Each year, magistrates, court clerks, barristers, notaries, bailiffs and administrators attend a formal sitting, which reviews the previous judicial year and officially announces the beginning of the next.
The 2022-2023 Autumn session’s formal sitting of the Courts was held on Monday October 3. In keeping with tradition, the entire Monegasque judicial community first attended Holy Spirit Mass in Monaco Cathedral before moving on to the formal sitting at the Palais de Justice (Law Courts).
The sitting was chaired by Françoise Carracha, Advisor to the Court of Appeal, acting as First President of the Court of Appeal. She first reviewed the different events of note from the past judicial year, such as the retirement of Brigitte Grinda-Gambarini, who had presided over this formal sitting for ten years, and the appointment of Sylvie Petit-Leclair to the post of Secretary of State for Justice, Director of Judicial Services and President of the State Council.
Françoise Carracha also mentioned the modernisation of indictment wording concerning sexual and sexist attacks, thanks to law n° 1517 voted on 23 December 2021. The National Council passed the bill which “particularly caught the judiciary’s attention” , and which “reflects the legislator’s determination to provide the Principality with a criminal law that better covers certain forms of behaviour constituting violence of a sexual nature”, i.e. exhibitionism, harassment, blackmail and similar offences.
A positive year 2021-2022
Laurent Le Mesle, Vice-President of the High Court, also spoke about the challenges and prospects for criminal procedure, “an essential subject in a world where relations between people are tense, in everyday life as well as in the media or on social networks, as demonstrated by both news stories and political debate”, he stressed in his speech, which was divided into three illustrations of what is at stake in criminal procedure: reinforcing adversarial debate, naming things precisely and ensuring a procedural balance.
Finally, Julien Pronier, First Deputy Public Prosecutor, acting as Public Prosecutor, also spoke, with some humour, about the various departures and arrivals in the Monegasque judicial system, referring to a “mercato which is not yet closed. There is no doubt that our team will eventually be strengthened by a public prosecutor and a deputy public prosecutor who will certainly appreciate the quality and commitment of all the members of the team.”
Julien Pronier also gave Monaco Info an assessment of the past year: “it is a positive assessment, particularly in terms of throughput. Many decisions were handed down, both on first hearing and on appeal, as well as at the High Court level. The examining magistrates have worked very hard this year, as has the public prosecutor’s office.”
A number of public figures were present for the sitting, including the Minister of State, Pierre Dartout, the Sovereign Prince’s Head of Cabinet, Laurent Anselmi, the Vice-President of the National Council, Brigitte Boccone-Pagès, Government Ministers, as well as Michel Boeri, President of the Crown Council.