Fiches Belges
Measure Implementation
Measure possibility

Legal Framework
Applicable Framework

Competent authority
Execute/recognise measure

Accepted Languages

Execution Deadline

Legal info
Special requirements
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Fiches Belges: France

Interception of telecommunication - Art. 18 (2) (b) of the MLA Convention (106)



Is this measure possible in your Member State under International Judicial Cooperation?

Yes. Under French criminal law this measure is only possible as part of a judicial investigation or as part of a preliminary investigation in an organised crime case. When it is a necessary part of the judicial investigation and when the offence is punishable by a prison sentence of two years or more, it is possible to order the collection, recording and transcription of correspondence transmitted by means of telecommunications. Only an instructing magistrate is competent to order the judicial interception of communications exchanged by means of telecommunications. In organised crime cases (offences under article 706-73 of the Code of Criminal Procedure), if it is necessary for the investigation, the liberty and custody judge can, at the request of the public prosecutor, authorise the interception, recording and transcription of correspondence sent by means of telecommunications.



International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

The Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 29 May 2000 (Title 3). Failing that, the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985. When there is no provision for this measure in the applicable conventions or when there is no applicable convention, a request for this measure can still be made to the French authorities on the basis of article 694 et seq. of the Code of Criminal Procedure.



* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

The investigating judge. In organised crime cases (offences set out in article 706-73 of the Code of Criminal Procedure) the liberty and custody judge, at the request of the public prosecutor.B13

* execute/recognise the measure (if other than the receiving authority)

The police service or the gendarmerie (police) designated by the investigating judge (for the execution of a letter of request) or the liberty and custody judge.



Accepted languages for the request/decision

A translation in French is not a requirement, but it is recommended that a French translation be provided in order to facilitate and expedite the execution of the request for assistance.



Deadlines for the execution of the request/decision (where applicable)

There is no deadline for the execution of requests for assistance in French criminal law. However, it is possible, in the body of the request, to ask for a deadline to be observed; such a deadline will, however, only be regarded as a general guide.



a. Special requirements

The measure is executed in accordance with the French Code of Criminal Procedure. It is ordered for a period of one month in an investigation in an organised crime case and a period of 4 months in a judicial investigation. This decision is renewable once under the same conditions of form and duration. On completion, the recordings are placed under seal. Under French law there are restrictions when the interceptions concern a lawyer in the exercise of defence rights, a journalist, a parliamentarian or a magistrat (judge or public prosecutor). In the absence of a bilateral or multilateral convention which provides to the contrary, the requesting authority can ask for certain particular procedural rules to be followed, in accordance with article 694-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides that such rules must not reduce or impair “the rights of the parties or the procedural guarantees provided by the present Code”. The request can be refused if it is likely to harm public order or the essential interests of the Nation, as provided by article 694-4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

b. Other useful information


Last reviewed on 6 July 2016 by EJN Secretariat

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