Monday, January 12, 2009

Sarko To Scrap Defining Characteristic of French Civil Law Tradition

In the French judicial system, magistrate judges ("judges d'instruction") are often the ones tasked with leading criminal investigations, with counsel for the parties playing a much more passive role. Critics have suggested that this essentially does away with any hope of a presumption of innocence and that this inevitably leads to an abuse of power. Proponents suggest that this method is much better because it allows an independent judge to look at the facts, rather than letting a beauty contest between two arguing attorneys (who may or may not get the law right) decide the outcome.

But after a few egregious cases where the investigating judge did not do such a hot job, Sarko thinks that it is time to have an adversarial process.

Unsurprisingly, French lawyers and judges protested the suggested reform.

1 comment:

teasinglydiverse said...

French lawyers also protested last year when reforms went through stating that you no longer need an avocat (lawyer) to get a divorce if both parties agree on the details. You can go to a notaire instead.
Thanks for posting this!