France’s Anti-Terror Law Takes Effect as Emergency Powers End

France's President Macron signed into law counter-terrorism measures
French President Emmanuel Macron signed a new anti-terrorism law on October 30. He tweeted: "Commitments honoured, on November 1 we will leave the state of emergency by strengthening the safety of our fellow citizens." Photo: Emmanuel Macron/Twitter

France’s tough new anti-terrorism laws came into effect on Wednesday as the state of emergency enacted after the 2015 Paris attacks expired.

The new law, which President Emmanuel Macron signed earlier this week, gives police stronger investigative powers, including the ability to search both people and property, and to confine suspects to their home towns.

Officials can also order the closure of places of worship for radicalism without a judge’s permission.

The law makes permanent some aspects of the emergency powers that were imposed after the November 13, 2015 terrorist attack in Paris that killed 130 people. The emergency law was extended six times and was set to expire on Wednesday.

“This law will allow us to end the state of emergency from November 1 while fully ensuring the security of our citizens,” Mr. Macron said when he signed the law on Monday.

Parliament passed the law easily over criticism from rights groups that say it infringes on civil liberties and could lead to discrimination. Mr. Macron said the provisions will be reassessed in two years.

Despite the concerns, recent polls have showed the law is popular, with Le Figaro finding 57 percent of respondents backed tougher anti-terrorism measures.