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Covid-19

Empowerment of the Government in administrative and contentious matters

The Government is also empowered, under the emergency law in response of the covid-19 epidemic, in order to deal with the consequences, particularly of an administrative or jurisdictional nature, of the spread of the epidemic, to legislate by order, for three months as of March 23 2020, to take any measures (Article 11, I, 2°, a) to f) and i):

- adapting the time limits and procedures applicable to the filing and processing of declarations and requests submitted to the administrative authorities, the time limits and procedures for consulting the public or any body or authority prior to any decision being taken by an administrative authority and, where appropriate, the time limits within which such a decision may or must be taken or may arise, as well as the time limits for the performance by any person of inspections, works and prescriptions of any kind imposed by laws and regulations, unless they result from a court decision;

- adapting, interrupting, suspending or deferring the term of the time limits provided for, ruling the nullity, obsolescence, foreclosure, lapse, unenforceability, forfeiture of a right, termination of an approval or authorization or cessation of a measure, with the exception of measures involving deprivation of liberty and penalties. These measures are made applicable as of March 12, 2020 and may not exceed by more than three months the end of the administrative police measures taken by the Government to slow down the spread of the covid-19 epidemic;

- adapting, for the sole purpose of limiting the spread of the covid-19 epidemic among the people involved in the conduct and progress of proceedings, the rules on territorial jurisdiction and trial panels of the administrative and judicial courts, as well as the rules on the time limits for proceedings and trials, the public nature of hearings and their holding, the use of videoconferencing before these courts and the procedures for bringing cases before the courts and for organizing adversarial proceedings before the courts;

- adapting, for the sole purpose of limiting the spread of the covid-19 epidemic among the people participating in these proceedings, the rules relating to the conduct of police custody, to allow the remote intervention of the lawyer and the extension of these measures for at most the legally prescribed duration without the person being brought before the competent magistrate, and the rules relating to the conduct and duration of provisional detention and house arrest under electronic surveillance, to allow for the extension of time limits during the investigation and the hearing, for a period proportionate to that of ordinary law and not exceeding three months in non criminal cases (i.e.“délictuelle”’) and six months on appeal or in criminal cases, and the extension of these measures solely on the basis of written requests from the Public Prosecutor's Office and the written observations of the person and his lawyer;

- Adjusting, for the sole purpose of limiting the spread of the covid-19 epidemic among people participating in or involved in these proceedings, on the one hand, the rules relating to the enforcement and application of custodial sentences in order to make the procedures for assigning convicts to prison establishments and the procedures for enforcing the end of sentences more flexible, and, on the other hand, the rules relating to the enforcement of placement and other educational measures taken pursuant to Order N°. 45-174 of February 2, 1945 on juvenile delinquency;

- simplifying and adapting the law applicable to the functioning of public establishments and administrative collegiate bodies, including the governing bodies of independent administrative or public authorities, in particular the rules relating to the holding of dematerialized meetings or the use of videoconferencing.