“I don’t see the interest to vote when the person believes that it is still under de Gaulle…” The interrogation, made by a guardianship judge, is the level of misunderstanding that surrounds the announcements of the secretary of State in charge of disability Sophie Cluzel made last week. Gone unnoticed, these measures will open the way to greater empowerment of adults under guardianship, but there is a concern that disengagement of the State with vulnerable people. Explanations.
October 25, 2018, in an interview granted to the Parisian, Sophie Cluzel announced that ” all persons with disabilities are able to vote and get married “. The secretary of State explained that about 700 000 major placed under guardianship in France, 300 000 ” are being deprived by a decision of a judge to vote “. “This action is taken under the pretext of protecting them. They thus remove that right, however, inalienable and unconditional. It is a form of discrimination, a way to say you are second-class citizens, takes the secretary of State.
Which goes further, and argues that, in the future, the adults under guardianship will also be able to go to the judge for permission to ” marry, divorce, se pacser “. “We’re going to stop telling people with disabilities what they need to do. This is no longer possible ! ” said she.
More independence, but more vulnerability ?
A position as soon tempered by the keeper of the Seals, Nicole Belloubet, which, as she explains how the reform of the justice system, sometime in October, before the commission of Laws of the Senate, introduced an amendment. If the minister intends to ” delete the prior authorisation of a judge – an extremely important new feature – the marriage, the signature of a pacs or the decision of divorce “, it is immediately to bestow this possibility… the guardian.
” The protection of the protected person continues to be provided, explained Nicole Belloubet, since the person in charge of a protection measure (one member of the family or, failing that, a representative of the judiciary in the protection of major designated by the judge, editor’s NOTE) should be informed prior to the filing of the record in town hall, and it will be a right of objection to the marriage that is broader than today. “
In the clear, the government are glad to operate a transfer of skills in order to reduce the workload of magistrates and objective less avouable, reduce public expenditure… in Respect of the right to vote of the protected persons, the minister confirms that want a rapid entry into force of the measure through a deletion of article L5 of the electoral Code.
Desire to make ” savings “, according to the critics of the project
In the commission of the Laws, the amendment of the minister was, however, dismissed. Esther Benbassa, senator EELV of Paris, denouncing the government’s willingness to make “savings” by way of judge. “Having regard to the risks of abuse of weakness affecting vulnerable people, it seems to us that the intervention of the judge is indispensable “, explained François-Noël Buffet, a senator and The Republicans (LR) and co-rapporteur on the draft law.
What agree several professionals interviewed by The Point. “The judges of guardianship courts have been transfixed by the ads of Sophie Cluzel, confirms Viviane Bréthenoux, the guardianship judge and a member of the Union of magistrates (USM). It is dangerous in the best interest of the protected person. There is a risk of abuse of his credulity, his kindness. I have examples in mind. There are people who are under protection which are regularly victims of abuse of weakness. We refer precisely to the guardians to prevent it from getting worse. “
to Avoid abuse of weakness
Contacted by The Point, a magistrate says and have had to intervene a few days ago to prevent the transcription on the civil status of the marriage of a major protected : “It had made in its country of origin, Morocco, for a short stay. She came back with a marriage that she has tried to register in France. But I learned that there was no love or married life. It was just someone who was trying to take advantage of her “.
” The idea is not to prevent them from having rights, resumes Vivane Bréthenoux. Our goal is to take actions in their interest. “The judge adds :” In addition, to make the amalgam with the disabled, seems to me not a good idea. Under guardianship, one is not necessarily disabled. We talk about diseases that alternate between the intellectual faculties. The measures that we take are temporary, they can last for ten years, five years or less. “
“Need the outside eyes of the judge”
Even the sound of a bell on the side of the legal representatives to the protection of adults. “We have numerous cases that come up from the ground,” says Hadeel Chamson, general delegate of the national Federation of associations for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers (Fnat). Ten days ago, I had a discussion with a director of service in the south of France. There were very strong suspicions of abuse by a caregiver in the home who was taking care of a person under guardianship with a heritage rather important and wanted to marry. “
“With the new system, there will be more this look from the outside, that of the judge, who is yet necessary,” continues the head of the Fnat. It is necessary to allow the judge to have this look, in the case, for example, of suspicion of capture of wealth by dishonest people. The proposals made by the government are not quite vigilant. “
The voting rights in question
” The right to vote, for people who do not even know what day it is, is also a problem “, is also launching an industry professional. The senators LR François Pillet, and Philippe Wet, are, them, favorable, but not in the context of an amendment ” catch-all “. The two policies call for a real reflection before ” to overturn completely the protection of incapacitated adults “.
” The principle is to have the right to vote. By way of exception, removed for medical advice, explains Vivane Bréthenoux, USM. Sometimes, one leaves it, because the feeling of dignity, of belonging to the citizenship, it is all that remains of the protected person. But the real difficulty is to implement this right. “Before wanting to extend it, would it still mean that all the people in the ability to vote can be accompanied to the voting booth on election days and have an idea of the political context.
“We left on rights dogmatic,” concluded Hadeel Chamson. Us, we want to effective rights. Be careful not to cower in our protection system by wanting to make the individualism of forced, so that one should rather increase the means available to protected adults. “It was an emergency. According to a study of 2016 commissioned by the Directorate general of social cohesion, in view of the ageing of the population and of public policies in favor of a better accompaniment of vulnerable persons, the protection measures may have doubled by 2040.
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