Editorial of the “World”. The indictment for “endangering the lives of others” of the previous Minister of Well being Agnès Buzyn by the investigating committee of the Court docket of Justice of the Republic (CJR), Friday, September 10, has aroused a variety of pleasure – not at all times for good causes. The judicial data opened in the summertime of 2020 following complaints filed by caregivers and households of sufferers pertains to the suspicions of the dearth of anticipation by the federal government of a world epidemic threat and of dangerous selections or non- selections as soon as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has occurred.
This primary spectacular indictment could possibly be adopted by others. Edouard Philippe, then Prime Minister, and Olivier Véran, the successor of Mme Buzyn, had been additionally on the forefront of duties at first of the well being disaster. This indictment was determined, allow us to bear in mind, on the idea of components that we would not have, by an investigating committee made up of three statutorily unbiased skilled magistrates. This is a vital procedural step, as a result of it displays the existence of great and concordant proof, however Mr.me Buzyn stays presumed harmless.
The talk is elsewhere. It doesn’t relate to what judges do, however to what we, residents, associations, unions, native elected officers or parliamentarians, anticipate from them. Prison justice is known as upon right here to rule, even via this distinctive jurisdiction that’s the CJR, on selections taken by a authorities within the face of an unprecedented disaster.
An admission of failure
On this case, it isn’t a query of investigating embezzlement or conflicts of curiosity within the conduct of public affairs. The query is whether or not, given the data obtainable throughout these essential weeks, the precise selections had been taken on the proper time and whether or not the reality, or extra precisely the state of information at a time T, wouldn’t have been taken. not been hidden from residents for the flawed causes. Briefly, to know if the folks answerable for public well being coverage have lived as much as their duties.
Resorting to prison legislation to punish the attainable incompetence of a selected minister is initially an admission of failure of democratic checks and balances. In fact, Parliament was rapidly seized. Commissions of inquiry, within the Nationwide Meeting and within the Senate, revealed the state of unpreparedness wherein the well being administration discovered itself. They clearly recognized the duties, however, being unable to demand sanctions, their job primarily consisted of creating suggestions for the longer term. Right here we’re touching the boundaries of the establishments of the Ve Republic.
Confronted with this flaw, the selection of complainants to resort to prison legal responsibility in an space that falls underneath political duty is comprehensible. However the treatment could appear worse than the ailment. Whereas disaster administration requires nice agility, the prison risk reinforces the tendency of governments and their administrations to guard themselves behind procedures, on the threat of squandering precious time.
Coming from Anglo-Saxon practices, the recourse to the choose to determine any non-public or public query is a progress in a State of legislation. However it shouldn’t result in asking the courts questions that don’t fall inside its mission. As for the destiny of the CJR, this wobbly jurisdiction, it’s a new demonstration that it ought to have been settled way back, like François Hollande in 2012 and Emmanuel Macron in 2017 had dedicated to it.