Jan Malíř
Author’s affiliation: Institute of State and Law, The Czech Academy of Sciences

Political Limits of Judicial Review in Historical Perspective: The Example of Actes de Gouvernement in French Law

Jurisprudence 6/2017 Section: Articles Page: 3-17

Keywords: actes de gouvernement, France, judicial review, political limits, historical evolution

Abstract: The article analyses the historical evolution of the notion of actes de gouvernement in French law. Although this notion is probably the most famous example of the political limits of judicial review in continental Europe, it did not develop in the times of the Ancient regime but only after the introduction of the principle of the separation of powers during the Great Revolution and after the introduction of administrative judiciary in the Restoration period. Substantially modified in 1875, the notion remains an integral part of French public law to this day. Even though the notion may seem as an antithesis of the rule-of-law principle nowadays, it can be perceived as the original compromise between politics and the judiciary that contributed to the rise of judicial review, which would not have occurred otherwise. It continues to develop even today as exemplified by the disappearance of some actes de gouvernement and the advent of new ones.