Eric Dupond-Moretti challenges in law searches carried out in his ministry

Eric Dupond-Moretti challenges in law searches carried out in his ministry

For Eric Dupond-Moretti, this is an important step in his battle against the proceedings initiated against him by the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) for “illegal taking of interest”. Through his lawyer, the Minister of Justice raised, Friday, February 3, before the Court of Cassation, a priority question of constitutionality (QPC). The highest court of the judiciary plays the role of filter by deciding whether or not the question posed is admissible before possibly transmitting it to the Constitutional Council.

The examined QPC supports the request for cancellation of the search of 1er July 2021. That day, for fifteen hours, magistrates of the CJR – special jurisdiction responsible for trying ministers for offenses committed in the exercise of their functions – accompanied by around twenty gendarmes from the research section of Paris, had presented themselves at the beginning of the morning at Place Vendôme to search the ministry. The Minister of Justice is accused of having, a few weeks after his appointment, ordered the General Inspectorate of Justice to carry out administrative inquiries, a preliminary step to disciplinary proceedings, against magistrates with whom he had been in opposition as than a lawyer.

Read also: Eric Dupond-Moretti believes that his resignation “is not on the agenda”, despite his referral to the CJR for “illegal taking of interests”

Encroachment of the judiciary on the executive

Before the plenary assembly of the Court of Cassation, its most solemn formation, the object of the debates was not to decide on the merits of the 2021 search, nor to know whether or not this measure was , disproportionate. The point of law raised by Patrice Spinosi, lawyer for the Keeper of the Seals (who was not present at the hearing), was to determine whether a search in a ministry, place of exercise of executive power, did not contravene the separation of powers, constitutional principle. Similarly, it is a question of knowing if the legislator did not disregard his office by not providing for specific measures governing searches in ministries.

The unprecedented articulation of these two grievances, violation of the separation of powers and negative incompetence of the legislator, was at the heart of Ms.e Spinosi. For the latter, it is a question of highlighting a disproportion in the apprehension of the principle of separation of powers. Me Spinosi thus recalled the guarantees enjoyed by the parliamentary power and especially the judiciary to supervise searches. Non-existent protections, according to him, for the executive branch.

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