A few weeks ago, Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti unveiled a 60-measure plan to resolve some of the sector’s major problems.
Eight sectors have been developed by the Minister of Justice:
(1) Human and financial resources, with a budget increase of 45% between 2020 and 2027, and recruitment of thousands of judges and clerks
(2) Improvement of the value of judicial professions, with better salaries and working conditions
(3) Reorganisation of the judicial system, with the judge being the head of a multidisciplinary team, and improved access to justice via digital systems
(4) Reform of employment and social security justice
(5) Overhaul of criminal procedure, with a focus on victims, their protection, their access to compensation and their involvement in the criminal process, and a reduction of the duration of the proceedings.
(6) Prisons measures, with a focus on work during imprisonment and reinsertion
(7) Actions in judicial youth protection
(8) Innovative measures in civil proceedings, the highlight being on amicable settlement and alternative dispute resolution, through the introduction of:
While this is a well-known preliminary step in civil justice systems in England & Wales, Netherlands and Canada, this is new to France and constitutes a major innovation.
The civil procedure code will also be amended to enhance its readability, in particular with regards to the alternative dispute resolution modes : the principles of the amiability and its tools will be regrouped in the same chapter of the code.
Finally, private international law will be codified, being a tool for promoting French law and procedure internationally.
The overall project is ambitious and reflects that the Ministry has heard the numerous calls for reform from the judiciary. It remains to be seen if the measures put in place are sufficient to unclog the system and reduce the time to conclude a dispute – be it by settlement or judgment.