lawyer Édouard Martial defends “the idea of ​​a less distant justice”

Why do you think this justice reform is necessary?

Quite simply because we cannot continue in this atmosphere where relations between lawyers, magistrates and above all the citizens, who say that they no longer believe in the justice of this country, are constantly deteriorating. It is…

Why do you think this justice reform is necessary?

Quite simply because we cannot continue in this atmosphere where relations between lawyers, magistrates and above all the citizens, who say that they no longer believe in the justice of this country, are constantly deteriorating. It is all the more urgent to send a signal in this electoral context where, more than ever, the dictatorship of the now and the emotional governs those who work to capture the voices of fear.

How is this reform able to fix things?

Because it puts the citizen in the front line with a much more participatory justice. In the civil field, the role of mediation of the lawyer is reinforced. In the event that the parties reach an agreement, the intermediary of the judge is no longer necessary, all that is required is the visa of the registry. There is a work in direct contact, so we break with this estrangement from the litigant.

At the same time, this reform by establishing departmental courts whose jury will be composed exclusively of magistrates contravenes the idea of ​​popular justice. You were against this idea in the same way as the minister, moreover…

It’s true that at the time of his experiment, I was up in arms. Now it has obviously been positive since the number of appeals relating to the verdicts pronounced by these courts has been lower in ratio to the traditional procedures. Lawyers and magistrates have also expressed satisfaction with its operation. However, I remain viscerally attached to the justice of the popular jury. However, this reform saves and strengthens it: the departmental court will be reserved for crimes punishable by 15 to 20 years of imprisonment. Beyond that, the assize court is essential. A court in which jurors go from 6 to 7 at first instance and from 7 to 8 on appeal. This reinforcement also makes the magistrates’ union fear an increased risk of acquittals. This means something… Or should we understand that the magistrate within these juries had more force than the citizens?

A measure that must delight you, you TV game, is the possibility of seeing the audiences being filmed?

I am all the more in favor of it because I have had this experience. And those who would be tempted to do their number, it is at their own risk. In a courtroom, ridicule can kill. But what is interesting is being able to watch how everyone behaves, whether it is the defendants, the lawyers, the judges, etc. Here, justice lifts a part of the secrecy that shrouds it and therefore, here again, appears less distant.

However, many lawyers are very critical, sometimes violently, of this reform.

(Sigh) Among those who express themselves willingly on the subject, there is this bitterness and this jealousy that they already felt when Éric Dupond-Moretti exercised. In his position, he is a target of choice, much more convenient to attack than in a courtroom… If we disregard these vexatious people, all the lawyers can only be satisfied with this reform which protects much more its exercise: preliminary investigation limited in time, easy access to the file of an investigation without waiting for a summons or an indictment, presence of the lawyer within the framework of the searches, criminalization during which the president of the court of assizes can no longer alone decide on the course of the trial, etc.

This is progress for the defense but it does not go in the direction of those who believe that justice is too lax…

The sentences handed down have never been so heavy! The problem is the application of the sentence. The penitentiary component of the reform is moving forward on this subject by eliminating the automaticity of remissions of sentences. Repression is one thing and it is important in our society, but it is not absolute. The recidivist ? Of course it’s revolting. But how to prevent it? It’s predictive justice, it’s Minority Report! Reintegration is the key even if it is not the talk in vogue. The prison employment contract for the prisoner goes in this direction.

Note that you are a friend of Éric Dupond-Moretti…

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