A magistrate is in a strict sense, a person belonging to the legal body, following the occupation to return justice or to require in the name of the State.
But, in France, because of the duality of the orders of jurisdiction on the one hand, and of separation between the administrative jurisdictions of common right and the financial jurisdictions on the other hand, there exist several bodies of magistrates exerting in different jurisdictions, governed by statutes different, and recruited according to different methods.
In the legal order
The magistrates in France compose, with the listeners of justice, the legal body (see “Magistrat” for a broader meaning of the word).
Statute of the magistrates
Title VIII of the Constitution of October 4th, 1958, entitled “Of the legal authority” , points out the independence of the members of the legal body, whose president of the Republic is the guaranteeing one, with the assistance of the Superior council of the magistrature. The legal authority is the guardian of individual freedom.
In addition to prerogatives with regard to disciplinary matters, the Superior council of the magistrature exerts a power to control and of proposal for the nominations of the magistrates of the seat. Being the nomination of the magistrates of the parquet floor, the Superior council of the Magistrature formulates simple opinions.
A series of organic laws, gathered in an ordinance of December 22nd, 1958 relating to the statute of the magistrature, precise and supplements the statute of the magistrates of the seat and the parquet floor.
the legal body is composed of the magistrates of the seat and the parquet floor as well as listeners of justice, magistrates training pupils of the National school of the magistrature.
- Any magistrate has vocation to be named, during its career, with functions of the seat and parquet floor.
- the exercise of the functions of magistrate is incompatible with the exercise of all public office and any other community activity or paid.
- Any deliberation political is prohibited with the legal body. Any demonstration of hostility to the principle or the shape of the government of the Republic is prohibited to the magistrates, just as any demonstration of political nature incompatible with the reserve as their functions impose to them. Is also prohibited any joint action likely to stop or block the operation of the jurisdictions.
Specific principles for the seat
the magistrates of the seat are irremovable. Consequently, the magistrate of the seat cannot receive, without his assent, a new assignment, even in advance.
Specific principles for the parquet floor
the magistrates of the parquet floor do not profit from the guarantee of irremovability. Their independence is limited by the fact that they are placed under the direction and the control of their seniors in rank and under the authority of the Minister of Justice, Minister for justice. With the audience however, their word is free.
Except for a small minority of people integrating the magistrature by the way of the direct access, under conditions of age, professional seniority and competence validated by a special subcommittee, the whole of the French magistrates is resulting from the National school of the magistrature (ENM), established with Bordeaux. The admission with the ENM is done by the way of a contest accessible to the holders from a control. The pupils are named listeners of justice and, the probationer following the example of, perceive a remuneration.
Initial training includes/understands almost three years of schooling and makes alternate periods of teaching in Bordeaux and periods of training course in jurisdiction. These last make it possible to exert each great function of the trade of magistrate: sit, parquet floor, authority, instruction, children, application of the sorrows. According to their results with the final examination, the listeners of justice choose their first post of magistrate, on the list proposed by the Ministère of Justice. One period of specialization enables them to receive an additional training to prepare with the exercise of the first function.
The magistrates also have access, via the ENM, with continuing education throughout their career, in particular around the following axes:
- actualization and deepening of legal knowledge and the professional practices
- opening on the great questions of the contemporary company
- knowledge of the administrative, social and economic structures of France and the European Union (UE)
- opening about the legal modes and the legal institutions of the foreign countries
- dialog and exchange with the partners of the magistrates
- accompaniment of the modernization of the public service of Justice
Ranks and functions
The magistrature includes/understands two ranks and of out-hierarchy employment. These ranks determine the functions which can be occupied in the courses and courts. The passage of the second to the first rank is preceded by the inscription in a promotion table drawn up by an independent commission. It requires 7 years of professional exercise, therefore at least 5 years in the capacity as magistrate in a jurisdiction or the central administration of the ministry for Justice. The passage in out-hierarchy is carried out with the choice of the authority of nomination, the President of the Republic, with assent of the Superior council of the Magistrature for the magistrates of the seat.
Magistrates of the seat
See also: Magistrate of the seat
Magistrates of the parquet floor
Substitute or affected vice-prosecutor with
replacements in the spring of the court of appel
In 12 larger of the 181 TGI, that is to say, by order of importance: Paris, Bobigny, Lyon, Nanterre, Versailles, Lille, Marseilles, Creteil, Bordeaux, Évry, Pontoise and Toulouse
In 47 larger of the 181 TGI, that is to say, by order of importance: Paris, Bobigny, Lyon, Nanterre, Versailles, Lille, Marseilles, Creteil, Bordeaux, Évry, Pontoise, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nantes, Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier, Nice, Rouen, Grenoble, Toulon, Fatty, Rennes, Nancy, Béthune, Metz, Meaux, Perpignan, Nimes, Turn, Mulhouse, Caen, Dijon, Mans, Melun, Angers, Clermont-Ferrand, Draguignan, Valence, Saint-Denis-of-the-meeting, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Orleans, Évreux, Saint Etienne, Valencians, Amiens, Le Havre and Avignon
Called general substitute
The remuneration of the magistrates of the legal body includes/understands a basic salary, an allowance of function and various premiums and allowances subjected to conditions.
---- basic Salary :
Traiement on a magistrate depends on his rank and its level. A magistrate begins his career at the first level from the second rank. The second rank comprises five levels, being specified that the passage from one level to another is carried out with the seniority. On the other hand, the passage of the second to the first rank is carried out with the merit since the magistrate must be registered on a list of advance to reach it. The first rank comprises eight levels, the passage from one level to another is also carried out with the seniority, except for the eighth level.
At February 1st, 2007, the monthly treatment gross at the various levels of the second and first rank of the legal body was established as follows:
Second Rank: 1st level 2.049 euros 2nd level 2.249 euros 3rd level 2.517 euros 4th level 2.639 euros 5th level 2.807 euros
First Rank: 1st level 2.984 euros 2nd level 3.156 euros 3rd level 3.328 euros 4th level 3.514 euros 5th level 3.723 euros 6th level 3.995 euros 7th level 4.367 euros 8th level 4.797 euros
The seniority necessary to pass from one level to the other is indicated below:
Second Rank: 1st level 1 year 2nd level 1 year 3rd level 2 years 4th level 2 years 5th level passage to the first rank with the merit
First Rank: 1st level 1 year and 6 months 2nd level 1 year and 6 months 3rd level 1 year and 6 months 4th level 1 year and 6 months 5th level 2 years 6th level 3 years 7th minimum level 3 years then passage to the merit 8th level last level
---- Allowance of function :
All the magistrates of the legal body also perceive an allowance of function calculated expressed as a percentage of their treatment. This allowance varies from 34 to 39% according to the occupied station. It thus constitutes a big part of the remuneration of the magistrates. This allowance taxable and is subjected to the social contributions.
---- flexible Premium :
The magistrates also perceive a flexible individual premium allotted according to their merit which is equal on average to 9% of their treatment (with a maximum at 15%)
---- Local allowance :
Like all the civils servant, the magistrates whose administrative residence is located in certain territorial zones perceive a local allowance of 3% (area Ile de France essentially) or of 1% (certain big cities) calculated on the basis of their treatment.
With this remuneration can be added various premiums and allowances: precede Astreinte (for the magistrates of the Parquet floor, the examining magistrates and the judges of freedom and detention, for an amount of 736 euros per month to the maximum), premium for additional work, special premium of the magistrates delegated to the formation or directors of center of training course, precedes specific qualified examining magistrates as regards anti-terrorism (approximately 750 euros per month), premium for the stations little requested (Corsica), and finally new indicial allowance, that is to say approximately 445 euros per month for the presidents and prosecutors of the twelve larger courts of France
Responsibility for the magistrates
The judges were equipped with a statute of independence in order to allow them to rule without risk of interference of another authority as for the direction of their decision. On the other hand, justiciable dissatisfied with the returned decision can dispute it by appealing. The business is then re-examined in entirety by three judges. Lastly, if it is estimated that there was a bad application of the law, it is possible to make an appeal before the court of appeal. All the great democracies (the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany…) proceed in the same way. One compares sometimes the situation of a failing magistrate with that of a doctor who makes an error; but the supposed error of a magistrate has vocation to be repaired by this way of the call, which of course does not exist in medicine: one cannot make call of a bad blow of lancet… Lastly, it should be noted that if the direction of the decisions cannot give place to sanction, the judges can be sanctioned for the conditions under which they return them (slowness, delays, insufficiency of research, partial attitude): 70% of the sanctions imposed by the superior council of the magistrature are it besides for these reasons. It will be also noted that the judges belong to the rare government officials which are remunerated partly “by the merit”, with a flexible premium according in particular to the workload.
According to professionals of the legal world, the question of the introduction of a responsibility for the magistrates at a rate of the contents of their decisions would be likely to lead them to partly take into account their own interest in the direction of their decision. However, according to these professionals, it would be very dangerous for the justiciable ones that the direction of a legal decision can depend partly on the need for the judge “for covering itself”, like one says sometimes. A legal decision should rest only on the law, the evidence and the arguments brought by the parts. Thus, the deputy Andre Vallini and Elisabeth Guigou, qualified dangerous idea put forward by the Minister of Justice Pascal Clément to found a responsibility for the magistrates for " serious error and manifeste".
He results from an investigation carried out in 2004 by the deputy UMP Marc Fur, which questioned the whole of the ministries for the State on the number of sanctions imposed in each service, that the magistrates are, with the police officers, government officials the most sanctioned, proportionally with their number. Moreover, these sanctions are heavier than in the remainder of the public office: thus, one counts in proportion four times more dismissals and revocations in the magistrates that at the other government officials. Since 1990, nearly 120 sanctions were pronounced by the superior council of the magistrature. The disciplinary audiences of the Council higher of the magistrature are public. In addition, the magistrates are the only profession which presents on Internet the totality of the disciplinary proceedings with regard to them, as well as the marked sanctions. One finds them on Internet site of the superior council of the magistrature.
Statute of the administrative magistrates
The magistrates of the administrative order, if they concern the general status of the public office, lay out however guarantees of independence and irremovability. The Constitutional council, in a decision of July 22nd, 1980, devoted the existence and the independence of the administrative jurisdiction which appear among the basic principles recognized by the laws of the Republic.
Advisers of administrative court and administrative court of call
The Superior council of the administrative courts and the administrative courts of call has a general advisory role for the questions concerning the body: in particular, individual measurements interesting the career, the advance and the discipline of the magistrates. He is chaired by the vice-president of the Council of State and includes/understands 13 members including 5 elected representatives of the body of the administrative courts and of the administrative courts of call.
Statute of the magistrates of the Court of Auditors
The listeners of the Court of Auditors, approximately 180 people, have the irremovable statute of magistrate in the performance of their duties.
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