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Chambre civile

The Chambre civile is one of the 4 chambers of the Cour civile de la Cour de justice. It is the appeal authority against decisions rendered by the Tribunal de première instance and the Justice of the peace, notably in family law, succession law, etc. It is also the authority in charge of pronouncing the adoption.




Place du Bourg-de-Four 1
Building A
1204 Genève

Contact details

Summer hours from July 1 through August 16, 2024, included

9h-12h / 14h-16h

--> Resumption of the usual working hours indicated below as of August 19, 2024.



Opening hours
8h-12h / 14h-16h

Mailing address

Chambre civile
Case postale 3108
1211 Genève 3



The Chambre civile rules on appeals in the following matters:

  • Family law: separation, divorce, the establishment of filiation, liquidation of matrimonial regimes, obligations of parents towards their children, etc.
  • Law of persons: rectification of civil status, change of name, change of sex
  • Property law: movable and immovable property, easements, pledge rights
  • Code of obligationsrepresentation, civil liability
  • Contract law: sales contracts, mandate contracts (bank, doctor, architect, etc.), business contracts
  • Company and commercial law: annulment of decisions of the general meeting, liability of persons entrusted with the administration, management or auditing of a company, cancellation of shares
  • Succession law: annulment of testamentary dispositions, questions relating to reserves, division of an estate, various conflicts between heirs, renunciation of inheritance, etc.
  • Debt enforcement, seizure and bankruptcy

In particular, it rules on adoption applications.

It also acts as a higher authority in matters of arbitration and composition agreements.

It rules as the sole cantonal authority in cases provided for by law (intellectual property, unfair competition, cartels, etc.).


The judges of the Chambre civile work in close collaboration with jurists and, for the administrative follow-up of the proceedings and the record of the hearings, with a clerk.

When it rules, the Chambre civile is composed of 3 permanent judges.

The Chambre civile’s Office can be reached by telephone at the times mentioned, for questions relating to a pending proceeding. It does not provide legal advice.


You must submit your appeal/objection to the Chambre civile within the time limit provided for by law, in written formin one copy per party, by post or by depositing it directly at the desk of the Chamber or at the Greffe universel. It must be written in French and signed.

Your appeal/objection must imperatively:

  • Name the parties and their possible lawyers, indicating the contact details of each
  • Name the decision being appealed, a copy of which must be attached
  • Specify in a concrete way the factual and legal reasons for which you are challenging the contested decision (motivation)
  • Indicate what you wish to obtain (conclusions)
  • Enclose all useful documents


In civil matters, the parties can generally be represented by their lawyer. However, they are required to appear personally in 2 cases: when the court has expressly ordered it and at conciliation hearings.

At conciliation hearings, however, the parties may be represented when they are domiciled outside the canton or when they are prevented from appearing due to illness, age or other good reasons.

Please note: the presence of minor children who have not been summoned (even babies) is only allowed in court with the agreement of the judge.

In civil matters, yes, because the minor child must be represented by his/her legal representative. Exceptionally, the child can act without the assistance of his/her legal representative if he/she is exercising a strictly personal right.

- In civil proceedings, hearings are public with 3 exceptions: hearings pertaining to family law are not public; the court may order that hearings be held in a closed session when a private or public interest requires it; hearings in conciliation proceedings are never public.

- In criminal proceedings, the hearings of the Chambre pénale d'appel et de révision are in principle public while those of the Chambre pénale de recours are not.

Yes, in the following cases:

  • At the stage of conciliation
  • At any stage of the proceedings, if the hearing is public

See also

Cour de justice

The Cour de justice is the authority of appeal and last instance in the canton against decisions rendered by the criminal prosecution authority and against first instance judgments in criminal, civil and administrative matters. It also rules as a single instance when the law so provides.

Tribunal de protection de l'adulte et de l'enfant

The Tribunal de protection de l'adulte et de l'enfant ensures the protection of people throughout their lives, from childhood to adulthood up to their succession. It intervenes when no satisfactory solution has been found for the person concerned within the family, with relatives or any other institution that can provide assistance.

Civil law branch

The civil courts have jurisdiction to issue a final decision concerning disputes arising between individuals or legal entities.