quill.gif (3183 bytes) Commune d'Arcueil v. Régie publicitaire des transports parisiens , n° 171134, Conseil d'Etat, 8 décembre 1997, AJDA 1997 Jurisprudence p. 000

Facts: Advertisements for escort girl services online and on the minitel were posted in the City of Arcueil. Thereafter the mayor of the City issued a Decree on May 14, 1990 prohibiting the posting of "escort girl advertisements" in the city. The plaintiff, the "Régie publicitaire des transports parisiens" (Company in charge of advertisements in public transportations in Paris), claimed that the Decree was illegal. The City argued that the Decree was necessary to avoid an infringement of human dignity and of public morals.

Procedure: the City of Arcueil asks the Conseil d'Etat to cancel the decision of April 14, 1995 whereby the Administrative Court of Paris cancelled the Decree of May 14, 1990 prohibiting the posting of "escort girl advertisements" in the city.

Holding: the Conseil d'Etat held that the Decree of the mayor of Arcueil which forbade the posting of "escort girl advertisements" in the city was illegal.

Reasoning: the posting of the advertisements in question did not provoke serious material troubles in the city of Arcueil. The immoral character of the advertisements, even if it was established, could not be the legal basis for a prohibition of any advertising of that business. The city did not prove that the Decree forbidding the advertisements was justified by a prevention of an infringement of the dignity of human beings.   The Decree was therefore an infringement on the freedom to trade and pursue a business activity (escort girl business) which was not justified by any infringement of the human dignity.

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