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Law No. 1.533 of December 9, 2022 concerning preliminary investigation and alternative measures to prosecution

Law No. 1.533 of December 9, 2022 modernizes the Monegasque criminal procedure by introducing, on one hand, alternative measures to criminal prosecution (A), and on the other hand, preliminary investigation (B).

A. Introduction of alternative measures to prosecution

Article 34-1 has been added to the Code of Criminal Procedure in order to offer alternative measures to prosecution for criminal offenses, aimed at repairing the damages caused, putting an end to disturbances, and assisting the offender in reintegrating.

B. Creation of preliminary investigation

Preliminary investigation allows for the swift dismissal of unfounded complaints or denunciations and avoids resorting to formal investigation in straightforward cases. It also plays an essential role in transmitting information to the Public Ministry.

The following provisions, which will apply from March 1, 2023, to ongoing investigations registered with the Office of the Public Prosecutor or the Department of Public Security, have been incorporated into the Code of Criminal Procedure :

– Creation of Article 81-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which defines preliminary investigation as the set of actions by the judicial police aimed at collecting evidence to uncover the truth and enable the judicial authority to decide on the prosecution of offenses ;

– Creation of Article 81-1-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which specifies that preliminary investigation can be initiated in the case of a complaint, denunciation, information, or findings brought to the attention of an officer of the judicial police or the Prosecutor General, regarding the commission or attempted commission of an offense, excluding crimes and flagrant offenses ;

– Creation of Article 81-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, stating that if both an instruction and a preliminary investigation are opened simultaneously, the instruction takes precedence and the preliminary investigation must be closed ;

– Creation of Article 1-4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which considers every act of preliminary investigation as an act of proof administration, thus interrupting the statute of limitations ;

– Creation of Article 81-7-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, stipulating that only the judge for liberty can order seizures and searches in lawyers’ offices, upon a written and reasoned request from the Prosecutor General ;

– Creation of Article 81-12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, granting the person implicated in a preliminary investigation, which has involved investigative acts, the right to request, six months after the completion of these acts, to consult the case file and make observations to the Prosecutor General.

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