Cour de Cassation, First Civil Chamber, (pourvoi no. 04-11.732) Bull.civ. 2005, I no. 329, p. 272
12 July 2005
Translated by:
Tony Weir
Professor B. S. Markesinis

In view of article 9, Code civil:

In its number 2590, distributed during the week 22-28 February 2001, the weekly magazine “L’Express” published the full names of the thirty-one respondents along with their roles and functions as provincial representatives or masters of lodges affiliated to the Grande loge nationale française for the Côte d’Azur region;

The court below held the publisher liable in damages to the respondents on the ground that since an individual’s ideological beliefs are a matter for his personal conscience,  to publish them without his consent constitutes an invasion of his private life,   except in the case of those who under the articles of an associations have its management or control.

But given that it is not an invasion of an individual’s private life to disclose his activities or role as an officer in a political, religious or ideological group, the court below failed to draw the correct conclusions from its findings of fact and thus violated the text cited above.

For these reasons the decision is quashed and annulled.

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