13 April 2018

French lawyers protest on streets of Paris

Draft Justice reforms opposed

Over 5000 lawyers and judges took to the streets of Paris to protest against draft justice reforms.

The spirit of 1968 was revived on the streets of Paris yesterday as over 5000 lawyers and judges marched in protest against draft justice reforms which could see a merger of the high courts and the courts of first instance. The protest, called by the National Bar Council and the Paris Bar Association, saw protesters carrying a coffin and demanding the resignation of Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet. Lawyers hope to influence the debate before the presentation of the text to the Council of Ministers on 18 April.

Judges not robots

Marie-Aimee Peyron, Head of Lawyers’ Union of France said: 'Justice is a balance. On the one hand the accusation and on the other side the defence. If you unbalance this scale it will not be fair justice anymore. In other words, we want judges and not robots.' In a press statement the inter-union of the professions of the justice, which also called for protest, stated it refused to support 'this project whose true objective is to allow the maintenance of the justice in its state of budgetary misery by sacrificing any notion of quality in the name of the productivity.' Christiane Féral-Schuhl, President of the National Bar Council (CNB), expressed concern that the draft law will lead to the privatisation of justice.