In actual fact judges will still have the power to delay access to a lawyer for up to 72 hours to allow "for the collection or preservation of evidence or to prevent an attack on individuals" in cases where the crime would be punishable by more than 5 years in prison. The organisation Human Rights Watch. more usually associated with places like Libya and Yemen. has a large dossier on human rights abuses in France and is lobbying the government to take the new regulations even further. You can read more about the situation on the Fly in the Web's excellent blog.
Now, the CRS, the French riot police have been banned from drinking on duty. Up until now, they have been allowed to have up to 250ml of wine (equivalent to 3 units at 12% volume) or a small beer, served with a meal, but after photos appeared of them during the recent unrest swigging wine and beer straight from the bottle police chiefs have decided enough is enough.
Personally, I've always found the sight of a man with a gun in one hand and alcohol in the other rather disconcerting. Alcohol, a loaded gun and unemployed, disenfranchised Muslim youths seems a recipe for disaster. In the autumn and spring months our hillside became France's answer to Helmand with scores of men in hi-vis jackets marching around with rifles and mangy hunting dogs shooting anything with a heartbeat, including from time to time, each other. I would keep the children and animals in the house after lunch, knowing full well that a hearty meal had been washed down with liberal quantities of gutrot and on more than one occasion I was confronted with a staggering man with a loaded gun and purple teeth.
According to research, 3 units of alcohol will give an increased feeling of happiness - not something traditionally associated with the CRS - but will significantly impair judgement which might lead, for example, pepper spraying children or indeed this , although I suppose you could argue that at least they would do it with a smile on their faces.
They plan to respond in true Gallic style by going on strike. Tchinn!
|Mine's a pint!|