Enforcement of sentences of imprisonment


France - ICC Cooperation Law 2002 (FR)


Article 627-18

Where, in accordance with article 103 of the statute, the Government has agreed to take in a person convicted by the International Criminal Court in order for him to serve his prison sentence in French territory, the sentence imposed is immediately enforceable from the transfer of this person onto French soil, for the part of the sentence that remains to be served.
Subject to the provisions of the statute and the present section, the enforcement and the application of the sentence are governed by the provisions of the present Code, with the exception of articles 713-1 to 713-7.

Article 627-19

On his arrival on French territory, the transferred person is presented to the district prosecutor of the area he arrives in, who interrogates him to establish his identity, this being noted in an official record. However, if the interrogation cannot be carried out immediately, the person is taken to prison, where he may be detained for a period not exceeding twenty-four hours. At the end of this period, he is automatically taken before the district prosecutor, as arranged by the head of the prison.
After considering the documents stating the agreement between the French government and the International Criminal Court relating to the transfer of the person concerned, a certified copy of the conviction judgment, and a court notification of the start date for the enforcement of the sentence and the length of time that remains to be served, the district prosecutor orders the immediate imprisonment of the convicted person.

Article 627-20

If the convicted person lodges a request to be placed abroad, or for partial liberty, reduction in his sentence, for his sentence to be suspended or to be served in parts, for placement under electronic surveillance or for release on parole, his request is sent to the public prosecutor at the appeal court for the area where the convicted person is imprisoned. The district prosecutor sends this request on to the Minister of Justice.
The latter sends the request to the International Criminal Court as soon as possible, together with all the relevant documents.
The International Criminal Court decides if the convicted person may or may not benefit from the considered measure. Where the Court’s decision is negative, the government indicates to the court whether it agrees to keep the convicted person on French territory or if it intends to request his transfer to another State appointed by the court.

Article 627-21

When, after an indictment decision, the accused has neither appeared nor been arrested within ten days of the notification being made to his home, or when after appearance or arrest he then escapes, the presiding judge of the assize court or, in his absence, the presiding judge of the court where the assizes are held, or the judge who replaces him, makes a ruling that he is obliged to appear again within a new time limit of ten days, failing which he will be declared a rebel against the law, his rights as a citizen will be suspended, his assets will be impounded during the investigation of the contumacy, legal proceedings of all kinds will be barred to him during the same period, that proceedings will continue against him, and any person who knows of his whereabouts will be obliged to make them known.
This ruling also contains a reference to the felony and the arrest order.

Rome Statute

Article 103 Role of States in enforcement of sentences of imprisonment


(a) A sentence of imprisonment shall be served in a State designated by the Court from a list of States which have indicated to the Court their willingness to accept sentenced persons.

(b) At the time of declaring its willingness to accept sentenced persons, a State may attach conditions to its acceptance as agreed by the Court and in accordance with this Part.

(c) A State designated in a particular case shall promptly inform the Court whether it accepts the Court's designation.


(a) The State of enforcement shall notify the Court of any circumstances, including the exercise of any conditions agreed under paragraph 1, which could materially affect the terms or extent of the imprisonment. The Court shall be given at least 45 days' notice of any such known or foreseeable circumstances. During this period, the State of enforcement shall take no action that might prejudice its obligations under article 110.

(b) Where the Court cannot agree to the circumstances referred to in subparagraph (a), it shall notify the State of enforcement and proceed in accordance with article 104, paragraph 1.

3. In exercising its discretion to make a designation under paragraph 1, the Court shall take into account the following:

(a) The principle that States Parties should share the responsibility for enforcing sentences of imprisonment, in accordance with principles of equitable distribution, as provided in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence;

(b) The application of widely accepted international treaty standards governing the treatment of prisoners;

(c) The views of the sentenced person;

(d) The nationality of the sentenced person;

(e) Such other factors regarding the circumstances of the crime or the person sentenced, or the effective enforcement of the sentence, as may be appropriate in designating the State of enforcement.

4. If no State is designated under paragraph 1, the sentence of imprisonment shall be served in a prison facility made available by the host State, in accordance with the conditions set out in the headquarters agreement referred to in article 3, paragraph 2. In such a case, the costs arising out of the enforcement of a sentence of imprisonment shall be borne by the Court.

Article 105 Enforcement of the sentence

1. Subject to conditions which a State may have specified in accordance with article 103, paragraph 1 (b), the sentence of imprisonment shall be binding on the States Parties, which shall in no case modify it.

2. The Court alone shall have the right to decide any application for appeal and revision. The State of enforcement shall not impede the making of any such application by a sentenced person.