A welcome message from the Presidents
We are pleased to welcome you to the website of the High Council for the Judiciary.
As a constitutional body, the High Council for the Judiciary is responsible for assisting the President of the Republic in his role as guarantor of the independence of the judicial authority.
The Council's powers are varied. Through its appointment prerogatives, it contributes to the management of human resources in the judiciary. Through its disciplinary role, it aims to guarantee the exemplary conduct of judges and prosecutors. Finally, through its reflections and work, it is a forum for reflection on the functioning of the justice system, its ethics and the values of the rule of law that must guide its action.
Composed mainly of qualified personalities, who are neither judges nor prosecutors, the Council is rich in the diversity of its members who put their competences at the service of the judicial institution and ultimately, of the citizens.
This website is therefore yours. We invite you to browse through its various sections where you will discover a wealth of information on the constitutional prerogatives of the Council, but also on all the other aspects of its activity (international relations, missions in the courts of appeal, reflection work, etc.) as well as on its history.
Christophe Soulard & François Molins
How the Council works
By putting an end to the situation in which the President of the Republic presided over the CSM and in which the Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, was its Vice-President, Article 65 of the Constitution, in its version modified by the law of 25th July 2008, identified three divisions within the Council.
The division overseeing judges is presided by the President of the Court of Cassation, not only in respect of appointment but also discipline. Similarly, the division responsible for prosecutors is presided by the General Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation.
The 7th paragraph of Article 65 of the Constitution establishes a plenary which is presided by the President of the Court of Cassation. In its role as guarantor of the independence of the judiciary, this plenary committee has jurisdiction to consider requests emanating from the President of the Republic or the Minister of Justice regarding matters listed in Article 65 of the Constitution.
Furthermore, the reform concerns the number of members who are not judges or prosecutors and who participate in the relevant divisions for judges and prosecutors as follows: a member of the French Council of State, elected by the plenary of the Council of State; a lawyer, appointed by the President of the National Bar Association after a plenary of the Association gives its consent to this appointment; and six public figures appointed by the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate. Judges and prosecutors represent a minority in the divisions that oversee their appointment but there is a principle of parity when it comes to discipline.
Lastly, the law of 22nd July 2010 provides for budgetary autonomy for the CSM. This legislative evolution has allowed for greater independence.