Criminal procedure is the set of rules concerning the implementation of penalties for offenses .
It covers the organization of criminal courts and the procedural rules from the initiation of proceedings until the final judgment after exhaustion of legal remedies.
The rules of criminal procedure set the framework for public intervention from the start of public action, resulting from the discovery of the offense, the complaint of a victim or a denunciation, the investigation and from prosecution and trial to judicial decision.
In France, the criminal procedure predominantly follows the inquisitorial model, unlike the accusatory model symbolized by the American procedure.
The rules of criminal procedure establish the modalities for the exercise of the powers of the criminal justice system.
The essential principles of criminal procedure such as respect for the rights of the defense were identified by the Court of Cassation and moreover originate from the prescriptions of the ECHR.
The principles of criminal procedure are set out in the Code of Criminal Procedure