France’s trial of century designed to ease a nation’s deep trauma

It has taken more than four years to gather all the evidence for the biggest trial in French history.

ast week, as proceedings opened in the trial of 20 men accused of involvement in the Paris terror attacks of 2015, the deadliest act of terrorism the country has ever seen, the event was heavy with symbolism. A brand new courtroom has been custom-built to receive the record-breaking 1,800 plaintiffs and their collective 300-strong legal team, representing the exceptional nature of the trial — a new leaf in the history book of French jurisprudence. Significantly, the new courtroom was constructed at the heart of the Paris Palais de Justice, an architectural emblem of the nation’s democracy and rule of law.

The stakes for this trial are different from any other criminal trial that has gone before. It will be the longest in France’s history, with hearings expected to last nine months. An unprecedented five weeks have been specifically dedicated to hearing the testimony of the victims.

France’s trial of century designed to ease a nation’s deep trauma

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