Justice balance

The five justice-system projects

In compliance with the commitments made in the President of the Republic’s campaign, the Government is making every effort to restore public confidence in the justice system. To that end, it has just launched five projects that will lead to far-reaching improvements in the sector.
 
WHAT DOES THIS INVOLVE?
The Government wanted to adopt a collaborative method to ensure successful reform of the justice system, with sector professionals communicating their experiences and initiatives to the Ministries concerned. The conclusions of consultation work carried out will be submitted on 15 January 2018 and will bear on five projects:

Digital transformation

  • Objective: facilitating litigants’ online procedures.
  • Means: setup of a digital transformation plan based on the justice.fr portal.

Improvement and simplification of criminal procedure

  • Objective: alleviating red tape in order to increase criminal procedure efficiency to the benefit of defendants, judges and investigators.
  • Means: consultation with sector professionals in courts of appeal, with a view to generating proposals for simplification and improvement of criminal procedure.

Improvement and simplification of civil procedure

  • Objective: simplifying civil proceedings in lower courts (digitisation, simplification of rules of referral, development of conciliation and mediation, etc.).
  • Means: setup of a workgroup made up of judges, academics and lawyers.

Adaptation of judicial organisation

  • Objective: keeping everyday litigation proceedings close to the litigants themselves and setting up multidisciplinary teams around judges.
  • Means: mission entrusted to Dominique Raimbourg and Philippe Houillon, former Chairs of the National Assembly’s Law Committee.

The sense and effectiveness of punishments

  • Objective: improving the sense and effectiveness of punishments.
  • Means: plan for construction of 15,000 new prison places in order to ensure that inmates are kept in conditions of greater security and dignity.
 
WHY?
The present state of courts and prisons does not meet citizens’ expectations. The Government wants to reform the justice system in order to make judges’ decisions more effective, give greater sense to their missions, and restore the French people’s confidence in the justice system.

The justice system is one of this Presidency’s major priorities, a focus expressed by a 3.9% rise in the Ministry of Justice’s budget in 2018 compared with 2017 – an effort that will be sustained over time, but will not be enough in itself to restore our justice system.

Planned for the 1st half of 2018, the 2018-2022 programming act for the justice system should enable structural reforms to be carried out. To ensure that its ideas are given successful concrete expression, the Government will draw on the fruit of consultations carried out with sector professionals.
 
ACTION TAKEN
1st half 2018: presentation of the 2018-2022 programming bill for the justice system and bills on criminal and civil procedure simplification

15 January 2018: submission of conclusions on the various projects

5 and 6 October 2017: launch of the justice-system projects