AGAC and AMSES v. former Ministers

May 26, 2021
Final judgment
France, Paris

Environmental NGOs
Association guadeloupéenne d’action contre le chlordécone (AGAC), Association médicale pour la sauvegarde de l’environnement et de la santé (AMSES - Martinique)
Didier Guillaume, Agnès Buzyn
Rachid Madid, Olivier Tabone

Criminal court
Chlordecone, Organochlorine
Condemn the ministers who extended the authorization for the use of chlordecone and signed decrees, notably in 2005, which authorized chlordecone residues in food with "tolerable thresholds" that were far too high.
Court of Justice of the Republic of Paris, France

January 24, 2022
The CJR does not recognize the association's interest in acting. The action is judged inadmissible.
No description

On 26 May 2021, two NGOs, the Association Guadeloupeenne d'Action contre le Chlordécone (AGAC) and the Association médicale de sauvegarde de l'environnement et de la santé (AMSES), lodged a complaint with the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR), a complaint to the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) to hold former health and agriculture ministers Xavier Bertrand, Marisol Touraine, Dominique Bussereau, Louis Mermaz, Jean-Pierre Soisson, Agnès Buzyn and Didier Guillaume responsible for the approval and subsequent use of chlordecone. Chlordecone is an organochlorine insecticide used mainly in Martinique and Guadeloupe between 1970 and 1990. Chlordecone has been recognised as a carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, and banned in France since 1993.

The two NGOs accuse the former ministers of having extended the use of chlordecone after it had been banned, and of having signed decrees authorising the presence of residues of the product in food, notably in 2005. The former ministers are accused of endangering the lives of others and causing manslaughter and unintentional injury by extending the authorisation for the use of chlordecone in Martinique and Guadeloupe even though the substance was known to be dangerous. They are also accused of failing to come to the aid of the people of Guadeloupe and of failing to take measures to put an end to a known health risk. Finally, the two associations claim that the ministers in question denied any knowledge of the risks and harmful effects of chlordecone prior to 1998.

The CJR, the only body competent to judge members of the government in the performance of their duties, declared the case inadmissible on 24 January 2022. In its decision, the CJR argued that the associations had no legal interest in bringing the case on the basis of articles 2-1 et seq. of the Code of Criminal Procedure.The CJR therefore did not rule on the merits of the case.