France limits inspection authority of the Court of Cassation
AFP photoA decree issued by the French government that reformed the general inspection of judicial services practically putting it under the direct control of the government caused a fresh debate between the judiciary and the government as the former accused the latter of breaking the principle of the separation of powers.
“By just a decree of the prime minister, the Court of Cassation and the Supreme Court of the judiciary, has been placed under the direct control of the government through the inspection of the justice minister, breaking a republican tradition,” Bertrand Louvel, the president of the Court of Cassation, and Jean-Claude Marin, the attorney-general said in a letter to Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Dec. 6.
The two magistrates later publicized the letter that also called for a meeting with the prime minister to clarify the content of the decree.
The decree was issued by former Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Dec. 5 on his last day in service before then-Interior Minister Cazeneuve was appointed to replace him. The decree recommends reforming the scope of inspection of the Court of Cassation and removing its authority to oversee first and second instance judicial services.
The decree also authorizes the Court of Accounts to audit the Court of Cassation, which has been enjoying a self-checking system through annual reports.
There was no statement or clarification from either Cazeneuve or the justice minister about the decree after the strong criticisms of the Court of the Cassation.