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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.

Schematic illustration of the criminal law branch

In order to issue their decisions, the Public Prosecutor's Office and the criminal justice authorities proceed with the investigation of the cases : they summon and hear the parties and possible witnesses, order expert opinions, conduct  site visits and issue letters rogatory. Depending on the seriousness of the offence committed, the trial shall take place before:

Understanding the criminal law branch through a video

Criminal justice: On the track of the burglar

A couple is the victim of a burglary. A suspect is apprehended by the police and then handed over to the Public Prosecutor's Office.
The criminal justice system prosecutes (Public Prosecutor's Office) and punishes (Public Prosecutor's Office or courts) the perpetrators of offences, i.e., contraventions, misdemeanors and crimes.

See also

Public Prosecutor's Office

As a prosecuting authority, the Public Prosecutor's Office is responsible for conducting the preliminary investigation and supervising the action of the police and then supporting the prosecution at the trial. It is responsible for the uniform exercise of public prosecution, for which purpose the public prosecutor defines the policy for the prosecution of criminal offences.

Tribunal pénal

The Tribunal pénal rules on criminal proceedings as the cantonal authority of the first instance.

Tribunal des mineurs

The Tribunal des mineurs is the court responsible for the prosecution and trial of offences committed by persons between the ages of 10 and 18 at the time of the act. It is also responsible for the execution of the sanctions pronounced (sentences and protective measures for educational and/or therapeutic purposes according to the criminal law applicable to minors (art. 12 to 15 DPMin)) against them.

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.