Monday, 10 Dec 2018

Refusal to shake hands: naturalization of an Algerian woman rejected

The Council of State validated the rejection of the naturalization of an Algerian woman who refused to shake hands with a representative of the prefecture during her reception ceremony in French nationality.

The highest administrative court had been seized by this woman, married to a French since 2010, who considered as an “excess of power” the decree of the Prime Minister of April 2017 refusing naturalization.

Ten months earlier, in June 2016, this Algerian national had “expressly” refused to shake hands with the secretary general of the prefecture of Isère, as well as that of an elected representative of a commune of this department, during the welcome ceremony in French nationality organized in prefecture.

“A lack of assimilation”

She had invoked her “religious convictions” to motivate this refusal, which the government services felt “prevented her from being considered assimilated to the French community”.

“In considering that such behavior, in a place and at a symbolic moment, revealed a lack of assimilation, the Prime Minister did not make an incorrect application of the provisions of Article 21-4 of the Civil Code”, considers the Council of State in its decision, dated April 11.

This article provides that “the government may oppose […] for indignity or lack of assimilation other than linguistic acquisition of the French nationality by the foreign spouse within two years.”

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