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Report No. 58

Continental concept of public employment

8.28. It should be noted that the Continental conception of public employment is somewhat different. The civil servant adversely affected by an administrative action that bears on his employment has the same remedies available as the ordinary citizen injured in his personal or property rights. For example, the French civil servant who is damaged in his career by an administrative decision may obtain review of that decision by the administrative courts, just as a private individual can whose property rights are adversely affected by a decision of the administration.1

This assimilation of the civil servant in French law, not to the private employee, but to the ordinary citizen vested with personal or property rights, stems in part from the fact that his relationship to the government is not conceived as a contractual one. "The situation of the civil servant vis-a-vis the administration is wholly governed by statutes and regulations," reads the law of October 19, 1946, now the basic law governing the legal status of the French civil servant. If he is adversely affected by administrative action, he is affected not in his contract rights, but in the rights given him by statutes and regulations. And, he may resort to administrative courts if those rights are violated, just as any Frenchman can whose personal or property rights are infringed by the administration2

1. Schwartz French Administrative Law, p. 86.

2. Schwartz French Administrative Law, p. 86.

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