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Constitutional Background

Amendments of the Constitution are adopted either by public referendum or by a 3/5th vote of Congress (i.e., the National Assembly and the Senate in joint Session, usually in Versailles), depending of the choice of the President (Article 89 [3]). The Constitutional Council provides an updated list of amendments.

History and News

  • 2008: Constitutional amendment introducing major changes throughout the Constitution with a focus on institutional reform (judicial review).
  • 2007: Constitutional amendment regarding the High Court of Justice (Articles 67 f.) and the Death Penalty Pohibition (Article 66-1).
  • 2005: Constitutional amendment regaring the European Union.
  • 2003: Constitutional amendment introduces "decentralized" state structure (Article 1) and EU arrest warrants.
  • 2000: Constitutional referendum reduces presidential term (cf. Article 6) from seven to five years.
  • 1 Jan 1997: The ten-month military service is replaced by a one week civil "citizens' rendezvous" and an optional nine months of non-military national service.
  • 1995: Constitutional amendment regarding referendum (Article 11) and sessions (Article 28).
  • 1992: Constitutional amendment regarding Maastricht Treaty (Europe).
  • 1962: Constitutional amendment regarding presidential elections.
  • 28 Sep 1958: New Constitution establishes France's Fifth Republic.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - February 10th, 2014 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.