The traditional “mercuriale”, ceremony marking the return of the courts and tribunals of the Principality took place on Wednesday. In the context following the departure of Judge Levrault, this solemn meeting allowed the magistrates to assert their independence and to provide a clear answer to the media invectives to which they are subject.
The solemn audience for the return of the courts of Monaco, which followed the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the Cathedral, took place yesterday at the Palace of Justice.
This highly anticipated “mercuriale” punctuates a period of transition for the Monegasque Justice. The Director of Judicial Services, Laurent Anselmi, left his post and was appointed an advisor to the Minister of External Relations and Cooperation. Judge Edouard Levrault – in charge of cases such as the investigation of the accusations of influence-peddling against the Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev – has not been renewed.
Following the decision of Prince Albert II, the current public prosecutor of the Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence Robert Gelli was chosen to replace Laurent Anselmi at the head of the judicial services of Monaco. Gelli was public prosecutor of the Republic of Nîmes between 2002 and 2012, and he then held the same position in Nanterre between 2012 and 2014. His appointment will be effective from 21 October.
However, if the faces of the judiciary change, their mission remains. In the presence of Prince Albert II, Magistrate Brigitte Grinda-Gambarini made firm remarks about the independence of the Judiciary on the Rock. And insisted that the conscience of the judges can not be influenced by “certain media stigmatization”. A flecked phrase that speaks well of the tension between magistrates and the French press (including Le Monde and the JDD).
Faith in Smart Justice?
If the subject of change of position of Judge Levrault (soon to be appointed vice-president of the TGI Nice) and the news on the promotion of Laurent Anselmi have created controversy, this day was not only about judicial news. The future of the Monegasque courts and the women and men who work there was also at the heart of the discussions. In spite of under-staffed jurisdictions and restructurings, the courts and tribunals of the Principality, therefore, want to move in the right direction.
On the side of the judiciary, we call for Smart Justice, this digitalization of procedures that should greatly facilitate the task of professionals in the coming years, without the machine is a substitute for the man in matters of judgment. Like the ambition of “Smart City”, this approach should help the Monegasque justice to get out of the rut and simply fulfill its role in the smooth running of the city.
*Article originally published in the French edition of the Monaco Tribune.