The solemn re-entry hearing of the Poitiers Court of Appeal this Thursday morning was marked by a first and a last. A first for the new President of the Court, Gwenola Joly-Coz, who recently took office, and a last for Dominique Moyal, the Attorney General, who will step down at the end of February, after 41 years of judicial career.
And a common point between these two high magistrates: neither of them chewed their words to describe, one the state of the general prosecutor’s office, the other the evolution of justice in France.
Used to managing the shortage of prosecutors, Dominique Moyal should normally have rejoiced: four years ago, the six prosecutor’s offices in his jurisdiction were operating with 75% of the normal number of magistrates; they are now complete, even if two of them (La Roche-sur-Yon and Saintes) are “notoriously undersized”.
Alas, it is now the public prosecutor’s office that is struggling: the deputy general left on January 7, the attorney general will do the same on February 15, followed by the attorney general. However, to date, no replacement has been announced: “We will go beyond the stage of the complicated situation to switch to acrobatic,” laments Dominique Moyal, who will use his last weeks to organize the thinness of a general prosecutor’s office reduced to three magistrates.
Great novelty therefore: while it is traditionally the general prosecutor’s office that goes to give a hand to overworked prosecutors, the reverse will occur until normalcy is restored.
President Gwenola Joly-Coz, for her part, focused on the consequences for public freedoms of ordinances and other repeated laws taken on the basis of terrorist or health events. More and more, the urgency invoked, allows the executive to bypass the judiciary: “over recent texts, insists the president, a criminal law of security is established, a law of fear which obscures the distinctions between the desire for rules and the need for guarantees… The judge is the necessary guarantee against arbitrariness… The gear which increasingly limits collective and individual rights is dangerous. “