The data of the French justice
in the light of international comparisons
In 2020, France is first and foremost characterized by a proactive policy in favor of access to justice and access to law. It is one of the groups of states with the widest range of legal aid. It ranks fourth in its group in terms of the share of the justice system budget dedicated to legal aid (9.5%).
The number of professional judges in judicial and administrative orders is 11.2 judges per 100,000 inhabitants in France. In ten years, this number has increased by 4.5%. However, the median in the Council of Europe (CoE) is 17.6 professional judges per 100,000 inhabitants with very different situations between Ireland, which has the lowest rate (3.3), and Monaco, the highest rate .
In a context of increased feminisation of judicial functions among the member states of the Council of Europe, France is in a good position. The number of French judicial magistrates is more feminized than the Council of Europe average, both in terms of professional judges (73% in headquarters) and prosecutors (59% in prosecution). However, the glass ceiling2 is firmly in place and restricts women’s access to the highest hierarchical positions, in headquarters and on the floor.
The remuneration of judges and prosecutors in France is close to the European median at the end of their careers. But wage comparisons between countries need to be interpreted with caution, as regards living standards, but also levels of education and experience for access to this type of work. The average gross salary of a judge at the start of his career
corresponds to 1.3 times the average salary in France, reaching 3.6 at the end of one’s career.
In civil matters, the duration of the outcome of pending cases is longer in France, whether in first instance, second instance or in cassation. Several explanations contribute to this result, a number of organizational reforms with an impact on the courts’ ability to absorb cases, such as the reform of the social poles, but also the 2020 health crisis after a large lawyers’ strike in 2019 Since the end of 2020 inventory in
civil matters recorded a significant drop nationwide (nearly 30% between the end of 2020 and June 2022).
Finally, the development of information and communication technologies in recent years is remarkable, in France as in most countries.