French law – The Classic Public Institution

Section 1 – Public Institution/Public Utility Institution

basic difference between public and public utility institutions is as follows:

  • Public utility establishments are legal entities under private law. The State has recognized the public utility of these private establishments.
  • Public institutions are legal entities under public law.

In order to determine whether an institution is a public or a private legal entity, several elements can be used to decide:

  • who created the establishment, the State or one of the private persons
  • what is the activity of this establishment
  • who controls this establishment, rather the State or private persons

Section 2 – Legal regime of the public establishment

public establishment is subject to administrative law.

Since 1958, it is no longer necessary to have recourse to a law to create a public establishment. A law is only necessary in the case of the creation of a category of public establishment. The same is true for the disappearance of public establishments.

Each public establishment:

  • Has a specific field of activity.
  • As a legal person, it has its own patrimony.
  • It has a public domain (CE, 21 March 1984, Mansuy, R.D. publ.1984.1059, note Y. Gaudemet).
  • It is financially independent, even if it receives subsidies from the State.

The supervision of the public establishment is ensured by the local authorities. The modalities of this control are fixed at the time of the creation of the public establishment.

Section 3 – EPA and EPIC

EPA and EPIC are the two possible legal forms of a public establishment (EP).

  • EPAs are administrative public services (subject to public administrative law)
  • EPICs are industrial and commercial public services (largely governed by private law)

→ Chapter 2 – The crisis of the legal theory of the public establishment

→ Lesson Sheets – Administrative Organization

→ 50 Introductory Law Sheets