Toulouse: “The attack on the lawyer’s secrecy constitutes an attack on democracy”

the essential
Pierre Dunac, president of the Toulouse bar association and his vice-president Frédéric Langlois are not angry against the bill which weakens the secrecy of exchanges between the lawyer and his client. They are calling for a “citizen” demonstration on Tuesday.

Initially, the bill of “confidence in justice” carried by the government was to “reinforce” the secrecy between the lawyer and his client. MP LRem Naïma Moutchou, also a lawyer, even “defended before the National Assembly an amendment to reinforce secrecy and that full protection of the lawyer’s professional secrecy be included in the code of criminal procedure, in matters of defense and in the field of advice”, indicates the President of the Bar Pierre Dunac. This amendment was passed.
“In front of the Senate, the lobbying of the national financial prosecutor’s office and of Bercy was very active. The senators not only prohibited secrecy in the context of the fight against tax offenses and money laundering (and terrorism) but they also made a second exception which concerns the case, which is as unverifiable as it is improbable, where the lawyer would have been instrumentalized by maneuvers or actions and would thus have allowed, unintentionally, the commission, prosecution or concealment of an offence! The door open to all excesses. Tomorrow we will come to our offices to search under any pretext and on the sole assertion of the investigators of an alleged instrumentalization ignored by everyone except themselves. Only police states operate on this model”, denounce Mes Dunac and Langlois. The chairman and his vice-chairman are all the more angry that before the Senate these “exceptions” were defended by Philippe Bonnecarère, senator from Tarn and… former lawyer.

A protest on Tuesday

The poster created for the occasion by the bar association of Toulouse.

Since then, in a joint joint committee which brings together the two chambers, the Senate won its case and the lawyers, particularly worried, called on the government to have an amendment rectify this bill. “As medical secrecy does not protect the doctor but the patient, our professional secrecy does not protect the lawyers but all those who consult us. To call it into question is to undermine the fundamental freedoms of citizens. In a democracy, the end does not justify the means! “, denounces Pierre Dunac.
The bill must be voted on Tuesday before the National Assembly and Thursday before the Senate. The exchanges between the lawyers and their former colleague, now Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti turn into a muscular confrontation. “The proposed compromise, which would go through the removal of the second exception, is neither sufficient nor acceptable, insists the Toulouse president. Citizens attached to democracy must be aware of this. »
To mark its opposition, the bar of Toulouse organizes a demonstration Tuesday at 1 p.m. place du Salin, in Toulouse. “This is not a corporatist demonstration by lawyers, warns the chairman of the bar Pierre Dunac, but a citizen rally to defend our democracy and the serious attack on our freedoms. “

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