The Asset Tracing and Recovery Review: Monaco


The principality of Monaco's civil law system provides a number of well-defined and codified ways in which victims of dishonesty can seek to identify and recover ill-gotten gains from wrongdoers, both through the civil courts and the criminal courts. The courts and the prosecutor's office are responsive to requests to freeze assets, and the prosecutor's office and investigative magistrates in particular have wide discretion to investigate and obtain information directly from banks and financial services companies, corporate service providers and professionals, as well as from the individuals or companies concerned.

Monaco has been particularly responsive to requests from foreign governments through international commissions rogatory to identify and freeze assets under the applicable international agreements.

While, as will be explained below, the means of obtaining evidence in civil matters are restricted as compared to common law jurisdictions, foreign practitioners and victims should not be dissuaded from considering proceedings in Monaco to obtain satisfaction and compensation.

Legal rights and remedies

i Civil and criminal remedies

Monaco's Code of Criminal Procedure provides that victims of criminal wrongdoing are entitled to be parties in criminal investigations and prosecutions.2 As such, they are represented by counsel during an investigation who have access to the files and can request that the investigating magistrate take actions they consider useful, including, inter alia, confrontation of alleged wrongdoers, seizure of assets, nominations of experts and international commissions rogatory. The costs for criminal investigations and the measures proposed by a victim's counsel are borne by the state (although a deposit against costs will be requested).

Criminal investigations begin either on the initiative of the prosecutor (upon a notification by the police or a third party – a bank, for example, or the financial intelligence unit (SICCFIN)) – or on the initiative of the victim. In the victim's case, he or she can file a complaint at the police or the prosecutor's office, or directly with an investigating magistrate. The complaint can be filed against a person or company, and is often filed against 'persons unknown' or 'X' even where the wrongdoer is known in order to avoid liability for 'calumnious denunciation'.

There are two stages to an investigation: the information stage, when the alleged perpetrator has not yet been formally accused; and the instruction stage, where the person has been formally accused, has access to the investigative file and can defend against the accusation.

When an investigative judge is satisfied that the instruction is complete, he or she will remit the file to the prosecutor and make it available to counsel for all sides, requesting comments and any additional investigative acts. The prosecutor returns with his or her requisition or requests. The investigative magistrate then determines whether to hold the accused over for trial, and on which charges, or whether to dismiss the case.

It is not necessary for a victim to have been represented in the instruction in order to be represented as a civil party victim at a criminal trial. In financial matters, the criminal trial is normally held before a correctional tribunal and the infraction qualified as a délit, although certain financial infractions are qualified as crimes.3 An offence qualified as a délit carries a sentence of up to five years' imprisonment (or longer in certain specified cases) and is tried before the Tribunal Correctionnel, and without a jury. A crime is tried before the Tribunal Criminel, before a mixed panel of judges and jurors, and carries a sentence of between five to 20 years. The victim can be a party in both cases, and will demand reparation in terms of monetary damages against all the accused, that is: the person who committed the fraud; and all accomplices, including persons who may have received the proceeds of crime by receiving in Monaco proceeds of an activity determined to be illicit in a foreign country.

There may be an award for material, corporal or moral damages, but there are no punitive damages awarded.4

The time frame for a criminal prosecution can vary, but these are not under the control of civil party victims or lawyers. Criminal prosecutions have been known to be pending for many years before resolution.

Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, to have standing, the victims of a crime must show that they are seeking to repair the damage directly caused by a fact that is judged to be an infraction and from which they have personally suffered.5 As such, there is a question as to whether there can be civil party victims of money laundering offences although these are frequently included when a civil party files a criminal complaint.

The Criminal Code infractions that are most often applied to sanction fraud are escroquerie 6 (fraud) and abus de confiance,7 and related offences, such as receiving the proceeds of either.

The elements of escroquerie are the 'use of a false name or a false quality or the use of fraudulent manoeuvres to convince another of the existence of false enterprises, a false power or imaginary credit, or to create the hope or the fear of a success or an accident or any other 'chimeric' event to obtain' to remit anything of value in order to defraud a person of a part of their fortune.

If a fraud has involved a public offering of the shares or bonds of a company or commercial enterprise, the maximum sentence is 10 years.

With abus de confiance, the elements are the voluntary remittance of things of value to the accused, with an obligation to return them, which have then been misappropriated or dissipated. While this is normally a délit punishable with up to five years' imprisonment, it becomes a crime if committed by a public or ministerial officer (a notary, for example). A loan granted under false pretences has, however, been judged not to constitute the crime of abus de confiance.8

A victim can therefore file a criminal complaint to trigger action in Monaco, or may choose to file a civil lawsuit, or both in parallel proceedings, although there is a maxim that 'penal proceedings hold civil proceedings in abeyance'. Independent civil proceedings will be required to validate freezing orders granted to the victim in a civil action.

Investigating magistrates have wide discretion to seize assets of the accused during the information stage and the instruction stage both for the preservation9 of evidence and the preservation of assets.

The basis of a civil action in fraud can be that consent was obtained by manoeuvres without which the other party would not have contracted (the definition of dol10) and thus led to rescission and restitution, or it can be based on civil responsibility under Article 1229 of the Civil Code, which states 'any act of man that causes damage to another obliges the one who is at fault to repair', which is the basis for an action in tort.

Bars to a criminal claim will be the death of the alleged perpetrator, the statute of limitations (three years for a délit and 10 years for a crime), res judicata and amnesty.11 However, if a criminal complaint was filed before the death of the perpetrator, the criminal court retains jurisdiction to award damages where there has been a judgment on the merits, even if that judgment is not final. Where an infraction is covered by amnesty, the civil claim remains valid.

ii Defences to a civil or criminal fraud action

The defences to a criminal action, apart from those relating to the bars to a claim described above, are defences relating to whether the acts complained of constitute a criminal offence, and whether the accused acted in good faith or with an intent to defraud. In international financial transactions, the accused often seeks to allege that cultural differences and differences in good practices in one country are misinterpreted in the country where the accusation is brought to qualify as criminal acts such practices that in other places are considered current and acceptable and where, moreover, the victim voluntarily and with full knowledge invested in accepting the risk of loss.

In civil actions, the statute of limitations is five years for most actions from the time the plaintiff knew or could have known the facts that gave rise to the action.

Defences will include a waiver or assumption of risk based on contractual documentation that the plaintiff-victim will have signed at the onset of a transaction.

Seizure and evidence

A party in a civil action may, prior to the commencement of an action, seek to freeze assets in Monaco. The Code of Civil Procedure prescribes that when a freezing order is not based on an enforceable definitive judicial decision, its notification (known as an exploit) must also serve as notice of the underlying lawsuit brought in Monaco to validate the seizure.12

A request to be authorised to seize assets is an ex parte request filed with the president of the first instance tribunal.13 It can be preceded by a request that assets be temporarily declared indisposable.14 The request must be justified by the existence of a certainty of the existence of a claim and a showing that a demand for payment has been made and not satisfied. Although a showing that there is urgency and a risk of the removal or dispersion of assets will serve to buttress a request, this is not one of the elements of the Code requirements to obtain a freezing order for assets held by third parties such as banks. Proof of a risk of dissipation is instead necessary if the assets are held by a debtor (for example, valuable collectibles or the registration of a lien on a business or a mortgage on property).15

The existence of the certainty of a claim can be shown by producing a foreign court decision awarding monetary damages to the requesting party, or the existence of a foreign arbitral award, even if neither has yet been recognised as enforceable in Monaco through the procedure for the recognition of foreign judgments16 or on the basis of the New York Convention on the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards, to which Monaco has adhered.17 The underlying contracts, invoices and letters before action equivalents will also be used to show the existence of a claim. Defences are often raised that, in order to respect the sovereignty of the principality, Monaco courts should not take into account decisions of foreign courts in deciding whether to issue freezing orders, unless the foreign decisions are recognised in Monaco. The Court of Appeals recently overturned a lower court order that, in releasing funds blocked as a result of a Monaco ex parte freezing order, had ignored a UK worldwide freezing order in a corruption case. The Court of Appeals took notice that in the interval, judgment in favour of the plaintiff was rendered by the High Court in London, even where the English judgment was not yet recognised in Monaco.

An action on the merits will then either be an action to recognise the foreign judgment or arbitral award, or it will be an action de novo on the merits. Under the new Code of Private International Law, Monaco now recognises international lis pendens, although suspension of a Monaco action in the face of the existence of a prior pending action between the same parties in a foreign jurisdiction is discretionary upon the judges, and will not preclude the filing of a civil action on the merits on the same issues in Monaco.

An ex parte request can be acted on very quickly (10 days to two weeks) and may result in an order to authorise seizure of specific assets. The request must specify the assets to be frozen and the amount: it cannot be a general request freezing all assets. If an asset is real property, the plaintiff must request authorisation to register a judicial mortgage for a specific sum on a described asset. If the assets are personal property (paintings, for example) their location must be specifically described, but the items need not be specifically listed, although it is helpful to do so. If the assets are bank accounts, then the name of one or more banks must be listed but the account numbers need not be included in the request. No justification need be given as to why it is thought that assets are held by a bank. The authorisation will then specify that all sums due by the listed banks to the debtor are frozen up to a specified sum.

Assets remain frozen and cannot be attributed to the creditor (in the case of cash on bank accounts) or sold at a public auction (in the case of real property or personal property other than cash) until there is a title to execute (a final decision enforceable in Monaco).

Once a freezing order is granted, a bailiff will serve it on the banks named, and on the debtor, together with the notification of the first hearing to validate the seizure.

The debtor has time until the date of the first hearing to file an action to release the freezing order.18 This is an emergency action known as a référé, in which the debtor must show that on its face, there is no serious opposition to his or her claim for release, either on the entire claim or on the specified sum authorised to be seized.

Référé actions can be quickly decided, but may run in parallel with underlying civil actions on the merits. The estimated time for an action on the merits is between 12 and 18 months.

Recently, where it could be shown that a debtor was the beneficial owner of a corporate bank account, the Monaco Court of Appeals has pierced the corporate veil and ordered seizure. However, the evidence of beneficial ownership was explicit rather than inferred. Similarly, the Court of Appeals authorised the seizure of the proceeds of a forced sale, even where the creditor was not a creditor of the entity owning the asset sold, on the basis that the debtor was alleged to be the ultimate beneficial owner.

French bank secrecy regulations apply in Monaco under a treaty dating back to 1945 make Monaco subject to French banking rules in many areas. Professional secrecy and the obligation of confidentiality are also covered under Article 308 of the Penal Code A request seeking to identify which banks hold funds for a client or company will not normally be granted.19 However, seizure of specific assets for specific amounts at one or several banks will be ordered if the request specifies the names of the banks. If no funds are held, the bank will reply to the bailiff that it does not have funds. If funds are held, they will be frozen and the bank will reply with the amount frozen (up to the amount authorised to be seized).

It is otherwise possible, prior to initiating a civil action, to request from the court of first instance (TPI) an order to obtain information helpful to determine or confirm the whereabouts of persons or assets. The court has been known to order the compulsory production of records from corporate service providers (which might administer assets held in Monaco banks) or banks where a beneficial owner of an account whose rights were contested requested to have copies of: the account-opening documents; the Monaco administrative services for records such as employment records, confirmation of Monaco rights to residence, statutes of Monaco civil companies and the names and addresses of the administrators, which are otherwise not on the public record; and records relating to wills and estates from the clerk of the court, where they are otherwise not accessible to the public.

In one instance, the court ordered that the entire data records of a financial services company be copied and remitted to a potential plaintiff, but the order was quashed in a subsequent référé action on the grounds that it violated the confidentiality protected by Article 308 of the Criminal Code.20

An order can therefore be set aside, before or after execution, by an urgent référé procedure. Refusal to comply with an order will not result in contempt charges, but may be grounds for an action by the plaintiff that the order be observed, failing which a daily fine will be imposed.

The order must be requested before the action on the merits is begun, after which only the judges of the TPI who are sitting on the case can enjoin a party to produce a document. Failure to produce does not result in contempt charges, which are unknown in Monaco, but the judge may hold the unjustified refusal to produce evidence against the party refusing.

It is otherwise not in practice possible to compel evidence in a Monaco civil case. Monaco has adhered to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence in Civil and Commercial Cases of 18 March 1970, with the reservation that pretrial depositions and discovery are excluded and refusal by a witness to participate may not result in criminal prosecution in the requesting country.21

Monaco civil cases are judged on the written evidence and accompanying documentation, which must be in the French language or translated by a sworn translator. Oral testimony is not ordinarily taken in civil proceedings. There is no pretrial discovery, and pretrial depositions of the opposition are unknown.

An independent expert may be named at the request of one of the parties (either by summary procedure or as part of the procedure on the merits), or by the judge of his or her own initiative in an interlocutory judgment.22 The independent expert will be given a specific mission, and will convoke the parties to obtain information in a series of meetings. However, the expert will not have the power to compel evidence. The expertise is adversarial, in that parties are represented by counsel who are expected to produce commentaries on the subject matter during the process, and when the pre-report is distributed. The expert will then produce a final report with conclusions, which may not be, but usually is, confirmed by the court. If the expert is named in a référé action then a new action will be required on the merits to validate the report. In a civil fraud action, an expert could, for example, evaluate the movements on bank accounts over many years to determine whether the use of funds was in compliance with undertakings given or whether it was fraudulent.

In civil and criminal proceedings, parties do not produce affidavits on their own behalf. Third-party evidence in civil proceedings must be in the form of an attestation, in handwriting, setting out the identity of the affiant, the relationship between the affiant and the party for which they are testifying, and the fact that the deponent knows the attestation will be produced as evidence and that a false statement can give rise to criminal prosecution under Article 103 of the Criminal Code.23 The attestation may be in a foreign language. It should not be drafted by counsel, but is expected to be a spontaneous declaration by the declarant.

It is therefore practically difficult to attest to complicated and lengthy financial transactions. Foreign form affidavits have been known to be used, particularly where they have been admitted as evidence in foreign proceedings. Legal and other expert opinions are not expected to be handwritten.

Objections to the introduction of evidence may, and most often do, contest the validity of the evidence in its form. Thus, an attestation that is not handwritten or that does not clearly set out one of the identifying characteristics of the deponent, or that is not accompanied by a copy of an identifying document, may be excluded. Evidence may also be requested to be excluded because its production is disloyal, meaning that it has been obtained unfairly, or in contravention of criminal statutes preventing secret registration of telephone conversations,24 or preventing the public reproduction of the arguments in divorce matters.25 Evidence produced solely for the purpose of presenting a party in a bad light may be requested to be excluded, but rarely is. Hearsay and even clearly irrelevant evidence are both admissible, and the weight given will be at the discretion of the judge.

It is illegal to produce documents obtained from a criminal investigation in a related civil matter until the trial is concluded (because of the confidentiality covering criminal investigations). An authorisation may be requested either from the prosecutor's office or the court hearing the civil matter.26

Fraud in specific contexts

i Banking and money laundering

In a 2015 unpublished decision, validated in the Court of Appeals, the foreign judicial administrator of an insolvent group of companies appointed by two foreign courts was not granted the status of a civil party victim in a Monaco money laundering investigation resulting from the presence in Monaco of funds in the failed companies' names. The reasoning in the investigating magistrate's decision was that as regards money laundering, a judicial administrator cannot show that it has personally suffered as a result of the money laundering infraction itself, even though it is acting on behalf of creditors and therefore cannot fulfil the requirements of Article 2 of the Criminal Code.

Civil party victims of financial crime may have difficulty being granted standing in criminal investigations if the sole Monaco infraction is money laundering.

Confiscation of the proceeds of crime can be pronounced for all criminal infractions and specifically in money laundering cases. However, the Criminal Code provides that confiscation should not prejudice the rights of third parties.27 Thus, the courts may determine at their discretion, but upon the request of the civil party victims, that confiscated funds be attributed to the victims.

ii Insolvency

The Commercial Code sanctions bankruptcy28 both with criminal sanctions and with the extension of the insolvency from the business enterprise to the individual involved.29

The Commercial Code provides that the Monaco court may make a person who is a merchant personally insolvent (in practice any de facto or de jure director of an enterprise)30 where:

  1. there has been a misappropriation of the assets of a company;
  2. there has been an acknowledgment of inexistent debt;
  3. the books of account have disappeared;
  4. a commercial activity has been carried on through a front man or company;
  5. an administrator used as his or her own the assets of a company undergoing insolvency proceedings; or
  6. acts of bad faith or inexcusable imprudence have been committed in respect of the above.

There is a presumption of bad faith or imprudence where:

  1. a person has acted in a commercial capacity while being forbidden by law from doing so;
  2. accounts were not kept in a generally accepted form;
  3. sales were made below cost to prevent the determination of insolvency;
  4. the person has engaged in excessive personal or domestic expenses;
  5. the person has used excessive sums in purely speculative operations;
  6. the person has made undertakings with third parties without sufficient consideration in respect of the situation of the indebted business; or
  7. where an indebted business continued to be run abusively in a situation that could only lead to insolvency.

In these situations, the assets of the insolvent merchant can be used to satisfy the creditors. Individuals who are not merchants cannot otherwise declare insolvency and be discharged in bankruptcy.

A recent unpublished ex parte order held that a foreign judicial administrator's status as judicial administrator did not require recognition by the Monaco courts to have full effect.

iii Arbitration

As mentioned above, Monaco has adhered to the New York Convention on the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards. This means that a foreign arbitral award can be enforced in Monaco on the basis of an ex parte order issued following a request filed with the Monaco judge that its validity be recognised. The party against whom enforcement is sought may oppose enforcement, and contest the validity of the order once it is served, through a référé action.

iv Fraud's effect on evidentiary rules and legal privilege

Legal privilege and confidentiality are protected by Article 308 of the Criminal Code, as seen above, which makes it an offence for any person having received confidential information because of their status or profession to reveal it, other than when the law requires them to do so. At Article 308-1, professional secrecy is also extended to members of boards or commissions (official or private), who may not reveal information to any third party.

In addition, Article 135-2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that ministers of the church, lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, midwives and any other persons who have received confidential information because of their status or profession must maintain its confidentiality unless the law requires them to reveal the information or the person who has told them the information authorises them to do so.

The AML Law provides, on the other hand, an obligation on practically everyone engaged in a profession, commercial or industrial activity, including banks, Monaco lawyers and legal advisers, bailiffs and notaries, to report to SICCFIN any suspicions of any operations that might be connected to money laundering, financing of terrorism or corruption.31

Notaries, bailiffs, chartered accountants and Monaco avocats (members of the Monaco Bar)32 are required to make declarations of suspicion when they assist their clients in preparing or completing transactions concerning the purchase or sale of real property or businesses, or the incorporation of companies.33

International aspects

i Conflict of law and choice of law in fraud claims

The 2017 Code of Private International Law codifies jurisdiction in civil matters. Monaco will have jurisdiction over any defendant domiciled in the principality, and in the following cases:

  1. in contract matters where the delivery of goods or services takes place in the principality;
  2. in tort, where the event giving rise to damage took place here;
  3. in inheritance, when the succession is opened in Monaco or when a building in an estate is situated in the principality;
  4. in company law, when a company has its seat in Monaco;
  5. in insolvency, when a commercial activity is exercised in the principality;
  6. as regards the execution of the validity or the removal of freezing orders formed in the principality, and generally in all questions regarding provisional or conservatory measures formed in the principality, even where the Monaco courts have no jurisdiction in the action on the merits; and
  7. in all questions of the execution of foreign judgments.34

In criminal matters, the principality retains jurisdiction for all infractions committed on its territory, and this includes any one element that characterises the infraction.35 Any person who on Monaco territory was an accomplice to a crime committed elsewhere can be judged in the principality provided that the infraction is considered a crime both in Monaco and in the foreign country.36

Under certain circumstances the Monaco courts must of their own initiative determine whether they have jurisdiction, even where the parties have not done so.37

Questions as to the applicable law under the Code of Private International Law must be raised by the court even where they are not raised by a party, and it is preferable to do this at the onset of a litigation. Proof of the applicable conflict of law rule and of the foreign law sought to be applied will be provided by legal opinions given by each party. An expert may be named to determine applicable law, but this is seldom done.

ii Collection of evidence in support of proceedings abroad

Apart from the Hague Convention measures discussed above, the compulsory order described in Section III may produce evidence that can be freely produced in proceedings abroad, whether or not there is ensuing litigation in Monaco. Evidence produced in civil proceedings by any party may be used in foreign proceedings. The use in unrelated cases of written pleadings in Monaco divorce cases is, however, not allowed.38

Evidence obtained by a civil party in criminal investigations or instructions may not be produced until the trial and all appeals are exhausted. However, authorisation may be obtained from the prosecutor to use the information to support, for example, a Norwich Pharmacal motion.

Monaco judges may seek information abroad by commissions rogatory,39 but requests from foreign judges will only be executed if they are transmitted through diplomatic channels (unless the Sovereign Prince authorises otherwise).40

Monaco judges may seek confirmation of foreign law from foreign experts and judges under Article 23 of the Code of Private International Law.

iii Seizure of assets or proceeds of fraud in support of the victim of fraud

As described above, in civil matters assets may be seized prior to the commencement of proceedings upon an ex parte request of a victim. The victim may also be a civil party in the criminal action, and may request the investigating magistrate to seize assets as part of the investigation or instruction, either to assist in establishing proof (the manifestation of truth) or to prevent illicit funds and their fruits from disappearing.

A recent trend has been to order escrowing of assets (séquestré) when there is a dispute between parties claiming rightful ownership, under Article 1800 of the Civil Code. The escrow order will state that the asset remains séquestré or blocked until there is a final decision as to ownership rendered by a Monaco court (or the recognition by Monaco of a foreign court order).

iv Enforcement of judgments granted abroad in relation to fraud claims

Monaco has not entered into conventions for the recognition of its judgments with any country other than France. Foreign judgments and orders (Mareva injunctions, for example) have no effect in the principality.

The enforcement of foreign judgments (exequatur) will, however, be granted unless it is shown that:

  1. the judgment has been issued by a court not having competent jurisdiction (or whose assertion of jurisdiction is contrary to Monaco rules on jurisdiction); and the Code of Private International Law adopts a concept of nexus of the matter adjudicated with the country of the court issuing the judgment. This has yet to be clarified through case law;
  2. it is shown that all parties have not been served and have not had an opportunity to appear – that is, the right to defend has not been respected;
  3. the judgment is not definitive and cannot be executed in the country that issued it; and
  4. it is manifestly contrary to Monaco's public order or policy.

In no event will the Monaco court modify the foreign judgment's order.

Injunctions would not generally be susceptible to recognition in Monaco, but the fact that they have been rendered can assist the Monaco judge to decide to order similar measures (for example, freezing orders) in Monaco. Permanent injunctions could be enforced.

v Fraud as a defence to enforcement of judgments granted abroad

The requirement that a foreign judgment respect Monaco's public policy would provide a defence to the enforcement of a judgment obtained by fraud in a foreign country.

Current developments

A number of legislative proposals have been presented to modernise Monaco's legislation, and these would facilitate the recovery of assets in fraud cases.

A law has been voted on, but not yet enacted, that would require the publication of all the decisions rendered by Monaco courts (at present, only 1 per cent of all decisions are published). Names of the parties will in most cases (and in all criminal cases) not be published.41

The Code of Private International Law, which took effect on 7 July 2017, is generating developing jurisprudence in all areas, including the jurisdiction of the Monaco courts, lis pendens and the recognition of foreign judgments.42

A law has been enacted that makes the intentional organisation of insolvency a criminal offence, and this is expected to strongly assist asset recovery efforts (New Penal Code Articles 368-1, 368-2, 368-3).

A registry of beneficial owners of Monaco entities is being established under Law 1.462 of 28 June 2018 and Ordinance No. 2.318 of 3 August 2009 (filings of beneficial owners were due on 28 June 2020). There will not be public access to the registry. Court orders will be required, and evidence that the persons requesting the information has a legitimate interest regarding anti-money laundering or corruption. Entities and beneficial owners will be informed prior to the release of such information, and they will be given an opportunity to oppose a request for such information.


1 Donald Manasse is founder and senior counsel at Donald Manasse Law Offices.

2 Monaco's legal system is based on codes that are similar to but independent of the French codes. Monaco has nine codes: the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Commercial Code, the Maritime Code, the Road Code, the Code on Business Taxes and the Code on Private International Law. There are also laws and ordinances that are independent of the Codes. The legal system is independent of the French legal system, but many of the judges are drawn from the French magistrature. The court of general jurisdiction is the Tribunal de Première Instance. The Tribunal Correctionnel is the criminal court that judges délits. There is a Court of Appeals and a Cour de Révision (which is the equivalent of the Cour de Cassation). Administrative matters are heard before the Tribunal Suprème. As Monaco is a member of the Council of Europe (but not the EU) a final appeal can be heard at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

3 Criminal Code, Articles 91 and 92 – false statements in a public document or acte authentique are treated as crimes and carry prison sentences from five to 10-year periods, as do many money laundering offences (Criminal Code, Article 218 et seq.).

4 Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 2.

5 Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 2.

6 Criminal Code, Article 330.

7 Criminal Code, Article 335.

8 Unpublished Order.

9 Code of Civil Procedure, Article 100 et seq.

10 Code of Civil Procedure, Articles 964 and 971.

11 Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 11.

12 Code of Civil Procedure, Article 50-1 et seq.

13 Code of Civil Procedure, Articles 490 and 491.

14 Code of Civil Procedure, Article 487.

15 Code of Civil Procedure Art. 759 et seq

16 Code of Civil Procedure, Article 472 et seq.

17 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

18 Code of Civil Procedure, Article 492.

19 French Monetary and Financial Code, Article L511-33, modified by Ordinance No. 2010-76, of 21 January 2010, applicable in Monaco under the provisions of the Franco–Monégasque Treaty of 14 April 1945 on Exchange Controls.

20 Only approximately 1 per cent of all Monaco court decisions are published. A law awaiting enactment disposes that all court decisions be published, without the names of the parties. In the instance cited above, and in other instances reported in this chapter, the decision was not published, and no citation can therefore be provided.

21 Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters of 18 March 1970, Monaco reservations 4(c) -4°.

22 Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 344 et seq.

23 Code of Civil Procedure, Article 324.

24 Criminal Code, Article 308-2.

25 Civil Code, Article 202-6.

26 Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 31.

27 Criminal Code Articles 12, 32 and 219.

28 Commercial Code, Articles 600–606.

29 Commercial Code, Article 574.

30 Commercial Code, Article 566.

31 Law No. 1,362 of 3 August 2009 relating to the fight against money laundering the financing of terrorism and corruption (AML Law), Article 3.

32 Only Monaco nationals may be members of the Monaco Bar. Foreign lawyers may be authorised to practise in Monaco but may not use the word avocat or any translation of the word to describe their activity. The author, for example, is not a member of the Monaco Bar but has been authorised to practise in Monaco as a counsellor in international juridical, fiscal and commercial matters.

33 AML Law at Article 2.

34 Code of Private International Law, Article 6.

35 Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 21.

36 Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 8.

37 CDIP, Article 10.

38 Civil Code, Article 202-6.

39 Code of Civil Procedure, Article 974.

40 Code of Civil Procedure, Article 975.

41 Proposal for a Law relating to the access to decisions of the Courts and Tribunals of Monaco of 17 March 2015.

42 Parliamentary Report on Draft Law 912 relating to Private International Law of 13 June 2017. Law 1.448 of 28 June 2017.

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