Heading towards a police state?
Following the terror attacks of 2015 and 2017, the state of emergency in France was extended not less than six times before finally coming to an end in November 2017  . However, within this time period, France enacted laws making the state of emergency, or at least parts of it, the normal condition.
Today, French security authorities and civil servants have significantly more powers. The government also conducted a corresponding reform of criminal law in February 2016, which was adopted by the French National Assembly and the Senate in May 2016  . From the point of view of leading French politicians, the aim of the law is to strengthen the fight against organised crime, terrorism and their financing, whilst improving efficiency and guaranteeing appropriate criminal proceedings. From the point of view of critical observers, this law enshrines the state of emergency in regular French law. Criminal police and prosecutors, for instance, are now empowered to order telephone tapping, video surveillance and interception of Internet data without judicial authorisation. Public prosecutors have the authority to order a house search at night without a court order. The police are legitimised to detain suspects of any kind for up to four hours at a police station without providing the assistance of a lawyer, just to name a few examples.
Before withdrawing from the state of emergency, French legislative authorities cleared the way for «targeted and adequate measures to prevent and fight terrorism»  by adopting «Loi n° 55-385 du 3 avril 1955 relative à l'état d'urgence»  over the course of the summer and autumn of 2017. In doing so, the powers of the authorities and the police were significantly extended at the expense of the judiciary. While leading politicians continue to argue that there is no viable alternative to these legal cuts, critics claim that the laws violate international human rights agreements.