French Constitutional Law includes extracts from decisions of the Constitutional Council and Council of State, significant laws, important reports, and a variety of French legal writings (many translated into English for the first time). These materials are accompanied by commentary, notes, and readings from secondary sources, including a generous sampling of extracts from historical and philosophical texts, to permit an understanding of the French constitutional system in context. The aim of the book is to present French constitutional law from a French perspective—to understand how the French think about constitutional law and its practice. Dynamics of constitutional evolution in France are stressed, and special attention is devoted to the extensive and significant constitutional amendments of July 2008. The book deals in depth with the following matters: separation of powers and the structure and functioning of government, the evolution and practice of judicial review by the Constitutional Council, the role of the Council of State in the French constitutional system, sources of French constitutional law and their interpretation, the Republican tradition (liberty and human rights, democracy and national sovereignty, secularism, equality, social solidarity, and the indivisibility of the Republic), and the application of supranational law (international law, European Union law, and European human rights law) in the French constitutional system. This book is well suited for use in law school, as the materials are structured to provide the basis for class discussion of legal issues. It is also well suited for use in undergraduate and graduate courses in French, European, or comparative politics or history.
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