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Removal of the term “ Mademoiselle ”: In a decision of December 26, 2012, the Council of State validated the Prime Minister’s circular of February 21, 2012 which recommended the removal of the term “Mademoiselle” from administrative forms. An association had requested the cancellation of this circular and the reinstatement of the term “Mademoiselle”, but its request was rejected. The Council of State affirms that the terms “Madame” or “Mademoiselle” have no meaning in terms of civil status and that there is no legal obligation for people to choose one or the other.
The Council of State validates the deletion of the term “Mademoiselle” from the administrative forms:-
Consequently, the administration has the freedom to choose whether or not to use the term “Madam” in administrative forms and correspondence, which is considered the equivalent of “Sir” for men, without this implying any judgment on civil status.
Moreover, it is important to note that this circular, which advises administrations not to use the term “Mademoiselle”, does not impose any obligation on individuals. It therefore does not infringe freedom of expression and respect for privacy.
Freedom of Expression and Privacy Considerations in the Circular
“It should be mentioned that, in the past, several circulars have suggested that the authorities avoid disclosing the civil status of people in their interactions with third parties. They unsuccessfully asked the authorities to avoid using the term “Mademoiselle” when addressing unmarried women who prefer to be called “Madame”.