Should the prosecutor prosecute a complaint?

Verified 09 May 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

No, no, no. The public prosecutor does not have to prosecute following a complaint.

It may take a decision to no follow-up classification. There is no investigation, no trial, no alternative measures to prosecution.

An opinion from no follow-up classification shall be forwarded to the complainant. It indicates the reason for the decision of the public prosecutor.

These reasons may include:

  • The facts reported do not constitute a infringement (i.e. the prosecutor considers that the facts reported by the complainant do not violate the law)
  • The offender is unknown and there are not enough clues to find him
  • The Complainant has withdrawn his complaint or has been compensated
  • The harm caused by the offense is not very significant and the prosecutor believes that the case is not serious enough to proceed.

Please note

The no follow-up classification is not a final decision. The public prosecutor may reconsider his decision at any time and decide to prosecute. This is the case, for example, if the police find new elements or identify the perpetrator. However, the prosecutor can no longer bring charges if the facts are prescribed or if the perpetrator has died.

Faced with the decision of the public prosecutor to close your complaint, you have the means to follow up on the facts that you consider yourself a victim.

You can challenge the no follow-up classification in an addressed letter to the chief prosecutor of the court of appeal.

Who shall I contact

The mail can be sent by simple letter or by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

The Attorney General may order the Public Prosecutor to initiate proceedings or reject the request.

You can also to bring an action before the court directly, using one of the following 3 procedures:

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