a reflection on the extension of skills is launched

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In July 2017, in Poitiers.
In July 2017, in Poitiers. GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

While the parliamentary debate on the bill for programming and the reform of justice has dragged into the National Assembly, the judges of the commercial courts want the government to take the next step. Meeting in Tours in the annual congress on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 December, they called for a reform of consular justice. Georges Richelme, president of the General Conference of French Consular Judges, gave Nicole Belloubet a report entitled "From the commercial court to the court for economic activities".

The Custos of the Seals had asked, on November 8, to the deputies of the commission of the laws to remove from the bill the articles presented to the Senate from the modification of the government project. Led by Philippe Bas (The Republicans), the senators want to expand the jurisdiction of commercial courts to all businesses. "It seems to me that the time has not come to do it", justified Mmyself Belloubet. The Chancellery is open to this evolution, but prefers to take the time to consult and conduct an impact study.

The report of the Conference of Consular Judges should be the starting point for this project. For George Richelme, eighteen judges at the Commercial Court of Marseille, who chaired from 2012 to 2016, "The question is whether the act of commerce that defines the jurisdiction of the commercial court is adapted to the economic reality of 2018". His answer is no.

"The law is no longer suitable"

In fact, some shared skills may seem surprising. "The entrepreneur who has a dispute over a contract must apply to the commercial court, but if he has a problem of commercial leasing, which is also a contract, it is the district court that has jurisdiction"quote M. Richelme as an example.

In an article published December 5 by the Special company magazine, three university professors, Philippe Delebecque, Pierre Berlioz and Philippe Roussel Galle, evoke "Perplexed appearance" of their students when they discuss the definitions of the act of commerce and of the trader. "When there is such a gap between the common sense of a word and its legal meaning, it is undeniably a sign that the law is no longer appropriate", they write.

The consular judges propose to maintain "The notion of economic activity exercised as usual" as the main criterion for the jurisdiction of commercial justice. All economic actors, regardless of their status, would be interested, outside the legal professions.

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