FRANCE: Justice! Justice!

A grave ceremony is the opening of the autumn term of France's law courts. Since time out of mind, France's Supreme Court, the Judges of the Cow de cassation, have solemnly paraded in their porkpie hats and fur-trimmed gowns through respectful lines of black-gowned lawyers to the Palais de Justice. The Minister of Justice, formally called Keeper of the Seals, has always been there to make a speech.

Autumn term began last week. For the first time anyone could remember, perhaps for the first time in history, the Minister...

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