“Why should we change our case law? (…)The whole of Europe praises our chefs, our tailors, our wigmakers; therefore our laws are fine.” Voltaire, Dictionary of philosophy, paper “Torture”.
“You are on a mission!” shouted Colona at Didier Wacogne, President of the circuit court. This accusation is serious, and could appear extravagant through the eyes of a middle class French - or Corsican - citizen who has so often heard of the independence of judges as one sacrosanct principles of the French Republic. To shake his certitudes, we could remind him of certain painful episodes of the French judiciary history, like the creation of Vichy “special sections”. And yes, at that time too, a formal legality had been set up to cover injustice… Thus did not prevent lawyers who collaborated to bring disgrace upon themselves.
But let’s rather see through what judiciary mechanism such a “mission” could be given, and by whom.
In fact, behind the visible opacity of the appointment proceedings, things are relatively simple: the president of the circuit court and his assistants are nominated by the first president of the Court of appeals (articles 245 and 250 Penal Proceedings Code), who is in turn designated by the President of the Republic’s decree (Order of November 28th, 1958, article 2)! CQFD.