France Country Analysis

France legal framework is based on the written law. The justice system was laid down by Napoleon in the Code Napoleon which was used and adapted by other country. French law is governed by Code Civil, the Code Pénal, and the Code Fiscal. Schwartz (2006) states that France has two Judicial system: administrative and judiciary. The administrative system is responsible for settling lawsuits between the government and the individual. Suits are brought to the 22 Tribunaux de Premiére Instance and appeals may be made to the Conseil d’Etat (Council of State) (Schwartz, 2006). Running parallel to the administrative system is the judiciary which is responsible for civil and criminal cases. The criminal courts include the Tribunaux Correctionels (Courts of Correction), the Tribunaux de Police (Police courts) and the Cours d’Assises (Assize Courts), which try felonies. Appeals are referred to one of the 28 Cours d’Appel (Courts of Appeal). All judges in France are career professionals who must pass a very competitive examination. In criminal courts the judge has a more active role in the case than in Britain and conducts most of the questioning of the witnesses. A French jury is actually a mixed tribunal where six lay judges sit with three professional judges. A two-thirds majority of this ‘jury’ may convict. Corruption can be defined as the absolute abuse of given power for personal material and social gain (Schwartz, 2006). It can be discerned that France experience a high level of corruption among the leading elite. This is evident as the former president Jacque Chirac is facing trial over misappropriation of public funds by paying his political allies for twenty eight jobs that never existed. Furthermore the level of government transparency in its operation is relatively low.

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