Coronavirus: The Ministry of Justice Announces the Closing of the Courts on Monday

General News
Faced with the acceleration of the coronavirus on French soil, the Ministry of Justice announced the closure of the courts of France this Monday, March 16, 2020

A decision made “faced with the accelerating spread of the virus and the imperative to perform a number of essential functions,” said the ministry.

After nurseries, schools and universities, it is the courts’ turn to suffer the consequences of the coronavirus

In an email addressed to its agents, the Minister of Justice announced on Sunday, 15th March 2020 the closure of the courts of France as of this Monday morning, “faced with the accelerating spread of the virus and the imperative need to ” perform a number of essential functions. 

A possible exception

The only possible exception: the “handling of essential disputes”.

In other words, explains Nicole Belloubet, the Minister of Justice, “the correctional hearings for the measures of provisional detention and judicial control”, the “immediate appearances”, “the presentations before the investigating judge and the judge of liberties and of detention ”, as well as“ the hearings of the judge for the enforcement of sentences ”, those of the“ juvenile court and the juvenile judge ”, the hearings for“ emergency management ”, or even“ the offices of the prosecution ”

As of Monday morning, business continuity plans must be implemented to “reduce the activity of services while ensuring the treatment of emergencies,” said Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre, spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, on his Twitter account.

Possible postponement of assize trials

The Keeper of the Seals also calls for postponing the assize trials “as far as possible” and requires measures “to avoid the circulation of the virus in detention”. For example, by limiting judicial extractions “to the bare minimum,” she explains.

In addition, “trials can be postponed”, but “within the limits of a reasonable time and within the time limits for pre-trial detention”.

The concerned litigants and the bar will be informed “by posting, website or telephone contact”, continues Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre.

Measures in prisons

While the first cases of contamination with the coronavirus have just been observed in Fresne prison, in Val-de-Marne, measures will also be applied to the prison.

Thus, a significant reduction in “internal movements” is to be expected, such as for example the suspension of activities in confined spaces, such as education or sport. Outdoor walks and sports activities (or in non-confined areas) are however maintained “with the necessary facilities”.

Concerning visiting rooms, the Minister announces the implementation of “restrictive” measures and the closure of family reception centres “until further notice when the configuration of the premises requires it.

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