Carcassonne: Gérard Bouissinet, master of the bar facing “a population of lawyers who suffer”

Since January 1, 2022, Maître Gérard Bouissinet has taken up his duties at the Bar Association of Carcassonne. He thus succeeds Céline Colombo, after two years of a mandate marked by the lawyers’ strike and the health crisis.

Elected in June 2021 by his peers, Me Gérard Bouissinet officially took up his new position as President of the Carcassonne Bar Association at the very beginning of this year 2022. He succeeds Céline Colombo, after two years of office “quite complicated in terms of management”.

First there was the lawyers’ strike in defense of their autonomous pension scheme, but also an almost total stoppage of the judicial year in 2020. “My role includes multiple tasks: I represent the order vis- vis-à-vis the public authorities and magistrates, but I also chair the bar association council and am the guarantor of the independence of lawyers and their ethics…” The President of the Bar is also the “prosecuting authority”. It has jurisdictional powers, or even conciliation missions.

The candidates not jostling to occupy this post of chairman, Gérard Bouissinet suddenly began his second chairmanship at the Carcassonne bar, after the 2013 – 2014 exercise. “There is a crisis of vocations, even though it is a acknowledgement.

“A congested justice”

The heaviness of the task? Fear of getting involved outside of work? It’s not as easy as that for lawyers”, underlines Gérard Bouissinet. For the record, the Carcassonne lawyer was also vice-president of the Conference of Presidents of the Greater South-West (37 bars) from 2015 to 2016, just as he was elected to the National Conference of Presidents (CNB) from 2016 to 2020.

The bar is recovering and needs to start again

For the President of the Bar Gérard Bouissinet, “the health crisis has made it possible to highlight all the dysfunctions of the judicial institution, with its lack of human and financial resources… All of this is now leading to very long delays in the processing of cases, whether civil or criminal. Justice works, but the problem is that it is clogged”.

“For us, this is not satisfactory, because we cannot have cases judged within a reasonable time”. Faced with the observation that “we are the fifth poorest department in France, this inevitably leads to greater repercussions. The bar is convalescent and needs to start again”.

“Take on the challenge”

To date, the bar of the Audoise prefecture has 85 lawyers, with a majority of women and a young population. “In particular, we have a lot of activities in terms of legal aid and ex officio commissions…” Each year, a budget of around 1.8 million euros is allocated to the Bar of Carcassonne for its operation.

“We are on an important spring, with sometimes substantial distances to cover. When we go towards Belcaire, for example! We are in a difficult period, but we will have to meet the challenges and move forward”, continues Gerard Bouissinet. On the political level, “we are here in a period of calm with announcement effects, but we will soon return to the heart of the difficulties on the announced reforms, with in particular that of pensions which is not buried!”

(SOURCE: THE INDEPENDENT)

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