Keyword: French justice system

French judges in the dock over priest killer's release

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Adel Kermiche, one of two men who attacked a church in Normandy on Tuesday morning and committed the horrific murder of an 86-year-old Catholic priest in the name of the Islamic State group, was at the time on conditional release from preventive detention. The revelation that he was wearing an electronic tag with permission to leave his home near to the church on weekday mornings has caused a storm of controversy in France, and fierce criticism of the judges who decided his release from prison in March, despite the objections of the public prosecutor's office. Mathilde Goanec hears from fellow magistrates of what they describe as a fine line in assessing the true danger individuals like Kermiche represent.

The reasons behind the French magistrates' revolt

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French magistrates took strike action and mounted street demonstrations earlier this month in protest at a singeing attack by President Nicolas Sarkozy on the judiciary's alleged responsibility in a high profile murder case. Angry over what they argue are woefully inadequate resources, and exasperated at repeated criticism leveled against them by the French government, many members of the judiciary have this week launched a ‘work-to-rule' movement set to strangle the proper functioning of French courts. Here, Michel Deléan and Louise Fessard question a wide cross-section of the profession to find out just what their daily grievances are.