The Officers of the Law
This category includes three very distinct professions, whose roles are defined by the current legislation: lawyers, notaries and bailiffs.
Avocat-défenseurs (defence lawyers), avocats (lawyers) and avocats-stagiaires (junior lawyers)
The status of avocat-défenseurs, lawyers and junior lawyers is governed by Act No. 1047 of 28 July 1982 and Sovereign Ordinance No. 8089 of 17 September 1984. Fees and legal expenses payable to avocat-défenseurs are governed by Sovereign Ordinance No. 15.173 of 8 January 2002 .
To be eligible for appointment, a junior lawyer must: be a Monegasque national, enjoy full civil rights, be of good character, hold a Masters degree in law from a French University of Law or an equivalent qualification, not called to a foreign bar and have passed an examination. A junior lawyer is appointed by order of the Secretary of Justice.
The training covers a period of three years during which the junior lawyer has to attend hearings of the various courts on a regular basis, defend cases assigned to him under the legal aid system or by court appointment, work in the law practice of an avocat-défenseur and to attend conferences and training sessions at the courts.
Following satisfactory completion of this three-year training, the junior lawyer is admitted to practise as a lawyer by order of the Secretary of Justice.
After completion of five years of sufficient and satisfactory practice, the lawyer may apply to become an avocat-défenseur; if he is successful, the appointment is made by Sovereign Ordinance.
Avocat-défenseurs, lawyers and junior lawyers make up the Monaco Bar Association attached to the Court of Appeal and which has a legal status. The Bar Association is managed by a Board consisting of a President called the President of the Bar, a syndic-rapporteur (reporter) and a Secretary-Treasurer; this Board is elected by avocat-défenseurs and lawyers for a period of one year. The term of office of the President can only be renewed once.
Avocat-défenseurs have the powers to represent parties and to plead before any court.
Lawyers have the powers to plead before any court and to represent parties before criminal courts, the Magistrate’s Court and the Employment Tribunal and in cases provided for by the law.
Junior lawyers have the powers to plead before any court, except the Supreme Court and the Court of Review; they are not allowed to represent parties.
Besides representation fees per se, avocat-défenseurs are entitled to charge fees for time and effort, consultations, pleadings and other professional services for which the fees are not regulated and are determined by the avocat-défenseurs. Lawyers are free to set their fees for consultations and hearings.
Avocat-défenseurs, lawyers and junior lawyers are appointed on a rotation basis, in accordance with the provisions of the code of civil procedure and the code of criminal procedure, to represent and defend parties entitled to legal aid, and they may not refuse this official assignment.
Parties may, in all matters, request a foreign lawyer to defend their case; in this case, the lawyer must obtain prior authorisation to plead by the President of the concerned Court; this authorisation is always subject to assistance by an avocat-défenseur for the proceedings and conclusions, except for the defence of an accused or a defendant in criminal proceedings.
The list of lawyers can be consulted on this page .
Monaco Bar Association
(Loi n° 1.047 du 28 juillet 1982)
Mandate: 1 year
Batonnier: Me Régis BERGONZI
Trustee-rapporteur: Me Christophe BALLERIO
Secretary Treasurer: Me Xavier-Alexandre BOYER
The status of notaries is defined by the Ordinance of 4th March 1886; duties and fees payable to notaries for their official functions are defined by the Ordinance no. 15.252 of 13th February 2002.
Notaries are public officials authorised to record any instrument or contract the parties to which are obliged, or may wish, to invest with the authenticity associated with public authority instruments, and to guarantee their date, keep them safe and issue principal and additional copies.
To be admitted as a Notary, the applicant must enjoy his civil rights, be at least 25 years of age, have worked 3 years in a notarial practice in the Principality or abroad. Notaries are appointed for life by the Prince.
The list of notaries can be consulted on this page .
The status of bailiffs is governed by Articles 137 to 155 of Act no. 783 of 15th July 1965 portant organisation judiciaire, while their fees are defined by Sovereign Ordinance no.15.172 of 8th January 2002.
Bailiffs are appointed by Sovereign Ordinance upon the proposal of the Secretary of Justice and take an oath before the Court of Appeal.
There are currently two bailiffs in function in the Principality.
When called upon, they are required to:
- Manage hearings in courts and tribunals in accordance with the instructions of the President
- Assign parties before the courts
- Serve and enforce judgments, ordinances, commissions and summons from magistrates
- To execute all extraordinary summons, notifications or cancellations that interested parties shall deem necessary
- Draw up statements of facts at the request of individuals
Bailiffs may not refuse their official functions, unless there is a valid cause.
Bailiffs have sole jurisdiction for auctions.
Bailiffs may be replaced, subject to conditions, by a sworn clerk for serving judicial and extrajudicial instruments and for the management of hearings.
A bailiff may, where necessary, be appointed in connection with the legal aid system to help the legally assisted party in carrying out all actions necessary to defend his interests.
The list of bailiffs can be consulted on this page .
Features common to all officers of the law
These are three professions to which access is regulated.
The exercise of these professions is subject to a number of rules of conduct and is incompatible with the exercise of all or some professions.
Non-compliance with their obligations may give rise to disciplinary measures and to civil liability if such non-compliance has caused injury.
- Constitution of the Principality
- Sovereign powers
- Executive powers
- The foundations of Monegasque justice and Monegasque Law
- The Supreme court
- The Department of Justice
- The Monegasque Institute for training in the legal professions
- The Remand Prison of Monaco
- The High Council of Judges and Prosecutors
- The Public Prosecution Department
- The Justice of the Peace
- The Court of First Instance
- Specialised Courts and Judges
- The Court of Appeal
- The Court of Revision
- The Criminal Court
- The General Court Registry
- The Officers of the Law
- Legal aid
- Assemblies and constitutional bodies