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Droit comparé 2

mercredi 19 septembre 2012, par Nicole Ruster

discriminations et affirmative action

US Supreme Court 2003, Grutter v. Bollinger

In the landmark Bakke case, this Court reviewed a medical school’s racial set-aside program that reserved 16 out of 100 seats for members of certain minority groups. The decision produced six separate opinions, none of which commanded a majority. Four Justices would have upheld the program on the ground that the government can use race to remedy disadvantages cast on minorities by past racial prejudice. 438 U.S., at 325. Four other Justices would have struck the program down on statutory grounds. Id., at 408. Justice Powell, announcing the Court’s judgment, provided a fifth vote not only for invalidating the program, but also for reversing the state court’s injunction against any use of race whatsoever. In a part of his opinion that was joined by no other Justice, Justice Powell expressed his view that attaining a diverse student body was the only interest asserted by the university that survived scrutiny. Id., at 311. Grounding his analysis in the academic freedom that " long has been viewed as a special concern of the First Amendment, at 312, 314, Justice Powell emphasized that the " ‘nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure’ to the ideas and mores of students as diverse as this Nation." Id., at 313. However, he also emphasized that "[i]t is not an interest in simple ethnic diversity, in which a specified percentage of the student body is in effect guaranteed to be members of selected ethnic groups," that can justify using race. Id., at 315. Rather, "[t]he diversity that furthers a compelling state interest encompasses a far broader array of qualifications and characteristics of which racial or ethnic origin is but a single though important element." Ibid. Since Bakke, Justice Powell’s opinion has been the touchstone for constitutional analysis of race-conscious admissions policies. Public and private universities across the Nation have modeled their own admissions programs on Justice Powell’s views. Courts, however, have struggled to discern whether Justice Powell’s diversity rationale is binding precedent. The Court finds it unnecessary to decide this issue because the Court endorses Justice Powell’s view that student body diversity is a compelling state interest in the context of university admissions. . But not all such uses are invalidated by strict scrutiny. Race-based action necessary to further a compelling governmental interest does not violate the Equal Protection Clause so long as it is narrowly tailored to further that interest. . Context matters when reviewing such action. Not every decision influenced by race is equally objectionable, and strict scrutiny is designed to provide a framework for carefully examining the importance and the sincerity of the government’s reasons for using race in a particular context. the path to leadership must be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of every race and ethnicity. Thus, the Law School has a compelling interest in attaining a diverse student body. The Court is satisfied that the Law School adequately considered the available alternatives. The Court is also satisfied that, in the context of individualized consideration of the possible diversity contributions of each applicant, the Law School’s race-conscious admissions program does not unduly harm nonminority applicants. Finally, race-conscious admissions policies must be limited in time. The Court takes the Law School at its word that it would like nothing better than to find a race-neutral admissions formula and will terminate its use of racial preferences as soon as practicable. The Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today. All government racial classifications must be analyzed by a reviewing court under strict scrutiny. Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña,
The Court endorses Justice Powell’s view that student body diversity is a compelling state interest that can justify using race in university admissions. The Court defers to the Law School’s educational judgment that diversity is essential to its educational mission. The Court’s scrutiny of that interest is no less strict for taking into account complex educational judgments in an area that lies primarily within the university’s expertise. See, e.g., Bakke, 438 U.S., at 319, n. 53 (opinion of Powell, J.). Attaining a diverse student body is at the heart of the Law School’s proper institutional mission, and its "good faith" is "presumed" absent "a showing to the contrary." Id., at 318—319. Enrolling a "critical mass" of minority students simply to assure some specified percentage of a particular group merely because of its race or ethnic origin would be patently unconstitutional. E.g., id., at 307. But the Law School defines its critical mass concept by reference to the substantial, important, and laudable educational benefits that diversity is designed to produce, including cross-racial understanding and the breaking down of racial stereotypes. The Law School’s claim is further bolstered by numerous expert studies and reports showing that such diversity promotes learning outcomes and better prepares students for an increasingly diverse workforce, for society, and for the legal profession. Major American businesses have made clear that the skills needed in today’s increasingly global marketplace can only be developed through exposure to widely diverse people, cultures, ideas, and viewpoints. High-ranking retired officers and civilian military leaders assert that a highly qualified, racially diverse officer corps is essential to national security. Moreover, because universities, and in particular, law schools, represent the training ground for a large number of the Nation’s leaders, Sweatt v. Painter,
(d) The Law School’s admissions program bears the hallmarks of a narrowly tailored plan. To be narrowly tailored, a race-conscious admissions program cannot "insulat[e] each category of applicants with certain desired qualifications from competition with all other applicants." Bakke, supra, at 315 (opinion of Powell, J.). Instead, it may consider race or ethnicity only as a " ‘plus’ in a particular applicant’s file" ; i.e., it must be "flexible enough to consider all pertinent elements of diversity in light of the particular qualifications of each applicant, and to place them on the same footing for consideration, although not necessarily according them the same weight," id., at 317. It follows that universities cannot establish quotas for members of certain racial or ethnic groups or put them on separate admissions tracks. See id., at 315—316. The Law School’s admissions program, like the Harvard plan approved by Justice Powell, satisfies these requirements. Moreover, the program is flexible enough to ensure that each applicant is evaluated as an individual and not in a way that makes race or ethnicity the defining feature of the application. See Bakke, supra, at 317 (opinion of Powell, J.). The Law School engages in a highly individualized, holistic review of each applicant’s file, giving serious consideration to all the ways an applicant might contribute to a diverse educational environment. There is no policy, either de jure or de facto, of automatic acceptance or rejection based on any single "soft" variable. Gratz v. Bollinger, ante, p. ___, distinguished. Also, the program adequately ensures that all factors that may contribute to diversity are meaningfully considered alongside race. Moreover, the Law School frequently accepts nonminority applicants with grades and test scores lower than underrepresented minority applicants (and other nonminority applicants) who are rejected. The Court rejects the argument that the Law School should have used other race-neutral means to obtain the educational benefits of student body diversity, e.g., a lottery system or decreasing the emphasis on GPA and LSAT scores. Narrow tailoring does not require exhaustion of every conceivable race-neutral alternative or mandate that a university choose between maintaining a reputation for excellence or fulfilling a commitment to provide educational opportunities to members of all racial groups. See, e.g., Wygant v. Jackson Bd. of Ed.,

US Supreme Court, Schuette v. Bamn 2014

The freedom secured by the Constitution consists, in one of its essential dimensions, of the right of the individual not to be injured by the unlawful exercise of governmental power. The mandate for segregated schools, Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U. S. 483 (1954) ; a wrongful invasion of the home, Silverman v. United States, 365 U. S. 505 (1961) ; or punishing a protester whose views offend others, Texas v. Johnson, 491 U. S. 397 (1989) ; and scores of other examples teach that individual liberty has constitutional protection, and that liberty’s full extent and meaning may remain yet to be discovered and affirmed. Yet freedom does not stop with individual rights. Our constitutional system embraces, too, the right of citizens to debate so they can learn and decide and then, through the political process, act in concert to try to shape the course of their own times and the course of a nation that must strive always to make freedom ever greater and more secure. Here Michigan voters acted in concert and statewide to seek consensus and adopt a policy on a difficult subject against a historical background of race in America that has been a source of tragedy and persisting injustice. That history demands that we continue to learn, to listen, and to remain open to new approaches if we are to aspire always to a constitutional order in which all persons are treated with fairness and equal dignity. Were the Court to rule that the question addressed by Michigan voters is too sensitive or complex to be within the grasp of the electorate ; or that the policies at issue remain too delicate to be resolved save by university officials or faculties, acting at some remove from immediate public scru-tiny and control ; or that these matters are so arcane that the electorate’s power must be limited because the people cannot prudently exercise that power even after a full debate, that holding would be an unprecedented restriction on the exercise of a fundamental right held not just by one person but by all in common. It is the right to speak and debate and learn and then, as a matter of political will, to act through a lawful electoral process.

The respondents in this case insist that a difficult question of public policy must be taken from the reach of the voters, and thus removed from the realm of public discussion, dialogue, and debate in an election campaign. Quite in addition to the serious First Amendment implications of that position with respect to any particular election, it is inconsistent with the underlying premises of a responsible, functioning democracy. One of those premises is that a democracy has the capacity—and the duty—to learn from its past mistakes ; to discover and confront persisting biases ; and by respectful, rationale deliberation to rise above those flaws and injustices. That process is impeded, not advanced, by court decrees based on the proposition that the public cannot have the requisite repose to discuss certain issues. It is demeaning to the democratic process to presume that the voters are not capable of deciding an issue of this sensitivity on decent and rational grounds. The process of public discourse and political debate should not be foreclosed even if there is a risk that during a public campaign there will be those, on both sides, who seek to use racial division and discord to their own political advantage. An informed public can, and must, rise above this. The idea of democracy is that it can, and must, mature. Freedom embraces the right, indeed the duty, to engage in a rational, civic discourse in order to determine how best to form a consensus to shape the destiny of the Nation and its people. These First Amendment dynamics would be disserved if this Court were to say that the question here at issue is beyond the capacity of the voters to debate and then to determine.

These precepts are not inconsistent with the well-established principle that when hurt or injury is inflicted on racial minorities by the encouragement or command of laws or other state action, the Constitution requires redress by the courts. Cf. Johnson v. California, 543 U. S. 499–512 (2005) (“[S]earching judicial review . . . is necessary to guard against invidious discrimination”) ; Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co., 500 U. S. 614, 619 (1991) (“Racial discrimination” is “invidious in all contexts”). As already noted, those were the circumstances that the Court found present in Mulkey, Hunter, and Seattle. But those circumstances are not present here.

For reasons already discussed, Mulkey, Hunter, and Seattle are not precedents that stand for the conclusion that Michigan’s voters must be disempowered from acting. Those cases were ones in which the political restriction in question was designed to be used, or was likely to be used, to encourage infliction of injury by reason of race. What is at stake here is not whether injury will be inflicted but whether government can be instructed not to follow a course that entails, first, the definition of racial categories and, second, the grant of favored status to persons in some racial categories and not others. The electorate’s instruction to governmental entities not to embark upon the course of race-defined and race-based preferences was adopted, we must assume, because the voters deemed a preference system to be unwise, on account of what voters may deem its latent potential to become itself a source of the very resentments and hostilities based on race that this Nation seeks to put behind it. Whether those adverse results would follow is, and should be, the subject of debate. Voters might likewise consider, after debate and reflection, that programs designed to increase diversity—consistent with the Constitution—are a necessary part of progress to transcend the stigma of past racism.

This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it. There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in this Court’s precedents for the Judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters. See Sailors v. Board of Ed. of County of Kent, 387 U. S. 105, 109 (1967) (“Save and unless the state, county, or municipal government runs afoul of a federally protected right, it has vast leeway in the management of its internal affairs”). Deliberative debate on sensitive issues such as racial preferences all too often may shade into rancor. But that does not justify removing certain court-determined issues from the voters’ reach. Democracy does not presume that some subjects are either too divisive or too profound for public debate.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

US Supreme Court 2016 Fisher v. University of Austin in Texas

Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court.

 The Court is asked once again to consider whether the race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause.

 The University of Texas at Austin (or University) relies upon a complex system of admissions that has undergone significant evolution over the past two decades. Until 1996, the University made its admissions decisions primarily based on a measure called “Academic Index” (or AI), which it calculated by combining an applicant’s SAT score and academic performance in high school. In assessing applicants, preference was given to racial minorities.

 In 1996, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit invalidated this admissions system, holding that any consideration of race in college admissions violates the Equal Protection Clause. See Hopwood v. Texas, 78 F. 3d 932, 934–935, 948.

 One year later the University adopted a new admissions policy. Instead of considering race, the University began making admissions decisions based on an applicant’s AI and his or her “Personal Achievement Index” (PAI). The PAI was a numerical score based on a holistic review of an application. Included in the number were the applicant’s essays, leadership and work experience, extracurricular activities, community service, and other “special characteristics” that might give the admissions committee insight into a student’s background. Consistent with Hopwood, race was not a consideration in calculating an applicant’s AI or PAI.

 The Texas Legislature responded to Hopwood as well. It enacted H. B. 588, commonly known as the Top Ten Percent Law. Tex. Educ. Code Ann. §51.803 (West Cum. Supp. 2015). As its name suggests, the Top Ten Percent Law guarantees college admission to students who graduate from a Texas high school in the top 10 percent of their class. Those students may choose to attend any of the public universities in the State.

 The University implemented the Top Ten Percent Law in 1998. After first admitting any student who qualified for admission under that law, the University filled the remainder of its incoming freshman class using a combination of an applicant’s AI and PAI scores—again, without considering race.

 The University used this admissions system until 2003, when this Court decided the companion cases of Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U. S. 306, and Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U. S. 244. In Gratz, this Court struck down the University of Michigan’s undergraduate system of admissions, which at the time allocated predetermined points to racial minority candidates. See 539 U. S., at 255, 275–276. In Grutter, however, the Court upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s system of holistic review—a system that did not mechanically assign points but rather treated race as a relevant feature within the broader context of a candidate’s application. See 539 U. S., at 337, 343–344. In upholding this nuanced use of race, Grutter implicitly overruled Hopwood’s categorical prohibition.

 In the wake of Grutter, the University embarked upon a year-long study seeking to ascertain whether its admissions policy was allowing it to provide “the educational benefits of a diverse student body . . . to all of the University’s undergraduate students.” App. 481a–482a (affidavit of N. Bruce Walker ¶11 (Walker Aff.)) ; see also id., at 445a–447a. The University concluded that its admissions policy was not providing these benefits. Supp. App. 24a–25a.

 To change its system, the University submitted a proposal to the Board of Regents that requested permission to begin taking race into consideration as one of “the many ways in which [an] academically qualified individual might contribute to, and benefit from, the rich, diverse, and challenging educational environment of the Univer-sity.” Id., at 23a. After the board approved the proposal, the University adopted a new admissions policy to implement it. The University has continued to use that admissions policy to this day.

 Although the University’s new admissions policy was a direct result of Grutter, it is not identical to the policy this Court approved in that case. Instead, consistent with the State’s legislative directive, the University continues to fill a significant majority of its class through the Top Ten Percent Plan (or Plan). Today, up to 75 percent of the places in the freshman class are filled through the Plan. As a practical matter, this 75 percent cap, which has now been fixed by statute, means that, while the Plan continues to be referenced as a “Top Ten Percent Plan,” a student actually needs to finish in the top seven or eight percent of his or her class in order to be admitted under this category.

 The University did adopt an approach similar to the one in Grutter for the remaining 25 percent or so of the incom ing class. This portion of the class continues to be admitted based on a combination of their AI and PAI scores. Now, however, race is given weight as a subfactor within the PAI. The PAI is a number from 1 to 6 (6 is the best) that is based on two primary components. The first component is the average score a reader gives the applicant on two required essays. The second component is a full-file review that results in another 1-to-6 score, the “Personal Achievement Score” or PAS. The PAS is determined by a separate reader, who (1) rereads the applicant’s required essays, (2) reviews any supplemental information the applicant submits (letters of recommendation, resumes, an additional optional essay, writing samples, artwork, etc.), and (3) evaluates the applicant’s potential contributions to the University’s student body based on the applicant’s leadership experience, extracurricular activities, awards/honors, community service, and other “special circumstances.”

 “Special circumstances” include the socioeconomic status of the applicant’s family, the socioeconomic status of the applicant’s school, the applicant’s family responsibilities, whether the applicant lives in a single-parent home, the applicant’s SAT score in relation to the average SAT score at the applicant’s school, the language spoken at the applicant’s home, and, finally, the applicant’s race. See App. 218a–220a, 430a.

 Both the essay readers and the full-file readers who assign applicants their PAI undergo extensive training to ensure that they are scoring applicants consistently. Deposition of Brian Breman 9–14, Record in No. 1 : 08–CV–00263, (WD Tex.), Doc. 96–3. The Admissions Office also undertakes regular “reliability analyses” to “measure the frequency of readers scoring within one point of each other.” App. 474a (affidavit of Gary M. Lavergne ¶8) ; see also id., at 253a (deposition of Kedra Ishop (Ishop Dep.)). Both the intensive training and the reliability analyses aim to ensure that similarly situated applicants are being treated identically regardless of which admissions officer reads the file.

 Once the essay and full-file readers have calculated each applicant’s AI and PAI scores, admissions officers from each school within the University set a cutoff PAI/AI score combination for admission, and then admit all of the applicants who are above that cutoff point. In setting the cutoff, those admissions officers only know how many applicants received a given PAI/AI score combination. They do not know what factors went into calculating those applicants’ scores. The admissions officers who make the final decision as to whether a particular applicant will be admitted make that decision without knowing the applicant’s race. Race enters the admissions process, then, at one stage and one stage only—the calculation of the PAS.

 Therefore, although admissions officers can consider race as a positive feature of a minority student’s application, there is no dispute that race is but a “factor of a factor of a factor” in the holistic-review calculus. 645 F. Supp. 2d 587, 608 (WD Tex. 2009). Furthermore, consideration of race is contextual and does not operate as a mechanical plus factor for underrepresented minorities. Id., at 606 (“Plaintiffs cite no evidence to show racial groups other than African-Americans and Hispanics are excluded from benefitting from UT’s consideration of race in admissions. As the Defendants point out, the consideration of race, within the full context of the entire application, may be beneficial to any UT Austin applicant—including whites and Asian-Americans”) ; see also Brief for Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund et al. as Amici Curiae 12 (the contention that the University discriminates against Asian-Americans is “entirely unsupported by evidence in the record or empirical data”). There is also no dispute, however, that race, when considered in conjunction with other aspects of an applicant’s background, can alter an applicant’s PAS score. Thus, race, in this indirect fashion, considered with all of the other factors that make up an applicant’s AI and PAI scores, can make a difference to whether an application is accepted or rejected.

 Petitioner Abigail Fisher applied for admission to the University’s 2008 freshman class. She was not in the top 10 percent of her high school class, so she was evaluated for admission through holistic, full-file review. Petitioner’s application was rejected.

 Petitioner then filed suit alleging that the University’s consideration of race as part of its holistic-review process disadvantaged her and other Caucasian applicants, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. See U. S. Const., Amdt. 14, §1 (no State shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”). The District Court entered summary judgment in the University’s favor, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

 This Court granted certiorari and vacated the judgment of the Court of Appeals, Fisher v. University of Tex. at Austin, 570 U. S. ___ (2013) (Fisher I ), because it had applied an overly deferential “good-faith” standard in assessing the constitutionality of the University’s program. The Court remanded the case for the Court of Appeals to assess the parties’ claims under the correct legal standard.

 Without further remanding to the District Court, the Court of Appeals again affirmed the entry of summary judgment in the University’s favor. 758 F. 3d 633 (CA5 2014). This Court granted certiorari for a second time, 576 U. S. ___ (2015), and now affirms...

Petitioner’s final suggestion is to uncap the Top Ten Percent Plan, and admit more—if not all—the University’s students through a percentage plan. As an initial matter, petitioner overlooks the fact that the Top Ten Percent Plan, though facially neutral, cannot be understood apart from its basic purpose, which is to boost minority enrollment. Percentage plans are “adopted with racially segregated neighborhoods and schools front and center stage.” Fisher I, 570 U. S., at ___ (Ginsburg, J., dissenting) (slip op., at 2). “It is race consciousness, not blindness to race, that drives such plans.” Ibid. Consequently, petitioner cannot assert simply that increasing the University’s reliance on a percentage plan would make its admissions policy more race neutral.

 Even if, as a matter of raw numbers, minority enrollment would increase under such a regime, petitioner would be hard-pressed to find convincing support for the proposition that college admissions would be improved if they were a function of class rank alone. That approach would sacrifice all other aspects of diversity in pursuit of enrolling a higher number of minority students. A system that selected every student through class rank alone would exclude the star athlete or musician whose grades suffered because of daily practices and training. It would exclude a talented young biologist who struggled to maintain above-average grades in humanities classes. And it would exclude a student whose freshman-year grades were poor because of a family crisis but who got herself back on track in her last three years of school, only to find herself just outside of the top decile of her class.

 These are but examples of the general problem. Class rank is a single metric, and like any single metric, it will capture certain types of people and miss others. This does not imply that students admitted through holistic review are necessarily more capable or more desirable than those admitted through the Top Ten Percent Plan. It merely reflects the fact that privileging one characteristic above all others does not lead to a diverse student body. Indeed, to compel universities to admit students based on class rank alone is in deep tension with the goal of educational diversity as this Court’s cases have defined it. See Grutter, supra, at 340 (explaining that percentage plans “may preclude the university from conducting the individualized assessments necessary to assemble a student body that is not just racially diverse, but diverse along all the qualities valued by the university”) ; 758 F. 3d, at 653 (pointing out that the Top Ten Percent Law leaves out students “who fell outside their high school’s top ten percent but excelled in unique ways that would enrich the diversity of [the University’s] educational experience” and “leaves a gap in an admissions process seeking to create the multi-dimensional diversity that [Regents of Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke, 438 U. S. 265 (1978),] envisions”). At its center, the Top Ten Percent Plan is a blunt instrument that may well compromise the University’s own definition of the diversity it seeks.

 In addition to these fundamental problems, an admissions policy that relies exclusively on class rank creates perverse incentives for applicants. Percentage plans “encourage parents to keep their children in low-performing segregated schools, and discourage students from taking challenging classes that might lower their grade point averages.” Gratz, 539 U. S., at 304, n. 10 (Ginsburg, J., dissenting).

 For all these reasons, although it may be true that the Top Ten Percent Plan in some instances may provide a path out of poverty for those who excel at schools lacking in resources, the Plan cannot serve as the admissions solution that petitioner suggests. Wherever the balance between percentage plans and holistic review should rest, an effective admissions policy cannot prescribe, realisti- cally, the exclusive use of a percentage plan.

 In short, none of petitioner’s suggested alternatives—nor other proposals considered or discussed in the course of this litigation—have been shown to be “available” and “workable” means through which the University could have met its educational goals, as it understood and de fined them in 2008. Fisher I, supra, at ___ (slip op., at 11). The University has thus met its burden of showing that the admissions policy it used at the time it rejected petitioner’s application was narrowly tailored.
*  *  *

 A university is in large part defined by those intangible “qualities which are incapable of objective measurement but which make for greatness.” Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U. S. 629, 634 (1950). Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission. But still, it remains an enduring challenge to our Nation’s education system to reconcile the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity.

 In striking this sensitive balance, public universities, like the States themselves, can serve as “laboratories for experimentation.” United States v. Lopez, 514 U. S. 549, 581 (1995) (Kennedy, J., concurring) ; see also New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U. S. 262, 311 (1932) (Brandeis, J., dissenting). The University of Texas at Austin has a special opportunity to learn and to teach. The University now has at its disposal valuable data about the manner in which different approaches to admissions may foster diversity or instead dilute it. The University must con- tinue to use this data to scrutinize the fairness of its admis- sions program ; to assess whether changing demographics have undermined the need for a race-conscious policy ; and to identify the effects, both positive and negative, of the affirmative-action measures it deems necessary.

 The Court’s affirmance of the University’s admissions policy today does not necessarily mean the University may rely on that same policy without refinement. It is the University’s ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding its admis sions policies.

 The judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed.

Cour constitutionnelle d’Afrique du Sud, Hoffmann v. South African Airways, 2000

The appellant is living with HIV. People who are living with HIV constitute minority. Society has responded to their plight with intense prejudice. They have been subjected to systemic disadvantage and discrimination. They have been stigmatised and marginalised. As the present case demonstrates, they have been denied employment because of their HIV-positive status without regard to their ability to perform the duties of the position from which they have been excluded. Society’s response to them has forced many of them not to reveal their HIV status for fear of prejudice. This in turn has deprived them of the help they would otherwise have received. People who are living with HIV/AIDS are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. Notwithstanding the availability of compelling medical evidence as to how this disease is transmitted, the prejudices and stereotypes against HIV-positivepeople still persist. In view of the prevailing prejudice against HIV-positive people, any discrimination against them can, to my mind, be interpreted as a fresh instance of stigmatisation and I consider this to be an assault on their dignity. The impact of discrimination on HIV-positive people is devastating. It is even more so when it occurs in the context of employment. It denies them the right to earn a living. For this reason
they enjoy special protection in our law.
[29.] There can be no doubt that SAA discriminated against the appellant because of his HIV status. Neither the purpose of the discrimination nor the objective médical evidence justifies such discrimination.
[30.] SAA refused to employ the appellant, saying that he was unfit for worldwide duty because of his HIV status. But, on its own medical evidence, not all persons living with HIV cannot be vaccinated against yellow fever or are prone to contracting infectious diseases. It is only those persons whose infection has reached the stage of immunosuppression and whose CD4+ count has dropped below 350 cells per microlitre of blood. Therefore, the considerations that dictated its practice as advanced in the High Court did not apply to all persons who are living with HIV. Its practice, therefore, judged and treated all persons who are living with HIV on the same basis. It judged all of them to be unfit for employment as cabin attendants on the basis of assumptions that are true only for an identifiable group of people who are living with HIV. On SAA’s own evidence, the appellant could have been at the asymptomatic stage of infection.
Yet, because the appellant happened to have been HIV positive, he was automatically excluded from employment as a cabin attendant.
[37.] Prejudice can never justify unfair discrimination. This country has recently emerged from institutionalised prejudice. Our law reports are replete with cases in which prejudice was taken into consideration in denying the rights that we now take for granted. Our constitutional democracy has ushered in a new era it is an era characterised by respect for human dignity for all human beings. In this era, préjudice and stereotyping have no place. Indeed, if as a nation we are to achieve the goal of equality that we have fashioned in our Constitution, we must never tolerate prejudice, either directly or indirectly. SAA, as a state organ that has a constitutional duty to uphold the Constitution, may not avoid its constitutional duty by bowing to préjudice and stereotyping.

[41.] I conclude, therefore, that the refusal by SAA to employ the appellant as a cabin attendant because he was HIV positive violated his right to equality guaranteed by section 9 of the Constitution.

Supreme Court of India, 10 April 2008, Ashoka Kumar Thakur v. Union of India

In my view, comparative analysis emphatically is relevant to the task of interpreting constitutions and enforcing human rights. We are losers if we neglect what others can tell us about endeavours to eradicate bias against women, minorities and other disadvantaged groups. For irrational prejudice and rank discrimination are infectious in our world. In this, reality, as well as the determination to counter it, we all share."
9. We are conscious of the fact that any reservation or preference shall not lead to reverse discrimination. The Constitution (Ninety- Third) Amendment Act, 2005 and the enactment of Act 5 of 2007 giving reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) created mixed reactions in the society. Though the reservation in favour of SC and ST is not opposed by the petitioners, the reservation of 27% in favour of Other Backward Classes/Socially and educationally backward classes is strongly opposed by various petitioners in these cases. Eminent Counsel appeared both for the petitioners and respondents. The learned Solicitor General and Additional Solicitor General appeared and expressed their views. We have tried to address, with utmost care and attention, the various arguments advanced by the learned counsel and we are greatly beholden to all of them for the manner in which they have analysed and presented the case before us which is of great importance, affecting large sections of the community… 177. The case of Regents of the University of California Vs. Bakke provided a starting point and from this case onwards, affirmative action programmes can be justified only on two distinct grounds, and only these grounds have been recognized as compelling enough so as to satisfy the "strict scrutiny" test, as developed by the United States Supreme Court. The two grounds are as follows :
1. Remedial Justification : All efforts aimed at remedying past injustices against certain identified groups of people, who were unlawfully discriminated against in the past, serve as adequate justifications and all affirmative action programmes that are implemented with this aim serve the compelling institutional interest in removing all vestiges of discrimination that occurred in the past. In the case of City of Richmond Vs. J A Croson Co. , the United States Supreme Court held that if a university is able to show "some showing of prior discrimination" in its existing affirmative action program furthering racial exclusion then the university may take "affirmative steps to dismantle such a system". However, it is to be noted that the US Supreme Court also attached a warning with the above observation. While scrutinizing such programmes, it was held that the Court would make "searching judicial inquiry into the justification for such race-based measures... [and to] identify that discrimination... with some specificity before they may use race- conscious relief". (Croson’s Case )
2. Diversity- All affirmative action programmes aimed at bringing about racial diversity among the scholarship of the institution(s) may be said to in furtherance of compelling institutional interest. The starting point for this ground is Justice Powell’s detailed opinion regarding the issue of diversity in the case of Regents of the University of California Vs. Bakke (supra). In this case, according to Justice Powell, "[t]he attainment of a diverse student body is clearly a constitutionally permissible goal for an institution of higher education". He quoted from two of the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding academic freedom [Sweezy Vs. New Hampshire and Keyishian Vs. Board of Regents ] and observed :
"[I]t is the business of a university to provide that atmosphere which is most conducive to speculation, experiment and creation.........The atmosphere of speculation, experiment and creation _ so essential to the quality of higher education _ is widely believed to be promoted by a diverse student body. ... [I]t is not too much to say that the nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to the ideas and mores of students as diverse as this Nation of many peoples."
178. The other part of the "strict scrutiny" test is the "narrow tailoring" test. The University, whose affirmative action programme is in question before the United States Supreme Court, is required to prove that its affirmative action programme has been designed in the narrowest possible manner, in order to benefit only those specific people who are to be benefited, thus serving the "compelling purposes" of the affirmative action programme. The program cannot be made in a broad manner to encompass a large group of people, and it has to serve the minimum possible requirement, in order to achieve its goal. Otherwise, it may be possible that the rights of other people may be infringed upon, which would make the affirmative action programme unconstitutional. 179. Thus, the first limb of the strict scrutiny test that elucidates the "compelling institutional interest" is focused on the objectives that affirmative action programmes are designed to achieve. The second limb, that of "narrow tailoring", focuses on the details of specific affirmative action programmes and on the specific people it aims to benefit. 180. The United States Supreme Court has held that race may be one of the many factors that can be taken into account while structuring an affirmative action programme. At this stage, an analogy may be drawn with the Indian situation wherein the Supreme Court of India, in various cases, has held that caste may be one of the factors that can be taken into account, while providing for reservations for the socially and educationally backward classes. However, caste cannot be the "only" factor, just as race alone cannot be the only factor in the United States, while structuring reservation or affirmative action programmes. 181. Furthermore, the courts, both in India as well as in the United States of America, have looked with extreme caution and care at any legislation that aims to discriminate on the basis of race in the US and caste in India. As the US Supreme Court elucidated in the case of Grutter Vs. Bollinger (supra), "Because the Fourteenth Amendment "protect[s] persons, not groups," all governmental action based on race ought to be subjected to a very detailed and careful judicial inquiry and scrutiny so as to ensure that the personal right to equal protection of the laws has not been infringed. (See : Adarand Constructors Inc. Vs. Peqa) . 182. It therefore follows that the government may treat people differently because of their race but only for those reasons that serve what is known as "compelling government interest". 183. Furthermore, for any affirmative action programme to survive the strict standard of judicial scrutiny, the Courts want "compelling evidence", that proves without any doubt that the affirmative action program is narrowly tailored and serves only the most compelling of interests. Thus, the bar for the State or institution that practices affirmative action programmes based of suspect classifications has been effectively raised. Therefore, in cases where a compelling interest is found, race-based methods may be used only after all other methods have been considered and found deficient, and that too only to that limited extent which is required to remedy a discrimination that has been identified, and only when it has been shown that the identified beneficiaries have suffered previously in the past, and lastly, only if all undue burdens that may impinge upon the rights of other non- beneficiaries are avoided. 184. The aforesaid principles applied by the Supreme Court of the United States of America cannot be applied directly to India as the gamut of affirmative action in India is fully supported by constitutional provisions and we have not applied the principles of "suspect legislation" and we have been following the doctrine that every legislation passed by the Parliament is presumed to be constitutionally valid unless otherwise proved. We have repeatedly held that the American decisions are not strictly applicable to us and the very same principles of strict scrutiny and suspect legislation were sought to be applied and this Court rejected the same in Saurabh Chaudhari Vs. Union of India . Speaking for the bench, V.N. Khare, CJI, said : "The strict scrutiny test or the intermediate scrutiny test applicable in the United States of America as argued by Shri Salve cannot be applied in this case. Such a test is not applied in Indian Courts. In any event, such a test may be applied in a case where a legislation ex facie is found to be unreasonable. Such a test may also be applied in a case where by reason of a statute the life and liberty of a citizen is put in jeopardy. This Court since its inception apart from a few cases where the legislation was found to be ex facie wholly unreasonable proceeded on the doctrine that constitutionality of a statute is to be presumed and the burden to prove contra is on him who asserts the same." 185. Learned Counsel Shri Sushil Kumar Jain contended that the classification of OBCs was not properly done and it is not clear as to whose benefit the legislation itself is made therefore, it is a suspect legislation. This contention cannot be accepted. We are of the view that the challenge of Act 5 of 2007 on the ground that it does not stand the "strict scrutiny" test and there was no "compellable State necessity" to enact this legislation cannot be accepted.
8. It must also be borne in mind that many other democracies face similar problems and grapple with issues of discrimination, in their own societal context. Though their social structure may be markedly different from ours, the problem of inequality in the larger context and the tools used to combat it may be common.

mariage et droit des personnes

Textes à l’appui pour répondre aux quatre questions (infra) :

1) Extrait de Jean-Louis Halpérin, Histoire des droits en Europe de 1750 à nos jours, Paris, Flammarion, 2004, p. 346-348 : « En vertu du caractère confessionnel des systèmes juridiques d’Ancien Régime, le droit du mariage conservait, au milieu du XVIIIe siècle, une nature essentiellement religieuse. Dans les pays catholiques, il était soumis à la compétence des tribunaux ecclésiastiques et fondé, selon le droit canonique, sur le principe de l’indissolubilité, atténué par les procédures de nullité et de séparation de corps. Les États protestants imposaient à leurs sujets une bénédiction par le pasteur de l’Église établie, en admettant certaines causes de divorce. L’Église anglicane avait maintenu la tradition de l’ecclesiastical law hostile au divorce, qui était connu en Écosse. Le mariage civil, célébré devant un juge n’existait qu’à l’état d’exception : dans les Provinces-Unies et en France pour les protestants à partir de l’édit de tolérance de 1787…

La laïcisation complète du mariage est le résultat de la législation révolutionnaire de 1792, confirmée par le Code civil (1804) : en France, la loi ne reconnaît plus que le mariage civil, célébré devant un officier public et nécessairement préalable à un éventuel mariage religieux. Exporté avec le Code Napoléon, ce mariage civil obligatoire ne fut maintenu, après 1814, qu’en Belgique (avec une consécration par la constitution de 1831), aux Pays-Bas (avec une confirmation par le code civil de 1838) et en Rhénanie. Au cours du XIXe siècle, plusieurs législations introduisirent la possibilité, à titre dérogatoire par rapport au mariage religieux qui restait la règle, d’un mariage civil : sous la forme d’une option comme en Angleterre (1836), ou en cas de « nécessité » (Notzivilehe) pour les juifs et les chrétiens dissidents par rapport à la confession protestante dominante, comme dans le pays de Vaud (1835 et 1845), en Norvège (1845), en Prusse (1847) et en Suède (1863). Les prolongements de la révolution de 1848 virent l’extension de ce mariage civil subsidiaire dans plusieurs États allemands, jusqu’à la Bavière et l’Autriche catholique (1868). En même temps le mariage civil obligatoire l’emporta en Roumanie (1864), en Italie (dans le Code civil de 1865, sans que soit imposée l’antériorité par rapport au mariage religieux), en Suisse (1874), en Prusse (1874) et finalement dans tout el Reich allemand (1875), ainsi qu’en Hongrie (1894). Le mariage religieux célébré par les ministres du culte, resta la règle dans plusieurs États jusqu’en 1914 : avec l’exception d’un mariage civil pour les non-catholiques en Espagne (1875 et 1889) et au Portugal (1867), de manière exclusive en Russie, en Pologne et en Grèce.

La progression du mariage civil se poursuivit au XXe siècle à la faveur de l’apparition de nouveaux États (Finlande en 1917, Tchécoslovaquie en 1919, Estonie en 1922) ou de la révolution russe (dès décembre 1917, avant le Code de la famille en 1918)… En sens inverse les accords de Latran (1929) reconnurent la même valeur au mariage religieux qu’au mariage civil en Italie, de même que le Concordat signé par le Portugal avec le Vatican en 1940… Dans la seconde moitié du XXe siècle, le mariage civil s’est finalement imposé en Pologne, en Bulgarie (1945), en Yougoslavie (1946) et plus tardivement en Grèce (1983, mais pas à Chypre). La possibilité d’option entre le mariage civil et le mariage religieux a été, cependant, maintenue en Grande-Bretagne et aménagée en Autriche (1933 et 1946), au Portugal (1976), en Espagne (1979), en Italie (avec le nouveau Concordat de 1984-1985), en Grèce, en Islande et en Croatie, avec un régime spécifique de dissolution du lien civil en cas de divorce… La loi néerlandaise de 2000, supprimant la différence de sexe entre les époux comme condition du mariage, est venue confirmer combien le droit du mariage était remis en question… par l’essor des unions de fait et des partenariats hétérosexuels ou homosexuels ».

2) Extrait (traduit en français) de Robert E. Oliphant, Nancy Ver Steegh, Family Law, Austin (Texas) 2007 :« La plupart des États (américains) ne prescrivent pas une forme particulière pour la cérémonie du mariage, sauf que les parties échangent leur consentement ou se déclarent en présence d’un ministre du culte ou d’un juge chargés de solenniser le mariage et qu’elles disent, en présence d’au moins deux témoins, qu’elles se prennent pour mari et femme…La plupart des juridictions imposent des conditions législatives aux personnes qui veulent se marier : un couple désirant se marier doit d’abord obtenir une licence de mariage (marriage license), ce qui requiert en général qu’une ou les deux personnes voulant la licence se rendent au bureau du comté ou auprès du clerc du district du tribunal (district clerk of court)… Dans certains juridictions, les mariages tribaux contractés en accord avec les lois ou coutumes tribales sont reconnues (des mariages qui peuvent être solennisés parmi les Indiens Américains selon la forme et l’usage de leur religion par un Midé Indien ou une personne sainte choisie par les parties au mariage)… Dans la décision Loving v. Virginia (1967), la Cour suprême annula la condamnation prononcée en Virginie contre une femme afro-américaine qui avait épousé un homme blanc ».

3) Extrait de David Annoussamy, Le droit indien en marche, vol. II, Paris, 2009 : « Le mariage spécial. Ce mariage est appelé ainsi car il a été conçu pour permettre aux personnes, de religion et de caste différentes, de contracter un mariage valide. À cause de la résistance des chefs de toutes religions, la première version datant de 1872 s’est bornée à déclarer valide le mariage entre hindous de dénominations différentes. Puis le mariage inter-castes a été permis. La dernière version qui date de 1954 a atteint le but initial, soit la mise au point d’un mariage entre personnes de religions différentes. Il est possible également à deux personnes de même religion d’opter pour ce genre de mariage… le mariage peut être célébré dans n’importe quelle forme au choix des parties. Il est conclu quand les parties auront déclaré devant le mariage officer et trois témoins qu’elles veulent se prendre mutuellement pour époux… Quand le mariage est célébré sous la forme prévue par cette loi, il est consigné immédiatement par les soins du mariage officer. Mais cette loi contient une disposition particulière à laquelle un chapitre entier est consacré. C’est la possibilité de l’enregistrement de mariages contractés sous n’importe quelle autre forme… Un tel enregistrement n’est pas innocent. Les parties doivent savoir qu’il va changer la nature du mariage. Par exemple, si les époux musulmans enregistrent le mariage sous cette forme, ils sont censés avoir contracté un mariage spécial. Le mari musulman ne pourra pas contracter un nouveau mariage. Les motifs de divorce et les droits à la pension alimentaire vont changer ».

4) Sur internet, l’imam Khalil Mohammed (professeur associé à l’Université de San Diégo, Californie) défend le mariage interreligieux (en prenant l’exemple du mariage d’une femme musulmane épousant un homme chrétien, mais les principes s’appliquent au mariage d’une musulmane avec n’importe quel homme non musulman, sachant que l’homme musulman peut épouser une femme non musulmane) : « Le verset traditionnellement utilisé par les imams pour interdire le mariage interreligieux est le verset 5 : 5 : « Aujourd’hui la jouissance de tout ce qui est bon vous a été permise...Vous sont permises les femmes vertueuses d’entre les croyantes, et les femmes vertueuses d’entre les gens qui ont reçu le Livre avant vous ». Les imams traditionnels prétendent que puisque les femmes sont seules mentionnées et les hommes ne le sont pas, alors l’on doit en déduire que le mariage de femmes musulmanes avec des hommes non musulmans est interdit… Ceci pose néanmoins problème. Parce que le Coran s’adresse aux hommes, coutume de l’époque oblige… Dans le contexte tribal, la femme, une fois mariée, acceptait son mari comme maître ».

5) Extrait de Libération, 7 janvier 2012 : « Pour épouser sa compagne marocaine et rendre le mariage valide au Maroc, un Français habitant Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis) s’est vu demander par la mairie un document qui nécessitait sa conversion à l’Islam, a-t-on appris samedi auprès de l’intéressé et du maire de la commune. Frédéric Gilbert, journaliste, qui désirait se marier avec sa compagne marocaine, Hind, avec qui il a une petite fille, devait fournir à la mairie "un certificat de coutume" délivré par le consulat du Maroc, qui exige une conversion à l’Islam, selon ces sources confirmant des informations de presse. "La mairie m’a demandé un certificat de coutume. Or ce certificat n’est délivré par le consulat que lorsqu’on accepte la conversion à l’Islam, ce que j’ai refusé car c’est contraire à l’esprit de la République française", a dénoncé le journaliste, qui se dit "laïc intégriste" et "fils de curé défroqué". Sur le site du consulat général du Maroc à Paris, parmi les documents à fournir pour obtenir le certificat de coutume figure l’"Acte de conversion à l’Islam du futur conjoint pour la Marocaine désirant se marier avec un non musulman". "Ce que je conteste, c’est que les maires puissent exiger un document qui demande la conversion à l’Islam", a expliqué le journaliste, dénonçant un "excès de zèle" des services d’état civil. "J’ai téléphoné à quelques amis qui se sont mariés avec des Marocaines ou des femmes d’autres nationalités et qui se sont dits _ tant pis, on se convertit", a-t-il regretté.
"La loi dit que pour réaliser un dossier de mariage, dès lors que l’un des conjoints est étranger, il faut un certificat de coutume", a expliqué le maire PS d’Aubervilliers, Jacques Salvator, à l’AFP. L’élu a avoué cependant "être tombé de (sa) chaise" en apprenant les conditions soumises à son administré. "Il n’est pas normal de se soumettre à des exigences confessionnelles pour se marier avec un homme ou une femme étrangère", a-t-il dit. Les amoureux ont décidé de passer outre ce document, puisque le mariage va être célébré le 14 janvier et le maire y assistera pour "témoigner de (son) soutien au couple". Sans certificat de coutume toutefois, "le mariage n’aura pas de valeur légale au Maroc", a regretté le futur marié.

6) Extrait (traduit en français) d’un article de Trust Law, 9 août 2011 : « Le Centre pour l’Aide juridique aux femmes égyptiennes… a manifesté devant le ministère de la Justice en juillet avec un petit groupe de Coptes pour presser le gouvernement de changer la loi du statut personnel des Chrétiens et placer les matières relatives au mariage sous la juridiction du gouvernement. Pour rendre le divorce plus aisé pour les femmes coptes, le centre a proposé une loi qui rétablirait les droits au divorce que les Coptes ont perdus (sous l’autorité de l’actuel pope)… La proposition concerne aussi un mariage entre un homme musulman et une femme chrétienne parce que les hommes chrétiens ne sont pas autorisés à épouser une femme musulmane en Égypte… Les revendications en faveur d’unions civiles on échoué sous le gouvernement désormais renversé d’Hosni Mubarak qui évita la confrontation avec les autorités religieuses. Le contexte actuel pourrait ne pas être plus favorable… Un précédent récent des tribunaux égyptiens en opposition avec les chefs religieux chrétiens en matière de remariage montre que le droit est loin d’être clair. L’Église copte interdit le remariage des divorcés, mais l’an dernier la Cour suprême administrative d’Égypte impose au pope Sherouda une amende pour avoir refusé d’autoriser le remariage d’un homme divorcé… Un cas similaire a été porté devant la Cour constitutionnelle, qui a décidé que le mariage était soumis à la juridiction des entités religieuses et non à l’État ».

7) Extrait (traduit en français) de la décision de la Cour suprême du Canada, Re Same-Sex Marriage, 9 décembre 2004 (après des décisions des tribunaux de l’Ontario, de la Colombie britannique et du Québec jugeant la prohibition du mariage entre personnes du même sexe inconstitutionnelle, le Gouvernement requit l’avis de la Cour suprême avant de déposer un projet de loi sur la définition du mariage, relevant de la compétence fédérale, pour savoir si l’union entre personnes du même sexe était ou non compatible avec la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés) : « Plusieurs intervenants (devant la Cour) disent que l’Acte constitutionnel de 1867 enracine (entrenches) la définition du mariage telle qu’était établie par le common law » en 1867. Cette définition était notamment articulée dans Hyde v. Hyde (1866, Divorce Court d’Angleterre à propos du mariage potentiellement polygamique d’un Mormon, décision dans laquelle le juge disait qu’il fallait comprendre la « nature » de l’institution du mariage dans la chrétienté avec des bases communes et universelles comme « l’union volontaire pour toute la vie d’un homme et d’une femme »). La référence à la Chrétienté est parlante. La décision Hyde s’adressait à une société partageant des valeurs communes dans laquelle le mariage et la religion étaient considérés inséparables. Ce n’est plus le cas. Le Canada est une société plurielle (pluralistic). Le mariage du point de vue de l’État, est une institution civile. Le raisonnement faisant appel à des concepts figés (frozen concepts) va à l’encontre de l’un des principes fondamentaux de l’interprétation constitutionnelle canadienne : notre constitution est un arbre vivant qui, par le moyen d’une interprétation progressive, s’adapte et s’accommode aux réalités de la vie moderne. Dans les années 1920, par exemple, une controverse porta sur le point de savoir si les femmes pouvaient, comme les hommes, être considérées comme des « personnes qualifiées » pour être nommées au Sénat du Canada… Les usages sont susceptibles de se développer en traditions qui sont plus fortes que le droit et restent hors de discussion longtemps après la disparition de la raison de ces usages. L’appel à l’histoire n’est donc pas conclusif, particulièrement dans cette matière… La reconnaissance du mariage entre personnes du même sexe par plusieurs juridictions canadiennes, aussi bien que par deux pays européens, dément l’assertion que le même interprétation (ancienne) est vraie aujourd’hui ».

8) Extrait (traduit en français) de la décision de la Cour constitutionnelle d’Afrique du Sud dans l’affaire Minister of Home Affairs v. Fourie du 17 mai 2005 (considérant le refus du mariage entre personnes de même sexe comme inconstitutionnel) : « Cette Cour a souligné dans cinq décisions consécutives… les caractéristiques du contexte dans lesquelles l’interdiction de la discrimination injuste sur la base de l’orientation sexuelle doit être analysée…Notre constitution représente une rupture radicale avec un passé fondé sur l’intolérance et l’exclusion. Le rapport de la Commission sur la réforme du droit ajoute que l’application du droit de la famille en Afrique du Sud devrait combiner un droit du mariage d’application générale avec un certain nombre de lois additionnelles et spécifiques pour des groupes particuliers d’intérêts comme les couples de mariages coutumiers, de mariages musulmans, de mariages hindous et maintenant de personnes de même sexe ».

Vous répondrez, à l’aide de ces textes, aux quatre questions suivantes (notées 5 points chacune) :
1) En quoi la comparaison des droits du mariage dans le monde peut-elle recourir à la théorie des transplants juridiques et aux notions d’idéal-type ou de famille de droits ?
2) Quels sont les rapports entre droits du mariage et systèmes de lois personnelles ?
3) Quels sont les effets, selon les pays, de la « constitutionnalisation » du droit du mariage ?
4) En quoi la reconnaissance récente, par certains droits, des mariages entre personnes du même sexe concerne-t-elle le droit comparé et ses méthodes ?

décisions sur le peine de mort et les statuts personnels


US Supreme Court, Roper v. Simmons, 2005

Respondent and his

Though the international covenants prohibiting the juvenile death penalty are of more recent date, it is instructive to note that the United Kingdom abolished the juvenile death penalty before these covenants came into being. The United Kingdom’s experience bears particular relevance here in light of the historic ties between our countries and in light of the Eighth Amendment’s own origins. The Amendment was modeled on a parallel provision in the English Declaration of Rights of 1689, which provided : "[E]xcessive Bail ought not to be required nor excessive Fines imposed ; nor cruel and unusual Punishments inflicted." 1 W. & M., ch. 2, §10, in 3 Eng. Stat. at Large 441 (1770) ; see also

It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty, resting in large part on the understanding that the instability and emotional imbalance of young people may often be a factor in the crime. See Brief for Human Rights Committee of the Bar of England and Wales et al. as

Over time, from one generation to the next, the Constitution has come to earn the high respect and even, as Madison dared to hope, the veneration of the American people. See The Federalist No. 49, p. 314 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961). The document sets forth, and rests upon, innovative principles original to the American experience, such as federalism ; a proven balance in political mechanisms through separation of powers ; specific guarantees for the accused in criminal cases ; and broad provisions to secure individual freedom and preserve human dignity. These doctrines and guarantees are central to the American experience and remain essential to our present-day self- definition and national identity. Not the least of the reasons we honor the Constitution, then, is because we know it to be our own. It does not lessen our fidelity to the Constitution or our pride in its origins to acknowledge that the express affirmation of certain fundamental rights by other nations and peoples simply underscores the centrality of those same rights within our own heritage of freedom.

… Once the diminished culpability of juveniles is recognized, it is evident that the penological justifications for the death penalty apply to them with lesser force than to adults. We have held there are two distinct social purposes served by the death penalty : "‘retribution and deterrence of capital crimes by prospective offenders.’"

amici have submitted, and petitioner does not contest, that only seven countries other than the United States have executed juvenile offenders since 1990 : Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and China. Since then each of these countries has either abolished capital punishment for juveniles or made public disavowal of the practice. Brief for Respondent 49–50. In sum, it is fair to say that the United States now stands alone in a world that has turned its face against the juvenile death penalty.Trop, supra, at 100 (plurality opinion). As of now, the United Kingdom has abolished the death penalty in its entirety ; but, decades before it took this step, it recognized the disproportionate nature of the juvenile death penalty ; and it abolished that penalty as a separate matter. In 1930 an official committee recommended that the minimum age for execution be raised to 21. House of Commons Report from the Select Committee on Capital Punishment (1930), 193, p. 44. Parliament then enacted the Children and Young Person’s Act of 1933, 23 Geo. 5, ch. 12, which prevented execution of those aged 18 at the date of the sentence. And in 1948, Parliament enacted the Criminal Justice Act, 11 & 12 Geo. 6, ch. 58, prohibiting the execution of any person under 18 at the time of the offense. In the 56 years that have passed since the United Kingdom abolished the juvenile death penalty, the weight of authority against it there, and in the international community, has become well established.Amici Curiae 10–11. The opinion of the world community, while not controlling our outcome, does provide respected and significant confirmation for our own conclusions.Atkins, 536 U. S., at 319 (quoting Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U. S. 153, 183 (1976) (joint opinion of Stewart, Powell, and STEVENS, JJ.)). As for retribution, we remarked in Atkins that "[i]f the culpability of the average murderer is insufficient to justify the most extreme sanction available to the State, the lesser culpability of the mentally retarded offender surely does not merit that form of retribution." 536 U. S., at 319. The same conclusions follow from the lesser culpability of the juvenile offender… As for deterrence, it is unclear whether the death penalty has a significant or even measurable deterrent effect on juveniles, as counsel for the petitioner acknowledged at oral argument. Tr. of Oral Arg. 48. In general we leave to legislatures the assessment of the efficacy of various criminal penalty schemes, see Harmelin v. Michigan, 501 U. S. 957, 998–999 (1991) (KENNEDY, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). Here, however, the juveniles less culpable than adults suggest as well that juveniles will be less susceptible to deterrence.

Cour constitutionnelle Afrique du Sud, 5 juin 1995

CHASKALSON P : The two accused in this matter were convicted in the Witwatersrand Local Division of the Supreme Court on four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances. They were sentenced to death on each of the counts of murder and to long terms of imprisonment on the other counts…

[2] Section 277(1)(a) of the Criminal Procedure Act No. 51 of 1977 prescribes that the death penalty is a competent sentence for murder… [5] It would no doubt have been better if the framers of the Constitution had stated specifically, either that the death sentence is not a competent penalty, or that it is permissible in circumstances sanctioned by law. This, however, was not done and it has been left to this Court to decide whether the penalty is consistent with the provisions of the Constitution. That is the extent and limit of the Court’s power in this case… [7] The Constitution provides a historic bridge between the past of a deeply divided society characterised by strife, conflict, untold suffering and injustice, and a future founded on the recognition of human rights, democracy and peaceful co-existence and development opportunities for all South Africans, irrespective of colour, race, class, belief or sex… The interpretation should be...a generous rather than legalistic one, aimed at fulfilling the purpose of a guarantee and securing for individuals the full benefit of the Charter’s protection… We are concerned with the interpretation of the Constitution, and not the interpretation of ordinary legislation. A constitution is no ordinary statute… In countries in which the constitution is similarly the supreme law, it is not unusual for the courts to have regard to the circumstances existing at the time the constitution was adopted, including the debates and writings which formed part of the process. The United States Supreme Court pays attention to such matters … The German Constitutional Court also has regard to such evidence.
[20] Capital punishment was the subject of debate before and during the constitution-making process, and it is clear that the failure to deal specifically in the Constitution with this issue was not accidental.
The death sentence was, in terms, neither sanctioned nor excluded, and it was left to the Constitutional Court to decide whether the provisions of the pre-constitutional law making the death penalty a competent sentence for murder and other crimes are consistent with Chapter Three of the Constitution… In the ordinary meaning of the words, the death sentence is undoubtedly a cruel punishment. Once sentenced, the prisoner waits on death row in the company of other prisoners under sentence of death, for the processes of their appeals and the procedures for clemency to be carried out. Throughout this period, those who remain on death row are uncertain of their fate or taken to the gallows. 

[33] The death sentence is a form of punishment which has been used throughout history by different societies. It has long been the subject of controversy. As societies became more enlightened, they restricted the offences for which this penalty could be imposed. The movement away from the death penalty gained momentum during the second half of the present century with the growth of the abolitionist movement. In some countries it is now prohibited in all circumstances, in some it is prohibited save in times of war, and in most countries that have retained it as a penalty for crime, its use has been restricted to extreme cases. According to Amnesty International, 1,831 executions were carried out throughout the world in 1993 as a result of sentences of death, of which 1,419 were in China, which means

that only 412 executions were carried out in the rest of the world in that year…The international and foreign authorities are of value because they analyse arguments for and against the death sentence and show how courts of other jurisdictions have dealt with this vexed issue. For that reason alone they require our attention. They may also have to be considered because of their relevance to section 35(1) of the Constitution… International agreements and customary international law accordingly provide a framework within which Chapter Three can be evaluated and understood, and for that purpose, decisions of tribunals dealing with comparable instruments, such as the United Nations Committee on Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the European Commission on Human Rights, and the European Court of Human Rights and in appropriate cases, reports of specialised agencies such as the International Labour Organisation may provide guidance as to the correct interpretation of particular provisions of Chapter Three… We can derive assistance from public international law and foreign case law, but we are in no way bound to follow it… [56] The United States jurisprudence has not resolved the dilemma arising from the fact that the Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishments, but also permits, and contemplates that there will be capital punishment. The acceptance by a majority of the United States Supreme Court of the proposition that capital punishment is not per se unconstitutional, but that in certain circumstances it may be arbitrary, and thus unconstitutional, has led to endless litigation… [146] Retribution cannot be accorded the same weight under our Constitution as the rights to life and dignity, which are the most important of all the rights in Chapter Three. It has not been shown that the death sentence would be materially more effective to deter or prevent murder than the alternative sentence of life imprisonment would be.  : nature of the matter.

Cour d’appel de Tokyo

And Article 200 of the Penal Code, providing that a person who kills one of his or her own or his or her spouse’s lineal ascendants shall be punished with death or with imprisonment at forced labor for life, is one of the provisions of so-called aggravation by status which provide heavier punishment to the same type of conduct with an ordinary homicide for the existence of special relationship between a perpetrator and a victim (Supreme Court (A) 3263 of 1955, on May 24, 1956. Judgment of the first Division. Criminal Cases Vol. 10, No. 5, p. 734) ; thus to provide Article 200 of the Penal Code beside Article 199 should be regarded as a discrimination in the meaning of Paragraph 1, Article 14 of the Constitution. Then a question arises whether Article 200 of the Penal Code violates the said clause of the Constitution ; and it is to be settled upon the determination of whether the said discrimination has reasonable grounds or not... While the present Penal Code was enacted in 1907 under the old Constitution with the sanction of the 23rd Session of the Imperial Diet, an amendment or an abolition of Article 200 of the Penal Code was not in issue even when the partial amendment of the Code was made for compliance with the spirit of the New Constitution in 1947 at the First Session of the Diet under the Constitution and since then no legislative action concerning the Article 200 has been undertaken until today. There seemed to be an idea, as an ideological background of the enactment of the provision, of imposing heavier punishment for killing an ascendant, which stemmed from the Chinese classic law and culminated in our Ritsuryo-system and the legal system of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Looking into the fact that the provision includes the murdering his or her spouse’s lineal ascendants, the provision can be said to have a deep relation especially with the family system, which was abolished by the Constitution, because of its inclusion, as a content of crime, of murdering his or her spouse’s lineal ascendants. Furthermore, observing legislative examples abroad, beside the Chinese ancient law, a thought of aggravation to patri- or matri-cide can be seen in old Roman law and others, but such an idea has been gradually disappearing in modern ages, and an aggravation clause to killing an ascendant has not been existed from the beginning in not a few countries. And even these countries which once had such aggravation provisions have abolished them recently or are now mitigating their severity, and on the other hand considerable number of examples can be seen which provide aggravation of penalty for a criminal conduct of killing one of near relatives including homicides of a descendant and a spouse instead of aggravating penalty to killing an ascendant alone... In the light of these facts, this Court has decided to re-examine the alleged constitutionality of Article 200 of the Penal Code ; and as for the problem of whether the legislative purpose of the clause is reasonable in the sense of Paragraph 1, Article 14 of the Constitution, it is considered as follows : The legislative purpose of Article 200 of the Penal Code seems that killing an ascendant by a descendant or his or her spouse generally deserves a high social and moral denunciation and is to be strictly prohibited by punishing more severely than an ordinary homicide. Generally speaking, the relatives put their basis upon marriage and blood, and are bound together by spontaneous respect and deep affections and there naturally exists a certain order among them depending on the difference between young and old and on the apportionment of the responsibilities among them. Usually, not only descendants are grown up to adults by such lineal ascendants as parents and grandparents, but also lineal ascendants owe legal and moral responsibilities for the conduct of descendants in social life. Therefore, it must be admitted that respect and gratitude to ascendants are basic morals in a social life, and that the maintenance of such spontaneous affections and universal ethics deserves to be protected by criminal law. As killing one’s own or spouse’s lineal ascendant destroys this connection and is repugnant to the basic principle of human ethics, unethical nature of a person who dares to commit such an act especially deserves strong denunciation… Although creating a special crime of killing an ascendant beside an ordinary homicide and providing an aggravating penalty for it is not necessarily unconstitutional in itself, the reasonableness of such a provision may still be denied because of the degree of the aggravation. In other words, when we can find no grounds of justification for the aggravation being so extreme as to lose the balance as a measure to achieve the said legislative purpose, the discrimination is unacceptably unreasonable and the provision is invalid in violation of Paragraph 1, Article 14 of the Constitution.. Of course, a descendant who killed an unblamable ascendant without due cause should be punished severely without any mercy, but even in such a case it is not impossible to achieve the aim by applying the provision for an ordinary homicide. On the other hand, in cases where an ascendant committed an infernal deed and after all compelled the accused to kill an ascendant himself, the conduct of the accused does not deserve such a serious denunciation as should be faced with the severe punishment provided in the present Article 200 of the Penal Code… From mentioned above, it should be concluded that Article 200 of the Penal Code providing only punishment of death or life term imprisonment, goes far beyond the legislative purpose, and makes an unreasonable discrimination in comparison with the provided punishments of Article 199 for an ordinary homicide, and thus is invalid in violation of Paragraph 1, Article 14 of the Constitution.