Chapter

Constitutional Review within the Fifth Republic

John Bell

in French Constitutional Law

Published in print January 1995 | ISBN: 9780198259480
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681967 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259480.003.0002
Constitutional Review within the Fifth Republic

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This chapter provides an outline of the history and basic features of the 1958 Constitution, in particular the place of constitutional review. It specifically attempts to emphasize the place of the Conseil constitutionnel in the arrangements of the Fifth Republic's Constitution and in the State tradition of France. The principal novel features of the Fifth Republic Constitution are institutional in nature: presidentialism, rationalized parliamentarianism, and the Conseil constitutionnel. The scope and procedure of the constitutional review now operated by the Conseil constitutionnel is very much like that of a constitutional court, but with substantial differences from the kinds of court that exist in the United States and Germany. Within the balance of political institutions, the development of constitutional review places obvious limits on the sovereignty of Parliament, already reduced by the ‘rationalized parliamentarianism’ of the Fifth Republic.

Keywords: Fifth Republic Constitution; constitutional review; France; Conseil constitutionnel; presidentialism; parliamentarianism

Chapter.  21744 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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