Report No. 272
A. Tribunal System in France
2.2 The French judicial system provides for a special Tribunal known as the Tribunal des Conflits for disposing of conflicts that involve both judicial and administrative functions. The matters that come before this Tribunal are complex and are governed by the complicated rules of procedure21 France has a dual legal system unlike the English-speaking countries.22 However, the judicial review is not absolute in France as some administrative acts are exempted from the purview of judicial control. Also, the judicial review of administrative acts in France is subject to time limits23.
21 Bartlett, C. A. Hereshoff, "The French Judicial System" 33 CLT 952 (1913).
22 Supra 19 at p. 190.
23 Ziy Bekir Bugucam, "Common Principles of Judicial Review of Administration in Europe: A Comparative study of France, the UK, the ECHR, and the EU" 5 LJR 78 (December, 2011).
2.3 The Counseil d'Etat was established for the adjudication of disputes between an individual and State officials who acted in violation of law. In the course of time, a proper system of Three-Tier Tribunals was created. The Counseil d'Etat has been converted from an executive into a judicial or quasi-judicial body by the gradual separation from its executive functions by way of transferring the executive functions to the Committees (sections) which have assumed the role of the Courts.24 Tribunal Administratif is the Original Court in France having a wide jurisdiction covering almost all kinds of administrative cases. The decisions of the Tribunal Administratif and other similar institutions are subject to appeal or revision before the Conseil d'Etat.
24 Dicey, A.V., The Law of the Constitution, Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 1st edn., 2013 at p. 347.
2.4 The Cour administrative d'appel considers appeals against the judgments of the Tribunal Administratif. But, neither have they had the jurisdiction to consider appeals involving a question/issue of the legality of municipal and cantonal elections nor to consider appeals against regulations on the grounds that the authority has exceeded its powers.
2.5 In common law Countries, unlike France, there is a better coordination between forums performing 'administrative adjudication' and forums vested with the task of 'judicial adjudication'. The administrative forums operate under judicial supervision. In India, the framers of the Constitution did not accept the French system and entrusted the power of judicial review to the High Courts and the Supreme Court.