The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice said in a recent report that France’s budget for justice is very low. In a Council of Europe listing of 43 countries’ justice budgets, France has fallen to 37th place. Azerbaijan and Armenia rank higher.
The judges also feel overworked. France has fewer prosecutors and judges proportionally than Belgium, for instance, and Germany and Poland have more than twice as many.
While a full breakdown of what the justice ministries handle needs to include court administration, salaries and the prison system, in Council of Europe comparisons of countries with similar living standards and justice systems, France fares poorly. France spends around 57 euros per person on its justice system, Germany around a hundred euros.
The budget in France increased between 2006 and 2008 by less than one percent, while the European average increase was almost 18 percent.