Fiches Belges
Measure Implementation
Measure possibility

Legal Framework
Applicable Framework

Competent authority
Request/decision
Execute/recognise measure

Accepted Languages
Languages

Execution Deadline
Deadlines

Legal info
Special requirements
Other information

Fiches Belges: Franta

Convocarea suspecţilor / persoanelor acuzate (709)

1. MEASURE IMPLEMENTATION

Franta

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

YES

2. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Franta

International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

• The European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959 (as well as its First Additional Protocol of 17 March 1978 and its Second Additional Protocol of 8 November 2001). See, in particular, article 7 of the Convention. • The Convention, signed on 19 June 1990, implementing the Schengen Agreements • The Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union of 29 May 2000 (and its Protocol of 16 October 2001). See, in particular, article 5 of the Convention. • Other multilateral conventions, in particular United Nations conventions, or bilateral conventions to which France is a party (not detailed in the information below) • 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 694-5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. "

3. COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO:

Franta

* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

• On the basis of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959 and its protocols and in accordance with the declaration made by France contained in the instrument of ratification of the Second Protocol deposited on 6 February 2012, requests for mutual legal assistance must be addressed by the requesting State to the Office of International Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters of the French Ministry of Justice. • On the basis of the Convention of 19 June 1990 implementing the Schengen Agreements (article 52), direct transmission by post is the norm. Alternatively, mutual legal assistance requests can be addressed directly to the judicial authority, i.e. to the competent public prosecutor or investigating judge (article 53). • On the basis of paragraph 1 of article 5 of the Convention of 29 May 2000 direct transmission by post is the rule. Under paragraph 2 of this article, procedural documents may only be sent via the competent authorities of the requested Member State if: a) the address of the person for whom the document is destined is unknown or uncertain, b) the rules of procedure applicable in the requesting Member State require evidence of the service of the document upon the addressee other than the type of receipt that can be obtained when sending a document by post, c) it has not been possible to serve the document by post, or d) the requesting Member State has a legitimate reason to believe that service by post will prove to be unsuccessful or inappropriate. Apart from in the case of paragraph 1 of article 5, it will therefore be the judicial authority that has territorial jurisdiction which receives the request, namely the public prosecutor or investigating judge who has territorial jurisdiction (article 695-1 and 694-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). The request can also be addressed to the Prosecutor-General, who will forward it to the competent magistrate. Link to the directory of competent jurisdictions of the Ministry of Justice, listed by municipality

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

Please see above. Whatever the applicable legal basis, if there is any doubt as to whether it is the public prosecutor or the investigating judge who is competent to execute a request, it is preferable to transmit the request to the prosecutor, who will forward it, if necessary, to the investigating judge.

4. ACCEPTED LANGUAGES

Franta

Accepted languages for the request/decision

• A translation in French is not required (article 16 of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959 and its protocols and the Covention of 29 May 2000 which simply complement the original Convention) but it is nonetheless recommended that a translation be provided, in order to facilitate and expedite the execution of the request for assistance. • Under the Convention on the Implementation of the Schengen Agreements of 19 June 1990 a translation is no longer mandatory unless "there are reasons to believe that the addressee does not understand the language in which the document has been written, that is, the document or at least the important passages of the document" (paragraph 2 of article 52). In the last case in point, the document must be translated into French. And if the authority which is sending the document knows that the addressee speaks only one, different, language, the document, or at least the important passages of the document, must be translated into that other language. • Under article 5 of the Convention of 29 May 2000 a translation is no longer mandatory unless "there is reason to believe that the addresse does not understand the language in which the document has been drawn up". In this last case "the document, or at least the important passages, must be translated into the (or one of the) language(s) of the Member State on the territory of which the addressee is located" (paragraph 3 of article 5 of the Convention). And if the authority which issued the document knows that the addressee only speaks one, different, language, the document, or at least the important passages of the document, must be translated into that other language.

5. EXECUTION DEADLINE

Franta

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. Please see above as regards the deadline of 30 days before the date fixed for the appearance in court and within which the request must be transmitted to the requested authority.

6. CONCISE LEGAL PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Franta

a. Special requirements

Regardless of the legal instrument on which the request is based, 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. •Under the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959 and its protocols and in accordance with the declaration made by France on 23 May 1967, summonses to appear in court must be sent to the French authorities at least 30 days before the date fixed for the appearance in court. The serving of the procedural document sent by the requesting party can be carried out by simple transmission (paragraph 1 of article 7 of the Convention). ""If the requesting party expressly requests it, the requested party will conduct the service in one of the forms provided for under its legislation for similar service of procedural documents, or in a special form compatible with that legislation"" (paragraph 1 of article 7, mentioned above). Furthermore, evidence of service will be created by means of a receipt, dated and signed by the addressee, or by means of a statement made by the requested party confirming the fact, the form and the date of service. One or other of these documents will be immediately transmitted to the requesting party. Upon the request of the requesting party, the requested party will confirm whether the service was effected in accordance with its law. If it has not been possible to serve the document, the requested party will inform the requesting party immediately of the reason for this (paragraph 2 of article 7, mentioned above). •Under article 5 of the Convention of 29 May 2000, all ""procedural documents shall be accompanied by a note indicating that the addressee can obtain, from the authority which issued the document, or from other authorities of the Member State concerned, information on his rights and obligations in relation to the document"" (paragraph 4 of article 5 of this Convention). The provisions relating to the necessity for a translation also apply to this note. •Principle of speciality: Furthermore, the person ""summonsed to appear before the judicial authorities of the requesting party in order to be questioned about facts for which he is the subject of proceedings, can neither be prosecuted there, nor detained, nor subjected to any other restriction of his individual liberty for facts or convictions which occurred before he left the territory of the requested party and which are not included in the summons"" (paragraph 2 of article 12 of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters). This is also the case in relation to requests for summonses carried out on the basis of the 2000 Convention of which paragraph 5 of article 5 refers explicitly to the immunity provided under the European Convention on Mutual Assistance. Subject to the discretion of the Court of Cassation, this principle must also apply to summonses for the purpose of indictment (notifying a person of charges against them).

b. Other useful information

N/A

Last reviewed on 6 iulie 2016 by Secretariatul RJE

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