Victims' rights - by country

France

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France

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

Is further appeal possible?

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

More information

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

You have the right to submit appeals, within a term of ten days from the court’s judgment, only if you are a civil claimant and you are not satisfied with the court’s decision on your civil claim. You cannot appeal if you disagree with the penalty of the offender.

Is further appeal possible?

You can also appeal against the judgement of a second instance court, regarding your civil claim only. You have five days from the judgement of the court of appeal to submit an appeal before the French Court of Cassation. It does not rule on the facts of the case, but only verifies if the law has been correctly applied by the lower courts.

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

After the court sentence enters into force, you have the following rights (not dependent on whether you had a particular status in the proceedings):

More information:

  • to be informed by the court about your right to refer your case to the Committee for the compensation of victims of criminal offenceshttps://www.justice.fr/fiche/faire-on-victime-infraction;
  • to be informed about the execution of the sentence (release of offender, reduction of his/her sentence, the place where he/she lives, etc.) through a victim assistance association or directly at the prison service in charge of insertion and probation (regardless of your legal status during the proceedings);
  • to have your interests taken into account before any decision is taken to release the offender; to submit, before the decision, written observations within fifteen days;
  • to request the judge to order the offender not to receive, meet or get in touch with you, if he/she is temporarily or conditionally released or his/her sentence is reduced or modified;
  • to be represented by a lawyer and/or receive legal aid;
  • to be assisted by a victim assistance association.
  • Criminal Procedure Code (Code de Procédure Pénale) – in English and French
  • Criminal Code (Code Pénal) – in English and French
Last update: 04/07/2018

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