An unprecedented revolt by members of the French judiciary has reached a climax with nationwide demonstrations against criticism by Nicolas Sarkozy.
Over the last week, all but urgent court cases have been halted in protest at the president branding the legal system inefficient in a recent murder case.
But those on the front line are furious, saying the real problem is a lack of resources.
“We can’t do our job properly,” said Appeals Court Prosecutor Sylvie Pons, complaining of a lack of judges, clerks and prison officers.
“We are lacking in everything,” she added. “I am very much surprised that we do not have more trouble.”
President Sarkozy lashed out following the murder of an 18-year-old woman, allegedly by a repeat offender not properly monitored after his release from jail. Feelings were running high after her dismembered body was found in western France.
“Those who covered up or allowed this error to happen will be punished,” Sarkozy said.
The chief suspect spent 11 years behind bars before being released in February last year, apparently without adequate supervision.