The Court of Cassation seized of a QPC on the feedback of information to the Ministry of Justice
The Versailles Court of Appeal decided, Friday, October 16, to send to the Court of Cassation a priority question of constitutionality (QPC) on the subject of “feedback”. These are the reports that the Attorneys General send back to the Ministry of Justice on ongoing “reported” legal proceedings. The Directorate of Criminal Affairs and Pardons thus has a look at more than 8,000 preliminary investigations or judicial information in progress. The Court of Cassation now has three months to rule on the transmission or not of this QPC to the Constitutional Council.
For Marie-Alix Canu-Bernard, the lawyer behind this QPC, this is a first victory in support of the nullity requests she made in the Thierry Solère affair. Especially since the general prosecutor’s office had concluded before the chamber of the instruction of Versailles to the rejection of this QPC. Mme Canu-Bernard defends an entrepreneur indicted for abuse of corporate assets and influence peddling in relation to Thierry Solère when he was elected to the Hauts-de-Seine general council.
While information feedback had been brought to light incidentally in this procedure, the lawyer pleaded that this ascending circuit of elements falling under the secrecy of the investigation, framed by a simple circular of January 2014, is contrary the principles of the separation of powers, the independence of the judicial authority and the equality of citizens before the law. The Court of Appeal therefore deemed it necessary to verify the conformity with the Constitution of these information feeds before ruling on the nullities submitted to it.
Pressure for a legislative framework
It is in this case that the former Minister of Justice Jean-Jacques Urvoas was sentenced on September 30, 2019 by the Court of Justice of the Republic for “Breach of secrecy”. He had requested, in the spring of 2017, an update on the judicial investigation concerning Mr. Solère, the former spokesperson for presidential candidate François Fillon, as he approached candidate Macron, before transmitting directly to the interested party the elements by an encrypted messaging.
The pressure for a suppression or a legislative framework of the feedback is thus increasing. Without waiting for a possible censorship of the Constitutional Council, Eric Dupond-Moretti asked Olivier Christen, the director of criminal affairs and pardons, to make him reform proposals on the subject by the end of the year.
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