After she joined the firm in 2004, Astrid worked on a number of important cases, including the Erika and the Concorde matters, to which she devoted a considerable amount of her time and energy. Her memories of Erika include researching maritime treaties and conventions with the help of Professors Nicolas Molfessis and Géraud de la Pradelle, identifying “the contradictions between the French Penal Act of 1983 on Pollution and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships (MARPOL)” which soon emerged as the crux of the case. In the Concorde case, in which judgment was handed down on 6 December 2010, she recalls: “We assembled the relevant documents, studied them for months, met with the judge and built up a defence step by step - with the client sharing his advanced technical knowledge and practical experience with us as he became more and more involved in the defence - it was truly extraordinary. During the discovery phase, I had the feeling that a case could change radically right up to the time of trial. The trial itself was a race to the finish that kept you on your toes at all times, ready to deal with unexpected issues as they came up, while staying the course. It was quite an adventure. Here at Soulez, when you work on a case, you stay with it right up to the end.”
Other highlights include cases involving the “precautionary principle” in the areas of health and the environment. Thinking back on one of her cases, she wonders whether, under the rules of liability in tort “there is a remedy for the harm caused by being exposed to the risk of contracting a disease?”
“The precautionary principle, which is referred to today in cases involving even the slightest uncertainty, is thought to make everything easier: in a recent case, the trial court held that this principle was strong enough to reverse the burden of proof, which is normally borne by the plaintiff. According to the court, it was up to our client to prove that its product was not dangerous. The court of appeal did not share this view, and held for our client. The judgment, however, is now on appeal to the Court of Cassation."
Astrid Mignon Colombet
's articles on this Website (only available in French):
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- La défense des entreprises à l’heure du droit global
- Le deferred prosecution agreement américain, une forme inédite de justice négociée
- Les tenants de la précaution jouent sur la peur
- L’anticorruption est-elle l’avenir du monde ?
- Parabènes : la précaution ou la peur ?
- Sapin 2 : la « transaction pénale » doit faire son retour dans le projet de loi
- Vers une reconnaissance internationale du principe non bis in idem
- Vers une responsabilité illimitée de l’ingénieur ?
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