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The French Conseil Constitutionnel: In comparison with Constitutional Courts

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  1. The aims and limits of this comparison
    1. The aims
    2. The limits
  2. Comparative study
    1. Brief presentation of the French Conseil Constitutionnel
    2. Comparing the models of the control of constitutionality
    3. Comparing the composition and the organization of Constitutional Courts
    4. Comparing the competences of Constitutional Courts
  3. Comparative overview

I believe that constitutional courts play a major role in legal systems. After the introduction of the 'Conseil Constitutionnel' in 1958, Louis Favoreu, a public law teacher, claimed, 'L'Etat de droit est désormais complet en France'. Indeed, it is often considered that constitutional litigation contributes to the modernization of the political and legal systems. The Constitution of a State is usually the supreme rule, it is situated on the top of the hierarchy of norms. Every national norm has to be subordinated to the Constitution. Thus, it seems logical to institute an organ whose task is to enforce the Constitution. However, one can say that Dean Favoreu has exaggerated. When we have a look at the French Constitutional Council, we can notice that its role has considerable limits, and that the Constitution can not be always protected by this institution. Even the name of the institution is remarkable, it is not a 'court' like in several countries, but a 'council'. A comparison is thus able to highlight these limits, to evaluate the differences between countries, and finally to understand the role and the exact impact of the introduction of constitutional litigation in diiferent states. Thus, one can find comparisons of constitutional courts in several doctrinal works.

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