50 years of the Hauts-de-Seine bar: a scent of anger

Marta Sher/AdobeStock

The start of the Hauts-de-Seine (92) bar took place last Friday, November 18 at the Courbevoie (92) event center. After a return to the jubilee of the bar, the last years of which gave off scents of sulfur, the bar had invited Francis Kurkdjian, nose at Dior, to go on stage to hear himself accused of witchcraft…

As night fell on Courbevoie, this Friday, November 18, the spotlights of the event center make evening dresses sparkle as much as lawyers’ dresses. That evening, 1,100 people gathered to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Hauts-de-Seine bar. Once the fifty secretaries of the Conference, members of the Council of the order, presidents and former presidents of 92 or elsewhere, and even Jacques Toubon, former Defender of Rights, installed on stage, the ceremony can begin under the patronage of the chairman, Michel Guichard.

An angry bar

In the first beat of the waltz – thus described by the latter – tribute was paid to lawyers from countries at war, where rights and freedoms are threatened. Pavlo Lutsyuk, president of Rivne, in Ukraine, presented the Hauts-de-Seine bar with a tricolor flag decorated with amber, and stamped with the coats of arms of the Ukrainian and French bars, before inviting all the guests to come and visit Ukraine, once victory has been won. Then the floor was given to Martun Panossian, a French-speaking lawyer from Armenia, with whom the Hauts-de-Seine bar maintains close cooperation. The chairman then paid tribute to the colleagues who died during the year. Using the words of the article of New Observer, he particularly focused on the case of Marie Truchet, a magistrate struck down by a stroke in the middle of a hearing, last October. “The Hauts-de-Seine bar is a bar in mourning, and an angry bar. Marie fell, Marie did not get up. The conditions of justice are deteriorating, and degraded justice is an attack on democracy,” recalled the President of the Bar, calling on all lawyers to participate in the inter-union strike movement on November 22.

The second part of the waltz honored the history of the Hauts-de-Seine bar. A short film recounted his major and minor milestones year by year, president by president. The Hauts-de-Seine bar was born in 1972, after the creation of the departments, in July 1964, by the association of 8 lawyers. He has been at the heart of the news several times: when Louisa Benakli, one of his lawyers, was the victim of the Nanterre massacre, or during the Bettencourt, while Philippe Courroye was attorney general of the court, while he was close to Nicolas Sarkozy and his name was mentioned in the recordings of the butler of the heiress of L’Oréal. More recent memories focus on reactions to attacks on the rights of the defence, whether it is a matter of uniting around the lawyer who had been slapped in the face, in police custody, by a member of the GIGN, of the fight against the “glass cages” installed in the boxes of the accused or against the use of videoconferencing which has developed with the Covid. Slightly more festive memories are also evoked, such as that of the fictitious trials of Cardinal Lustiger and Jacques Vergès at the beginning of the Conference, the creation of a music festival for the bar, or significant colloquies, on criminology or humanitarian law.

Michel Guichard’s bar of honor

Michel Guichard then takes the floor again, and after a litany of thanks so long that he makes a joke of it, launches into an assessment of his mandate, marked by the establishment of the BaroTech platform, which centralizes information from 15 bars . His tenure was also marked by a dynamic international policy, as illustrated by the twinnings with Senegal, Turkey, Iran and Armenia. His two years at the head of the bar were marked by a large number of appeals against the dysfunctions of justice. With the National Observatory of Prisons, the lawyers of Hauts-de-Seine requested an interim release on the remand center of Nanterre with regard to prison living conditions. They were the first to attack the circular from the Keeper of the Seals allocating the budgets to the court of Nanterre. Along with the Paris bar, the Hauts-de-Seine bar also attacked the law “ Trust in justice before the Council of State, on the grounds that it differentiates between defense secrecy and council secrecy, protecting the first better than the second, obtaining a QPC from the Council of State. Finally, the bar appealed against the European DAXIS directive, which obliges lawyers to reveal fraudulent schemes. Michel Guichard finally praised the Toulon Bar for their support for the defense of the 234 refugees from the Viking Ocean. His speech ends with a pastiche of “Toulouse” by Claude Nougaro: “How beautiful my bar is… how beautiful it is (…) Damn, what a life experience, this bar association! “. It is then time to pass the baton to the two future vice-presidents whose mandate will begin at the beginning of 2023, Isabelle Clanet dit Lamanit, and Fabien Arakelian, blessing them with his favorite phrase: “Everything will be fine”!

The third beat of the waltz is turned towards youth and the future. The winners of the Francophone eloquence prize, awarded the day before, take the stage: Rachel Maffont defended Aya Nakamura; Kadim Cisse, Mario Bros. A short film in the format of “the question box” is projected, during which the former secretaries of the Conference summon the memories of their respective fictitious trials, whether the accused are called Daniel Cohn Bendit, Fanny Ardent or Henri Leclerc.

A colorful nose

Last, but not least, the fictitious trial, whose guest remained a mystery for a long time, can begin. Mayeul Pestre, secretary of the Conference, in charge of the public accusation, sued Francis Kurdjian, director of the creation of perfumes at Christian Dior, in witchcraft, necromancy and spiritualism, in the name of texts of laws from another age . Its victims are none other than all the guests present that evening, to whom a stick soaked in precious liquid is distributed. “Pablo Escobar of Patchouli, Jean-Luc Delarue of honeysuckle, his nose is a Dyson that sucks up what nature offers him,” gets carried away by the KPMG lawyer. His opponent, Josephine Colin, specialist in intellectual property, then pleads to defend the nose. Then Francis Kurdjian launches into a defense in verse, sometimes turning against his own lawyer, sometimes against the president of the court, and he ends by taking off his jacket, revealing a blood-red stain on the back of his shirt. The show is over, it’s time for the petit fours and the dance party…

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50 years of the Hauts-de-Seine bar: a scent of anger

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