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20/08/2013 PROFILE > Autorité judiciaire et administrative

The ARCEP is deprived of sanction powers by the Constitutional Council

To obtain annulment of a 5 million euro fine handed down by the ARCEP, the cable operator Numéricable asked the Council of State to ask a Priority Constitutional Question (QPC) to the constitutional council. For Numéricable, article L36-11 of the Electronic Post and Communication Code did not comply with article 16 of the Declaration of Human and Citizen's Rights as it did not guarantee the separation of powers.
The Constitutional Council decided as follows in favour of Numéricable: "[Texts organising the sanction procedure by the ARCEP] do not ensure separation within the Authority between, on the one hand, the functions of proceedings and investigation of any shortcomings and, on the other, the function of ruling on same shortcomings, neglecting the principle of impartiality".
All of the ARCEP sanction powers are declared as restrictive for the Constitution and the provisions concerning these have been abrogated, with immediate effect, for all pending proceedings and matters not yet judged. 

Acces decision no. 2013-331 QPC of 5 July 2013