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Fiches Belges
Measure Implementation
Measure possibility

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Applicable Framework

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Execute/recognise measure

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Fiches Belges: France

Examen ou expertise technique ou scientifique (305)



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

This measure involves technical or scientific investigations in the field of medecine or criminology carried out with the aim of searching for clues or information that may be useful in revealing the truth. In the context of an investigation, the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for the possibility of having recourse to experts' conclusions/findings or technical or scientific examinations as well as to all persons who, it is considered, may be in possession of items relevant to the investigation. The authority competent to undertake this measure is the officer of the judicial police in cases of offences or serious crimes in flagrante delicto (articles 60, 60-1 and 60-2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure), or the officer of the judicial police acting on the authorisation of the public prosecutor, or the public prosecutor himself/herself in the context of a preliminary investigation (articles 77-1, 77-1-1 and 77-1-2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). In the context of a judicial investigation the investigating judge can, if there is a technical question, order an expert evaluation, either on his own motion, at the request of the parties or at the request of the public prosecutor (article 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). He makes an order appointing an expert, determining the task required of the expert and the deadline by which the expert must submit his/her expert's report. The trial court can also order the provision of additional information and can appoint an expert under the same conditions (article 463 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).



International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

The Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union of 29 May 2000. 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 only be made to the French authorities under a letter of request for mutual legal assistance on the basis of article 694 et seq. of the Code of Criminal Procedure.



* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

The competent authority to receive and execute the request is either the public prosecutor or the investigating judge.

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




Accepted languages for the request/decision

A translation in French is not required but it is nonetheless recommended that a 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

Every decision issued by the trial court appointing one or more experts must include a deadline by which they must complete their task. The judge can confer the task of providing an expert evaluation upon several experts. When they have completed the task the expert or experts submit their report to the investigating judge. After having informed the parties and their counsels of the experts' conclusions, the investigating judge must set a deadline within which the parties can submit their observations or draft a request for additional expert evaluation or for a second opinion. The measure is executed in accordance with French criminal law. 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 juillet 2016 by Secrétariat du RJE
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