REPORTAGE At least 49 additional magistrates are needed to “run” the Bobigny court, France's second largest court, and relieve professionals on the verge of breaking up < p>
According to the estimates of the president of the court, at least 49 magistrates are missing in Bobigny. — Caroline Politi
- A new day of mobilization was organized on Tuesday, one year after the publication of a column denouncing the working conditions of magistrates.
- In Bobigny, all the professionals gathered consider that the situation has deteriorated.
- The president of the court estimates that 49 additional magistrates are needed.
Barely past the doors of the large court of assizes of the judicial court of Bobigny, in Seine-Saint-Denis, we only see them, these black and red dresses floating along the wall. There are 49 of them, symbolizing the number of additional magistrates that would be needed to “turn” the second jurisdiction of France. But a year after the publication of a column in the Monde pointing out the suffering at work of this usually silent body, and while this Tuesday was a new day of mobilization, all professionals are unanimous: nothing has changed. Or rather if: the situation has deteriorated further.
“We are as many as last year – 140 –, but new reforms have come into force, resulting in an increase in work at constant workforce,” starts Maximin Sanson, vice-president of the court of Bobigny and delegate of the Union of Judges. Since this year, the judge of freedoms and detention must for example monitor that the measures of confinement in psychiatric hospitals are legal. The reform of juvenile justice clogs up the largest juvenile court in France. “The text is entered. in force a year ago, and we have already struggling to respect the deadlines imposed”, insists the children's judge Myrtis Vinas-Roudieres, delegate of the magistrates' union. fly away
From anecdotes to anecdotes, magistrates, clerks and lawyers recount, for almost two hours, this justice to be done. breathless. And at Bobigny, some figures make you dizzy. 162 financial litigation files – the oldest of which dates from 2017 – are awaiting hearing, i.e. no date has yet been set. found to judge them. A drop of water compared to the 517 cases for which the judicial investigation has been completed and which are also awaiting a hearing before a specialized correctional chamber. “As all the departments are overwhelmed, some cases of long-term narcotics, even thefts; armed hand, end up in immediate appearance hearings, sighs Sonia Lumbroso, president of a correctional chamber. These are ultra-complex cases that require serious consideration. How do you expect them to be judged like stealing a laptop?”
Despite her 38 years of experience, the magistrate confides that she feels on the verge of burnout. Not so much to because of the schedules at; extender – ça, she’s used to it; the long – but because of this permanent feeling of dissatisfaction. “As a presiding judge, I am always in a double case of conscience. Should I impose on my colleagues to finish at the end of the night, or should we dismiss and keep the litigants waiting?” Because she knows it, after months, years at a time. wait, some complainants will never really be recognized as victims: they end up moving away, their summonses get lost, thus preventing them from telling their stories. Next week, for example, a gang rape will take place without the victim, who was a minor at the time of the incident, because we now do not know where. she lives.
“The problem is that some things take time”
There are many of them, like her, at; evoke this feeling of doing a job at hand. the chain. In the juvenile court, educational assistance hearings last an average of 45 minutes, during which each child must be heard, then the parents, the educators, and sometimes the lawyers. “The problem is that some things take time. You have to establish a relationship of trust, but it’s impossible if you’t have the eye riveted. on our watch,” explains Myrtis Vinas-Roudieres. The same confides that she often had to cut parents or children who were pouring out a little too long. “As we are at tight flow, if you go too far, you fall behind everything.” Starting with the drafting of judgments that allow the implementation of educational assistance: she still has files dating from September in stock.
All the professionals say it: the recruitment of 1,500 additional magistrates and clerks by the end of the five-year term promised by the ministry will not make it possible to catch up. Especially when it is dizzying. Maximin Sanson is at the head of a room reserved for bodily injury, in particular for victims of medical errors or road accidents. “When creating this room in 2017, we already had to have a bathroom. a year of writing overdue judgments. Today, if we don’t take on any more cases, we’ll have ten years of writing. In two years it will be fifteen.” It’s for this reason that many professionals have given up to go on strike. “We are so late that sending the files back again was not tenable,” breathed a judge. The hour of mobilization, moreover, had been chosen accordingly: during the lunch break.