Editorial. Édouard Philippe caught up by the highly contested Court of Justice of the Republic

He cut Laurent Fabius in the contaminated blood affair and Édouard Balladur for the hidden financing of his campaign. But Édouard Philippe will not be the third Prime Minister in history to be indicted by the Court of Justice of the Republic. The institution created in 1993 tries members of the government for tortious or criminal acts committed in the exercise of their functions. Made up of 12 parliamentarians and 3 magistrates, it has already pronounced judgments against 10 ministers and secretaries of state, in almost 30 years of existence. Following complaints filed by many citizens and caregivers, it has been investigating since July 2020 the government’s management of the Covid-19 crisis which has killed more than 156,000 people in France. The complaints relate to the lack of anticipation, errors and insufficiencies of certain decisions. Édouard Philippe was to be heard on October 24 on the offenses of “endangering the lives of others” and “voluntary abstention from fighting a disaster”. He eventually moved up his audition. If he therefore escapes the indictment, he is placed on the other hand under the status of “assisted witness”. He is not the only member of his governments to be worried. The former Minister of Health, Agnès Buzin, who declared the enlargement of the mask “useless” in the midst of the surge of the virus, has been indicted. His successor, Olivier Véran, who translated his apologies in a recent book, is also in the sights. This recourse to judges to decide a public file is a very Anglo-Saxon practice. In France, however, it does not remove doubts about the CJR, criticized for its partiality, which Hollande and Macron had pledged to knock out. This exceptional jurisdiction, before which Eric Dupond-Moretti is also referred for “illegal taking of interests”, is all the more wobbly as it is slow, considered too complacent when it is not suspected of exploiting the right to pronounce criminal responsibilities which are not transposed from its mission but in reality border on politics.

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