In a June 2020 decision, the first civil chamber of the Supreme Court recognised the admissibility of a petition for a risk of lack of impartiality against a member of an independent administrative authority – namely, the president of the French Polynesian Competition Authority. By way of this decision, the Supreme Court confirmed its earlier decision that an independent administrative authority with the power to impose penalties must comply with Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Emergency Law 2020-290 of 23 March 2020 enabled the government to legislate by virtue of government orders in various areas. In application of the law, the government adopted and published 25 orders to remedy the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the government adopted Order 2020-306 concerning the extension of deadlines which expire during the health emergency period and the adjustment of procedures during the same period.
Until recently, in written procedures regarding civil matters, the parties had to be represented by a lawyer, whereas in oral procedures, representation was optional and the parties could represent themselves before a court. This practice has changed following the major reform of French civil procedure, which has amended, among many other procedural rules, those concerning mandatory representation in first-instance courts.
In France, provisional execution allows a judgment to be executed before it acquires the status of res judicata. Until recently, provisional execution could generally be invoked only if the requiring party submitted a request to this effect and the judge expressly granted such request. This practice has changed following the major reform of French civil procedure, which has amended the procedural rules concerning the provisional execution of judgments.
The Supreme Court recently ended a conflict between the appeal courts and clarified that for any decision rendered exclusively on a jurisdictional issue, the party that wants to appeal such decision must file a motivated statement for appeal and, more importantly, appeal to the first president of the relevant appeal court through a formal request in order to obtain a fixed date on which the case will be heard. Otherwise, the statement of appeal will be declared void.