Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck, a judge who loves street art

Since September 2022, Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck has served as the first president of the assembly at the Court of Appeal at Versailles, with first president Jean-François Beynel. A new step in his career of more than 30 years in the judiciary. In keeping with his profession, he nurtured a passion for an activity that is fully embedded in urban culture, street art.

One Saturday afternoon in November in the twentieth arrondissement of Paris in search of art. A custom for judge Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck. Not as part of his profession but to fuel his passion street art. In jeans, sneakers, and a burgundy jacket, she takes walks to see or find frescoes on the walls of the Ménilmontant district. And in the building that was advancing, there was a more than one meter long tiger coming out of the bamboo forest against a blue background. Who is passionate abouturban art immediately recognized the artist behind this work. “Here you have the work of an artist I like called Mosko. He is often aware of beasts. On this road is this tiger and a little farther on if I remember correctly there is a black panther,” explained Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck, pointing to the end of the road.

“The more I walk through the city, the more I get to know the authors and their work”

This passion for street art started about ten years ago. “I really like walking around the city. What interested me initially was the architecture. During this walk, I noticed that there were frescoes, which I assumed were real works of art, on the walls. Then, gradually, I became interested in the literature about it street art “, underlined the judge. He reads Urban Art Magazine, followed an application to identify areas where he could find work. Until he becomes a connoisseur of history and the types of works he can spend: stencils, wall paintings, or even mosaics. “The more I travel around the cities in France, the more I get to know the writers and we end up looking for the work of these artists. Bordeaux is very rich street art. There is an artist named Charles Foussard, I will get the new work he has created, ”explains Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck.

Outside France, he has also traveled to many urban areas abroad. By occasionally falling into the area dedicated to street art like Bushwick in East New York. “You no longer know where to turn,” he said. Faced with the ephemeral spirit of this artistic activity, the street art traveler at court preferred to capture his encounters. “I take a lot of pictures. They are stored on the hard disk, classified by city and year. I like being able to save works that interest me,” he explains, without being able to give an estimate of the number of shots he has.

A way to get away from the daily life of a judge

Around a street corner in the twentieth arrondissement, Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck found a fresco painted twenty meters into the wall. A realization that he did not know. Facing a work, he always uses the same method: “I always have peripheral vision when I see the whole. Then often, I look at things that are more specific, especially in monumental works to outline what the artist wants to tell.” A means to escape, decompress and get out of his static position within the framework of his profession as a judge which he has practiced for thirty years.

And it takes an escape from the everyday life of Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck. As part of his career in the judiciary, an “extraordinary” case arose when he was a juvenile judge at the Evry high court, between 1996 and 2004. I presided over as a juvenile judge. Simply put, it’s about “spinning” in dungeons with grisly acts. It involved minors raping young girls. This case involved many victims and many perpetrators. The trial lasted several days and the files were very heavy because of their extraordinary duration for a minor court.” And he emphasizes that experience allows you to gain the necessary perspective for this professional activity.

Position experience at the Court of Appeal of Versailles

Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck has experience. Evidenced by the new steps taken in his career. In September 2022, he joined the Court of Appeal of Versailles to serve as first chamber president. “There are several judges who perform this function. Twenty in all courts of appeal. The purpose of this function is to oversee civil or criminal jurisdictional poles in the court of appeals,” he summarized. Daily life: directs and coordinates the activities of 21 chambers and sixty or more judges, in the civil, commercial, social and family fields. He was also the link between the judges and the first president Jean-François Beynel. The aim is to direct the jurisdictional policies of the Court of Appeal and the four courts of jurisdiction in accordance with the will of the latter.

But like other judges, Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck also conducts hearings, particularly in the summary process. “With this animated mission, I will have a function where the possibility of being the sole judge is more important. The files are not the most important of the court of appeals but in summary, you can have substantial files. There will be written conclusions but part of the litigation is in the oral process, ”he explained. And this function at the Court of Appeal of Versailles mirrored his former position: “It is possible for me to return to a lower court to once again assume my judicial functions and to allow my colleagues at the Court of Appeal to benefit from my past experience.” can be obtained at the Court of Cassation. The relationship between the court of appeals and the Court of Cassation is very strong”.

Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck knows France’s highest court well. First, as auditor between 1993 and 1996 then as first presidential adviser to the Court of Cassation overseeing working groups, institutional relations and with the court of appeals, between 2019 and 2022 Since 2017 and his appointment as vice president of the Longjumeau district court, he has attained the rank of non-hierarchical judge, supreme in the judiciary. The distinction that was etched in Nathalie Bourgeois-De Ryck’s career was launched in 1989 when she left the National School of the Judiciary.

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