Un manuel de civisme. À propos du livre d'Eva Joly "Notre affaire à tous"

This article is published in Futuribles journal no.259, décembre 2000

The career of the prosecuting magistrate Eva Joly is both unusual and fascinating. Jean-Jacques Salomon gives a brief sketch that is full of admiration, so enthralled is he by her book Notre affaire à tous [The concern of us all]. Here is an exceptional and outstanding woman, he tells us, and not because she has emerged from the “grandes écoles”, but rather from a wide range of enlightening experiences in the twists and turns of the French judicial system. She discusses the nature of corruption in France, the patterns of French legal behaviour and the way they are reported by the media (that is, when they are not hidden) and the resulting threats to democracy. Eva Joly describes, first, the workings of the legal system on a daily basis: a workload that has doubled or tripled in 30 years, the totally inadequate resources, the idiotic practices, such as having to abandon cases, inquiries and sentencing because of delays. She was later promoted to be a member of the Interministerial Committee on Industrial Restructuring (CIRI), the Republic’s “queen of institutions”, in the privileged world of the Financial Inspectorate. Finally, she became a prosecuting magistrate specializing in financial matters, and at this point her description becomes even more disturbing. The picture she paints is of prosecuting magistrates lacking resources, poorly trained, overworked, badly organized, trying to cope with the “lawless world of finance, where the absence of rules is terrifying and where the deals made between the state and public enterprises enrich whole networks, when they do not swell the secret bank accounts of the decision-makers themselves”. Her description darkens further here, and is deeply troubling when it relates not to petty fraudsters but to those with power -corruption in the world of business and politics. Yet Eva Joly is not discouraged, rather the contrary, and in the end she offers us a remarkable lesson in citizenship.
#Citoyenneté #Pouvoir judiciaire