[email protected] 0800-1234567

Law Advice & Information

Model Day: Criminal Permanence Before the 17th Correctional Chamber

When one is a lawyer at the Seine-Saint-Denis Bar, sometimes one is designated to be a criminal duty.

What does this mean concretely?

9 am: the day begins – the whole team (the coordinating lawyer and several other confreres) is present.

The coordinator is appointed for a certain period in order to manage and organize the permanences (he distributes the day’s files to the other lawyers of the team and manages any difficulties).

Thus, such Lawyer will deal with cases relating to minors, such other cases before the Examining Magistrate and, if necessary, the Judge of Freedoms and Detention etc.

In the same way, some confreres will be in charge of dealing with the immediate appearance files (that is to say those concerning the persons who appear before the Judge immediately after their custody ).

In Bobigny, it is the 17th Chamber which judges these files.

The duty counsel – I should say the lawyers, because given the volume of cases handled every day by the 17th Chamber, the coordinator will generally appoint at least 2 colleagues – will be entrusted from the morning (once the coordinator will have recovered) a certain number of files, whose quantity can vary from 4-5 to ten sometimes.

Between 10 and 11 am: it is up to the lawyer to read conscientiously each file (more or less thick depending on the offense or offenses selected, the number of defendants etc.), to take notes, to look for any nullities procedure (and if they exist to draw conclusions to that effect).

Between 12 and 13 hours: once the Lawyer has read all the files entrusted to him (and as you can see, he has very little time to do so), he will have to go to “filing” of the Tribunal – the location of the defendants who are awaiting trial in the 17th Chamber.

He will be able to see the defendants one after the other to discuss each file, inform them of the existence of possible nullities of procedure which he intends to raise before the Tribunal and organize their defense (very often, the family of the the accused is present at the hearing, which will allow the duty counsel to obtain a number of documents that may be useful to his defense).

How do I know if I need a lawyer and if Some figures on the legal profession

Here is an old case law of the Correctional Court of Boué of 1964, which is self-explanatory.

It has been circulating on the Internet several times in recent years. Apart from its anecdotal character, it allows to put into perspective what has been said about Chadian justice, about the affair of the Ark of Zoe and especially by eminent colleagues (Gilbert, if you read me! ).

April 22, 1964.

The Tribunal,
…….. …

Whereas Biyeke Etienne was summoned to appear before the Tribunal correctionnel de ces, for the prevention of having, in Bisso-Binlam, district of Boué, on September 13, 1963, in any case for less than 3 years, by imprudence, clumsiness, negligence, inattention or non-observance of the regulations, involuntarily caused homicide on the person of Mr. Joseph Akoué;

Whereas it follows from the debates and the file on Biyeke Etienne, on September 13, 1963, went to the hunt in the afternoon; At four o’clock he heard the cries of the monkeys, and posted himself between the great forest and the old plantations from which these cries came, hoping that the monkeys would go from old plantations to the forest. that, realizing that they were moving away from him, Biyeke decided to follow them when, under the foliage, he saw a chimpanzee come to him, as he approached more and more of him shouting, Biyeke saw himself obliged to charge him at the head of a shot; that the chimpanzee fell and made a man cry; that he straightened up as a man and was able to do more than 1,000 meters in the forest while running, when Eloumé Elizabeth, who met him, took him by the hand, that the victim sank and died without saying anything; When called for help, the villagers came and recognized and transported Akoué Joseph’s body to the village;

Whereas at the hearing, the accused maintained that he saw perfectly clearly when he had fired the shot and that he had correctly identified his victim with a chimpanzee, that he did not hunt for the first time, having already captured four since he hunted;

Whereas manslaughter is punishable only if it is a man who has been killed by clumsiness, recklessness or negligence; that in this case Biyeke targeted in broad daylight and fired on a chimpanzee and not on a man; that if the chimpanzee became a man after the shot, Biyeke can no longer be detained in the prevention of manslaughter;

Whereas it is common knowledge in Gabon that men change either in panther, gorilla, elephant, etc., to accomplish exploits, eliminate enemies or attract heavy responsibilities, defend their plantations and ravaging those of neighbors and friends; that it is facts which are unknown to Western law and which the Gabonese judge must take into account, that it is indeed inconceivable to the European spirit that a man can travel more than 400 km in 27 hours on foot, whereas a Bakoto of Makokou and Boue fulfilled it;

Whereas he is not as common as an individual who has been loaded with lead in his head, and after having fallen, gets up and still manages to run more than 1,000 meters in the forest;

Whereas it must still be known that the transformations of men into ferocious animals are still in order not to frighten the game, to seize it, more easily;

Whereas Akoué Joseph, who went hunting without weapons, did not need it since he could take game other than with a weapon;

Whereas if it is necessary to punish the manslaughter of hunting, it is nevertheless necessary to consider the cases and to take action against these magic and witch practices that populate Gabon, especially as regards operations in forest, and which delay enormously the evolution of our people;

Security Retention Bill: Minority Report before the time

In 2002, Steven Spielberg’s film, Minority Report  (see here ) , was released on our movie screens. It was taken from the new eponym of Philip K. Dick , a famous science-fiction writer, whose main theme is the manipulation of reality.

As the Wikipedia page on the film (and the book) points out, the main theme of the work is “security ideology through the classic philosophical question of free will versus determinism”.

This is the whole purpose of the Security Detention Bill, which provides for the confinement of persons presumed to be dangerous, even though they have not (yet) committed any wrongdoing.

This bill is a serious challenge to all the principles of criminal responsibility.

Several organizations (unions, associations) have called for signature against this project (see their website here ).

The Constitutional Council has just partially censored it, particularly on its “retroactivity” aspect. It should be remembered that the project is attempting to bring into force retroactively custodial measures.

However, the Penal Code states, in its article 112-1, that “only the facts constituting an offense on the date on which they have been committed shall be punishable.” Only the sentences which are legally applicable on the same date may be pronounced. the new provisions apply to offenses committed before their entry into force and which have not given rise to a sentence which has become res judicata when they are less severe than the old provisions. ”

Without making an exhaustive list of the most interesting interventions available on the Internet, you can usefully read on the question what my colleague Eolas says on his blog here  and there or the former Minister of Justice, Robert Badinter, on the site of newspaper, The World .

Most disturbing is the clear desire to circumvent the decision of the Constitutional Council by resorting to the opinion of the President of the Court of Cassation on the question of the immediate applicability of the future text to “presumed dangerous”.