Persons sentenced by Luxembourg judicial authorities to imprisonment or other penalties (for example a driving ban or a fine) may submit an application for clemency to His Royal Highness, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
The purpose of the application for clemency is to request the lifting, reduction or adjustment of a sentence.
Who is concerned
Any resident or non-resident who has been sentenced by the Luxembourg criminal courts to imprisonment or another penalty (e.g. a driving ban, fine, a ban on holding public office or working in the civil service, a ban on opening or working at a drinking establishment) may submit an application for clemency.
How to proceed
Filing an application
Form of the application
The applicant must draft a document containing the following information:
- their identity (surname, given name(s), date and place of birth);
- their address;
- the court which passed the judgment to which the application for clemency pertains;
- the date when the judgment was handed down;
- the offence committed and the sentence pronounced;
- the reasons for the application for clemency;
- their signature.
The form of the written application is open, but a template for application for clemency is available.
Applicants are advised to attach any supporting documentation to the application for clemency for the lifting, reduction or adjustment of a sentence.
For example, in the case of a driving ban, an employer's statement that their employee must hold a driving licence may be considered supporting documentation.
The application for clemency must be sent to:
- the Office of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke; or
- the Ministry of Justice (ministère de la Justice); or
- the Clemency Department (Service des recours en grâce) of the the Public Prosecutor's office (Parquet Général). Applicants may also physically deliver the clemency application directly to the Public Prosecutor's office.
If the application is sent to the applicant's lawyers or the Ministry of Justice, it will be transferred to the Clemency Department of the Public Prosecutor's office, which will compile the full dossier, and:
- verify the applicant's address in the National Registry of Natural Persons (Registre national des personnes physiques);
- request their criminal record from the Criminal Records Department (Service du casier judiciaire);
- obtain information from the driving ban department on the applicant's compliance with the ban, if necessary.
The case file will then be sent for assessment:
- to the General Directorate of the Grand Ducal Police (Direction générale de la Police Grand-Ducale), which will forward it to the appropriate local commissary commissariat de proximité;
- to the Social Defence Commission (Commission de défense sociale) for clemency applications for imprisonment if the applicant is in detention in a penitentiary; or
- to the Central Social Assistance Service (Service central d’assistance sociale) if the applicant lives abroad or for any other special request.
If the applicant lives in the Diekirch district and the sentence for which they wish to apply for clemency was handed down by the Diekirch district courts, the full dossier will also be provided to the Diekirch Public Prosecutor for assessment.
After the Clemency Department receives the relevant assessments, the entire case will be submitted to the Clemency Commission, which generally meets twice per month, except during the month of August.
Application processing and notification
The Clemency Commission will analyse the application and all supporting documents provided by the applicant.
The Commission will take into account the different opinions obtained from the other departments, and make a ruling based on the following, in particular:
the seriousness of the offence committed for which the application is submitted;
the applicant's criminal record;
their current behaviour.
As regards driving bans, the applicant's need to hold a driving licence will be taken into account.
The day after the Clemency Commission meets, its ruling will be sent to the Ministry of Justice, which will forward it to the Office of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke.
His Royal Highness the Grand Duke will make his decision, and then the Office will send the Grand Ducal order, including that decision, to the Ministry of Justice.
The Ministry will then inform the applicant of the decision of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke by post, and send the Grand Ducal order to the Public Prosecutor and to the Director of the Luxembourg Land Registration and Estates Department (Administration de l'enregistrement, des domaines et de la TVA) for recording and execution of the decision of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke.
The full process of review of an application for clemency will take approximately three months. In case of a request for an extension of the lifting of a driving ban granted on a trial basis by His Royal Highness the Grand Duke, this request will take approximately two months to review.