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French law displays many characteristics that set it apart in a world class of its own. It can be said to proceed from a number of independent streams that coexist despite apparent contradiction. More than half of the 2283 articles of the famous Code Civile of 1804 remain unaltered; yet French administrative judges jealously guard their prerogative to create their own public law.
And yet again, since the 1974 law empowering the legislature to convene the Constitutional Council that judges the constitutionality of laws under the 1958 Constitution, the courts’ distinction between ‘rules’ and ‘fundamental principles’ has grown steadily—a process that has been greatly accelerated since the 2003 law authorizing the government to ‘simplify the law.’
Introduction to French Law is a very practical book that makes clear sense out of the complex results of the various streams of influence observable in the various fields of legal practice in France today. Seventeen chapters, each written by a distinguished French juridical scholar, cover the following fields in substantive and procedural detail, with lucid explanations of such elements as the following and much more:-