Borne calls for “sobriety” in legal texts

Borne calls for “sobriety” in legal texts

Before the State Council on Wednesday, Elisabeth Borne called for “sobriety” with legal texts, which has become all the more necessary as the government only has a relative majority in the assembly.

“I prefer clear and collected texts. I recently launched an appeal for sobriety (energetic, editor’s note). I believe that must also apply to our texts,” the Prime Minister explained to the State Council, which was organized for the first time, a “back-to-school session”, a long-established practice at the Court of Cassation.

“It is an imperative of efficiency. It is a matter of clarity. It is also a democratic imperative today, as the new composition of the National Assembly reinforces the need to focus parliamentary debates on the core of legislation,” added the Prime Minister and the majority of the President.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne calls for “sobriety” on legal texts before the Council of State in Paris on September 7, 2022 (AFP – Alain JOCARD)

“The culture of the norm is seldom the work of lawyers. I would say that it is a French evil, even a political one, which consists in believing that every message or difficulty requires a text to reply to; or that one measures a balance sheet to the amount of texts adopted. That’s not how I see things,” Ms. Borne said.

The prime minister asked administrative judges “to identify the cases where the use of a text is not necessary and to write our laws, regulations and decrees in a simpler and more sober manner”.

Elisabeth Borne closed the start-of-school session of the State Council, the highest administrative court.

Vice President of the Council of State Didier-Roland Tabuteau also judged that “normative inflation is not the solution”. “Evaluating public services, improving their functioning and simplifying procedures are imperatives”.

Quoting his predecessor, Bruno Lasserre, he regretted that “we equate public policy too much with changing the norm. What matters is changing the reality on the ground,” he said.


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