French Constitution

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The current Constitution of France was adopted on October 4, 1958, and has been amended 18 times, most recently on February 19, 2007, the last amendment consisting of a triple revision of the Constitution : the abolition of the death penalty was inscribed into the Constitution, the penal status of the President of the Republic was modified, and the electoral college of New Caledonia was frozen to its 1998 level for territorial elections. The constitution is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and replaced that of the Fourth Republic dating from October 27, 1946. Charles de Gaulle was its main instigator; the constitution was drafted by Michel Debré.

Summary

The preamble of the constitution recalls the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen from 1789 and establishes France as a secular and democratic republic, deriving its sovereignty from the people.

It provides for the election of the President and the Parliament, the selection of the Government, and the powers of each and the relations between them. It ensures judicial authority and creates a High Court of Justice, a Constitutional Council, and an Economic and Social Council. It was designed to create a politically strong President.

It enables the ratification of international treaties and those associated with the European Union. It is unclear whether the wording (especially the reserves of reciprocity) is compatible with European Union law.

The Constitution also sets out methods for its own amendment either by referendum or through a Parliamentary process with Presidential consent. The normal procedure of constitutional amendment is as follows: the amendment must be adopted in identical terms by both houses of Parliament, then must be either adopted by a simple majority in a referendum, or by 3/5 of a joint session of both houses of Parliament (the French Congress) (article 89). However, president Charles de Gaulle bypassed the legislative procedure in 1962 and directly sent a constitutional amendment to a referendum (article 11), which was adopted. This was highly controversial at the time; however, the Constitutional Council ruled that since a referendum expressed the will of the sovereign people, the amendment was adopted.

Impact with respect to personal freedoms

Prior to 1971, though executive, administrative and judicial decisions had to comply with the general principles of law (jurisprudence derived from law and the practice of law in general), there were no such restrictions on legislation. It was assumed that unelected judges and other appointees should not be able to overrule laws voted by the directly elected French parliament.

In 1971, a landmark decision by the Constitutional Council (71-44DC[1]) cited the preamble of the Constitution and its references to the principles laid in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen as a reason for rejecting a law that, according to the Council, violated one of these principles. Since then, it is assumed that the "constitutional block" includes not only the Constitution, but also the other texts referenced in its preamble: the Declaration, but also the preamble of the 1946 Constitution (which adds a number of "social rights", as well as the equality of males and females) and the Environment Charter of 2004.

Since then, the possibility of sending laws before the Council has been extended. In practice, the political opposition sends all controversial laws before it.

Past constitutions

France has had numerous past constitutions.

Further reading

See also

Notes

1. ^ (French) Decision nr. 71-44 DC, granting constitutional authority to the preambles of 1789 and 1946

External links

Motto
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
Anthem
"La Marseillaise"


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Politics of France take place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of France is head of state and the Prime Minister of France head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system.
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The Fifth Republic is the fifth and current republican constitution of France, which was introduced on October 5, 1958. The Fifth Republic emerged from the ashes of the French Fourth Republic, replacing a parliamentary government with a semi-presidential system.
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France

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France

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France

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Politics and government of
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France

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Politics and government of
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  • President

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France

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Politics and government of
France



  • Constitution
  • Fifth Republic
  • Government of France
  • President

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France

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
France



  • Constitution
  • Fifth Republic
  • Government of France
  • President

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France

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Politics and government of
France



  • Constitution
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France

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Politics and government of
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France

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Politics and government of
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France

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France

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Gaullism (French: Gaullisme) is a French political ideology based on the thought and action of Charles de Gaulle.

Doctrine

The main doctrinal component of Gaullism is a desire for France's independence from foreign power, but there are also social and economic
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France

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Politics and government of
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The French presidential of 1958, the first of the French Fifth Republic, took place on December 21, 1958. This was the only French presidential election by the electoral college (gathering the members of the French parliament, the members of Conseils Généraux
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The 1965 French presidential election was the first presidential election by direct universal suffrage of the French Fifth Republic. It was also the first presidential election by direct universal suffrage since 1848.
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The 1969 French presidential election occurred due to the resignation of President Charles de Gaulle.

First round


Candidate Party Vote Percent
Georges Pompidou Union for the Defense of the Republic (UDR) 10,051,816 44.
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Presidential elections were held in France in 1974, following the death of President Georges Pompidou. They went to a second round, and were won by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing by a margin of 1.6%.
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The French presidential election of 1981 was won by François Mitterrand, the first Socialist president of the Fifth Republic. In the first round of voting, 10 candidates stood for election, from both the Left and Right of French politics.
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Presidential elections were held in France on 24 April and 8 May 1988.

In 1981, the Socialist Party leader, François Mitterrand, was elected President of France and the Left won the legislative election. However, in 1986, the Right regained a parliamentary majority.
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Presidential elections took place in France on 23 April and 7 May 1995, to elect the fifth president of the Fifth Republic.

The incumbent Socialist president, François Mitterrand, did not stand for a third term.
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The 2002 French presidential election consisted of a first round election on 21 April, 2002, and a runoff election between the top two candidates (Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen) on 5 May, 2002.
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France

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
France



  • Constitution
  • Fifth Republic
  • Government of France
  • President

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France

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
France



  • Constitution
  • Fifth Republic
  • Government of France
  • President

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France

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
France



  • Constitution
  • Fifth Republic
  • Government of France
  • President

..... Click the link for more information.
France

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
France



  • Constitution
  • Fifth Republic
  • Government of France
  • President

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