Justice: “exemplary republic” in danger

This is a “first” that France would have gone well: Eric Dupond-Moretti, Keeper of the Seals appointed by Emmanuel Macron in July 2020, was, on Monday, October 3, the prime minister in office to be referred to before The Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) since the creation of this jurisdiction in 1993. Mr. Dupond-Moretti is suspected of having used his ministerial functions to settle accounts with magistrates with which he had had to leave when ‘He was a lawyer. The Keeper of the Seals, who appeared in the cassation against the decision to refer, disputes these accusations.

Already, the maintenance according to a minister indicted for “illegal taking of interest” in July 2021, just a year after his appointment, constituted a break in relation to the implicit rule in force until then, according to which an indicted minister was to leave his duties. The renewal of Mr. Dupond-Moretti by the Head of State after the April presidential election represented another challenge to the “exemplary republic” promised by Emmanuel Macron.

The confidence that continues to be displayed by the executive with regard to the Minister since the decision to send him back to the CJR appears worrying in a country plagued by distrust of institutions. Mr. Dupond-Moretti, by accusing the unions of magistrates of seeking to eliminate it, while the prosecution targets him were diligent by three magistrates of the Court of Cassation, only feeds the accusations of politicization of an institution of which He is responsible for enforcing impartiality. That a Keeper of the Seals has himself placed “in a situation of conflict of interest”, according to the expression of the Superior Council of the Magistracy, and is therefore suspected of hindrance to the independence of justice, principle Cardinal of the rule of law of which he is the custodian and the President of the Republic the guarantor, is simply amazing.

The worst is that this deleterious scenario for the judicial institution was predictable. By appointing Place Vendôme a lawyer known for his aggressiveness against the magistrates and having pleaded in politico-judicial files in progress, Emmanuel Macron knew the risk he was taking. Waiting for October 2020 to withdraw by decree the prerogatives of the Keeper of the Seals on the files he had to know as a lawyer to transfer them to the Prime Minister turned out to be a guilty slowness. And shows that the presidential choice had the consequence of hindering the prerogatives of a Keeper of the Seals. As for the ability of Mr. Dupond-Moretti to capture the votes of the popular electorate attempted by the far right for the benefit of macronists, she came up against a scathing failure during the regional elections of June 2021.

By refusing to answer, at the beginning of March, to the questions of the three judges of the Court of Cassation making up the committee of investigation of the CJR, then by making known the letter aiming to discredit them that he had read them, the guard Seals, moreover, has not only failed in civility but seemed to justify the contempt for legal proceedings. The present situation, where, as minister, he is called upon to propose the name of the successor of the Attorney General at the Court of Cassation, François Molins, statutoryly responsible for carrying out the accusation before the CJR and therefore potentially against him, carries the confusion to a dangerously unprecedented level. Until this great chaos at the top of justice can last?

/Media reports.