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

Audition d’enfants (705)



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

Yes The hearing of juvenile victims During the investigation or the preliminary judicial investigation, hearings of juvenile victims or confrontations with juvenile victims are carried out on the decision of the public prosecutor or the investigating judge, as the case may be, upon the request of the minor or of his legal representative, in the presence of a child psychologist or doctor specialising in the care of children, of a member of the minor’s family, of the ad hoc guardian responsible for representing the minor’s interests, or of another person appointed by order of the children’s judge. Every juvenile victim of one of the offences set out in article 706-47 of the Code of Criminal Procedure shall be assisted by a lawyer when he is being heard by an investigating judge. The offences in article 706-47 include: murder or assassination of a minor preceded or accompanied by rape, by torture or by acts of barbarism; torture or acts of barbarism; recidivist offences of murder or manslaughter; assaults or sexual assaults against a minor; the human trafficking of minors; procurement in relation to a minor; and having recourse to the prostitution of a minor. During the investigation or the judicial investigation, the hearing of a juvenile victim of one of the offences in article 706-47 shall be recorded by means of a videorecorder. A copy of the audiovisual recording shall be placed on the file and the original shall be placed under seal. On the expiry of a period of 5 years including the date on which the prosecution was concluded, the recording and the copy shall be destroyed within a period of one month. The hearing of juvenile offenders (youth offenders) In French criminal law, statute number 45-174 of 2 February 1945 on juvenile delinquency provides rules which are enforceable in relation to the hearing and the placing in custody of minors in accordance with their age and with the applicable sentence.



International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

The Convention of 29 May 2000 and the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreements.



* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

The public prosecutor, the children’s judge or the investigating judge.

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

Depending on the case and the stage of the proceedings, the specialised police service or gendarmerie designated by the public prosecutor, by the children’s judge or by the investigating judge shall conduct the hearing of the juvenile offender or victim. The children’s judge or the investigating judge can also conduct the hearing of the minor themselves (in particular if the request asks for the indictment of the minor).



Accepted languages for the request/decision

It is not essential to provide a translation in French 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 shall be executed in accordance with French criminal law. In relation to the hearing of a juvenile victim: see point 1. In relation to the hearing, under the exercise of coercive powers, of a juvenile offender, French criminal law provides as follows: • The placement in detention of minors aged from 10 to 13 years can be ordered on an exceptional basis for facts constituting a serious crime or an offence punishable by a sentence of at least 5 years’ imprisonment. This measure, for a maximum period of 12 hours, is renewable once, in exceptional circumstances, after the matter has been brought before a magistrat (judge). • The placement in custody (for a period of 24 hours) of a minor aged at least 13 years is possible under certain conditions (notification given to the minor’s legal guardians, appointment of a lawyer, medical examination). The custody period cannot be extended if the minor is under 16 years of age and if the offence is punishable by a prison sentence of less than 5 years. Any extension of the custody period is subject to the minor being brought before a magistrat, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, and must be authorised by the magistrat. The questioning of minors in custody shall be videorecorded. 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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