The Police, the Prosecutor and the Juge D'Instruction
Posted: 16 Jul 2008
Date Written: 2001
The judicial supervision of police investigations is attractive to many as a possible corrective to the police tendency to focus prematurely upon one suspect, overlooking or suppressing important evidence. Based upon her own empirical study of French pre-trial justice, the author argues that direct involvement of the supervisor in the investigation is anticipated neither by the text of the law, nor by the legal actors themselves. Drawing on observation, interviews and questionnaires, the importance of occupational cultures in understanding the daily practices of legal personnel is examined. In particular, attention is paid to the nature of the relationship between police and supervisor and to the ways in which the supervisor's status as 'magistrat' is employed as a legitimating ideology permeating all aspects of pre-trial justice.
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