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Union Nationale Interuniversitaire v. Institut d'études politiques of Paris, Arrêt n° 02PA02821 , Cour administrative d'appel de Paris, 6 novembre 2003 (publication : AJDA 2004 Jurisprudence p. 343)

Facts: the applicant is the UNI or the Union Nationale Interuniversitaire which aimed at preserving and guaranteeing students' rights and interests. It brought a suit before the administrative Court to have the policy of the Graduate School « Institut d'études politiques of Paris" cancelled. Under the new policy, the Institute decided to contract agreements with Colleges located in disadvantaged and difficult areas, called « ZEP » or "zone d'éducation prioritaire" to facilitate the access of students from those Colleges to the « Institut d'études politiques of Paris". The applicant claimed that

The Tribunal administrative of Paris rejected its claim on July 4, 2002 in its decision n° 0115922/7.

Holding: the Graduate School « Institut d'études politiques of Paris » was authorized to contract agreements with Colleges located in disadvantaged and difficult areas, called « ZEP » or "zone d'éducation prioritaire" to facilitate the access of students from those Colleges to the « Institut d'études politiques of Paris". However the Institute had to give more precise criteria on how it chose the Colleges with which it entered such agreements.

The decision below of the Tribunal Administratif of Paris on July 4, 2002 was overruled because it dismissed the claims of the plaintiffs regarding the « résolutions n° 2 and 3 » taken by the Institute. The « résolution n° 3 » was illegal and was thus cancelled. The remaining of the policy and agreements taken by the Institute were legal.

Reasoning: under l'article L. 621-3 of the Educational Code introduced by the article 14-1 of the law n° 2001-624 of July 17, 2001, the Orientation Committee of the « Institut d'études politiques de Paris » determines the conditions of admissibility to the School as well as the organization of the studies. It is authorized to implement particular measures of admissibility to the School aiming at assuring a diversified selection of students. The decision to reserve spots for students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and colleges was thus legal.   However one provision (resolution n°3) was too vague in defining the criteria and conditions under which the Institute would select the Colleges with which it would contract agreements. This violated the principle of equality of access to education.

 

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