The Court of Appeal decision concerning Stifani’s status raises a few technical points that have worried some Brothers.
Here we give you a translation into English by Arturusrex of some of their questions and the considered opinions of a legal expert, Jason Benizri, a Parisian lawyer and lecturer in law at Paris I University, in answer to them.
Can the Court of Appeal change its mind between now and its deliberations before ordering ” enactment” on February 2nd ?
No, the Court cannot now seriously reverse its judgment, but nothing is foregone as to the order of distraint, as a decision on this matter has not so far been officially expressed.
Therefore if the straightforward question is put to it “What of the decisions made since January 11th 2011 by Stifani, who has now been declared to be no more than a simple private member?”, the Court of Appeal will be obliged to reply and will do so in a manner favorable to Stifani’s opponents.
The idea that Stifani could be physically removed from the premises, as the Judgment stands, he can simply refuse to let that happen.
We will now shortly be having to look at an umpteenth legal battle before the Judge, this time over the order of distraint (or execution of the Judgment) and how to interpret it. It won’t be exactly all clear sailing ahead for you.
Could Stifani have recourse to any further legal action if and when the Court of Appeal decides in favour of Stifani’s opponents on all points?
YES AND NO.
He could still put up resistance and force you into going before the Judge for Distraint, but it would do him no good and could lead to criminal charges. That is all I can say at the moment.
But the possibility exists for all who come under the jurisdiction of a court of appeal to appeal against a judgment to the Supreme Court. (“Cour de Cassation”)
However, the Supreme Court does not judge the “facts” but only whether the law has been properly administered.
Without my wanting to give him any useful tips, Stifani could consider that the facts are without any legal precedent and that the Court of Appeal should be examined as to its competence in a matter that creates a legal precedent.
BUT… this should hearten you a little; there are two obstacles to his proceeding with an appeal to the Supreme Court:
An appeal pending before the Supreme Court is not a stay. The Court of Appeal’s judgment has to be distrained in all its points. In other words, by the time the Supreme Court got round to making any decision, you will have had time enough to clear up Stifani’s mess.
The Judgment made on January 13th prevents him from intervening under his own name or in his own capacity. He therefore cannot make any approach to the question of an appeal to the Supreme Court, only the GLNF could do that.
For the time being, Mè Legrand is still in the driving seat. But could she launch an appeal to the Supreme Court without appearing extremely suspect of not acting in the interests of the association but exclusively for the shadow governance in place.
TO HAMMER HOME THE NAIL :
A Supreme Court judgment does not answer everything: in such a hypothetical case, as the Supreme Court does not judge on the “facts”, it is bound to refer the case back to another (but different) Court of Appeal which then is meant to apply the law in conformity with the Supreme Court’s judgment, but is not bound to do so. The “transfer” Court of Appeal may refuse and then the Supreme Court is called upon to make another judgment!
I will leave you to imagine how long all that could take. But it would of course be a case of time playing for Stifani’s opponents, as they would be back at the helm of the obedience.
Particularly as, if the Court of Appeal of Paris judges in your favour in the coming weeks or month(s), the court appointed administrator’s mandate will have been terminated and a new governing body will be in place that will be in no hurry to make any appeal to the Supreme Court!
To be brief, if the Court of Appeal judges clearly in your favour this time, it will be over and done with.
The same legal specialist had already supplied certain brethren with earlier comments, and has authorized us to reproduce them here, translated by Arturusrex
Don’t forget that François Stifani is a lawyer and knows how to read a Court judgment. He certainly knows how to read it and make it not read in any way that doesn’t suit him.
For those of you who have read the actual judgment, you will have noticed that it does NOT state that F.S. ceased to be GM as of January 11th 2011.
I must remind you that in a Court of Appeal Judgment, what counts is the purview,
i.e. the decision in itself that follows on from the words "par ces motifs", “on these grounds…”
It is not said that FS has to scramble out or be physically removed, I’m sorry!
That does indeed follow on logically from the Court’s deliberations, but it is not in the decision itself.
I fear you may have to go on waiting some time, because February 2nd is to be a hearing for the enactment, i.e. a purely procedural hearing not allowing of any further pleading or deliberations.
We're not out of the woods yet !!!