Safeguarding justice

Verified 15 July 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Safeguarding justice is a short-term measure of protection. It allows a middle finger to be represented to perform certain acts of everyday life. This measure may avoid imposing a more restrictive guardianship or trusteeship. The middle finger retains the exercise of his rights, except in exceptional circumstances. There are 2 types of safeguards of justice: a medical one and a judicial one (taken by the judge).

The safeguard of justice shall apply to the following persons:

  • Major who has physical or psychological difficulties due to illness
  • Major suffering from disability or age-related impairment
  • Major with a decrease in his physical and/or mental faculties preventing him from expressing his will


for those with more severe impairment, the safeguard of justice is an immediate measure pending the implementation of a guardianship or a trusteeship.

Safeguarding of justice following a medical declaration

The medical safeguard is put in place following a declaration made to the public prosecutor.

This declaration shall be made out:

  • either by the doctor of the person to be protected, accompanied by the assent of a psychiatrist,
  • or by the doctor of the health facility where the person to be protected is located.

Safeguarding of justice by decision of the judge

The guardianship, curatorship or safeguarding of justice of an adult, may be requested from the judge of protection disputes by the following persons:

  • Major himself
  • Person with whom the middle finger to protect living as a couple
  • Parent or a allied
  • Person who has close and stable ties with the middle finger
  • Person who already exercises another legal protection measure (guardian or guardian)
  • Public Prosecutoron its own initiative 
  • Third parties (doctor, director of health facilities, ...)

The measure of legal protection (guardianship, curatorship or safeguarding of justice) is determined according to the degree of impairment (i.e. degradation) of the personal faculties of the person to be protected.

Demand (request) shall contain the following items:

Before making his decision, the judge hears the person to be protected. The latter may be accompanied by a lawyer or, on the agreement of the judge, by a person chosen by the latter.

The hearing is not public. In urgent cases, the hearing may take place after the decision to safeguard the case.

The judge may decide, after hearing the opinion of the doctor who issued the medical certificate, not to hear the person, whether the hearing may harm his or her health or whether the person cannot express his or her will.

The judge may order measures to obtain information (e.g. social investigation) or request to hear the relatives or close relatives of the person to be protected.

Who shall I contact

In case of safeguarding justice on medical declaration to the public prosecutor, the protected person can make an amicable appeal to obtain the delisting of this backup.

This appeal must be addressed to the public prosecutor.

Who shall I contact

In the case of safeguarding justice by decision of the judge responsible for litigation and protection, no appeal is possible, since the safeguard does not in itself entail any modification of the rights of the person concerned.

The judge may appoint one or more special representatives to carry out specific acts of representation or assistance which are necessary for the protection of the person. For example, it involves the use of a bank investment, the sale of a house.

The judge chooses the special representative priority among relatives. If this is not possible, it appoints a professional registered on a departmental list maintained by the prefect.

The special representative must be accountable to the protected person and the judge for the execution of his or her mandate. In particular, it must report at the end of management.

If a special representative is appointed to perform certain acts, that decision may be appealed within 15 days of receipt of the notification. Such an appeal may be brought by the same people than those authorized to request a safeguard measure. A registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt should be sent to the court registry. The registry will send it to the court of appeal.

Who shall I contact

The person in custody of justice retains the right to perform all acts of civil life, except those entrusted to the special representative if he has been appointed.

However, the person in custody of justice cannot divorce by mutual consent or by consent.

The safeguard allows the special representative to challenge (either by canceling or correcting them) certain acts contrary to the interests of the adult, which he or she may have committed during the safeguard of justice.

Before the end of the legal protection measure, persons who have applied for it may submit to the protection litigation judge (former guardianship judge) a request for a review of the protected person. The cerfa form n°14919 must be used. The purpose of this request is to extend the duration of the measure.

Application to the guardianship judge - Re-examination of an adult judicial protection measure

The safeguard of justice cannot go beyond 1 year. It is renewable once by the protection litigation judge.

The total duration is Maximum 2 years.

The safeguarding of justice shall cease in the following cases:

  • On expiry of the period for which it was ordered
  • Upon the lifting of the measure by the protection litigation judge, after the performance of the acts for which it was ordered
  • Upon the lifting of the measure by the protection litigation judge, when the adult regains possession of his faculties
  • By the opening of a guardianship or guardianship measure

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region