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Announcements

Announcements

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Announcements

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  1. Announcements • Wed. 4/18: Attend Computer Lab Session with Quiz Section. Locations are as follows: AA, AB, AC, AD, AF Sections meet in Poli Sci Computer Lab, Smith Hall 220; AE Section meets in CSSR lab in Savery Hall 135. In Section exercise.

  2. Constitutional Law and Politics in France I. Distinctive Characteristics of French Courts A. Limited Judicial Review B. Constitutional Council (quasi-Constitutional Court)

  3. (I. Distinctive Characteristics, cont.) C. Participation in International Legal Systems 1. Council of Europe - European Convention - European Court of Human Rights - Social and Political Rights

  4. (I. Distinctive Characteristics, C. Participation in int’l legal systems, cont.) 2. European Union - The European Court of Justice - Economic rights and some social and political rights.

  5. II. Constitutional Council • Creation: 1958 Constitution, the 5th Republic (does not act as a supreme court, by sitting at the top of the judiciary) • History: • 1958 Constitution increased executive power in relation to parliamentary power • Provides a clear constitutional basis for protecting individual rights.

  6. (II. Constitutional Council, cont.) C. Structure and Relative Autonomy: 1. Constitution Title VII Articles 56-63 2. Judges (Article 56): 9 members, 9 yr. term, non-renewable, appointments 3. Judicial Review: Constitutional Review (Art. 58-63) - elections (Art. 58-59) - abstract review (Art. 61-63)

  7. (II. Const. Council C. Structure, cont.) 4. Access: • President of France • Prime Minister • President of National Assembly & Senate • 60 deputies or 60 senators

  8. (II. Const. Council C. Structure, cont.) 5. Separation of Powers/Relationship to Judicial System a. Civil/Criminal Courts - Court of Cassation is highest court - It reviews questions of law from lower courts - Courts of Special Jurisdiction

  9. (II. Const. Council C. Structure 5. Relationship to Judicial System, cont.) b. Administrative Courts • Jurisdiction: administrative action  • Any individual can lodge a complaint and seek damages. HOWEVER, claim must be based on: 1. Lack of jurisdiction 2. Procedural irregularity 3. Misuse of power 4. Inequality

  10. (II. Const. Council C. Structure 5. Relationship to Judicial System, cont.) c. Other courts: 1. The High Court of Justice 2. Tribunal of Conflicts

  11. III. Individual Human Rights Protection in France (Who is the protector of rights?) • Constitutional Council 1. Expansive Approach 1971 case: incorporates 1946 constitution and 1789 Rights of man Effect: gave constitutional status to preamble rights 2. Abstract Review is widely used

  12. (III. Individual Rights Protection, cont.) B. Administrative Courts • Administrative Review can protect rights • CASE: Protection of Religious Beliefs (1993)

  13. (III. Individual Rights Protection, cont.) C. The Ombudsman • established in 1973 (non-judicial mechanism) • Settles disputes amicably (mediator/adjudicator)

  14. (III. Individual Rights Protection, cont.) D. Supranational/international law 1. Council of Europe – ECHR 2. EU-ECJ - Preliminary ruling process links the domestic and EU legal system 3. CASE: Stoeckel - French Law prohibits night work by women - EU Law: equal treatment for men & women

  15. Question: How should the ECJ decide? Should the French law or EU law be upheld in this case? ECJ Decision: French law was in violation of EU law.

  16. (III. Individual Rights Protection, cont.) E. Continued Problems 1. Government Official Impunity CASE: Chirac 2. Law Enforcement brutality F. Future Solutions 1. 1990 Judicial Reforms 2. Law 2000-516 Rights of Victims