Coronavirus: United Kingdom, facing worst recession on record, sees GDP drop 20.4% in Q2

The UK has seen its economy, hit by the coronavirus crisis, suffer a "record" contraction of 20.4% in the second quarter, and is officially facing its worst recession on record, agency figures show National Statistics (ONS), published Wednesday 12 August. 
Economists consider that a country enters a technical recession when it accumulates two consecutive quarters of contraction in its economy. According to the ONS, most of the contraction, which began to be felt in March, occurred in April, an entire month of containment and almost total cessation of activity in the country, which saw production collapsed by 20%.

With a very early recovery in construction sites and manufacturing activity, gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded in May by 2.4% (revised figure), followed by an acceleration in June (+8.7 %) thanks in particular to the reopening of all shops. This is the biggest contraction in the UK economy since the ONS began these quarterly statistics in 1955, he said…

Criminal courts, tested in nine departments, tried 57 cases in less than a year

Criminal courts will be tested in six new departments from Saturday August 1, namely Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haute-Garonne, Isère, Loire-Atlantique and Val-d'Oise. Nine departments - the Ardennes, Calvados, Cher, Hérault, Moselle, Reunion, Seine-Maritime, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Yvelines - have already been experimenting with this device since September and March, and 57 cases have already been tried in criminal court, Franceinfo learned from the Ministry of Justice.

These 57 cases represent 67 defendants, who have been convicted by criminal courts since their establishment, of which 13 have appealed. For the moment, only 21% of the accused appeal after a trial in criminal court, against 32% after a trial. Sentences are on average 9.2 years imprisonment and only 8% of prison sentences handed down are suspended.

The number of cases processed is quite low due to the disturbances in the functioning of justice during the coronavirus pandemic, which is why the Ministry of Justice does not wish to take stock of the first phase of experimentation with criminal courts.

Courts highly criticized by the new Minister of Justice

The criminal courts were created by the reform of the justice system, supported by the former Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet. They can try crimes punishable by sentences of 15 to 20 years of criminal imprisonment - such as rape or armed robbery, but not murders - without having a popular jury, unlike the assize courts. Instead, five professional magistrates sit.

The establishment of these criminal courts was strongly criticized, in particular by the lawyer Éric Dupond-Moretti, before becoming the new Minister of Justice. He had declared on Franceinfo that it was "the death of the Assize Court", while "the intervention of the citizens is a breath of fresh air in the corporatism of the judges. It is the people who participate to justice and who discovers it. There is nothing more democratic than the Assize Court. Now, exit the people! It will be done between oneself ".

Asked about this on July 20 before the National Assembly, the minister promised to fight "like a madman so that the assize courts do not die".