Formal visit to the Secretary of Justice and Heads of Courts and Tribunals From left to right : Mrs Martine Coulet-Castoldi, President of the Court of First Instance, Mrs Brigitte Grinda-Gambarini, First President of the Court of Appeal, Anne Eastwood, High Commissioner, H.E. Mr Philippe Narmino, Director of Judicial Services, Mr Jean-Pierre Dreno, Prosecutor General

Formal visit to the Secretary of Justice and Heads of Courts and Tribunals

23 April 2014

During a series of formal meetings with Monegasque institutions following her recent appointment, Anne Eastwood met with the Principality's Heads of Courts and Tribunals on 23 April 2014.

The meeting was organised by His Excellency Mr Philippe Narmino, Secretary of Justice. During the meeting, the High Commissioner explained the role of the new institution to the judges in attendance and reported on her activities during the first few weeks since her appointment.

The subsequent discussions highlighted the positive view of the High Commissioner's role among judges, and their support for a mediation culture in which courts and tribunals are encouraged to engage in and develop judicial mediation. 

The meeting was also a chance to engage in practical discussions surrounding the scope of paragraph 2 of Article 18 of Sovereign Ordinance no. 4.524, which prohibits the High Commissioner from intervening in cases in which legal action has been taken. The discussions also focused on the fact that referrals to the High Commissioner are not suspensive in nature, and that restrictive deadlines apply to appeal procedures. As such, a citizen who decides to appeal to the High Commissioner may be required to lodge a judicial appeal prior to the conclusion of the High Commissioner's investigation in order to protect his/her rights. A practical agreement was reached concerning the need to allow the High Commissioner, in such circumstances, to continue her examination after formal legal action has been taken, until the point at which a judicial ruling is made. This would provide the maximum time frame for an accepted or negotiated solution agreed by all parties to emerge.

Following this working meeting, Mrs Eastwood visited the Remand Prison of Monaco, where she was received by Mr Jean-Yves Gambarini, Remand Prison Director, and Mr Olivier Richaud, Deputy Director, for a guided tour of the prison's facilities. During this visit, an announcement was made about the recent changes to the Rules of Procedure of the Remand Prison, under which inmates are now able to correspond with the High Commissioner in private, thereby respecting the necessary confidentiality of such correspondence.