A. The coming into force of the law
To be binding, a law must meet three criteria:
—it must have been passed by Parliament
—have been promulgated by the President of the Republic
—have been published in the Official Journal (JO)
Until all three criteria are met, the law is not
mandatory. Once they are, the law is mandatory.
B. Disappearance of the law
There are three methods for making a law disappear:
To make a law disappear, it is necessary to repeal this law.
A law can be repealed by a new text considered hierarchically as
superior or equal.
The repeal is express when it is clearly defined that the law is repealed that the law is repealed, it is only tacit when in fact the new law makes the old one incompatible.
Annulment is rare. It makes the law disappear, just like repeal,
but also causes the disappearance of the effects that the law may have produced,
in a retroactive way.
Non-application is also rare. A statute may lapse and thus disappear because of the prolonged non-application of the law.
C. Conflicts of laws over time
Definition of Non-retroactivity: The fact that a legal act cannot produce effects on what predates its date of application.
In principle, a law is always non-retroactive: it can never produce effects on what predates its date of application.
There are, however, exceptions:
—The legislator may override the principle of non-retroactivity by expressly transitional provisions.
—some laws are by their very nature retroactive
2. The principle of immediate application of the
As soon as it comes into force, the law is valid for all current legal
situations: it is immediately applicable.
However, for contractual situations, the law in force on the day of the conclusion of the of the contract remains applicable. This is the theory of acquired rights.
Laws of public order, i.e. laws considered to be a social progress, are always applicable immediately
progress, are always applicable immediately.
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