Monday morning, the Court of Justice of the Republic decided to bring him before it for illegal taking of interests. His lawyers immediately announced the filing of an appeal in cassation.
Appointed to everyone’s surprise in the summer of 2020, reappointed on the wire during the reshuffle last July, the ex-lawyer will now have to convince Emmanuel Macron that his legal troubles, unprecedented for a Keeper of the Seals, will not hinder his mission to “repair” an institution in chronic crisis.
“I have always said that I held my legitimacy from the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister and from them alone,” he said recently, anticipating his dismissal on trial.
The Elysée has so far maintained its confidence in him and seems to care about this divisive and eruptive minister who does not hesitate to attack right and left, the National Rally like La France insoumise, or to denounce the climate of “denouncement “that certain feminists would reign.
To his credit Place Vendôme, the former tenor of the bar, aged 61, can boast of having snatched three consecutive 8% increases in the justice budget, a large part of which will finance the construction of 15,000 prison places.
– “Repair the emergency” –
“I repaired the emergency”, he likes to repeat. Justice now goes “faster”, “works better” and has “closer to the French”, also supports the one who introduced the possibility of filming certain hearings to make it better known.
This supposed improvement is however contested by the opposition and part of the profession, which continues to point to the under-staffing of justice in France compared to its European neighbors.
At the end of 2021, in an unprecedented step, two thirds of the 9,000 French magistrates had also signed a forum describing their exhaustion and the loss of meaning of their mission.
The consultations of the Estates General of Justice, launched by the executive at the end of 2021, confirmed this observation by concluding that the institution was in “advanced dilapidation”, which Mr. Dupond-Moretti promised to tackle with a plan of actions scheduled for October.
A first gesture was made in mid-September with the surprise announcement of a monthly increase of 1,000 euros gross on average for magistrates of the judiciary.
For the time being, this gesture has not been enough to put an end to the latent conflict which continues to pit the minister against the judiciary, even if a timid thaw has begun with the Union Syndicale des Magistrats (USM, majority ).
His arrival Place Vendôme had been welcomed as “a declaration of war” by the USM, while the Syndicate of the judiciary wondered about the “signal” sent to the judges.
This conflict had ignited with the minister’s decision, taken very soon after his appointment, to order disciplinary investigations against four magistrates with whom he had had trouble leaving as a lawyer.
Ulcerated by this mixture of genres, the two unions had filed an unprecedented complaint against the minister, which led to his indictment in July 2021 and today to his dismissal for trial.
The disciplinary proceedings initiated by the minister have so far turned into a fiasco: two magistrates have been cleared and no sanction has been demanded against the other two.
Targeted by one of these procedures, the former financial prosecutor Eliane Houlette had attributed these lawsuits to the “tumult organized by a former lawyer familiar with media outbursts”.
Accustomed to TV shows from the time he attended the courtrooms, Me Dupond-Moretti distinguished himself by defending Patrick Balkany, Jérôme Cahuzac, Abdelkader Merah, the brother of the author of the attacks in Toulouse in 2012, and the baker from Outreau – the rape case became a legal scandal that made him known.
With his “big mouth” and his build, he had shaken the courts of assizes, earning the nickname “Acquittator”.
“The ogre of the North”, of “mixed blood” he says, was born in Maubeuge (North) to a metallurgist father who died when he was 4 years old and an Italian immigrant mother and housekeeper.
Father of two children, in a relationship with the Quebec singer Isabelle Boulay, this fan of Georges Brassens – an old vinyl throne in his office – was rather classified on the left before his entry into the government.
His first candidacy, under the Macronist banner for the June 2021 regionals, ended in a severe defeat.