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VERDICT POSTPONED - WHAT HAPPENED IN COURT 18.30pm February 23rd 2016 (HR)

posted 6 Jul 2016, 15:59 by Chris Cox   [ updated 6 Jul 2016, 16:00 ]

The hearing has completed. Court sat for around 1hr 45 minutes.

The judge did not rule. We do not have a confirmed time for the verdict but it is believed likely to be tomorrow.

Defence confirmed they only have 1156 alternative accommodation places currently available in Calais and throughout France. (details below)

The Associations census data shows need to accommodate 3455 people from Southern section of camp imminently- and a further 2042 in the Northern section which Prefecture have stated they will clear next.

Judge greatly concerned about differing numbers. Said the Prefecture figures were 'a big problem'. Demanded an explanation for how numbers arrived at.

Prefecture admitted flaws in their methods for assessing numbers, particularly of children, currently in camp. But said they believed entire camp (north and south) to be around 3000 people.

Associations explained census methodology including a tally with water consumption and waste production on site as well as food distribution numbers.

Defence failed to refute the claim that the CAO's (Centres of Accommodation) would only be available until 31st March.

Defence stated essential services will not be destroyed. We understand these to include the church, the school, the women and children's centre, the youth centre and the library.

The lawyer for the associations, Julie Bonnier, called for the French authorities to stop the traumatisation of vulnerable people by bulldozing their homes in midst of winter. She also reminded the Judge not to commit the same humanitarian mistake that was made with Sangatte where it was razed, only to leave smaller slums and squats in its place.

Julie Bonnier also reminded the judge that in 2015 the refugees were invited to occupy this space and assured there was no chance of expulsion.

And Bonnier reminded the court that if Centres of Accommodation are only available until 31st March, people will simply return to Calais - she asked for a consistency in the services and solutions on offer.

Accommodation places available include: 
300 in Jules Ferry and the shipping containers - with 48 places within containers for children (adult supervision to be provided).
56 places in specialised accommodation in Calais and surrounds for children
200 places in 'heated tents' for children in Calais camp
200 places in 'heated tents' for adults
400 places in centres of accommodation around France

A note from the Associations (not raised in court) - 400 of the 480 places in the 'heated tents' are currently uninhabitable. They are flooded, not heated, prone to collapsing in heavy winds (causing one man to have his leg broken) and have no facilities or services for vulnerable children.

We await the verdict with interest.


COACH TO LILLE - JUDGE NAMED 

12.30pm February 23rd 2016

(HR

The coach in Calais has loaded (captured on camera by Newsnight film crew) and the teams are on their way to the court case in Lille.  Passengers include over 20 ‪#‎refugees‬ (community spokespeople, women & children) and aid workers.  HR lawyer ,Julie Bonnier,  has confirmed the judge as Valérie Quéméner.