France’s lower house of parliament has approved a new anti-terrorism law intended to bring an end to a nearly two-year-long state of emergency.
The law will incorporate several measures first authorized under the emergency arrangement. They include easier searches of homes and confining individuals to their home towns, without judicial approval.
The state of emergency has been extended six times, but there was a consensus that to continue with the state of emergency indefinitely would be undemocratic.
The bill was approved by by 415 votes to 127, with 19 abstentions, and is expected to become law before the latest state of emergency extension expires on 1 November.
Interior Minister Gérard Collomb told parliament on Tuesday that the threat level was still “very serious”, saying: “We’re still in a state of war.”
The new law will allow members of the government – rather than judges – to approve the confinement of individuals to their home towns, requiring them to report to police once a day.
The authorities will be allowed to mount security perimeters around places deemed at risk – such as railway stations and airports – within which people and vehicles can be searched.
Mosques or other places of worship can be shut down if preachers there are found to be promoting radical ideology.