Criminal law

The law office GIACCARDI & BREZZO Avocats advises and defends legal and natural persons (investors, business managers, corporate officers, partners, individuals):

• Identification and assessment of criminal risk (audit of criminal liability);

• Prevention and protection against criminal risk with the implementation of appropriate legal tools (health and safety of persons, prior authorizations, delegation of authority);

• Filing of complaints, preliminary inquiries, investigations, trials (general criminal law offenses, specific infringements of business and intellectual property law, digital identity theft, technology crime);

• International judicial assistance (international letter rogatory, extradition, transnational criminal proceedings);

We intervene at all stages of the judicial process (assistance, preparation and defence).

We are specialized in criminal business law, which includes complex offenses and foreign related factors:

• Money laundering

• Bribery, trading in influence and offences committed in support of corruption

• Breach of trust

• Concealment

• Fraud

• Fraud in intra-community trade


Monegasque criminal law

Criminal law is governed by the Criminal Code of September 28, 1967, the Criminal Procedure Code of April 2, 1963, Law No.1.299 of July 15, 2005 on freedom of public expression, Law No.1.362 of August 3, 2009 amended on anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism financing and anti-corruption, Law No.1.338 of September 7, 2007 on financial activities.

Monegasque criminal business law is very different from the French criminal business law. Some criminal offences do not exist in Monaco, e.g. misuse of company assets. It is based on a specific criminal procedure and has its own specific offences.

In the past years, the face of criminal law and criminal procedure law changed substantially, in particularly to adapt to the new constraints imposed by the Council of Europe (MONEYVAL Committee, GRECO).

With regard to anti-money laundering, Law No. 1.322 of 9 November 2006 and Law No. 1.462 of 28 June 2018 have substantially amended the applicable rules, enlarging the list of the money laundering predicate offenses, and introducing the case of presumptive money laundering in the Penal Code.

In corruption matters, Law No. 1.394 of 9 October 2012 and Law No. 1.462 of 28 June 2018 have reshaped the existing offenses, in accordance with the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption of 27 January 1999.

With regard to cybercrime, Law No.1.435 of 8 November 2016 has incorporated into Monegasque law the Council of Europe (Budapest) Convention on Cybercrime:  introduction of new offenses in the criminal code (offences involving information systems, digital identity theft); modernization of traditional criminal offenses (criminal threats); modernization of criminal proceedings rules (search of computer systems, seizure of computer data).

Law No. 1.464 of 10 December 2018 strengthened the protection of persons against non-public defamation and insult (amendment of the Penal Code) and public defamation and insult (amendment of Law No. 1.299 of 15 July 2005 on freedom of public expression, modified). The reform takes into account defamatory or abusive language through the “use of a false name, false quality, false identity, or any other means of concealing its real identity”.

With regard to criminal procedure, governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure promulgated on 2 April 1963, Law No. 1.394 of 9 October 2012 introduced new special investigation techniques, such as the sound and image fixation of certain places or vehicles, the procedure of infiltration and anonymous testimony.

The police custody regime was recasted and adjusted by Laws No. 1.343 of December 26, 2007 and No. 1.399 of June 25, 2013 (criteria of detention, guarantee of human rights, right to silence, right to counsel …).

The rules of criminal procedure relating to the search and seizure of computer data were modernized by Law No. 1.435 of 8 November 2016.

On the recommendations of the OECD, the penalties for breach of professional secrecy have been aggravated by Law No. 1.444 of 19 December 2016.

The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure relating to the summons to appear in court and the arrest warrant issued by the criminal court have been amended by Law No. 1.449 of 4 July 2017.

The Law No. 1.421 of 1 December 2015 on various measures on State responsibility and remedies has introduced a procedure for the reopening of criminal proceedings in the event of a decision of the EHCR finding a violation to the European Convention on Human Rights or its additional protocols.



Our related publications

Sentence Law Reform

11/2019 Act No. 1.478 of 12/11/2019 amending certain provisions relating to sentences, published in the Journal de Monaco on 15/11/2019, is the result of Bill No. 984, which incorporated Bill No. 224 on work in the public interest of the National ...

Draft Law No. 995 on blockchain technology

Draft law No. 995 (17 articles), received by the National Council on 4 June 2019, is part of the "process of modernization and digital transition" of the Principality (with: Draft law No. 992 on Digital Identity; Draft law No. 994 amending Law No. 1....

Update of Annexes A and B of the Monetary Agreement of 29 November 2011 with the European Union

Sovereign Ordinance No. 7.440 of April 26, 2019 replaces Annexes A ("Banking and Financial Legislation" applied by France) and B ("Legal Provisions to be Implemented" by measures equivalent to those taken by the Member States) of the Monetary Agreeme...

Speech by Thomas BREZZO at the Faculty of Law of Nice

09/05/2019 Intervention in the framework of the Second Degree Masters Private Fundamental Law and Criminal Sciences, attached to the research unit C.E.R.D.P. of the Faculty of Law of Nice, on: • International judicial cooperation in civil or ...

Speech by Thomas GIACCARDI at the Faculty of Law of Nice

23/04/2019 Intervention in the framework of the Second Degree Masters Private Fundamental Law and Criminal Sciences, attached to the research unit C.E.R.D.P. of the Faculty of Law of Nice, on: “Police custody, indictment, pre-trial detention...

UN HRC: Report on the Third Universal Periodic Review - Monaco

At its 40th Session (25/02-22/03/2019), the Human Rights Council adopted on 14/03/2019 the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) outcomes of Monaco (Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (A/HCR/40/13) and additional information trans...

Draft law No. 987 relating to the protection of whistle-blowers in the labour relations context

The National Council received the draft law No. 987 relating to the protection of whistle-blowers in the labour relations context, on 21 December 2018. It comes from the law proposal No. 229 adopted in Public Session on 28 June 2017. According to ...

Draft Law No. 984 amending certain provisions relating to sentences

The draft law No. 984 amending certain provisions relating to sentences of November 9, 2018, together 80 articles, was received by the National Council on November 27, 2018. The text "was developed by the legal services of the government, in light...

ECHR: Extradition to a State where the person concerned incurs a real risk of death penalty

Saidani v. Germany — 17675/18 Decision on inadmissibility (manifestly ill-founded) — 27.09.2018   • Article 2 of the Convention (right to life) and Article 1 of Protocol No. 13 (abolition of the death penalty) There was a real risk t...

Law against money laundering, the financing of terrorism and corruption

Law No. 1.462 of 28 June 2018 reinforcing the anti-money laundering, financing of terrorism and corruption mechanism transposes the EU's Fourth Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Directive[i] aligned with the revised FATF Recommendation...

Prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism

Sovereign Order No. 7.065 of 26 July 2018 amending Sovereign Order No. 2.318 of 3 August 2009 amended, setting the conditions for application of Act No. 1.362 of 3 August 2009, amended by Act No. 1.462 of 28 June 2018 reinforcing the anti-money la...

Eurojuris 2018 Practice Group Days

10/13 mai 2018 (Stockholm) Litigation, ADR & Contracts Group's Session, with the participation of Guillaume CARDOEN about "E-justice", "Anti-Bribery Legislation and contracts". More information International Business Group's Session, speech...

IBA 23rd Annual International Wealth Transfer Practice Conference: Working globally, planning locally

5/6 March 2018 (London) Presented by the IBA Private Client Tax Committee and supported by the IBA Family Law Committee, with the participation of Patricia KEMAYOU MENGUE. • Cross-border investments • Privacy and constitutional concerns ...

Chambers 2018 Anti-Corruption Guide - Monaco

Contributed by Thomas GIACCARDI, Sophie SCHUMACHER, Eva GROS, Erika BERNARDI. 1. Offences 2. Defences - Exceptions 3. Penalties 4. Whistle-blowing 5. Enforcement 6. Future changes...

Matinee: Fight against money laundering, corruption and the financing of terrorism - June 3, 2016 (Monaco)

June 3, 2016 (Monaco) Organized by AMCO (Monegasque Association of Compliance Officers) Speech by Thomas GIACCARDI “Recent developments in Monegasque case law"...

 Meeting: Tax Offences and Criminal Prosecution 

June 26, 2014 (Metropole Monaco) Organized by AMCO (Monegasque Association of Compliance Officers)/Academy & Finance Speech by Thomas GIACCARDI “International Mutual Assistance against Tax Fraud and Money Laundering: the Evolving Rul...

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