Which authority decides on a claim for compensation in cross-border cases?
At each regional court (tribunal de grande instance), a Crime Victims Compensation Board (Commission d’indemnisation des victimes d’infractions — CIVI) decides on compensation claims filed by victims of crimes or their dependants.
In respect of terrorism FR, the Guarantee Fund for Victims of Terrorism and Other Offences (Fonds de garantie des actes de terrorisme et d’autres infractions — FGTI) decides on claims, with a review by the court in the event of a dispute.
Can I send my claim directly to the deciding authority in this country even in cross-border cases (without having to go via the assisting authority in my home country)?
Yes, you can refer the matter directly to the authority, which will be able to decide on your claim.
In which language(s) do the compensation authorities accept the:
- supporting documents?
The claim and the documents are accepted in French or English.
If the compensation authority translates the claim/supporting documents from another EU country, who pays for this?
Cross-border victims are requested, whenever possible, to provide a French translation of the key documents at their own expense.
Are there administrative or other charges to be paid in this country for processing my claim (received from another EU country)? If so, how can I pay these?
If I need to be present during the procedure and/or when my claim is being decided upon, can I be reimbursed for my travelling costs? How can I claim them? Who do I have to contact?
You are not required to be present. However, you can under certain conditions claim reimbursement of your travel costs, a daily subsistence allowance for board and lodging, and an allowance for attendance (indemnité de comparution).
To obtain this reimbursement, you must contact the court that summoned you.
Is an interpreter provided, in case I have to be personally present?
Yes, if you come, an interpreter will be provided free of charge.
Will medical certificates, given by doctors in my country of residence, be accepted or recognised — or will my health/injury have to be examined by your own medical experts?
Medical certificates from your country of residence will be accepted. Depending on the case, a medical appraisal can be carried out on the basis of documents.
Will I be reimbursed for my travelling costs, if I have to undergo a medical examination in this country?
The medical examination is preferably organised by mutual agreement with the victim during one of their visits to France. Otherwise, the travel costs incurred by a victim in getting to the medical examination can, on production of the supporting documents, be reimbursed by the FGTI.
How long does it take approximately to get a decision on compensation from the authority/body?
The application is forwarded by the registry of the CIVI to the FGTI without delay.
The FGTI must submit an offer to the victim within two months of receipt of the complete file forwarded by the registry of the CIVI.
If the victim accepts the offer, a record of agreement is forwarded to the Chair of the CIVI for approval. Once approved, the agreement can be enforced. The decision is notified to the victim and the FGTI, which will make payment.
If the FGTI refuses, giving reasons, or if the victim refuses the offer, or if the victim does not reply to the FGTI’s offer within two months, the CIVI considers the case, in accordance with a judicial procedure: in that event, a judge hears the application and verifies the statements and documents provided.
The public prosecutor and the FGTI present their observations no later than 15 days before the hearing. The claimant and the FGTI must be summoned at least two months in advance.
Following proceedings in a closed hearing, the decision of the CIVI to award or refuse compensation is notified to the claimant and to the FGTI, which pays any compensation awarded within the month following that notification.
In respect of terrorism (FR), a sum is paid as an advance by the FGTI within the month following receipt of the complete file, if it is eligible. The FGTI submits an offer of compensation to the victim (when their condition has stabilised) or to the close family members of a deceased victim within three months.
In which language will I receive the decision on my claim?
You will receive the decision in French. You can request a translation of it free of charge.
If I am not satisfied with the decision, how can I challenge it?
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the CIVI, you may request re-examination by the court of appeal (cour d’appel) within whose jurisdiction the CIVI falls.
Can I get legal aid (help from a lawyer) under the other country’s rules?
You can be given legal aid in accordance with the rules applicable in France.
Are there any victim support organisations in this country that can help me claim compensation in a cross-border situation?
Victim support associations who can be contacted in the victim support offices of the courts and or at their own premises can provide you with free assistance in the preparation of your compensation claim.
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