The President of the Constitutional Council, who is holding a delocalized hearing at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, took pleasure in discussing with first-grade students about his activities as well as about democratic principles.
“What is your favorite thing about your job?” “What is the last law you censored?” “And if abortion was banned in France, would you have to intervene?”
For more than an hour this Tuesday, November 15, Laurent Fabius answers questions from first-grade students at Clemenceau high school in Montpellier. Students who have chosen the geopolitics and political science specialty, and therefore rather interested in this informal exchange with the President of the Constitutional Council, who is holding a relocated hearing this Wednesday at the Court of Appeal.
The nine members distributed to Clemenceau and Jules Guesde
But this Tuesday, at Lycée Clemenceau as at Jules Guesde, where the nine members of the council are distributed, it’s time for “what used to be called civic education” smiles Laurent Fabius, anxious to make known the work of this institution of which he has been at the head since 2016.
The opportunity, by sweeping the Council’s activities, to convey Republican messages: “When you turn 18, you will have the right to vote, and if you don’t vote, other people will decide for you.” And to use concrete examples to be better understood: “You have to check if the laws are in line with our main principles, freedom of expression, or to come and go. We are a democracy, this is not the case when you live in Russia or China.”
Soon candidate for the presidential election?
Environment, Covid, end of life, the examples of the field of intervention of this assembly of Elders are varied. And the questions too. “How were you elected?” “In the simplest way, I was appointed for nine years by the President of the Republic.”
“And in your current position, can you stand for election and become President of the Republic?” New smile: “You will probably be disappointed, but no. At the Council, we undertake not to intervene in political life. All that aspect is now a thing of the past.”
Independence, according to Robert Badinter
Laurent Fabius insists on the independence that these judges who judge the law must have. And recalls this definition of his predecessor Robert Badinter: “Being independent means having nothing to fear, and nothing to hope for. It’s a bit cynical, but fair enough for the members of the Constitutional Council”.
A last message before leaving the premises: “It’s still quite useful to know the institutions. It’s what founds a society. We’re here to defend freedoms, and I think that’s quite useful.”
Almost unanimous verdict at the end of class: “He’s super interesting.”