Criminal law activities

The Lyon-Caen & Thiriez firm of barristers provides legal advice and representation in all areas of criminal law.


Appeal to the Supreme Court

In criminal matters this option is available with regard to any judgements made by the courts of last resort. That is:

- rulings made by petty sessions courts and local courts of last resort

- judgements handed down by the criminal appeals chamber in the court of appeal

- some judgments handed down by the examining chamber of the court of appeal (in matters regarding custody, referring cases to the assizes and non-suits in particular)

- judgements handed down by the assizes sitting in last resort

- orders made by the chief justices of the court of appeal in matters relating to domiciliary visits

An appeal to the Supreme Court must be made within five clear days, which in principle begins on the date the contested decision is handed down.

Exceptionally, in special cases the time is sometimes reduced: 3 days regarding the media, and 3 clear days in relation to European warrants.

In criminal matters, the appeal must be notified to the office of the clerk of the court that handed down the contested decision, or to the prison registry if the appellant is in custody. The notification may be made by a lawyer or any person chosen by the litigant. This person, even if a lawyer, must have a special signed power of attorney.

The author of the appeal must advise the barrister to the Council of State and Supreme Court in the month that follows so that the barrister can formulate an application to appeal. The barrister to the Council of State and Supreme Court will then lodge a statement of case within the deadline set by the chief clerk from the time the case arrives in the Supreme Court.

The office of the clerk of the court will always issue a notice of appeal receipt.

The appeal to the Supreme Court has a suspensive effect with regard to criminal convictions.


Appeals before other courts

The Lyon-Caen & Thiriez firm of barristers also represents its clients before the following courts:

- Constitutional Council
International courts: European Court of Justice, General Court, European Court of Human Rights


Legal opinions

As part of their litigation work, barristers to the Council of State and the Supreme Court are also called upon to work in the criminal chamber in the Supreme Court in all areas of criminal law and criminal procedure. Consequently, these barristers have special expertise in any problems concerning criminal law as a whole. The firm therefore regularly provides legal opinions on matters of criminal law or criminal procedure.

These opinions include:

- a summary of the facts and the context of the issue

- an in-depth legal analysis of the matter, including an examination of all the legislation and regulations relating to the matter, case-law and the most recent legal theory

- opinions or solutions.


Advice on litigation

Assistance may be in the form of writing a legal opinion on the chances of the case being successful or the strategy to be used in a particular matter depending on the issues raised by the client (option of taking an appeal or of lodging an appeal with the Supreme Court, withdrawing).

As part of the legal opinion given, and if there are a number of possible options, the firm will inform the client of the advantages and disadvantages of each and will offer an opinion.