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Case detail

Directive article National ID Cour de Cassation, chambre criminelle, N° 07-83.449
Country France Decision date 18/03/2008
Common name Decision type Supreme court decision
Court Cour de Cassation, chambre criminelle Plaintiff(s) Société Brestoise de lunetterie and others
Court translation Supreme Court, criminal section Defendant(s) Caroptic
Subject proof of negligence
Keywords enforcementevidencemisleading advertisingproof of negligence

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The possibility for authorities to request a trader to provide evidence of the claims it made in an advertisement, does not exempt a private plaintiff from proving its own criminal allegations towards the trader. 


The defendant, an optician, had announced a discounted price in leaflets, but did not prove the discount by referring to the normal price. The plaintiffs (also opticians) argued that such advertisement breached the French Consumer Code, but did not provide any details about the duration of the offer and its scope.

Article L. 121-2 of the French Consumer Code allows French authorities to require advertisers to make available to them any elements which substantiate their advertising claims, indications or presentations. However, according to the lower court, this does not exempt the plaintiffs from bringing evidence of the violation. The lower court therefore dismissed the claim, since the burden of proof for the constitutive elements of the offence still remains on the plaintiff.

Legal issue

Who bears the burden of proof in a claim for misleading commercial practices, in case there has not been an administrative investigation, and the defendant has been directly summoned?



The plaintiffs' claim was dismissed.

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