French Judicial Power

In the French Judicial Power, in accordance with article 66 of the Constitution, the legal authority is the guardian of the personal freedom and ensures the respect of the principle prohibiting arbitrary detention.

by Caroline Giraud

Jurisdictional organization

In the French Judicial Power, the French jurisdictions concern two orders: the legal order, and the administrative order. We will talk here only about the legal order.

In first authority,

  • The civil cases concern the magistrates courts (tribunaux d’instance) or the Courts of Bankruptcy (tribunaux de grande instance) (according to the amount and the field of the dispute),

  • The penal businesses concern the police courts (tribunaux de police) for the infringements, the correctional courts (tribunaux correctionnels) for the offences and the Courses of sat (cours d’assises) for the crimes,

    All are composed professional magistrates, except for the Courses for sited which are made up of three professional magistrates and of a popular jury of nine citizens.

  • The commercial businesses rise of the commercial courts (tribunaux de commerce), formed judges elected by a college of consular delegates including/understanding of the tradesmen,

  • The litigations between paid and employers are regulated by the Councils of the conciliation boards (conseils des prud’hommes), which are composed representatives of the employers and employees,

in the French Judicial Power, the party that didn’t win in the first resort can appeal against the decision, in front of one of the 27 Courses of call (cours d’appel). These last decide then in right and on the litigation, which is subjected to them.

The French Judicial Power legal order comprises a last spring of jurisdiction: Supreme court of appeal (cour de cassation), which examines, in right only, the recourse formed against the stops of the Courts of Appeal and the appeal from the decisions of the Courses of bases.

The litigations between the private people and the people morals of public law concern the administrative courts (tribunaux administratifs). It is possible to make call of the judgements of the administrative courts, according to fields', in front of one of the six Courses administrative of call (cours administratives d’appel).

The Council of State (conseil d’Etats) constitutes the supreme jurisdiction of the administrative order. Its members (approximately 200) profit from a statute, which guarantees their independence. The Council of State performs at the same time jurisdictional and advisory functions. It examines the bills before deliberation in the Council of Ministers (article 39), like certain projects of decrees.

The Court of the conflicts (tribunal des conflits) slices the conflicts of competence between the administrative jurisdictions and the legal jurisdictions. Composed of eight judges named for three years, the Court of the conflicts is chaired by the Minister for Justice. The Court can be seized when an administrative jurisdiction and a legal jurisdiction want to judge the same lawsuit, when they state both inefficient to judge the litigation or finally when they are both pronounced on the litigation and adopted contradictory decisions.

The Court of Auditors (cour des comptes) checks the budgets and the income statements of the State and the various territorial and decentralized communities.

Appointment of the judges

in the French Judicial Power, the magistrates are recruited by contest, which proceeds in two times: a contest of access to the national School of the magistrate, then, after cycle of an academic and practical training, a contest of exit.

Jurisdictions of exception

By principle, there are not jurisdictions of exception. There are however jurisdictions other than the ordinary and administrative jurisdictions:

  • Military jurisdictions.

  • The High Court of Justice is in charged to judge the President of the Republic for the acts achieved in the performance of its duties in the event of high treason

  • The Court of Justice of the Republic to consider acts made by the members of the Government in the performance of their duties and qualified crimes or offences at the time when they were accomplished.

Death penalty

Robert Badinter, Minister of Justice named by President François Mitterrand in 1981, file in a project of abolition of the capital punishment in front of the French National Assembly on August 31, 1981.

The project is examined on September 17 and is promulgated on October 9, 1981.

She lays out in her article 1er which "the death penalty is abolished" and which, "in all the texts into force expect that the death penalty is incurred, the reference to this sorrow is replaced by the reference ' to the criminal reclusion with perpetuity', or ' to criminal detention with perpetuity', according to the nature of the crime concerned".

From now in French Judicial Power, the most severe sorrow, which can be marked, out of criminal matter, is detention or the life sentence, with one period of 22 years maximum safety.

The French Judicial Power is not the only power in France, click here to discover the French Legislative Power

After having discover the French Legislative Power, you want to discover the French Executive Power? Please, click here!

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