In February 2022, after public alerts from the city's highest magistrates, the Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti announced a "Marshall plan for Marseille justice".
At the end of the year, reinforcements of magistrates, and the announcement of the construction of a new judicial city of 40.000 square meters by 2028. For lack of space, the services of the third court of France ( after Paris and Bobigny), with interregional expertise in organized crime, health, transport or the environment, are currently spread over seven sites.
A year later, this real estate project seems to be at a standstill, while a new visit from President Macron is expected for a new update on the "Marseille en grand" plan launched by the Head of State in September 2021 in the face of multiple delays of the second city of France. However, all the sources involved agree on the fact that the decision on the judicial precinct will be decided "at the highest level".
Three options are put forward for this project estimated at 250 million euros: rely on the existing one, including the current courthouse of just over 6.000 square meters in the city center, with possibly new buildings; build on the Euroméditerranée site, an urban renewal project around the port, in the north of the city; or respond to the invitation of Renaissance MP Lionel Royer-Perreaut, who suggested an area of his constituency, in La Capelette (10th arrondissement), southeast of the city.
According to the Marseille actors of the file, the ministry would lean for "Euromed". But the chancellery limits itself to replying to AFP that "the reflections to define the best site are continuing intensely (...), in permanent consultation with the local elected officials. The scale of the issues requires that we take the time to reflection and consultation".
The municipality "wants to stay in the city center", like the lawyers or the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
"The rehabilitation and modernization of existing buildings is being studied in order to meet the needs and the increase in judicial staff," the town hall services told AFP. According to concordant sources, the diverse-left mayor Benoît Payan wrote in February to the "highest authorities" to reaffirm this position.
"We are not consulted and we do not consult the people of Marseille", plague Mathieu Jacquier, president of Marseille: "Access to justice must remain in the heart of the city", where 90% of Marseille lawyers have their offices. "There is a real need for justice, we agree, but it must be reconciled with local needs".
And to ensure that there is still space in the center and that we could also build in height. He also advances the chronic lack of public transport in Marseille, embarrassing for litigants if the palace moved.
"We should not annihilate all the work done to bring activity and attractiveness to the city center," warns Jean-Luc Chauvin, boss of the CCI, "concerned" about a possible departure from the palace.
Barreau and CCI are preparing an economic impact study, after having unsuccessfully asked the State services to carry out one, according to Mr. Chauvin. According to initial estimates, some 200 businesses could be weakened.
If the judicial city must actually open in 2028, the decision must not be delayed any longer, recognize all the actors.
Without expressing a choice on a debate not falling within his "competence", the president of the judicial court Olivier Leurent recalled during the solemn return to school in January "the urgency" to settle this question: "The real estate impasse in which we we find seriously harms the quality of justice", pleaded the magistrate.