Functions of the French Constitutional Council

Tue, 10/22/2013 - 01:31 -- Umar Farooq

Functions of the French Constitutional Council

Electoral-cum-Judicial Functions

The French Constitutional Council ensures the regularity of the election of the President of the Republic and referendum procedure and announces the results thereof. It also decides the validity of the election of deputies and Senators. It investigates the complaints and declares the result of the vote. (Thus. it ensures the fairness of election and also decides the election disputes).

Legislative-cum-Judicial Function

Before organic law can be promulgated or parliamentary standing, orders be given effect, they must be submitted to Constitutional Council which gives its ruling on their constitutionality. The President of the Republic, the Premier and the Presidents of the two Houses of the Parliament may also submit ordinary laws to the council before they are promulgated for determination of their constitutionality. The decisions given by the Council are not of adversary character. These are the last words on laws referred to it.

Article-62 clearly lays down that the provision declared unconstitutional by the Council' may not be promulgated or implemented and that the decisions of the Council are not subject to appeal to any jurisdiction whatsoever and that they must be recognized by the public powers and administrative and judicial authorities.

The Constitutional Council also determines whether the text of any bill public or private comes 'within the scope of laws. It also arbitrates, at the request of other party, in the events of disagreement between the government and the Parliament on the matter whether a private bill or amendment bill is or not within the powers of Parliament.

Administrative Functions

The Constitutional Council can declare the Presidency vacant on the grounds of incumbent President's incapacity and incapability of performing his duties. Besides, before declaring the state of emergency in the country or issue decrees under his special powers, the President of the Republic consults the Council.

Foreign Function

If an international agreement or treaty constrain a clause contrary to the constitution, the President of any of the Assembly of Parliament; may refer it to the French Constitutional Council, which declares that the treaty or agreement contains such a clause and can be ratified approved only after the necessary amendment of the French Constitution.