Nearly Half of French Have No Trust in the Justice System

Magistrates stand as they welcome French Justice minister prior to attend the official ceremony of the Cour de Cassation's first earing of the year at the Paris courthouse on January 14, 2019. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Nearly half, 47 per cent, of the French population no longer trust the country’s justice system or those who work within it, according to a survey.

The survey, conducted by polling firm Ifop, revealed that confidence in the judicial system had dropped 10 per cent from 63 per cent to 53 per cent. Trust for judges and other legal employees was split between the left and right-wing of the French political landscape, L’Express reports.

Those most distrusting of the judiciary tended to come from the right-wing of the political spectrum and those without advanced degrees, according to the study. The research found the opposite to be the case for Green and Socialist Party voters.

Around 62 per cent said that the courts worked badly, while only 63 per cent said that they thought French judges were honest, down 17 per cent. Seventy per cent rated the judges as competent, also down 17 percentage points.

Nearly half, or 45 per cent, of the respondents said that judges were independent of politics, and 51 per cent said they believed the judges were free of economic interests.

The survey comes after German prosecutor Ralph Knispel voiced similar concerns over the state of the justice system in neighbouring Germany in July.

According to Mr Knispel, the capital of Berlin was so overburdened that the system could not carry out proper litigation, with the city alone having over 8,500 arrest warrants yet to be carried out.

France has also seen a dramatic decline in trust for the media, with a poll released in January claiming that media confidence was at its lowest level since 1987 when the Kantar Sofres Institute began producing the polling data.

Much of the distrust of French institutions and the government has been the fuel of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement which began last November and has seen protests every Saturday since.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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