Chapter IX. The Constitutional Council
The Constitutional Council looks into bills submitted to it by the President of the Republic to ensure their conformity or compatibility with the Constitution. It is mandatory to submit to the Constitutional Council bills for organic laws, bills specified in article 47 of the Constitution, as well as bills regarding the general methods of application of the Constitution, nationality, personal status obligations, definition of crimes and misdemeanors and the applicable sentences, procedures before the different orders of courts, amnesty, and the basic principles of the system of property and real rights, education, public health, labor law and social security.
Similarly, the President of the Republic must submit to the Constitutional Council the treaties stated in article 2 of the Constitution.
He may also submit to it any question concerning the organization and functioning of the constitutional institutions.
The Constitutional Council shall rule on appeals relating to the election of members of the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Advisors. It shall check the validity of referendum procedures, and shall announce the results thereof. The electoral code fixes the procedures in the matter.
Bills emanating from the President of the Republic are presented to the Constitutional Council before being put before the Chamber of Deputies or submitted for referendum.
During the deadline provided for in article 52 of the Constitution for promulgation and publication, the President submits to the Constitutional Council any changes made in the substance of the bills adopted by the Chamber of Deputies and previously submitted to the Constitutional Council in accordance with the provisions of this article. He informs the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies thereof.
In this case, the above-mentioned deadline is suspended until the Constitutional Council has made its recommendation to the President of the Republic; the period of such suspension must not exceed one month.
Following their adoption, the President of the Republic submits to the Constitutional Council the bills proposed by the deputies, within the deadlines for promulgation and publication provided for in article 52, in the cases where the submission of bills to the Council is mandatory according to the terms of article 72. He informs the President of the Chamber of Deputies thereof. In this case, the provisions of paragraph 3 of article 73 shall apply.
The internal regulations of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Chamber of Advisors shall be submitted to the Constitutional Council before applying them, so as to check their conformity and compatibility with the Constitution.
The opinions of the Constitutional Council must be substantiated. They must be respected by all public authorities unless they concern the issues provided for in paragraph 3 of article 72 of the Constitution.
The President of the Republic sends to the Chamber of Deputies and to the Chamber of Advisors the bills examined by the Constitutional Council, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of article 73 of the Constitution, along with a copy of the opinion of the Constitutional Council.
The President of the Republic sends to the Chamber of Deputies a copy of the opinion of the Constitutional Council in the cases provided for in paragraph 2 of article 73 and paragraph 1 of article 74 of the Constitution.
The decisions of the Constitutional Council in electoral matter are final and may not be appealed.
The Constitutional Council is composed of nine members having a confirmed competence, irrespective of the age. Four of them, including the president, are appointed by the President of the Republic, and two by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, for a period of 3 years renewable twice. Three members are appointed in their capacity: the First President of the Court of Cassation, the First President of the Administrative Court and the First President of the Audit Office.
The members of the Constitutional Council may not exercise governmental or parliamentary functions. Nor may they hold positions of political or trade union responsibility, or be involved in activities which might compromise their impartiality or independence. When necessary, the law defines the other cases of non-plurality of offices.
In addition, the law defines the guarantees provided for the members of the Constitutional Council which are necessary for the exercise of their functions, as well as the rules of functioning and the procedures of the Constitutional Council.