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The Chambre pénale de recours

The Chambre pénale de recours is one of the 2 chambers of the Cour pénale de la Cour de justice.




Place du Bourg-de-Four 1
Building A

1204 Genève

Contact details


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

Mailing address

Chambre pénale de recours
Case postale 3108
1211 Genève 3



The Chambre pénale de recours rules on appeals against decisions and procedural acts of the police, the Public Prosecutor's Office and the criminal justice authorities having jurisdiction in matters of contraventions as well as against decisions of the first instance courts (Tribunal de police, Tribunal correctionnel, Tribunal criminel and Tribunal des mineurs) which are not subject to appeal.

It is also competent to rule on appeals against decisions issued by the Tribunal des mesures de contrainte in respect of pre-trial detention, preventive detention as well as on alternative measures.

In addition, it rules on appeals against decisions issued by the authorities responsible for the execution of sentences and measures (the Tribunal d'application des peines et des mesures and the Office for the execution of sentences and measures).


The Chambre pénale de recours sits in a formation of 3 judges.

The Chambre pénale de recours rules with a single-judge formation when the appeal relates exclusively to contraventions or to the subsidiary economic consequences of a decision of which the amount in dispute does not exceed Fr. 5'000.-.


The appeal must be substantiated and sent in writing, within 10 days, to the Chambre pénale de recoursIt can be either submitted to reception desk of the Chambre pénale de recours or at the Greffe universel. It must be written in French and signed.

There is no time limit to appeal for denial of justice or unjustified delay.

The appeal proceeding is a written procedure. There is no hearing or public delivery of the judgment.
The judgment is communicated to the parties by post.


The appeal must contain, on penalty of inadmissibility: the designation of the contested decision, the contested points of the decision, the reasons for requiring another decision (the arguments) and any supporting evidence.

The grounds for the appeal must be entirely contained in the act itself and may not be supplemented or corrected subsequently.

No, the appeal must be written in french.

The costs of the appeal proceeding are borne by the unsuccessful party (losing the case). The party whose appeal is inadmissible or who withdraws the appeal is also considered to have lost the case.

The Chambre pénale de recours may require the private claimant to provide security (guarantees) to cover potential costs and damages in the appeal proceeding.

If the required guarantees are not provided within the time limit, the appeal will not be processed.

- 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.

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.

Criminal law branch

The Public Prosecutor's Office and the criminal justice authorities prosecute and sanction conducts prohibited by law, i.e. contraventions, misdemeanours and felonies.

Legal advice service and legal counsels

The Judiciary Power does not provide legal advice. You can contact the following associations and organizations.