Latest World News

Judge Marc Sommerer, new president of the “repentant” commission


Is it enough to change the person at the head of an institution to get it out of an impasse? This is the question posed by certain actors in the fight against organized crime since the appointment, Thursday, March 16, of Judge Marc Sommerer at the head of the National Commission for Protection and Reintegration (CNPR), known as the “repentants”. He takes, in fact, for three years, renewable once, the direction of an organization in “a state of existential crisis”according to the observation made by his predecessor, Bruno Sturlèse, general counsel at the Court of Cassation, in a report submitted on February 6 to the ministers of justice and the interior.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Organized crime: the commission for the protection of “repentants” in a state of “existential crisis”, according to its outgoing president

Marc Sommerer is no novice. He served for a long time, in Paris, within the specialized interregional jurisdiction (Jirs) in the fight against organized crime before becoming dean of the investigating judges of the Parisian financial center. Work in court allowed him to get to know how police officers work and to learn how to manage an often complex relationship between investigators and judges. A police culture that will be very useful to him within a commission that operates under a double, non-hierarchical supervision of the Ministry of Justice and the Interior, which has led to tensions having the effect of neutralizing its action.

The “repentant” commission was born from the Perben 2 law, passed in 2004, having had to wait until 2014 before coming into force, for lack of decree and funding. On a daily basis, this system is managed by the police officers of the interministerial technical assistance service (SIAT). The president is a single man with no means of his own, not even a secretarial service, provided by SIAT police officers, or contradictory information on the files for which he is responsible. According to the report of his predecessor, “the strong dependence on SIAT, the only assessment and management service, should certainly be questioned”.

An unsuitable legal framework

Mr. Sommerer will also have to deal with other pitfalls. The device was, in theory, to rebalance the legal game between sophisticated criminal phenomena and a State whose rules of common law were unsuitable. The system provides for a reduced sentence at the end of the trial phase. In fact, only about fifty people are protected today, a figure that includes relatives. The number of repentants “has always remained at a very modest level, and since the last year it has even begun a worrying decline”, regretted Mr. Sturlèse in his report. While this system is very popular in Italy or the United States.

You have 40.35% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.