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The embarrassing intervention of Dupond-Moretti in the appointment of judges

The Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti, leaves the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, at the Elysee Palace, March 16, 2022.

Political or personal considerations have disrupted the complex but classic game of judicial appointments. According to several sources, Eric Dupond-Moretti, Minister of Justice, intervened to block the appointment of at least three judges of the seat, for reasons unrelated to their skills.

On February 18, the department’s judicial services directorate released the annual grand “transparency.” This is the list of geographical and functional changes that will occur at the start of the school year in September. Nearly a thousand magistrates are, this time, concerned. There are senior judges such as Alain Vogelweith, former member of the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM), current president of the chamber at the Lyon Court of Appeal, who will join that of Aix-en-Provence, or Hélène Cazaux-Charles, former legal adviser to Manuel Valls at Matignon, appointed general counsel at the Court of Cassation, but also less capped magistrates obtaining a position as a children’s judge in Fort-de-France or that of protection litigation judge at Le Mans.

As soon as this list is published, everyone rushes there to find their name. It is common to apply for several positions at the same time without knowing their chances, while ten or twenty people may be competing for the same position.

Strategic position

The surprise came from the positions that remained unfilled, particularly in Ile-de-France. So much so that Jean-Michel Hayat, first president of the Paris Court of Appeal, sent an e-mail on the evening of February 18 to the presidents of the nine judicial courts that he heads (Paris, Bobigny, Créteil, Evry, etc.) to reassure them. “Reading the transparency of this day is likely to cause real perplexity, given the movements that may have been announced, expected or which appeared foreseeable”writes Mr. Hayat in this missive that The world was able to consult. Before adding: “I believe it is useful to specify to you, on the basis of the details provided this evening by the Director of Judicial Services, that additional transparency should be disseminated within a fortnight. » But nothing came.

Among this thousand names, a hole stands out: that of first vice-president in charge of the investigation at the Paris court. Marc Sommerer, dean of the examining magistrates of the financial pole, reached by the limit of ten years on such a function, will leave in the summer. A call for applications was launched by the Ministry of Justice on November 29, 2021 for this exposed and technical position.

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