BURN-OUT One year after the tribune of the “World” denouncing the working conditions of magistrates and clerks, a new day of mobilization is planned for this Tuesday < p>< /p>Magistrates on strike, outside the Ministry of the Economy in Paris, in December 2021. — ALAIN JOCARD/AFP
- Magistrates and clerks are mobilizing this on Tuesday to denounce their working conditions, a year after a column published in Le Monde, the starting point of an unprecedented challenge.
- The announced recruitments of some 1,500 magistrates and 1,500 clerks during the five-year term are considered insufficient.
- Resignations remain very rare among magistrates, however.
It’s a bittersweet anniversary that they’re about to celebrate. celebrate the magistrates. A year ago, an article published in Le Monde,highlighting an increasingly palpable malaise within this usually silent body, created an earthquake in the hushed world. of Justice. Magistrates and clerks then took the floor to tell the schedules at; extension, holidays eaten up by files, the feeling of loss of meaning… Unprecedented fact: a strike, followed by several hundred professionals, had been organized. If the movement was born; in reaction to the suicide of a young judge, the new day of mobilization organized this Tuesday is marked by the death last month, in full hearing, of Marie Truchet, vice-president ;sidente of the court of Nanterre, in the Hauts-de-Seine.
“Obviously, we all identified with each other. to her, we leave our health there in this job”, breathes Aurélie, parquet worker in the south-west.” A year after the forum, all the magistrates we interviewed are unanimous: nothing has really changed. They, in any case, affirm that within their jurisdiction, whether small or large, in Ile-de-France or in the provinces, the problems have persisted, at all times. start with the lack of staff. In the east, for example, a head of court who considers himself “well off” says that one of the positions created a year and a half ago has never been used before. provided. As for the two judges of the children of his court, they share 1,200 files of educational assistance. In Nanterre, in the service of Marie Truchet, there were, before her death, only eight judges out of the ten planned. “We have already been announced that we wouldn’t have any reinforcements before Christmas,” blows the magistrate’s colleague, Dominique Marcilhacy, vice-president of the court and union delegate l’USM.
Massive recruitment but below requirements
At the Ministry of Justice, it is nevertheless recalled that during the first five-year term, 700 magistrates and 850 clerks were appointed. recruited, to which are added 2,000 contract positions. Staff that should grow further under this mandate, since the Chancellery ensures that 1,500 magistrates and 1,500 additional clerks will be assigned by & rsquo; 2027. “We’re not going to solve everything at once but look at where’ we're leaving, we insist on Place Vendôme. Under Nicolas Sarkozy, one out of two magistrates who went to retirement was not replaced; : under Christiane Taubira, there were only 50 additional hires.” Above all, we emphasize the “historic” of the Justice budget under the mandate of Eric Dupond-Moretti: three times 8%, for 2021, 2022 and 2023.
“We start from so far that it’s a drop of water, insists the magistrate of the south-west. According to the European standard, in my parquet, for example, we should be 43. We are 6. » According to the European Commission for the effectiveness Justice (Cepej)*, Europe has an average of 17.6 judges per 100,000 inhabitants… against 11.2 in France. Admittedly, the study specifies that it does not take into account non-professional judges – in particular those of the Prud’hommes – but how not to link it with the growing stock of cases or the deadlines to be followed? extension? The heads of jurisdictions have assessed to almost 5,000 the number of positions at; create. “ When I do seven days of duty, waking up once or even several times a night, I am in such a state of exhaustion that it is reflected in my work », continues Auré ;lie.
“”””” 60 magistrates and 250 clerks are missing to “turn” the tribunal. Far, therefore, from what the Chancellery is planning. “On the day of his death, Marie (Truchet) was not in good shape at all, recalls Dominique Marcilhacy. She should never have come but she told herself that if she stopped, her work would fall on others.” If the first elements of the autopsy seem to attribute his death to several pathologies unrelated to “fatigue” or “stress”, the 44-year-old magistrate was portrayed by her colleagues as being particularly involved, not counting her hours, working weekends, holidays or during vacation. And Dominique Marcilhacy insists: “You can’t imagine the number of magistrates who come to work with 39 degrees of fever, on the verge of faintness”.
“You don’t have time, mentally, to sit down to take care of yourself,” agrees Jean, magistrate of the seat in the west of France. In her court, a magistrate suffered a burn-out of such intensity; that she has neurological sequelae. He himself entrusts avoiding to at all costs to go to the doctor for fear that the latter will issue him with sick leave. In thirteen years of career, he has only been arrested only three times. Stopped, but not idle. Thus, his first reflex after a broken foot was to send his wife to recover files to advance the writing of his judgments. “Here, for example, çit has been a year since I had to have my teeth operated on but I have no time to deal with it.”
“We would like to do Dior, but we have to do Tati”
If all the magistrates do not say they are overdue, they are much at risk. questioning the meaning of their work. How do you make decisions that have a major impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people when you feel like you are working “ the chain”” “We toughen up, we have no choice,” said Dominique Marcilhacy. She presides over the hearing devoted to domestic violence at Nanterre. “I am systematically obliged to return a third of the files, often to the following year. When this is announced, there are people who cry. It’s terrible but I can’t help it.” Jean, he remembers the time when he was a family court judge and had only a few minutes to calculate the amount of child support. “We would like to do Dior, but we have to do Tati,” summarizes Dominique Marcilhacy.
Still, resignations are extremely rare: in 2021, according to the figures of the ministry, only six departures were recorded, including four at the end of a ten-year secondment. And if the figures for this year are not yet “consolidated”, the Chancellery ensures that the balance sheet will be substantially the same. “There was absolutely no evidence of of resignations in connection with this mobilization”, we insist. “Of course I’ve been there already. thought, but to do what? I'm not sure where my skills could be used,” cowardly Jean. The same sentiment from this southwestern parquet worker: “I sometimes wish I had a way out but I don’t see it”.