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Report No. 95

5.3. France the French Constitutional Council.-

France has a Constitutional Council, but not a Constitutional Court. How far this Council is akin to traditional courts as known to the common law world is highly debatable. In a sense, the French Constitutional Council stands in a category by itself.1

The French Constitution has authorised the Constitutional Council to pronounce on the conformity of a statute with the Constitution. The material portion of the relevant article of the French Constitution reads as under2:

"61. Organic laws, before their promulgation, and regulations of the Parliamentary Assemblies, before they come into operation, must be submitted to the Constitutional Council, which shall rule on their constitutionality."

No doubt, the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Council was enlarged later.3 But even so, the French Constitutional Council is hardly an analogous of the Supreme Court of India or of the Supreme Court of U.S.A.

1. Edward McWhinney Book Review in Summer, (1981), Vol. 29, No. 3, AJCL 535, 536.

2. Article 61, French Constitution.

3. See para. 5.5, infra.

Constitution Division within the Supreme Court Back

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