Like other public services called to remain open, Justice should run its course as normally as possible in the coming weeks.
In any case, this is the message broadcast since Wednesday evening by the Chancellery at the dawn of a new period of national confinement which must last at least until December 1 in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Until further notice and subject to additional restrictions, all French courts will therefore keep their doors open.
A measure that concerns both criminal, civil and administrative justice.
In Paris, for example, the trials of the January 2015 attacks supposed to last until mid-November, must continue normally, assures Stéphane Noël, the president of the judicial tribunal, pending the final adjustments which will be transmitted by the ministry. in the next few hours.
Same story in Reims where "it is not planned either to cancel hearings or to close the palace", explains Matthieu Bourrette, public prosecutor.
"The activity will continue as normal as possible for the moment," adds the chief prosecutor.
We have already had trouble catching up with the delay following the lawyers' strike and the first confinement.
We cannot afford to stop again.
"The magistrate, however, retains the possibility of restricting access to the courthouse," as was the case for a week, when cases of Covid were declared within the walls of the palace.
It was a question of bringing in only people summoned to a hearing, for an appointment, or who are looking for information… ”
A doubt for the trial of Joël Le Scouarnec
The same eventuality is envisaged in Nîmes.
"We could be brought to reduce the number of entries to the palace, and perhaps to reduce the wing on the civil hearings, by privileging the paper procedure, it is under study", details Eric Maurel, prosecutor, but However, the time has come for “maintaining activity”.
As for the assize trials, "the jurors are already equipped with masks and visors", reassures the magistrate.
A question that arises, however, acutely in Saintes, where we are preparing to host the trial of Joël Le Scouarnec, the pedophile surgeon who is to be tried in the first part of the case from November 30.
The hearing had already had to be interrupted and postponed last March, at the time of the first confinement.
"Arrangements are being made to ensure that distances are respected, including in the sitting room", however cramped, reassures Nicolas Septe, the prosecutor.
The gauge had already been extremely small in anticipation of the trial, where additional jurors will be drawn to compensate for a possible defection linked to the Covid.
In addition, the trial should be held in camera, due to the request of a victim, a minor at the time of the facts.
"The confinement will therefore not change anything for the organization of this hearing," said Nicolas Septe.