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The Council of State proposes to limit the scope of the criminal responsibility of politicians in times of crisis

The Council of State had completed its annual study on states of emergency before the indictment, on September 10, of Agnès Buzyn for “endangering the lives of others” by the investigating committee of the Court of Justice of the Republic. But, the former Minister of Health, questioned for his management in the first months of the appearance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, should subscribe to his analysis.

Read the context: Agnès Buzyn summoned by the CJR for an indictment for “endangering the life of others”

“Can the identification of a criminal responsibility proceeding in essence from a retrospective analysis be concomitant with a public action of crisis already upset by an uncertain health situation?” Doesn’t it risk further destabilizing a weakened state whose primary objective is to continue to function in order to best protect the population? “, ask the authors. They evoke “A worrying headlong rush” in these actions carrying, moreover, a perverse effect: “The fear of a criminal implication seems to have paralyzed” many public officials or private, such as nursing home directors, who have never ceased, before taking initiatives, to request the services of Matignon to obtain a text specifying here and there the health constraints that they could or should impose.

The Council of State therefore proposes that criminal liability cannot be called into question. “Because of the inaction of the person concerned, that if the choice not to act is directly and personally attributable to him”. At the same time, the institution is calling for the establishment of a statistical tool to assess the criminal risk for public officials.

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