Minister unveils sweeping plans to overhaul France's justice system

AFP - LUDOVIC MARIN

French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti on Thursday unveiled a 60-point plan intended to redress some of the major problems in the sector. The recruitment of judges, simplifying the penal procedure, modernising civil law and the crisis in French prisons are just some of the contentious topics included.

The proposals are based on demands made by the legal profession and members of the public during last year's national debate on justice reform.

"What did we learn from that consultation?" asks the minister. "That justice is too slow and too complex.

"The national debate provided the backbone for these proposed reforms. We have continued the work of consultation. We have been guided by our own thoughts and, I have no fear in adding, by our own convictions."

Because some of the minister's convictions have already seen him sharply opposed by judges and lawyers, Eric Dupond-Moretti has promised that he will meet the various bodies within the legal profession to explain his position on reform.

Judiciary budget hike

There will be more money to spend on modernisation, on recruitment, on the provision of more prison places.

"The budget has been boosted by 8 percent every year for the past three years, for a total of 26 percent," according to the minister's figures. In cash terms, justice has gone from 7.6 billion euros in 2020 to 9.6 billion in 2023.


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