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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Letter to French Minister of Foreign Affairs

Letter to Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of France

A claim on the basis of Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU

M. Laurent Fabius,

Ministère des Affaires étrangères

 37, quai d'Orsay
75700 Paris SP 07

9th August 9, 2012


On 4th May this year Thai national,  Nangnoy, female, aged 21, was wrongfully denied a Schengen visa by the Embassy of France in Bangkok. She had intended to join my wife and two-year old son and two friends on a family holiday in Burgundy. 

Her case smacks of discrimination and bad administration. The documentation supporting her application was essentially the same as that of an older person in our group who was granted a visa. The only reasonable inference is that  Nangnoy was suspected of being a prostitute or attempting to work illegally. She was given no opportunity to explain that she was, in fact, a bona fide traveler, enrolled as a student of agriculture at a provincial university in Thailand and due to recommence her studies immediately upon return from her vacation. Her application was rejected on a mere suspicion. As such she lost a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit France.

I appealed on her behalf to the Commission des Recours in Nantes. By letter dated “Mardi 22 Mai 2012” I was informed of the following:
i.              Registration number of appeal: CRV 201206323
ii.             The Commission claims that it will take two months to consider the appeal (un delai  de deux mois … pour se prononcer.)
iii.            If there is no response within that period the appeal may be presumed to be rejected. (En l’absence d’une response expresse dans ce delai, le recours est repute avoir fait l’object d’une decision implicite de rejet par cette comion.)
Two months have now passed since 22nd May, the date of that letter. I have received no response from the Commission in Nantes. I therefore presume that the Commission has implicitly rejected the appeal.

Such procedure, I submit, is in violation of the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The Visa Code (Regulation 810/2009 of the European Parliament, Preamble, para 29) states that it respects the principles of the Charter. It should follow, therefore, that the appeal process should respect those principles.

Therefore, in accordance with Article 41 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, I hereby demand:
i.              A copy of the file of  Nangnoy;
ii.             Detailed reasons as to why  Nangnoy’s appeal was refused, in English, being “one of the languages of the Treaties”. 

I should emphasize that this entire process, from refusal of the visa to “implicit rejection” of the appeal shows nothing but contempt for the applicant. It is more worthy of the KGB than the Republic of France which is a signatory to the Charter.


Gregory Barton,
Barrister of the Supreme Court of New South Wales

Attached: copy of the letter from the Commission des Recours, dated 22nd May 2012

Cc: Christiane Taubira, Ministère de la Justice, 13, place Vendôme
75001 Paris

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Ministre des Droits des Femmes, 35, rue Saint-Dominique
75700 Paris SP 07

Sylvia Pinel, Ministère de l'Artisanat, du Commerce et du Tourisme 139, rue de Bercy
75572 Paris Cedex 12


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hello Gregory,

    I came across your blog while facing the same visa issue currently. I could not find if the appeal had met justice finally. Could please let me know the same.


    1. Read my post on the Appeal Process and you'll find your answer.