Court Case: Jean-Sébastien Vialatte

On 13 May 2013, Jean-Sébastien Vialatte, a minister for the right-wing party, the Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP), published a tweet in the wake of the disturbances that occurred in Paris following the victory of Paris-Saint-Germain, which stated that, 'No doubt the troublemakers are slave descendants they have an excuse #Taubira will compensate them' ('Les casseurs sont sûrement des descendants d’esclaves ils ont des excuses #Taubira va leur donner des compensations'). This comment is connected to the controversies surrounding Hollande's 10 May address to commemorate slavery, the slave trade and their abolitions. At the time, the Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires (CRAN) was placing pressure on the French government to engage in a debate on reparations. On 10 May, the CRAN lodged a formal complaint against the French financial organization - the Caisse des dépôts et consignations - for having administered the debt paid by Haiti to France (from 1825 to 1947) in exchange for the recognition of its independence following the Haitian Revolution. More information about this can be found in the following article. Unlike Hollande's outright rejection of reparations, the minister for justice, Christiane Taubira, suggested that a debate on reparations be structured around the question of land rights. Vialatte's tweet is a reference to this contemporaneous political issue, and does so by making derogative links between the 'troublemakers' ('casseurs') and slave descendants. The association CollectifDom lodged a formal complaint and Vialatte was found guilty of inciting racial hatred on 19 September 2014. He was required to pay a fine of €2000 in addition to damages of €2500 to CollectifDom. 

Links to associations (collaborations): 
Start date: 
2013CE May 13th
Outcome: 
On 19 September 2014, Vialatte was found guilty of inciting racial hatred. He was required to pay a fine of €2000 in addition to damages of €2500 to the association CollectifDom.