State council upholds DNA immigration law
15 November 2007, PARIS - France's highest legal authority on Thursday upheld with reservations a new immigration law introducing DNA testing of foreigners who want to join relatives in France.
15 November 2007
PARIS - France's highest legal authority on Thursday upheld with reservations a new immigration law introducing DNA testing of foreigners who want to join relatives in France.
But the Constitutional Council struck down another provision of the law that allows statistics on citizens' ethnic origins to be collected.
The council ruled that it ran counter to article 1 of the constitution stating that "all citizens without distinction of their origin, race and religion" are equal before the law.
The panel ruled that DNA testing was constitutional given that the law stipulated that such tests were on a voluntary basis.
The immigration law was adopted by parliament last month after months of angry debate that saw several senior members of President Nicolas Sarkozy's party come out against the use of DNA testing of immigration applicants.
Critics of the measure argued that it set a dangerous precedent by resorting to genetics to determine who gets a place in France, instead of human rights principles.
But Immigration Minister Brice Hortefeux pointed out that 12 European countries already allowed DNA testing.
Subject: French news