Maître Mô: a French lawyer's moving account of day-to-day misery in court


French lawyer Jean-Yves Moyart attracted tens of thousands of regular readers to a blog he ran, beginning in 2008, in which he detailed his experiences of the everyday functioning and failings of the justice system in France, the often severe treatment meted out to the socially modest, and the difficulties of his job. The runaway success of his blog led to the publication of extracts in a book released in 2011. Now, following his death from cancer earlier this year, a new selection of his writings appear in a book published this month, reviewed here by Mediapart’s legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan.  

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

There was the case of a 20-year-old homeless woman, brought before the court for stealing from a shop a pair of socks priced 9.5 euros, and who didn’t understand a thing about the legal procedure she was caught up in. The sitting magistrates had no hesitation in handing her a prison sentence, on the basis that it was a repeat offence – she had a previous conviction for stealing socks.