Against a “cheap justice”, magistrates, lawyers and clerks are mobilizing a year after a resounding platform

A year after a resounding platform which had brought to light their ” suffering “ at work, magistrates, lawyers and clerks are called to mobilize on Tuesday November 22 against a “reduced justice”. “The reality on the ground is always overloaded audiences (…)unreasonable delays, unexplained judgements”write nineteen unions and organizations of magistrates, lawyers or integration advisers in a joint press release, calling for “dismiss all hearings” tuesday.

Rallies must take place during the day, in particular in Paris in front of the judicial court at 12 p.m., to express the fed up of a profession which remains, according to the magistrates’ unions, confronted with a “Titanic Workload”.

Just a year ago, the platform signed by 3,000 of them in The world had created an electric shock and alerted to the working conditions of an institution eaten away by a “serious loss of meaning”. Written after the suicide of a young colleague, the text has today been initialed by nearly 8,000 magistrates, court auditors and court clerks.

Read the column: Article reserved for our subscribers The appeal of 3,000 magistrates and a hundred clerks: “We no longer want a justice that does not listen and that times everything”

An “advanced state of disrepair”

The 3,000 a stand “allowed to initiate many actions”, we are assured at the chancellery. Launched by the government, the consultations of the Estates General of Justice confirmed this diagnosis, concluding that “advanced state of disrepair” of the institution, to which the ministry has tried to respond by obtaining, for 2023, a third successive increase of 8% of its annual budget.

“With this budget of almost 10 billion euros, the Ministry of Justice is continuing its change of dimension with resources commensurate with its missions”, estimated at the end of September the Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti, who will soon unveil a new action plan. The executive has also undertaken to recruit 8,500 additional magistrates and justice personnel by the end of Macron’s second five-year term and announced a salary increase of 1,000 euros per month on average for judicial judges.

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However, the account is not there, according to professional organizations. “While recruitment of magistrates and registry officials are planned for 2023, they are largely insufficient and no clear action plan has been defined, as the urgency of the situation would require”they write in their joint press release.

France still lagging behind its neighbors

According to the Council of Europe, France continues to allocate less funding to justice than its European partners with a comparable GDP: it devoted 72.50 euros per inhabitant to it in 2020, compared to 82.20 euros in Italy, 88 in Spain or 140.70 in Germany.

According to the unions, justice professionals remain “in the grip of a loss of meaning”while litigants are “reduced to the state of “files” and “stocks””. “There is a professional exhaustion of magistrates who work evenings and weekends, who are told that they must organize themselves better, give less reasons for their decisions, make hearings last less”believes Cécile Mamelin, of the Union of Magistrates (USM, majority).

In December 2021, magistrates and clerks had already taken to the streets to say the “desperation” of those who dispense justice on a daily basis; a feeling relayed at the top of the judicial hierarchy, of which several representatives were then mobilized.

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More recently, in mid-October, the death of a 44-year-old magistrate, Marie Truchet, in the middle of an immediate appearance hearing in Nanterre caused a new wave of shock. A minute of silence was observed in several jurisdictions and the USM noted the working conditions “particularly difficult” in Nanterre.

Thursday, this court received the extremely rare visit and the support of the two highest French magistrates, the first president of the Court of Cassation, Christophe Soulard, and the attorney general at the Court of Cassation, François Molins. “Acknowledging the suffering of the judicial world is no longer taboo”assured Agence France-Presse Mr. Molins. “We talk about it at all judicial levels. But beyond this observation, are there things that are progressing? »

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