Report No. 79
Oral Arguments in France
The following extract from a mimeographed publication states the position as to the French Cour de Cassation1:-
1. The Franch 'Cour de Cassation' (Mimeographed), p. 13.
(b) Proceedings of appeal:
Proceedings before the "Cour de Cassation" are in writing, the pleadings being stated in request.
-in civil proceedings:
Ordinary proceedings (Articles 1 through 20 of the decree Nr. 67-1210 as December 22, 1967).
It is based on the principle that the parties are not exempt by the law from being assisted or represented by an "advocate a la cour de Cassation".
The appeal is entered by a request concerning the decision challenged and such request is filed with the Court's clerk who serves thereafter the appeal to the defendant within fifteen days from the date of said filing. Subject to forfeiture, the claimant must file with the Court's office within a maximum period of five months from the filing of the appeal, a pleading called 'memoire ampliatif' comprising the legal remedies against the contested decision; the claimant must serve within one month after the filing of the pleadings the 'memoire ampliatif' to the defendant or to the defendant's counsel, when such counsel has filed his authority with the Court's office.
The court's registrar states that the appeal has not been filed or served by drafting a report and the forfeiture is decided ipso facto by the court. The defendant must file with the court's office, not later than three months from the date of the 'memoire ampliatif', pleadings which he has to serve to the claimant's counsel not later than fifteen days after the lodging of such 'memoire'. In case of default of filing of pleadings within the allotted time, the Court's registrar drafts a report. As soon .as the defendant has filed his pleadings and, upon expiration of such period, the case is deemed ready and delivered to the Court's sections.
The case is submitted by the President of the competent section to a judge or to "Counsellors referendaries" who is appointed as recording judge. The parties have no right to add supplementary pleadings once such a report has been filed with the registrar. Thereafter, the case is submitted to the Public Prosecutor (Ministere Public) who must draft his pleadings within the next four days and propose to enter it on the register. The Court hears the report of the judge, the counsel's pleadings and the pleading of the prosecution; then the Court considers the case and makes a decision.
The claimant may withdraw his appeal, provided he obtains the agreement in writing of his opponent otherwise, the court has to state the withdrawal of, appeal in a decision which is equivalent to a dismissal and entails a sentence of guilty against the claimant who has to pay the Court's expenses and, if any, a fine and damages as compensation to the defendant.
-proceedings without counsel:
(Articles 21 through 25 of the decree Nr. 67-1210 as of December 22, 1967 and general rulings of Articles 1 through 20 of said decree).
The filing and the notice of appeal as well as the lodging of the 'memoires' must comply with the requirements of such decree. The period for lodging the 'memoire ampliatif' and for giving notice of said 'memoirs' to the defendant are reduced respectively to four months and fifteen days. The Court's registrar is in charge of giving notice of the 'memorie'.
Proceedings before the Court are the same as in the case of ordinary affairs.