The Gayssot Act or Gayssot Law (French: Loi Gayssot), enacted on July 13, 1990, makes it an offence in France to question the existence or size of the category of crimes against humanity as defined in the London Charter of 1945, on the basis of which Nazi leaders were convicted by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1945-46 (art.9). Proposed by the Communist deputy Jean-Claude Gayssot, it is one of several European laws prohibiting Holocaust denial. Its first article states that "any discrimination founded on membership or non-membership of an ethnic group, a nation, a race or a religion is prohibited." The law also requires the Commission nationale consultative des droits de l'homme (National Consultative Commission on Human Rights), created in 1947, to publish an annual report on the situation of racism in France.
After Robert Faurisson was removed from his university chair under the Gayssot Act, he challenged it as a violation of his right to freedom of expression under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Human Rights Committee upheld the condemnation of Faurisson, but mentioned that the Gayssot Act may be too broad. There have been questions and criticisms as to why the French Constitutional Court has stated that the Gayssot Act is constitutional but declared that the 2012 Armenian Genocide Denial Law was unconstitutional because it violated the freedom of speech. Critics have questioned that if the Gayssot Act is constitutional, then the 2012 Armenian genocide law should also be constitutional because both laws violate the freedom of speech. Critics have pointed out to hypocrisy in the French constitutional court.
- ^ Communication No 550/1993 : France. 16/12/96. CCPR/C/58/D/550/1993, Human Rights Committee, Fifty-eighth session, 21 October - 8 November 1996