motion of the lawyers of Toulouse who demand its withdrawal

The Toulouse bar, like other bar associations in France, demands in a motion the withdrawal of the reform of the judicial police. It would no longer depend on justice via the prosecutors but on a departmental director reporting to the prefect.

The reorganization of the national police has been at the heart of the debate for several months. Its reform should enter into force in 2023. This reform provides for place all the police services under the authority of a single departmental director of the national police (DDPN) directly dependent of the prefect. However, the judicial police had until then been accountable to the prosecutors.

After the magistrates, the police, the lawyers and in particular those of the bar of Toulouse, react. They demand its withdrawal because it carries violation of the rule of law according to them. They worry like their colleagues and the magistrates, interference with politics due to the strengthening of the prefects’ authority over the police in their judicial missionsthe redefinition of the direction of criminal investigations and investigations and the choice of investigating services by magistrates.

In a tweet posted this Thursday, October 13, they announce that they have taken a motion against the reform desired by the government. They denounce “the government’s desire to increase the means dedicated to maintaining order to the detriment of those guaranteeing the individual freedoms of citizens”.

Toulouse lawyers recall that “the independence of justice and the guarantee of the freedom of citizens before the law cannot be ensured without a judicial police under the control and the direct hierarchy of the magistrates of the judicial order”.

The supervision of the prefect represents a major risk, already known in our republican history, of undermining the independence of judicial investigations and interference in sensitive political or economic and financial files.

The Order of the Toulouse Bar

Like the National Bar Council meeting in general meeting on September 9, 2022, the council of the Toulouse Bar Association deplores the consequences of this reform defended by Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, who describes it to our colleagues from Parisian as “courageous, indispensable and difficult”.

Lawyers fear the consequences it may have on the security of citizens, on the independence of justice and on the principle of separation of powers. They regret that “the objective of unclogging the investigation services of the police stations is done to the detriment of the missions of the judicial police which must be exercised in compliance with the principles of the rights of the defense, under the control of magistrates who are the guarantors”.

In Toulouse, lawyers are not the only ones to challenge this reform. The National Association of Judicial Police calls for a rally from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, October 17 in front of the Toulouse judicial court.

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