As part of the ongoing cooperation between the Cour de cassation and the Supreme Court of Benin, Mr. Alain Lacabarats, Honorary President of the Social Division of the Cour de cassation, travelled to Porto Novo to take part in a training course on judgment drafting methods and enriched reasoning.
In continuation of the strengthened institutional relations that exist between the two jurisdictions, President Alain Lacabarats visited the headquarters of the Supreme Court of Benin on October 16 and 17, 2023 to take part in a training and exchange session on the technique of drafting judgments in direct style and enriched reasoning.
Under the authority of the President of the Court and the chairmanship of the President of the Judicial Chamber, this training session brought together judges from the Judicial and Administrative Divisions, representatives of the Court's General Prosecutor's Office and court clerks.
The day of October 16 was devoted to the history of the drafting reforms carried out by the Cour de cassation, the methodology used to achieve these reforms, and the presentation of decisions handed down in accordance with the new drafting rules.
President Lacabarats was able to present and comment on the guides to drafting judgments and the enriched statement of reasons. The latter, published in September 2023, is the fruit of a year-long working group led by President Agnès Martinel.
The following day was devoted to practical work: the training participants were divided into groups and were able to carry out the same task as the Cour de cassation had done before the adoption of the reforms studied: rewriting in direct style, with headings or sub-headings and, where appropriate, an enriched statement of reasons, decisions handed down in previous months by the judicial chamber of the Supreme Court of Benin.
To guide the participants, President Lacabarats drew on the recommendations adopted by the AHJUCAF on July 1st 2022. They formed the guiding thread for the rewriting of the judgments. This was followed by a feedback session, before Supreme Court President Victor Dassi Adossou concluded the session.
In his closing address, the Chairman welcomed the work done by his colleagues and, in his capacity as President of AHJUCAF, stressed the importance of the network's recommendations.
At the end of the training session, the magistrates of the Judicial Chamber decided to set up a drafting committee to draw up and submit proposals for reforming the presentation and drafting of judgments to the President of the Supreme Court.
This training illustrates the evolution of the legibility and accessibility of legal decisions, as well as the close cooperation between the Cour de cassation and the Supreme Court of Benin. Magistrates from the latter will shortly be visiting Paris as part of a study tour, focusing in particular on aspects of drafting judicial reasoning.