A decision handed down on 4 May 2012 by the French Constitutional Council (Cons. Const. 4 May 2012, n°2012-241-QPC) ruled that the mandate of Judges of Commercial Courts was constitutional. Indeed, the constitutionality of their appointment process as well as their disciplinary regime, pursuant to Articles L. 722-6 to 722-16 and L. 724-1 to L. 724-6 of the French Commercial Code, had been challenged through a "Priority Preliminary Ruling on Constitutionality" (Question Prioritaire de Constitutionnalité). With respect to the mandate of Commercial Court Judges, the French Constitutional Council ruled that there were sufficient guarantees to avoid any conflicts of interests, even indirect. Furthermore, the claimants argued that the fact that citizens could not file a claim against these Judges before a disciplinary body breached the principle of equality with respect to the disciplinary regime applicable to ordinary Judges. The French Constitutional Council recalled that Commercial Court Judges are not subject to the ordinary regime applicable to judges in France. As a result, the Constitutional Council dismissed this argument.
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Constitutionality of the mandate of judges of commercial courts
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