Gayssot Act

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The Gayssot Act or Gayssot Law (French: Loi Gayssot), enacted on 13 July 1990, makes it an offense 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).

Communist deputy Jean-Claude Gayssot proposed the law. 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 relations between ethnicities in France.

Legal challenges[edit]

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.[1]

The French Constitutional Court's ruling that the Gayssot Act is constitutional but that the 2012 Armenian Genocide Denial Law was unconstitutional because it violated freedom of speech, has been challenged.

Noam Chomsky said "One would naturally ask how France upholds freedom of expression and the sacred principles of "fraternity, freedom, solidarity." For example, is it through the Gayssot Law, repeatedly implemented, which effectively grants the state the right to determine Historical Truth and punish deviation from its edicts? By expelling miserable descendants of Holocaust survivors (Roma) to bitter persecution in Eastern Europe?"[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^

External links[edit]