FAQ – LEGAL AID
The costs of proceedings before the Conseil d’Etat of the Court of Cassation may be paid in part or in whole by the State.
This legal aid is granted in principle to individuals:
- of French nationality
- or who are nationals of a member State of the European Union
- or of foreign nationality legally residing in France
- or who are foreign minors
- or of foreign nationality who are subject to a deportation or expulsion procedure.
Exceptionally, legal aid can be granted to a legal entity, provided that it is a non-profit entity and its head office is located in France.
Receiving legal aid is subject to two cumulative conditions:
- the applicant’s monthly resources do not exceed a certain ceiling, re-evaluated each year; this is the ceiling applicable before courts of first instance and courts of appeal;
- serious grounds can be cited for reversing the decision which is challenged.
If legal aid is requested in order to defend an appeal, no serious grounds are required.
Legal aid application forms can be downloaded either on the website of theConseil d’Etat , or on the website of the Court of cassation.
This form is accompanied by a declaration of resources.
These forms must be filled in and accompanied by the required supporting documents.
The applicant must indicate his/her surname, first name, nationality, home address and profession, together with the decision against which an appeal may be made with its date and the name of the court which issued it.
For an appeal or defence before theConseil d’Etat, applications for legal aid must be sent to the following address:
Bureau d’aide juridictionnelle près le Conseil d’Etat
1 place du Palais Royal
For an appeal or defence before the Court of cassation , applications may be filed at the reception desk of the Court of cassation or sent by post to the following address:
Bureau d’aide juridictionnelle
5 quai de l’Horloge
75055 Paris cedex 1
Thouin-Palat et Boucard can send an application to the legal aid office of the Conseil d’Etat or the Court of casastion on a client’s behalf.
The legal aid office then addresses the client directly to request the required supporting documents.
It will communicate solely with the client, not with the firm.
The firm is informed neither of the progress of the processing of the application nor of the legal aid office’s decision.
It takes about eight months to obtain a reply to the application for legal aid.
The legal aid office’s decision is notified to the applicant; this notification constitutes the starting point of a new appeal period.
If the applicant does not already have an Avocat aux Conseils (Counsel at Senior Court), the legal aid office will designate one.
The rejection decision is notified to the applicant; the reason for refusal is specified.
The applicant can file an appeal against this rejection decision, within a period of fifteen days starting from the notification.
This appeal must be addressed either to the President of the Litigation Division of the Conseil d’Etat, or to the First President of the Court of cassation, depending on the legal aid office concerned.