Right to information about rights from the first contact with the competent authority

Victims should be given full information about their rights in clear and accessible language.

In France, from their first contact with a competent authority, victims will receive all the information necessary to assert their rights.

Article 10-2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure lists ten aspects of the victim’s right to information, which must be explained to the victim during the investigations by officers and agents of the judicial police by any means; it is about informing victims of their rights:
1° To obtain reparation for the harm they have suffered, by means of compensation or any other appropriate means, including, if necessary, restorative justice;

2° To register as a civil party either during a public prosecution filed by the State Prosecution Service, by issuing a direct summons for the perpetrator to appear before the competent court, or by filing a complaint before the Investigating Judge;

3° To be assisted, if they wish to register as a civil party, by a lawyer of their choosing or who, at their request, is appointed by the President of the Bar Association of the competent court, the costs being borne by the victims unless they are eligible for legal aid or if they have legal protection insurance;

4° To be assisted by one or more public authorities or by a victim support association approved under conditions defined by decree;

5° To refer the matter, where appropriate, to the Crime Victims Compensation Board (CIVI), when it concerns an offence referred to in Articles 706-3 or 706-14 of this same Code;

6° To be informed of the protection measures from which they may benefit, in particular the protection orders provided for in Title XIV of Book I of the Civil Code. Victims are also informed of the penalties for the perpetrators of violence and the conditions for enforcing any sentences that may be handed down;

7° For victims who do not understand French, to have an interpreter and a translation of the information required to exercise their rights;

8° To be accompanied, at their request, at all stages of the procedure, by their legal representative and by an adult of their choice, unless the competent judicial authority decides otherwise with good grounds;

9° To declare the address of a third party as their home address, subject to the latter’s express agreement. However, where the victim is a person in a position of public authority or entrusted with a public service mission and the offence was committed due to their functions or mission, they shall be informed that they may use their professional address without the need for this agreement.

10° In the case of victims of violence for whom a medical examination has been requested by the judicial police or a court official, to be given the medical examination certificate describing their state of health.

These rights are listed in the receipt issued after the victim files a complaint.

I was a victim of a criminal offence: consequences and reactions The rights of victims of a criminal offence Criminal proceedings Who is who in criminal proceedings

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