About Jean-Luc Dufournaud
Jean-Luc Dufournaud is the new Ombudsperson at SNCF Voyageurs.
A jurist by training, Mr Dufournaud has a thorough knowledge of the rail industry, in France and around the world. For several years he was SNCF’s Assistant General Counsel and later Deputy General Counsel, and he was elected Chairman of the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT), headquartered in Berne. He served in that position for seven years, and was then named as SNCF’s Ethics Director. He also has substantial experience in data protection, having served as SNCF’s Correspondent on Information Technology and Liberty (CIL), a position now known as a Data Protection Officer.
- 1979: Joins SNCF’s Legal Division as a special adviser.
- 1990: Joins the French Banking Association (AFB) as a legal adviser, handling matters related to competition, money laundering and personal data protection and writing two specialist books on money laundering and data protection.
- 2000: Returns to SNCF’s Legal Division, serving as Assistant General Counsel and later as Deputy General Counsel. During the same period, he acted as SNCF’s Correspondent on Information Technology and Liberty (CIL), a position now known as Data Protection Officer.
- 2011-2018: Elected Chairman of the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT), a Switzerland-based association of 130 railway companies that focuses on international rail transport law.
- 2012: Named as SNCF Group’s Ethics Director.
- 2021: Becomes SNCF Voyageurs Ombudsperson.
A word from the Ombudsman
“Providing high-quality service to passengers is a fundamental requirement for SNCF Voyageurs, Eurostar, Thalys and Corsica Railways. And quality service goes beyond the journey itself to include any complaints that passengers submit to the Ombudsperson. It’s my job to make the mediation process easy and reliable for them. That means listening closely, communicating clearly, and responding to them as objectively and specifically as we can.
I am deeply committed to ensuring that mediation—an alternative dispute resolution process that is free of charge for passengers—addresses their complaints with transparency, impartiality and rigour. My team and I are always looking for amicable solutions: that’s what motivates us day to day. I’m a firm believer in taking passengers’ expectations seriously, and treating them fairly and with humanity. We owe it to them.”
How the Ombudsperson works
The Ombudsperson is independent from the transport providers involved in his cases. He has no functional connection to them and works entirely outside their management hierarchy.
He is appointed by the Consumer Council, a collegial body attached to SNCF Voyageurs.
An Ombudsperson must be skilled in mediation and well versed in law, particularly in the area of consumer affairs.
He must appear on the list of mediators submitted to the European Commission.
He may not accept any instruction from either party, and especially not from the transport providers or their representatives.
If the Ombudsperson’s impartiality is compromised during a mediation proceeding, he must immediately inform the parties, who have the right to ask him to recuse himself.
There is no connection between the Ombudsperson’s compensation and the outcomes of his cases.
The Ombudsperson serves a renewable 3-year term. Once he steps down, he is barred from working for any transport company that has signed the mediation protocol for a 3-year period.