Julien Bayou, substitute judge at the CJR, is “convinced” that this Court of Justice of the Republic must be “suppressed”

The Minister of Justice was acquitted on Wednesday by the Court of Justice of the Republic, at the end of his trial for “illegal taking of interests”. The deputy judge at the CJR, Julien Bayou, believes that “public opinion” does not understand that “politicians judge policies”.


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Julien Bayou, environmentalist deputy and substitute judge at the Court of Justice of the Republic, guest of 8.30 franceinfo Thursday November 30, 2023. (FRANCEINFO)

“I come away with the conviction that we must completely review and eliminate this Court of Justice of the Republic”, explains Thursday November 30 on franceinfo Julien Bayou, environmentalist deputy and substitute judge at the CJR. He specifies that he “speak for the future” and calls for “respect” the decision of the Court of Justice of the Republic which acquitted Eric Dupond-Moretti on Wednesday November 29. The Minister of Justice was prosecuted for “illegal taking of interests”.

“Justice was served. He was presumed innocent and he is innocent.”says Julien Bayou. “I am convinced that all of the tenured judges, who participated in the deliberations, judged in conscience”he adds.

If Julien Bayou “denied” to comment a little more on the acquittal of Éric Dupond-Moretti, he considers, on the other hand, that the CJR “poses a problem due to its composition”. He makes this observation based in particular on his personal experience. Deputy judge during the trial of the Minister of Justice, he confides that it was “very difficult”. The Paris MP explains: “Political and parliamentary all year round, having voted on motions of censure against this government and therefore against the Minister of Justice, I found myself a judge, in robes at the hearing”. He says that during the trial, one day without a hearing, he met Eric Dupond-Moretti during a commemoration of the 2015 attacks in Paris. “I think that sums up the intrinsic problem” to the CJR.

The CJR is made up of “80% of deputies and senators like me, who act as judges for two or three weeks and it doesn’t work”

Julien Bayou, substitute judge at the CJR

at franceinfo

The deputy does not want to call into question the impartiality and probity of the judges of the Court of Justice of the Republic. It raises several problems: “Parliamentary judges or amateur judges, compared to professionals, we are not trained in criminal matters”. But above all, he believes that “opinion” does not understand that “politicians judge policies”. Eric Dupond-Moretti “had been condemned, there would have been people saying that the opposition obtained in court what it does not obtain at the ballot box”. Conversely, La France insoumise, for example, believes that an agreement was reached between the presidential majority and the Republicans to release the Minister of Justice. “It’s this adage: ‘depending on whether you are powerful or miserable, the court judgments will make you white or black’. It’s deleterious”.

“In law, there is an important principle: independence and the appearance of independence. And therefore we must preserve this appearance of independence”, he argues. Julien Bayou “thinks public opinion doubts it” and this is why he considers that the decisions of the CJR “risk being tainted by illegitimacy”.

Thus, on Thursday, November 30, he tabled, with MP Jérémie Iordanoff, a proposed constitutional revision law to abolish the Court of Justice of the Republic. “We must reestablish this deep feeling and this need in the country for the equality of the French before the law”, justifies Julien Bayou on franceinfo. The environmentalist deputy recalls that Emmanuel Macron “promised” to abolish the CJR. “We have therefore tabled this bill which takes up the system proposed by Edouard Philippe”he specifies. “I think there can be a majority in the Assembly and perhaps in the Senate to vote to abolish the Court of Justice of the Republic.”

Julien Bayou wants ministers to be judged like all citizens, “by professional and independent magistrates”. However, he concedes that this risks triggering multiple procedures over the actions of ministers. They “cannot be subject to legal guerrilla warfare or SLAPP procedures”. The elected official therefore proposes to set up “a filter of requests by magistrates of the Court of Cassation, the Council of State, the Court of Auditors”. If the request is validated, “there is then a classic judgment in the name of the French people by professional magistrates”he argues.

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