Judges and lawyers worried about the long-term investigation

HASa Union of the judiciary (SM), we have been mobilized since last spring in relation to this reform project », declares Sophie Ben Amida, magistrate in Montpellier and regional delegate of the SM (Hérault, Aude, PO and Aveyron).

It is feared that, in a context where liberal policies are always going towards fewer means for the administrations, this reform will be done to the detriment of the most complex cases which until then were the preserve of the judicial police. The future Departmental Director of the National Police (DDPN) could, for example, entirely decide to concentrate his resources on action in the field, penalizing the clients of prostitutes, to the detriment of large-scale investigations into human trafficking, such as the judicial police are doing at the moment. »

Another serious concern, for the magistrates, is to see further melting, with this reform, the already insufficient means allocated to the judicial police to investigate on white collar crime : economic and financial “.

The magistrate continues : “ The reform also raises the question of the guarantee of the secrecy of investigations. There will be this risk that secret investigative elements will be relayed via the departmental director and the prefect to the executive power. In matters that are sensitive, in particular political and financial. »

” A mess

for righteousness”

In a letter addressed to the Keeper of the Seals on July 13 and remained unanswered, the Union of Judges made proposals for amendments on this reform », presents the USM regional delegate, Catherine Konstantinovitch.

She notes: For us, this reform is contrary to a decision of the Constitutional Council of May 20, 2021, where the latter recalls that the judicial police must be placed under the control of the judicial authority. Similarly, the Sauvé report, on the occasion of the Estates General of Justice, recalled that the PJ must carry out its activities under the direction of the public prosecutor and the investigating judges. The USM has proposed amendments aimed at obtaining guarantees. Before any reform, consult the police and the Court of Cassation. »

Lawyer in Montpellier, and member of the Union of Lawyers of France (SAF), Me Demersseman concedes: There is no official SAF position. » If this reform is done as it is, he thinks that the victims of serious events will wait even longer. »

He explains: As a lawyer, I am there every day, in the police stations. The files pile up on the desks of the judicial police officers. Today, when I am a civil party in a criminal case, the investigating judge gives me a period of one to two years for the judgment of the case, but I tell my clients four years. » It will be worse according to him when the PJ will have to turn away from her real job: the investigation.

In Guadeloupe, confirms Sophie Ben Amida, where police reform has been applied since the beginning of the year, the police officers of the judicial police, whose job until now was to carry out complex investigations, are no longer available to do their core business because they are called upon to carry out law enforcement operations “.

She estimates, as a proc’ who recently declared, what to do with these police officers of the public highway, of the arrest of foreigners in an irregular situation, this is indeed a waste for them and for justice because it is to deprive oneself of human resources which made it possible to solve important investigations “.

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