 

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