Rule of Law in France
ASIAN DISCOURSES OF RULE OF LAW. THEORIES AND IMPLEMENTATION OF RULE OF LAW IN TWELVE ASIAN COUNTRIES, FRANCE AND THE U.S., R.P. Peerenboom (ed), Publisher London: Routledge, 2004
51 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2006
If the term rule of law was without any equivalent in French legal vocabulary for a long time, this is not because France was not a State governed by law, but because this idea was more often translated by the terms République or Etat. In fact, it was not until the beginning of the twentieth century that a specific term would emerge: Etat de droit, which was actually the literal translation of the German term Rechtsstaat. Since the creation of the Constitutional Council in 1958, France can be fully described as an Etat de droit, where each authority, including the Legislature, acts under the control of a judge who ensures that this authority respects the entirety of the formal and substantive principles of constitutional value. In France and Germany, the concepts of Etat de droit and of Rechtsstaat are, in sum, shorthand for the principle of constitutional supremacy and of the protection of fundamental rights from any public authority, and especially from the Legislature.
Keywords: Rule of law, Constitutionalism, France, Germany, European Union
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