Carcassonne: Gérard Bouissinet, master of the bar facing “a population of lawyers who suffer”

Since January 1, 2022, Maître Gérard Bouissinet has taken up his duties at the Bar Association of Carcassonne. He thus succeeds Céline Colombo, after two years of a mandate marked by the lawyers’ strike and the health crisis.

Elected in June 2021 by his peers, Mand Gérard Bouissinet officially took up his new position as president of the Carcassonne Bar Association at the very beginning of 2022. He succeeds Céline Colombo, after two years in office “quite complicated in terms of management”.

First there was the lawyers’ strike in defense of their autonomous pension scheme, but also an almost total stoppage of the judicial year in 2020. “My role includes multiple tasks: I represent the bar association vis-à-vis the public authorities and magistrates, but I also chair the bar association council and am the guarantor of the independence of lawyers and their ethics. ..” The chairman is also “prosecuting authority”. It has jurisdictional powers, or even conciliation missions.

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The candidates not jostling to occupy this position of chairman, Gérard Bouissinet suddenly began his second term at the Carcassonne bar, after the 2013-2014 financial year. “There is a crisis of vocations, yet it is a recognition. The heaviness of the task? The fear of getting involved outside of one’s work? It’s not as easy as that for lawyers”, emphasizes Gérard Bouissinet. For the record, the Carcassonne lawyer was also vice-president of the Conference of Bar Presidents of the Greater South-West (37 bars) from 2015 to 2016, just as he was elected to the National Conference of Bar Presidents (CNB) from 2016 to 2020.

The bar is convalescent and needs to start again

For the chairman Gérard Bouissinet, “The health crisis has made it possible to highlight all the dysfunctions of the judicial institution, with its lack of human and financial resources… All of this now leads to very long delays in the processing of cases, whether at civil or criminal. Justice works, but the problem is that it is clogged. For us, it is not satisfactory, because we cannot have cases judged within a reasonable time”. Faced with the observation that “We are the fifth poorest department in France, which inevitably leads to greater repercussions. The bar is convalescent and needs to start again”.

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To date, the bar of the Audoise prefecture has 85 lawyers, with a majority of women and a young population. “In particular, we have a lot of activities under legal aid and ex officio commissions…” Each year, a budget of approximately 1.8 million euros is allocated to the Bar of Carcassonne for its operation. “We are on an important spring, with sometimes substantial distances to cover. When we go towards Belcaire, for example! We are in a difficult period, but we will have to meet the challenges and move forward”, continues Gérard Bouissinet. On the political plan, “We are here in a period of calm with announcement effects, but we will soon return to the heart of the difficulties on the announced reforms, with in particular that of pensions which is not buried!”

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