Judicial system of post-Napoleonic France

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The judicial system of post-Napoleonic France was an intricate system of relations between the government and the police/judicial force. Together they helped to minimize crime while successfully fulfilling the guarantees made in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen written in 1789. The basis for the declaration comes from Nicolas Bergasse in the "Report on the Organization of Judicial Power" proposed on 17 August 1789, Adrien Duport in the "Fundamental Principles of Policing and Justice, Submitted on Behalf of the Committee on the Constitution" written 22 December 1789, and Jacques Guillaume Thouret in the "Address on the Reorganization of the Judicial Power" written 24 March 1790. Many others have speculated that ideals such as innocence until proven guilty, equality between all classes and genders when dealing with law, punishment for opposition to the government, and religious freedom come from the Bill of Rights written in 1789. Also, similar to the Magna Carta, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen restrict the power of the government when dealing with taxes but also require higher taxes from poorer subjects. This attributed to the growing proletariat class that would eventually rise up and revolt again leading into the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.

Punishments and crime[edit]

Crime in post-Napoleonic France was seen as an act of high treason, which explains the harsh punishment. In Victor Hugo's novel Les Miserables, Jean Valjean receives a sentence of five years hard work in the galleys for the small crime of stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's children. This points out the injustice of the system. While providing a deterrent for crime, hardship cases such as Jean Valjean's and Fantine's fall through the cracks of society when they deserved special attention because of the situations that caused the crime.

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