Two years after condemnation of France, failure of prison regulation

The new president of the Court of Cassation alerts the Government while the reasons that have justified the historical sanction by the European Court of Human Rights in 2020.

Drown in the solemn speech during its installation with great fanfare Monday July 18 at the Court of Cassation, the evocation of the prison condition by the new first president held in two sentences as synthetic as it is impactful. “The question of the conditions of detention in French prisons is unfortunately old, but it remains a topical subject which should not leave anyone indifferent. The combined action of the European Court of Human Rights, of the Constitutional Council, of the Council of State and the Court of Cassation, is not enough to settle it. “

With such a observation, Christophe Soulard indirectly challenged the political leaders installed at the forefront of this ceremony, the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, the president of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, the Minister of , Eric Dupond-Moretti and the President of the Senate Law Commission, François-Noël Buffet.

Since the historic judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of January 2020, the law has changed. Not the reality of French prisons. France had then been condemned due to a structural prison overcrowding and the lack of effective appeal allowing an inmate to put an end to the conditions of detention that a court would consider unworthy.

rate of rate Occupation greater than 150 % in 49 prisons

The Court of Cassation and the Constitutional Council had followed before the Parliament voted almost unanimously a law “tending to guarantee the right to respect for dignity in detention”, promulgated on April 8, 2021. Any detainee has now The possibility of seizing the judicial judge to have conditions of detention contrary to human dignity and obtain that it is ended.

In fifteen months, this appeal was almost used. At the same time, the conditions of detention have not stopped deteriorating. At the 1 ER June 2022, the prisons had 71,678 detainees (+ 7.6 % in one year), for 60,703 seats. 1,885 of them sleep on a mattress on the ground (+ 107 %). Forty-nine prisons display an occupancy rate greater than 150 %.

According to Dominique Simonnot, general controller of places of deprivation of freedom, the recourse of the law of 2021 is not used because “the solution chosen to end an unworthy situation is the transfer to another prison, or they prefer to stay close to their family for visits “. According to the Ministry of Justice, more than 150 orders have been rendered by judges on the basis of this procedure since March 2022 … but no information is available on the meaning of decisions.

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/Media reports.