Mr. Soulard, 64, succeeds Chantal Arens, who was the second woman to have held this position and who retired at the end of June.

Recognized as a great jurist, Christophe Soulard had been president of the criminal chamber of the Court of Cassation since 2017.

He was installed at the head of this supreme court in the presence of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, Keeper of the Seals Eric Dupond-Moretti and numerous political and judicial figures, as well as academics.

In his speech, Christophe Soulard highlighted the period of “increased distrust” of institutions and the “double” crisis of confidence in justice.

“It manifests itself first among litigants who accuse it of being slow, opaque and unpredictable. But mistrust is also expressed among politicians, some of whom deplore a judicialization of public life, even oppose democracy to the law”, underlined the high magistrate.

“As far as justice is concerned, we are not far from the anathema of the government of judges”, declared the first president.

“And yet, the former president of the criminal division that I am, is well placed to know that in reality the judge is more often criticized for not having freed himself from the terms of the law than for having left his role. We would like him to ignore the principles that the legislator has laid down when the specific consequences of these principles are difficult to assume,” he continued.

Ten days after the presentation of the report of the Estates General of Justice to Emmanuel Macron, and after a large movement of magistrates crying out their discomfort at work, the first judge of France promised the government that he “(would attach) to tirelessly recall the specificity of the function of magistrate and the need for independence and autonomy which results from it”.

Like his predecessor, Christophe Soulard pointed to the “essential issue” of communication and expressed his desire for greater openness of the high court.

Faced with “often excessive, generally simplistic and sometimes totally unfounded” criticism from public opinion, judges “must always better show what they are doing and make it appear that the reality they are dealing with is a complex reality” , he called.

Christophe Soulard began his career in 1985 as a civil judge in Metz. He has to his credit nine years of experience within the European institutions and twenty years at the Court of Cassation.