• Penal reform of maritime law

The order 2012-1218 of 2 November 2012 on the penal reform of maritime law was published in the Official Journal on 3 November 2012. The order creates maritime courts with exclusive jurisdiction over torts that constitute admiralty offences. Those courts are attached to the civil courts, and they are composed of three judges and two maritime assessors. The order provides an enlarged and precise definition of the maritime offence, and it completes the existing measures with regard to sanctions. The criminal procedure rules about prosecution, investigation, and trial are applicable to admiralty offences. It should be noted that courts of general jurisdiction retain jurisdiction over maritime misdemeanours. Some of the provisions of this order – notably the ones regarding maritime courts – shall enter into force by 1 January 2015 at the latest.