Organisation of the courts - ordinary courts and administrative courts
The structure of the courts
1. First instance
- Regional court (tribunal de grande instance)
- District court (tribunal d’instance)
- Specialised civil courts (employment tribunal (conseil de prud’hommes), commercial court (tribunal de commerce), etc.)
- Police court (tribunal de police), dealing with minor offences (contraventions)
- Criminal court (tribunal correctionnel), dealing with intermediate offences (délits)
- Assize court (cour d’assises), dealing with serious crimes (crimes)
2. Second instance: courts of appeal (cours d’appel)
3. Court of Cassation (Cour de cassation)
1. First instance
- Administrative court (tribunal administratif)
- Specialised administrative courts: financial courts, such as the regional auditors’ office (chambre régionale des comptes); social welfare courts (juridictions d’aide sociale); professional disciplinary courts (juridictions disciplinaires)
2. Second instance
- Administrative courts of appeal (cours administratives d’appel)
- Specialised administrative courts of appeal (juridictions administratives d’appel spécialisées), such as the Court of Auditors (Cour des comptes) or the Central Commission for Social Welfare (Commission centrale d’aide sociale)
3. Council of State (Conseil d’État)
More information is available on the site of the Council of State.
Access to legal databases in France is provided via the Internet as a public service. The Légifrance site covers:
- judgments of the Court of Cassation and the courts of appeal (the ‘CASS’, ‘INCA’ and ‘CAPP’ databases)
- judgments of the Council of State
- judgments of the Administrative Courts of Appeal
- judgments of some administrative courts of first instance (the ‘JADE’ database).
Is access to these databases free of charge?
Yes, access to these databases is free.
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