Cour de Cassation — Tort Law — The protection of private life

Date Citation Note
27.09.2005 Bull.civ. 2005.I. no. 348, p. 289 First Civil Chamber, (pourvoi no. 03-13.622)  
12.07.2005 Bull.civ. 2005, I no. 329, p. 272 First Civil Chamber, (pourvoi no. 04-11.732)  
05.07.2005 Bull.civ. 295 p. 246 First Civil Chamber, (pourvoi no. 03-13.913)  
20.09.2001 D. 2002.Somm.2300

Subsequent developments
The political views of a citizen form part of his private life but it is different if he holds an important and responsible position, even an unofficial one, in a recognised political party
12.07.2000 Bull. Civ., 2000 Ass.Plén Case Consorts X v. Société Y Case Epoux X. v. M. Y.

Subsequent developments
Exercise of the right of free expression cannot be the subject of compensation under art. 1382 Code civil
30.05.2000 Bull. Civ., 2000 I n: 167 p. 107 JCP 2001. II. 10524 Case X v. Société Hachette Filipacchi associés

Subsequent developments
Article 9(1) Code civil
Publication of details of wealth, income and life-style
27.05.1997 JCP 1977. II. 22894 Case SA Editions Plon v. Mitterand

Subsequent developments
Publication of the book on the private life of President Mitterand
Breach of medical confidentiality
Violation of professional confidence
Exercise of freedom of expression as a constitutional value
05.11.1996 Bull. Civ., 1996 I n: 378 p. 265 JCP 1997. II. 22805 Case Prisma Presse v. Mme G

Subsequent developments
Connection between art. 9 and art. 1382 of the Civil code
Unreviewable powers of the Court of Appeal in determining how much harm had been suffered (damages)
25.06.1996 Bull. Civ., 1996 I n: 268 p. 188 Rights of succession have nothing to do with the respect for private life required by art. 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Liberties and guaranteed against discrimination by art. 14 of that Convention
22.05.1996 JCP 1996. IV. 1571 Case Mme A v. SNC Prisma Presse For there to be an invasion of private life in the sense of art. 9 Code civil and art. 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Liberties there must be a reference or allusion to the life of the person invoking them
24.01.1996 Bull. Cass., 1996 II n: 9 p. 7

Subsequent developments
Art. 35 of the Law of 29 July 1881
In a suit for defamation, imputations relating to the private life of the claimant and other observations relating to his public activities are indissociable and subject to proof of the truth
19.12.1995 Bull. Civ., 1995 I n: 479 p. 331 Case Caisse autonome nationale de compensation de l’assurance viellesse artisanale v. X

Subsequent developments
A union whose function is to defend the interests of the profession cannot bring an action based on invasion of privacy
10.10.1995 JCP 1997. II. 22765 Case Mme Li Shu Xian. v. SA Editions Robert Laffont et al .

Subsequent developments
Widow of Pu Yi (the last Emperor of China) case
23.10.1990 Bull. Civ., n° 222 Case Société Mail Newspapers plc v. Prince X

Subsequent developments
Without any authorisation by his legal representatives, articles reporting on the behaviour of a minor aged fourteen on a privately owned island and the way he was brought up and educated could properly infer that these revelations intruded into the private life of the young person
Limits on art. 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms guaranteeing the right of free expression
23.07.1990 D.C. 99-416 Contents and use of an “individual electronic interdepartmental card” and its issuance to all those insured against illness is compatible with the respect for the citizen’s private life because the safeguards which attach to the implementation of the provisions of art. 36 of the challenged law, along with the features ensuring the security of the system, provide sufficient guarantees for the protection of privacy
13.04.1988 Bull. Civ., 1988 I n: 97 p. 66 Case Goudeau v. X

Subsequent developments
Claim for seizure
Amount of the astreinte to prevent the sale of a larger number of copies
05.03.1986 D. 1986.I.R.189 Case Berry v. Hersant

Subsequent developments
Publication by a newspaper of a photograph and the address of the home of two actors did not go beyond what the public was entitled to know
08.07.1981 Bull. Civ., 1981 II n: 152 Case Société Rusconi v. B Main events in the private life of an exceptionally famous film star distinguishable from the public life of the artist
14.11.1975 Bull. Civ., 1975 II n: 294 p. 236 JCP 1976. IV. 9

Subsequent developments
A person who chooses to disclose facts relating to his own private life does so in full awareness of the limits and conditions of such disclosure
Everyone is entitled to respect for his private life and it is immaterial that the same facts had already appeared in books and periodicals
Revelations about a person’s antecedents, partners and similar issues are invariably part of his private life, no matter who he is
18.05.1972 Bull. Civ., 1972 I n: 134 p. 118 JCP 1972. II. 17209

Subsequent developments
Rules of law concerning the protection of the minor’s person and property
Collecting data thus far so scattered that the public had no general idea of the story, and giving the event a degree of publicity greater than it had received from the media, acting independently and with varying emphasis is an invasion of the private life
13.03.1965 JCP 1965. II.14223 Case Philippe v. France Editions Publications

Subsequent developments
The reproduction for purely commercial motives of unauthorised photographs and the details, true or false, of a child’s state of health and the treatment he was receiving constitute an intolerable intrusion into the private life
Role and duty of the référé jurisdiction in cases of urgency to protect rights of personality, especially where, as here, they are the rights of a child, and so to limit as far as possible the harm which could be caused
16.03.1955 D. 1955, 295 Case Marlene Dietrich v. Société France-Dimanche

Subsequent developments
An individual’s reminiscences of his private life form part of his moral capital, and noone has the right, even in good faith, to publish them without the clear and explicit authorisation of the person whose life is being recounted