President François HollandePhoto: flickr.com/jmayrault

President François Hollande
Photo: flickr.com/jmayrault

Though he has only been in office less than a year, French President François Hollande is determined to fulfill his agenda – and his most recent development is judiciary reform.

Hollande confirmed on January 18 that there would be a reform of the Conseil supérieur de la magistrature (CSM) by the French Parliament convened in Congress. According to Hollande, the reform would be on its way “before summer.” The goal of the reform is to push the CSM toward independence.

During a speech at the Palais de Justice in Paris, Hollande announced that the reform of the French judiciary system would be included in the constitutional bill to be presented this spring before Parliament.

The bill touts three major changes for the CSM. The first proposal is to include more judges rather than members outside of the judiciary realm, such as lawyers and professors of law. This measure places the French judiciary system closer to that of its neighboring European countries. The second proposal is to select those outside of the judiciary based on evaluations from an independent panel, rather than on political maneuvering. Finally, new laws will allow committees of the Senate and General Assembly to approve appointment by a majority of three-fifths.

Unity and justice are the main foci of the reform effort, according to Hollande. He stressed that “there is no justice without judicial independence,” and that he felt it was his duty as the leader of France to preserve this ideal. He cited the French Constitution as his guide, assuring the public that he would fulfill its goals during his presidency.

Hollande has taken no chances with the reform. In an effort to create transparency, the proposed measures will also require the CSM to obtain his approval before appointing prosecutors.

“The French can thus be assured that the judges are not appointed by favor,” he said.