The Grand-Ducal Police (Police Grand-Ducale) is the primary law enforcement agency in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. The police is under the control of the Minister for Internal Security of Luxembourg, although they operate in the name, and under the ultimate control, of the Grand Duke.
Border Security and Management Overview
In Luxembourg, the Grand Ducal Police is competent for border security in particular. The National Airport Police Unit (Unité Centrale de Police à l'Aéroport) is in charge of the only external border - the International Airport at Luxembourg-Findel.
Counter Terrorism Overview
In Luxembourg, the Intelligence Service, the State Prosecutor (together with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the State Prosecutor's Department of Luxembourg), the investigating judge and the Grand Ducal Police (Anti-Terrorism Unit) play an active part in the fight against terrorism.
Cyber/ICT Security Overview
The National Agency for the Security of Information Systems together with GOVCERT.LU monitor and coordinate the national cybersecurity strategy, policy and road map of Luxembourg.
Grand Ducal Police
Functions and missions
In accordance with the Act of 18 July 2018 on the Grand-Ducal Police, the Grand-Ducal Police is responsible for ensuring internal security by ensuring the maintenance of public order and the enforcement of laws and regulations, as well as the respect and protection of individual rights and freedoms.
In this context, the Grand-Ducal Police is competent to carry out the following tasks throughout the national territory:
1. Administrative police missions
- As part of its administrative police missions, the Grand-Ducal Police ensures the maintenance of public order, the prevention of offences, the protection of persons and property, as well as the enforcement and compliance with laws and regulations. To achieve this, it carries out general surveillance and controls in the places legally accessible to it. In addition, it carries out administrative police measures and takes the material administrative police measures provided for by law.
2. Criminal police missions
Within the framework of judicial police missions, the Grand-Ducal Police carries out the following missions:
- Investigate offences, establish them and gather evidence,
- Ensure that the competent authorities are informed of the offences detected,
- Seize, search, arrest and make available to the competent authority the perpetrators of the offence,
- Search for persons whose arrest is provided for by law, apprehend them and make them available to the competent authorities,
- Search, seize and make available to the competent authority the objects whose seizure is prescribed,
- Execute the acts of investigation and investigation ordered by the competent authorities,
- Transmit to the competent authorities the reports of their missions as well as the information collected on this occasion,
- Search, collect, store and exploit fingerprints and traces,
- Maintain and update the fingerprint files, the genetic treatment file and the documentation relating to convicted persons.
In addition to the two major missions, the Grand Ducal Police carries out a wide range of other missions, namely:
- Assist the Army in all matters related to army security, discipline and military police,
- Participate in the internal defence of the territory with regard to security, information gathering and warning missions,
- Participate in peacekeeping operations within the framework of international organizations,
- To seize those reported to him/her as escaped from a psychiatric ward, hospital or specialized psychiatric facility where they have been admitted or placed in accordance with the law,
- Removing persons detained in prisons, ensuring transfers between these centres and bringing persons arrested pursuant to a court decision to these centres,
- Ensure the restoration or maintenance of order and security in prisons,
- Assist in the exercise of the police of the courts and tribunals,
- Take all necessary measures to put an end to their divagation or agony with regard to dangerous or dying animals,
- Ensure, during public ceremonies, protocol missions,
- Receive calls transmitted by a national alarm network and take the necessary measures.
Structure and organisation
The Management Committee is composed of the Director General, the Deputy Director General and the Central Directors, namely the Central Director of Administrative Police, the Central Director of Judicial Police, the Central Director of Resources and Competence and the Central Director of Strategy and Performance. This committee is assisted by a General Secretariat and chaired by the Director General.
The missions of the Management Committee include:
- Strategic direction and objectives;
- Strategic decisions;
- Control and monitoring;
- Transversal coordination;
- External relations;
- Exchange of information.
The following entities are attached to the Management Committee:
- the General Secretariat
- the Communication Department
- the International Relations Department
- the Legal Department
- the Psychological Service
The Central Directorate of Administrative Police (DCPA) is the strategic and conceptual direction in the field of administrative police. The DCPA is responsible for a comprehensive and integrated approach to administrative policing. In particular, it is the interlocutor of partners external to the Police in this field at the national and international levels. Its main tasks include:
- define the strategy and priority national objectives for administrative policing;
- coordinate and supervise the implementation of the overall strategy or approach to administrative policing;
- develop general concepts in administrative policing;
- manage and supervise:
- the national services under the responsibility of the DCPA, namely the Directorate of Operations and the National Units (Airport Police Unit, Traffic Police Unit, Special Unit, Guard and Operational Support Unit)
- the four police regions, namely:
- Capital Region with headquarters in Luxembourg City;
- Centre-East region with headquarters in Grevenmacher;
- Northern region with headquarters in Diekirch;
- South-West region with headquarters in Esch-sur-Alzette.;
The Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ), with the assistance of the Director of the Judicial Police Service and the Regional Directors, ensures the strategic and conceptual coordination of the judicial police mission at the national level in accordance with the strategic priorities as defined by the Support Committee. Its main tasks include:
- to ensure the strategic coordination of the judicial police mission at national and international level in accordance with the strategic priorities as defined by the support committee;
- to be the strategic interlocutor of national judicial authorities, foreign and international police forces in matters of the judicial police.
The judicial police service is composed by the Directorate of the Judicial Police Service (SPJ), which is responsible, inter alia, for the Coordination of judicial activities at the national and international level. It is also responsible for defining and managing, in collaboration with the judicial authorities, judicial investigations.
The number of departments and sections of the SPJ and their respective missions are determined on the advice of the Support Committee and compose actually 5 departments:
1.Property Crime Department.consisting of four sections:
- Repression of organised crime;
- General crime;
- Specialized investigations.
2. Department of offences against persons, consisting of two sections:
- Protection of young people and sexual offences.
3. Organized Crime Department, consisting of three sections:
- Organized crime;
4. Economic and Financial Crime Department, consisting of four sections:
- Economic and financial offences;
- International judicial assistance in economic and financial matters;
- Anti-money laundering;
- Training, support and methodology.
5. Support Department, consisting of four sections:
- New technologies;
- Technical police;
- Scientific police;
- Operational judicial support.
Decentralized judicial police services (SDPJ) exist in the North, Southwest and Central East regions.
The Central Resources and Skills Directorate (DCRC) is responsible for the strategic and conceptual direction of human resources, training, finance, management and coordination of the Grand-Ducal Police's logistical and IT resources. In particular, it is the interlocutor of partners external to the Police in this field at the national and international levels. Its main tasks include:
- define a general strategy for resources and skills in consultation with the DCSP;
- coordinate and supervise the entities under the responsibility of the DCRC.
The following entities are under the responsibility of the DCRC:
- Human Resources Department
- Training department
- Finance Directorate
- Logistics department
- Police Technology Directorate
The training department works for the benefit of Police personnel, i.e. at the level of staff training, the objective will be to achieve the skills necessary for professional and efficient performance of police work, regardless of career.
To this end, the training department endeavours to draw up training plans based on job descriptions, the professional needs of staff members and the priorities set by political and policy decision-makers.
All actors inside and outside the Police, as well as the various international partners, will benefit from a central interlocutor working closely with the various Police Directorates to ensure that Police training becomes more targeted and effective.
Law enforcement officers are trained at the Police school of the Grand-Ducal Police. The school provides basic training for probationary officers, who aspire to become police inspectors. In addition, the Police school is responsible for managing the continuing education of the personnel of the Grand-Ducal Police. The school is located in Luxembourg City.
Functions and missions
The State Intelligence Service (Service de Renseignement de l’Etat, or SRE) is one of Luxembourg’s security policy agencies. It is responsible for detecting threats to national security at an early stage before they take concrete form.
The law of July 5, 2016, governing reorganisation of the State Intelligence Service clearly defines the agency’s mission and delimits very precisely the context in which it is authorised to carry it out: the existence of a threat, or the possibility of one, to national security. This means any event or activity capable of undermining the independence and sovereignty of the state, the security and the functioning of its institutions, fundamental rights and civil liberties, the security of individuals and property, the scientific and technical capabilities or the economic interests of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The scope of the agency’s mission also comprises the security of foreign states or of international and supranational organisations with which Luxembourg has agreements.
The law defines the nature of potential threats to national security:
- Espionage and interference;
- Violent Extremism;
- Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or goods linked to defence and related technologies;
- Organised crime and cyber-threats insofar as they are related to one of the preceding types of threat.
On one hand, the legislation clearly defines and restricts the scope of action of the SRE in relation to other bodies responsible for security within the country, while, on the other, it provides assurance to its inhabitants that intelligence activities are undertaken in a clear and precise legal framework.
Structure and organization
The SRE comprises four internal divisions: Intelligence, Administration, Technical, and National Security Authority.
The current legislation has strengthened supervision of the agency through an oversight system with four components, three ‘upstream’ and one ‘downstream’:
Political: A ministerial intelligence committee, currently comprising three members of the government (Prime Minister and two Deputy Prime Ministers), sets the country’s overall intelligence policy, determines the general priorities of the SRE’s activities, which it monitors on an ongoing basis. The director reports to the ministerial committee once a month.
Administrative: The government appoints a representative to the SRE holding a ‘Top Secret’ security clearance to monitor its internal functioning and report regularly to the minister responsible for the agency. Nothing can be kept secret from the government’s representative, who has individual powers of investigation and oversight within the SRE. However, the representative is not involved in day-to-day operations, which remain the sole responsibility of the director.
Judicial: A special committee consists of three senior judges, the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, the president of the Administrative Court and the president of the District Court of Luxembourg. Operational methods and techniques, such as the use of intrusion technology and surveillance of all kinds of communication, must be supported by the special committee before being authorised by the ministerial committee.
Parliamentary: The activities of the SRE are subject to supervision by a special parliamentary committee, consisting of representatives of political and technical groups designated by them. (Regulation of the Chamber of Deputies, coordinated text up to date on 16 January 2018)
At present, this oversight is exercised on a monthly basis. The director of the SRE reports to the parliamentary oversight committee at least once every quarter about all SRE activities. The committee is informed every six months about surveillance and communication monitoring measures, and may, at its own initiative, request oversight of specific aspects of the SRE’s activities.
National Agency for the Security of Information Systems
Functions and missions
Given that the cybersecurity topic covers a wide range of areas and falls within the assignment of several state entities, on 13th December 2017, the Government decided to bring together key players to set up an interministerial committee in charge of cybersecurity coordination at national level. The committee shall coordinate, alongside the Cybersecurity Board – which plays a rather strategic role –, pragmatic initiatives as part of cybersecurity.
The National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI) was established by the government upon adopting the Grand Ducal Decree in 2015. The missions of ANSSI have been further detailed by a Grand Ducal Decree in 2018.
The ANSSI’s mission is to define policies and guidelines for the security of classified and unclassified information systems owned and operated by the state, to assist the governmental intuitions in the management and implementation of information security and to promote information security through awareness-raising measures.
Structure and organisation
ANSSI is part of the Office of the High Commissioner for National Protection (Le Haut-Commissariat à la Protection nationale, HCPN). This agency is under the authority of the Prime Minister.
The missions of the Office of the High Commissioner for National Protection (HCPN) are based on three pillars:
- The coordination of the fight against terrorism at the national level;
- The prevention and management of civil or military crises;
- The protection of national and European critical infrastructure.
Functions and missions
The Luxembourgian Cyber Security Board (CSB) and the Governmental Computer Emergency Response Team (GOVCERT.LU) were established in 2011 with the aim of strengthening its existing entities for fighting against cyber-attacks.
GOVCERT.LU acts at both national and international level to protect the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg against main cyber threats, to provide an attractive, secure and reliable environment for local businesses in Luxembourg and to protect the privacy and fundamental rights of people in Luxembourg. It oversees the management of cyber-security incidents compromising Luxembourg, its citizens or its economy and is responsible for receiving, reviewing and responding to reports of such.
The service is the single point of contact dedicated to the treatment of all computer related incidents jeopardizing the information systems of the government and defined critical infrastructure operators operating in Luxembourg, whether they are public or private. Incidents that are not related to GOVCERT.LU's constituency are forwarded to other appropriate CSIRT’s.
GOVCERT.LU is operated by the State Ministry under the auspices of, and with authority delegated by the decision of the Council of Government dated of the 15th of July 2011. Constituents have to report information security incidents to GOVCERT.LU, and also have to provide contact information with regards to information security incidents. Constituents have to take GOVCERT.LU’s advice into consideration, even though the decision to implement certain measures or not will remain their decision. The service expects to work cooperatively with system administrators from its Constituency. Members of GOVCERT.LU community who wish to appeal the actions of GOVCERT.LU should contact the Managing Director of GOVCERT.LU. All members of GOVCERT.LU team have necessary security clearances. As a consequence, they have wide possibilities of interacting with systems, services and system administrators from the constituency of GOVCERT.LU. The service operates within the confines imposed by Luxembourg’s legislation.
Criminal Justice System
There are 3 levels of courts dealing with criminal matters in Luxembourg – Justice of the peace Courts, District Courts and The Supreme Court of Justice.
Magistrate's courts represent the first level of the hierarchy of courts. The three magistrate's courts in the Grand Duchy sit in Luxembourg City, Esch-sur-Alzette and Diekirch. Magistrate's courts deal with cases of lesser importance in civil and commercial matters, and also under the urgent procedure in the field of law enforcement.
The country is divided into the two judicial districts of Luxembourg City and Diekirch, each of which has its own district court. In criminal cases, the district courts act as a correctional chamber and have jurisdiction over offences punishable under the Penal Code or a special law by imprisonment of a minimum of eight days to a maximum of five years, or by a fine exceeding 251 euros. The criminal chamber of the district courts has jurisdiction over acts defined by law as crimes, acts that under the Penal Code or other legislation are punishable by life or fixed-term custodial sentences, or by imprisonment of more than five years. Finally, the section known as the Juvenile and Guardianship Court has jurisdiction over child and youth protection cases, as determined by law.
The Supreme Court of Justice has its seat in Luxembourg City and consists of:
- the Court of Cassation, consisting of one chamber in which five judges sit;
- the Court of Appeal, subdivided into nine chambers in which 35 counsellors sit;
- the Public Prosecutor's Office.
The task of the Court of Cassation, at the request of the parties concerned, is to review judgments delivered by the courts, including the court of appeal, in criminal and civil matters. The Court of Cassation does not judge the facts of the case but decides on matters of law or application of the law. Its jurisprudence, therefore, ensures a uniform application of the law.
The Court of Appeal re-examines cases already judged in a court of the first instance, in civil, commercial, social and criminal matters.
Public prosecutors are tasked with representing the public in court and their main mission is to investigate crimes and offences, demand that the law is applied, and ensure that judgments are enforced. The Financial Intelligence Unit of the State Prosecutor's Department is the service which is active in the fight against money-laundering and for that reason, it is also a significant body in the fight against the financing of terrorism. Nonetheless, it should be noted, that searches are ordered by the State Prosecutor or a police officer in the event of flagrante delicta; outside that period, a search can be carried out only on the basis of an order of an investigating judge.