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NEWS

Short Update: France adapts its statute of limitations in criminal proceedings

FairTrialsAdmin - April 8, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Delayed or accelerated proceedings

The emergency legislation passed on 23 March 2020 has allowed the French government to legislate through the adoption of Orders. In this context, an Order on criminal law and criminal procedure was issued on 25 March 2020. 

Important provisions on the statute of limitations contained therein are the following: 

  • Article 3 of this Order suspends limitation periods for criminal prosecution retroactively from 12 March 2020 until the expiry of a period of one month from the termination date of the state of health emergency. As a result, the course of limitation periods will resume where it was left off on 12 March 2020, which will allow actions that would otherwise have been time-barred during this period. 

  • Article 4 of this Order doubles the time period allowed to appeal a judgement, which may not be less than 10 days. In practice, this means that the time limit to appeal a criminal judgement will be extended to 20 days during the state of health emergency. 

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