The ex-minister of Economy and Finance, Christine Lagarde, is considered to be from this Monday in the case of arbitration Tapie for the offence of “negligence”. Suspected, at the time she was stationed at Bercy, for having allowed, by its “negligence”, the businessman Bernard Tapie pocketed $ 404 million euros of public money, the current director general of the IMF appears, therefore, until 20 December, before the Court of justice of the Republic (CJR). Zoom in on this specific court has jurisdiction, with the objective of judging the offences and crimes committed by members of the government during the exercise of their function.
Since when CJR does it exist?
It was founded in 1993, by the law of constitutional revision of July 27, in the wake of the contaminated blood scandal. Initially, it was the High Court which was judging the members of the government, but it could not be seized by the parliamentarians.
While the affair of the contaminated blood shakes France, the court dismisses the possibility of a trial, citing the prescription of the facts. In the Face of the outcry raised a constitutional revision sees the light of day, marking the birth of the RGC.
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What is its role?
The CJR is “the jurisdiction to try members of government for crimes and misdemeanors committed in the exercise of their function”, says the official website of public Life. This Court may consider “all of the members of the government”, the Prime minister, ministers and secretaries of State. But, she is interested only to crimes and misdemeanors committed “in the exercise of their functions”. Other violations of policies fall under common law.
This is the reason why, Jérôme Cahuzac, was sentenced to three years in prison and five years of ineligibility for election last Thursday, was tried before the correctional court of Paris. Indeed, the facts of tax fraud and money laundering for which he was tried were not committed during his tenure as minister of the Budget.
It is a court or tribunal of a hybrid, consisting of both politicians and judges. A “composition pluralist” which is the “guarantee of its independence and its impartiality,” said its first president, Louis Gondre, in his speech during the operation of the RGC, in 1994.
Thus, the RGC is composed of fifteen judges: twelve parliamentarians, six deputies and six senators and three justices of the Court of cassation, the highest French court. Despite their difference in status, all sitting in a black dress.
today, five members of parliament of the party of The Republicans sitting there, five of the socialist Party, a parliamentary member of the Union of democrats and independents, and a member of the radical Party of the left.
How does it work?
“Any person aggrieved by reason of a crime or offence committed by a member of the government in the exercise of his duties may lodge a complaint with a commission made up of judges, according to article 68-2 of the Constitution. It is the commissions who filter the complaints addressed to the members of the government. As regards Christine Lagarde, are members of PS that are at the origin of the prosecution.
There are other characteristics specific to the RGC : for example, it is impossible to appeal a decision, it is necessary to appeal to the supreme court. It is also impossible to “build civil party”.
How many cases have they been treated by the RGC?
Since its inception, four judgments have been rendered by the judges of this court against six members of government. The first case in 1999, is none other than that of the contaminated blood. Among the other issues are notable, the RGC has sentenced Charles Pasqua, in April 2010, to a one-year suspended prison sentence in a case of abuse of social good.
Currently, the Court remains seized of the file explosive case of Karachi.
A court controversial
The principle of this special court, functioning as a court, and at the same time composed of policies, is regularly the object of criticism. For a number of years, the idea of its removal is also a figure of a sea serpent.
In 2010, after the decision – deemed lenient – against the ex-minister of the Interior, Charles Pasqua, Robert Badinter was against the retention of the CJR: “there is no reason for ministers to be tried for corruption in a different way than ordinary citizens. It is necessary to remove the Court of Justice of the Republic, like the other jurisdictions of exception”, maintained the former keeper of the Seals.
In 2012, it is François Hollande who had made share of its desire to remove the Court of justice of the Republic. It was even one of the promises of the socialist candidate. Thus, he explained to Release want the facts attributed to ministers in the exercise are now “subject to the jurisdictions of common right”. A desire that he had reaffirmed in the columns of the World, in June 2014. “I am committed to propose its deletion. It requires an amendment to the Constitution. I’m in favor,” said then the president of the Republic.