They want to make it a day of “general mobilization for justice”. On Wednesday, magistrates, lawyers and clerks gather outside the courts to demand “worthy” means for justice, three weeks after a platform shouting suffering at work and loss of meaning. “We no longer want a justice that does not listen and that times everything”, headlined the text – which has become an explosion – at the origin of the call for a day of action by 17 professional organizations and trade unions of justice .
More than 7,500 signatories from a forum
Written by nine young magistrates after the suicide at the end of August of one of their colleagues, Charlotte, the forum had collected when it was put online on November 23 on the daily website The world more than 3,000 signatures, i.e. one third of the professional body. On Monday, it had more than 7,550 signatories, including 5,476 magistrates, 1,583 registry officials and 493 court auditors (student magistrates), an unprecedented mobilization. “What is unprecedented is the number of magistrates who in their own name have chosen to sign this platform”, argues Katia Dubreuil, president of the Syndicat de la magistrature (SM, ranked on the left).
In the aftermath, a large number of jurisdictions, at the end of their mandatory general meetings in December, voted on motions associating themselves with the platform and demanding additional resources. This very broad consensus, which is part of a context of deep crisis in the judiciary, came into conflict with the Estates General of Justice launched by the government in mid-October.
A “desperation” of those who deliver justice on a daily basis
Beyond the lack of means of the judicial services, denounced for a long time, the tribune massively expresses the “despair” of those who dispense justice on a daily basis, which is now exposed on social networks with the keyword “#justicemalade “. The text pointed to “an untenable dilemma: to judge quickly but badly or to judge well but within unacceptable delays”.
“This platform is the expression of suffering. I have never seen so much burn-out, sick leave”, assures Frédéric Fèvre, public prosecutor in Douai and president of the national conference of public prosecutors. . If today “speech is free”, the observation has been there “for twenty years”: “justice has lost part of its humanity because we have an accounting logic”, he believes.
“Strong words that we are not used to hearing”
In an interview at Var-Morning, the Attorney General at the Court of Cassation, François Molins, who as President of the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM) received the authors from the platform, said he was “struck” by “strong words that we not used to hearing”. These young magistrates “explained to us the feeling of shame they had to work with means whose precariousness is the opposite of the height of their mission”, he said.
The platform “speaks to everyone, not only to young people”, underlines Cécile Mamelin, vice-president of the Union of magistrates (USM, majority), which for the first time formally calls for a strike on Wednesday. In the judiciary, “we are usually good little soldiers. But there it is no longer possible, we are entitled to normal working conditions”, she says.
Call for mass postponements of hearings
On the occasion of the national day on Wednesday, the organizers are calling for massive postponements of hearings “to show our common determination to finally obtain the means to ensure that justice is done with dignity”. They invite, alongside representatives of lawyers and registry officials, to rallies in front of courthouses.
In Paris, the organizers decided to gather at noon in front of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, to emphasize “that the problem of means is completely evacuated both from the ministerial speech and from the Estates General of Justice”.
A “historic” budget for justice, defends Éric Dupont-Moretti
Two days before this day which promises to be massive, the Keeper of the Seals Eric Dupond-Moretti defended his results during a press conference at the Chancellery, again praising the “historic” budget for justice which experienced two successive increases of 8% over the past two years.
Claiming to have “heard and taken into account” the call to gather before the courts, he however denounced the “ulterior motives of some, as well as the temptations of instrumentalization in a pre-electoral context”. Five years ago, “justice was in a state of absolute emergency. (…) We have repaired the most urgent emergencies”, assured the minister. “The work continues within the framework of the Estates General of Justice,” he added.