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World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems: France

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1993
This report provides information and statistics on France's criminal justice system, including its police, courts, and corrections.

France has a centralized government, although it is decentralized to the extent that there are 22 regions, 95 departments, and 36,000 municipalities, each of which can receive benefits from the central government while maintaining a certain amount of autonomy. The French legal system allows the same courts to hear both criminal and civil cases. Substantial law reform has occurred over the last few decades. The new Penal Code has retained the tripartite distinction of crimes, misdemeanors, and violations; it also addresses some new issues, such as corporate crime, the development of alternative punishments to imprisonment, and the reinforcement of the severity of punishments for offenders who have committed more serious crimes. This report's section on crime considers the classification of crime in France as well as crime statistics; 1989-90 data are provided on murder, rape, armed robbery, and serious drug offenses. A section on victims considers the groups most victimized by crime, victims' assistance agencies, the role of crime victims in prosecution and sentencing, and victims' rights legislation. A section on police describes administration, resources, technology, training and qualifications, discretion, and accountability. Other sections of the report focus on the prosecutorial and judicial process, the judicial system, prisons, penalties and sentencing, and extradition and treaties. 5 references

Date Published: June 1, 1993