Decision n ° 80-119 DC of July 22, 1980
Law validating administrative acts
The constitutionnal Council,
Seized on June 30, 1980 by MM Marcel Champeix, Edgar Tailhades, Félix Ciccolini, Mlle Irma Rapuzzi, MM Maurice Vérillon, Maurice Pic, Noël Berrier, Robert Pontillon, Michel Darras, Raymond Courrière, Pierre Noé, André Méric, Emile Durieux, Paul Mistral , Guy Durbec, Marcel Brégégère, Mme Cécile Goldet, MM Louis Longequeue, Charles Alliès, Gilbert Belin, Marcel Debarge, Tony Larue, Robert Laucournet, Robert Guillaume, Maxime Javelly, Philippe Machefer, Marcel Mathy, André Barroux, Henri Tournan, Jean Geoffroy , Jacques Carat, Georges Spénale, Michel Moreigne, Claude Fuzier, Antoine Andrieux, Maurice Janetti, René Chazelle, Franck Sérusclat, Gérard Minvielle, Robert Schwint, Edgard Pisani, Roger Quilliot, Henri Duffaut, Bernard Parmantier, Albert Pen, Jean Varlet, Edouard Soldani, Marcel Souquet, Georges Dagonia, Louis Perrein,Bernard Chochoy, Jacques Bialski, Léon Eeckhoutte, Jean Nayrou, Roland Grimaldi, Jean Péridier, Robert Lacoste, Emile Vivier, Roger Rinchet, Jean Béranger, Josy Moinet, senators, and on July 4, 1980, by MM Maurice Andrieux, Gustave Ansart, Robert Ballanger, Paul Balmigère, Mme Myriam Barbera, MM Jean Bardol, Jean-Jacques Barthe, Alain Bocquet, Gérard Bordu, Daniel Boulay, Irénée Bourgois, Jacques Brunhes, Georges Bustin, Henry Canacos, Jacques Chaminade, Mmes Angèle Chavatte, Jacqueline Chonavel, M Roger Combrisson, Mme Hélène Constans, MM Michel Couillet, César Depietri, Bernard Deschamps, Guy Ducoloné, André Duroméa, Lucien Dutard, Charles Fiterman, Mmes Paulette Fost, Jacqueline Fraysse-Cazalis, MM Dominique Frelaut, Edmond Garcin, Marceau Gauthier, Pierre Girardot , Mrs Colette Goeuriot, MM Pierre Goldberg,Georges Gosnat, Roger Gouhier, Mme Marie-Thérèse Goutmann, MM Maxime Gremetz, Georges Hage, Guy Hermier, Mme Adrienne Horvath, MM Marcel Houël, Parfait Jans, Jean Jarosz, Emile Jourdan, Jacques Jouve, Pierre Juquin, Maxime Kalinsky, André Lajoinie , Georges Lazzarino, Ms. Chantal Leblanc, MM Joseph Legrand, Alain Léger, François Leizour, Daniel Le Meur, Roland Leroy, Louis Maisonnat, Georges Marchais, Fernand Marin, Albert Maton, Gilbert Millet, Robert Montdargent, Ms. Gisèle Moreau, MM Maurice Nilès , Louis Odru, Antoine Porcu, Vincent Porelli, Mmes Jeanine Porte, Colette Privat, MM Jack Ralite, Roland Renard, René Rieubon, Marcel Rigout, Emile Roger, Hubert Ruffe, André Soury, Marcel Tassy, André Tourné, Théo Vial-Massat, Lucien Villa, René Visse, Robert Vizet, Claude Wargnies, Pierre Zarka, deputies,under the conditions provided for in Article 61 (paragraph 2) of the Constitution, of the text of the law validating administrative acts, as adopted by Parliament;
Having regard to the Constitution;
Considering the ordinance of November 7, 1958 on the organic law on the Constitutional Council, in particular the articles appearing in chapter II of title II of the said ordinance;
Heard the rapporteur in his report;
Considering that the law submitted to the examination of the Constitutional Council declares not the validation of the provisions of the decree n 77-679 of June 29, 1977 relating to the designation of the staff representatives to the central joint technical committee of the teachers of university statute annulled by a decision of the Council of State ruling on litigation dated April 18, 1980, but the validation of decrees taken after consultation of the said central joint technical committee as well as that of regulatory and non-regulatory acts taken on the basis of these decrees.
Considering that it results from the parliamentary debates that the legislator, with the consent of the Government, thereby intended to preserve the continuous functioning of the public service and the normal development of staff careers from the consequences of any contentious decisions which might come to be annul, as having been taken without regular consultation of the joint technical committee, the decrees referred to by the law submitted for examination by the Constitutional Council as well as other possible contentious decisions which would annul regulatory or non-regulatory acts taken on the basis of these decrees.
Considering that, except in criminal matters, the law may include retroactive provisions; that the legislator was therefore not prohibited from validating, retroactively, the decrees taken after consultation of the central joint technical committee of teaching staff with university status instituted by the decree of 29 June 1977;
Considering, likewise, that the validation of the decrees referred to by the law submitted to the examination of the Constitutional Council has the effect of rendering ineffective the complaint that the regulatory or non-regulatory acts taken on the basis of these texts would have been devoid of basis legal; that thus the legislator was led to validate these acts;
Considering that, according to the authors of the two referrals, the provisions of the law submitted to the examination of the Constitutional Council would involve an intervention of the legislator in the functioning of justice and would be contrary to the constitutional principle of the separation of powers; that indeed, this law would be likely to result in the rejection of appeals currently pending before the administrative jurisdiction.
Considering that it results from the provisions of article 64 of the Constitution with regard to judicial authority and from the fundamental principles recognized by the laws of the Republic with regard to, since the law of May 24, 1872, administrative jurisdiction , that the independence of the jurisdictions is guaranteed as well as the specific character of their functions on which neither the legislator nor the Government can encroach; that thus, it is neither for the legislator nor the Government to censure the decisions of the courts, to address them with injunctions and to replace them in the judgment of disputes falling within their jurisdiction.
But considering that these principles of constitutional value do not prevent, in the exercise of its competence and if necessary, except in criminal matters, by means of retroactive provisions, the legislator modifies the rules which the judge has mission to apply; that thus the fact that the law submitted to the examination of the Constitutional Council intervenes in a matter having given rise to appeals currently pending is not likely to make regard this law as not in conformity with the Constitution;
Considering that the authors of one of the referrals argue that by validating, even with the agreement of the Government, administrative acts not falling within the matters reserved for the competence of the legislator, the law submitted to the examination of the Constitutional Council disregarded the provisions of Articles 34 and 37 of the Constitution.
Considering that the legislator, competent, under the terms of article 34 of the Constitution, to lay down the rules concerning the fundamental guarantees, granted to civil and military officials of the State had, for reasons of general interest, the faculty of ” use his power to take retroactive measures in order to settle, as he alone, in the present case, could do, the situations arising from the annulment of the decree of June 29, 1977 and, for this, to validate the decrees which had been taken after consultation of the central joint technical committee as well as the regulatory or non-regulatory acts taken on their basis;
Considering, finally, that there is no need for the Constitutional Council to raise ex officio any other question of conformity with the Constitution of the law submitted for its examination,
Art 1 – The law validating administrative acts submitted to the examination of the Constitutional Council is declared in conformity with the Constitution.
Art 2 – This decision will be published in the Official Journal of the French Republic.