A bit of French legalese
There is a small thing which has probably not been noticed by the Grauniad,
namely that the judgment that condemns Ryanair to pay 60001 € is called
a "référé". It is an accelerated procedure, which is used to indemnify the damage
caused to the Sarkozy-Bruni couple by the Ryanair advert in advance of the full
judgment. It leaves open the possibility of a later full judgment in which Ryanair
could be condemned to pay a more important sum. A second interesting thing
is that the French constitution makes the president the head (and the justice minister the vice-head) of the "Conseil Superieur de la Magistrature" (CSM) which is in charge of deciding which judges and prosecutors will get promoted. The CSM is also acting
as a disciplinary court for magistrates who have violated the ethics of their profession. It has been uncommon for French president to seek redress in courts for
misuse of their image, but in the 1970s the motorboat maker Mercury used a picture
of president Georges Pompidou in an advertisement in the news magazine "l'Express". The court prevented the issue of "l'Express" containing the ad from
being sold to the public until the ad was removed (this was done manually by
the owners of newsstands).
To finish, it is worthwhile to note that the franglais "le buzz" is making its way into the french legalese. One sentence in the judgment reads:
"...son appréciation ne peut que tenir compte de l’étendue de la campagne publicitaire: une publication le 28 janvier 2008 dans le journal Le Parisien d’une photographie placée dans un encart publicitaire occupant environ un quart de la page 9, un important effet de buzz, recherché par la défenderesse..."