You come back this morning to the controversy that continues aroundEric Dupond-Moretti, Keeper of the Seals. For you, it is high time that this open war ended. Tell us why.
It is not for me to say who best defends justice between Eric Dupond-Moretti and those who have decided to increase the attacks against him. First of all, he’s a great lawyer, he doesn’t need me to plead his case. And above all we will see if he obtains results, if he succeeds in improving the functioning of justice, in shortening the deadlines, in actually carrying out the sentences: that is what we are asking him. At this stage, what we see is that the minister has just obtained a historic increase in justice credits, while all these invectives are fueling discredit. Let’s say it’s paradoxical. If there is no trust, and there is even a declared hostility between the minister in charge of justice and the magistrates who are supposed to render it, there can be no confidence of citizens in justice .
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But all the same, some of the highest French magistrates were publicly moved by the risks that this Keeper of the Seals would run to the independence of the judiciary. Do you think they’re exaggerating?
It’s worse. They betray their status. The independence of the judiciary is not the right of magistrates to say everything without control. It is Emmanuel Macron who appointed Eric Dupond-Moretti, therefore the highest magistrates publicly criticize the decisions of the President of the Republic. It is very shocking. And what justifies their revolt? It is precisely that Eric Dupond-Moretti wants the magistrates to be accountable, that they are not, if I may say so, the only judges of their work. So he ordered an administrative inquiry into magistrates who had lawyers investigated, including him before he became minister. This is what is called a “conflict of interest”, and which causes an uproar. This is absurd: in this affair, either nothing happened, or Eric Dupond-Moretti was a victim; therefore he defends no other “interest” than that of the truth. He had filed a complaint, he withdrew it. And then an administrative investigation does not mean sanctions, unless the magistrates concerned know that they are guilty. And at the end of the day, it is not the minister who will decide. So at best, it’s a lot of ado about nothing. At worst, we give him a very bad trial.
What could make all of this stop the way you want it to? Between the minister, whom we know loudly, and the magistrates’ unions, who is going to give in first?
When we are there, it is up to the President of the Republic to intervene. Emmanuel Macron cannot allow this general fight to continue in front of the French. Because it is his authority that is called into question through his minister, as I have said. But above all because it is his duty. The Constitution makes him the guarantor of the independence of justice, it is a fact. But independence is not just from the government; it is also independence against politicization, prejudices, deviations – and several recent cases have shown that there are some in the judiciary. Above all, the Constitution also charges the Head of State to ensure “the regular functioning of the institutions”. If Emmanuel Macron does not quickly bring order to this politico-judicial hustle and bustle, it is a regular dysfunction which is about to settle.