French law – External sources of law

I. Internal sources of law

A. International Treaties

Treaty: A written legal act signed between competent authorities, in particular States, establishing rules or decisions and fixing mutual decisions and establishing reciprocal duties.

Article 55 of the Constitution states that “treaties or agreements ratified or approved have, from the moment of their publication, an authority
superior to that of laws, subject, for each agreement or

subject, for each agreement or treaty, to its application by the other party”.

Treaties nevertheless remain inferior to the Constitution.

B. European Union law

Originally called Community law, European Union law has primacy over the law of the European Union has primacy over the domestic law of the member states.

1. Primary Community law

Primary Community law, also known as original Community law, is the body of law, is the body of law that derives from the treaties.

Several treaties have developed primary Community law:

—the Treaty of Rome in 1957

—the Single European Act in 1986

—the Maastricht Treaty in 1992

—the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997

—the Treaty of Nice in 2001

—the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007

2. Secondary Community legislation

> The institutions of the European Union

The European Council: a meeting of national and European leaders who define the main priorities of the European Union.

The Council of the European Union: represents the governments of the Member States, bringing together the competent ministers of the Member States.

The European Parliament: is composed of members elected by direct universal suffrage for five years direct universal suffrage for five years, representing the citizens of
European citizens.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU): ensures that European
respect of European legislation

The European Commission: represents the interests of the Union as a whole

The Court of Auditors: controls the financing of the activities of the European Union

There are also internal institutions for the functioning of the European Union (including the
(including the European Central Bank, etc.)

> Secondary legislation

In order to apply the law, the institutions of the European Union have recourse to
standards, which are called secondary legislation.

The four norms of secondary legislation:

—The regulation: general compulsory measure that can be directly applied in the member states.

—The directive: a measure that must be transposed into the domestic law of each Member State, but leaving the means to achieve this free to achieve it

—The decision: a specific and compulsory measure, which is specifically aimed at a single addressee (States or persons).

Recommendations or opinions: opinions expressed by the European
and the institutions of the European Union that are not binding

Unnamed or atypical acts support secondary legislation and are
law, and are regulations, resolutions, or codes of good

> European law

European law differs from Community law in that it derives from the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950 and the European Social Charter of 1996.

It does not concern the treaties specific to the European Union.

The European Convention on Human Rights lists a series of fundamental rights, such as the right to
rights, such as the right to a fair trial and freedom of expression.
It has been signed by 47 European countries. Each of these countries is represented by judges in the European Court of Human Rights.

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