A few days earlier, Friday November 12, the Minister of Justice had sent an ultimatum to the black dresses. He offered them three options: either that the government bring a “clarification amendment” (his preferred option), or that it bring “no amendment”, or that it bring “a total deletion amendment” of the article concerning.
It is therefore this last option which was chosen by the representatives of the profession, with 65% of the votes. “The article as it is written poses more danger to professional secrecy than it improves things”, we explain to the CNB
Éric Dupond-Moretti “takes note of the vote”, indicated his entourage. “The government on this issue has always worked in full agreement with the parliamentarians of the majority and the opposition, and it will be in this spirit that a decision will be taken. »
“Regression” of the rights of the defense
While the bill “for confidence in the judicial institution” must be definitively adopted Tuesday, November 16 by the National Assembly and Thursday, November 18 by the Senate, Parisian lawyers have planned to demonstrate Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in front of the National Assembly, and other rallies are planned outside the courthouses elsewhere in France, notably in Bordeaux, at 1 p.m.
“We call on each of you to come together to make parliamentarians aware of the unprecedented regression of the rights of the defense which would result from the adoption of this text by Parliament”, explain the Parisian lawyers.
The text, on which deputies and senators reached an agreement on October 21, devotes in its article 3 the professional secrecy of the lawyer in his activity of defense (that is to say during an investigation), but plans to supervise him in his consulting activity.
“We have provided for an exception in the context of tax evasion and corruption: it is a technical adjustment allowing in targeted cases to render unenforceable the secrecy of the lawyer”, then explained the rapporteur for the National Assembly Stéphane Mazars.
But the representatives of the main lawyers’ unions and 150 “big names in the profession” had expressed their fears in a forum in the “World”. “Professional secrecy cannot be the adjustment variable of a justice devoid of the means to fight effectively against financial crime”, they asserted.
Once a bill has been adopted by the joint committee (CMP), the government may, exceptionally, modify the text by an amendment, provided that it has the approval of both chambers.