The Constitutional Council has ruled: it will no longer be compulsory to pay a parking fine before being able to contest it.
In France, since the entry into force of the paid parking reform on 1is January 2018, if you wanted to contest a parking, you had to pay the fine first. This process will soon be ancient history since the Constitutional Council ruled on Wednesday: it will no longer be compulsory to pay a parking fine before being able to contest it.
“The legislator has not provided for guarantees such as to ensure that the requirement of prior payment does not substantially infringe the right to exercise an effective judicial remedy”, ruled the Council. Therefore, the members of the Council declared “contrary to the Constitution the contested provisions”. “This declaration of unconstitutionality is applicable to all cases not judged definitively on today’s date”, specified the Court.
“By its decision today, the Constitutional Council recalls that it follows from Article 16 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 that there must be no substantial infringement of the rights of persons interested in exercising an effective remedy before a court “, stressed the Council.
This obligation was regularly contested, in particular by the Defenders of Rights. Thus, in January 2020, Jacques Toubon, himself Defender of Rights, recommended remove this obligation to pay the fine in advance.
The latter notably emphasized “the difficulties of imposing such a payment in certain specific situations” as for the victims vehicle theft or theft of plates. For Jacques Toubon, contesting a parking fine was “way of the cross”.