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French Constitution of 1946

The National Constituent Assembly has adopted,

The French people have approved,

The President of the Provisional Government of the Republic promulgates the following Constitution:

Contents

PREAMBLEEdit

On the morrow of the victory of the free peoples over the regimes that attempted to enslave and degrade the human person, the French people proclaim once more that every human being, without distinction as to race, religion or creed, possesses inalienable and sacred rights. They solemnly reaffirm the rights and freedoms of man and of the citizen ordained by the Declaration of Rights of 1789 and the fundamental principles recognized by the laws of the Republic.

They further proclaim as most vital to our time the following political, economic and social principles:

The law shall guarantee to women equal rights with men, in all domains.

Anyone persecuted because of his activities in the cause of freedom shall be entitled to the right of asylum within the territories of the Republic.

Everyone shall have the obligation to work and the right to obtain employment. No one may suffer in his work or his employment because of his origin, his opinions or his beliefs.

Everyone may defend his rights and interests by trade-union action and may join the union of his choice.

The right to strike may be exercised within the framework of the laws that govern it.

Every worker, through his delegates, may participate in collective bargaining to determine working conditions, as well as in the management of the enterprise.

All property and all enterprises that now have, or subsequently shall have the character of a national public service or of a monopoly in fact, must become the property of the community.

The Nation shall ensure to the individual and to the family the conditions necessary to their development.

The Nation shall guarantee to all, and particularly to the child, the mother, and the aged worker, protection of health, material security, rest, and leisure. Any individual who, because of his or her age, his or her physical or mental condition, or because of the economic situation, shall find himself or herself unable to work, shall have the right to obtain from the community the means for a decent existence.

The Nation shall proclaim the solidarity and equality of all the French people with respect to burdens resulting from national disasters.

The Nation shall guarantee equal access of children and adults to education, professional training, and culture. The establishment of free, secular, public education on all levels, shall be a duty of the State.

The French Republic, faithful to its traditions, shall abide by the rules of international public law. It shall not undertake wars of conquest and shall never use force against the freedom of any people.

On condition of reciprocal terms, France shall accept the limitations of sovereignty necessary to the organization and defense of peace.

France shall form with the peoples of her Overseas Territories a Union based upon equality of rights and privileges, without distinction as to race or religion.

The French Union shall be composed of nations and peoples who shall place in common or coordinate their resources and their efforts in order to develop their respective civilizations, further their well-being, and ensure their security.

Faithful to her traditional mission, France shall guide the peoples for whom she has assumed responsibility, toward freedom to govern themselves and toward the democratic administration of their own affairs; rejecting any system of colonization based upon arbitrary power, she shall guarantee to all equal access to public office and the individual or collective exercise of the rights and liberties hereinabove proclaimed or confirmed.

THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE REPUBLICEdit

TITLE I—SOVEREIGNTYEdit

Article 1Edit

France shall be a Republic, indivisible, secular, democratic, and social.

Article 2Edit

The national emblem shall be the tricolor flag, blue, white, and red, in three vertical bands of equal dimensions.

The national anthem shall be the “Marseillaise.”

The motto of the Republic shall be "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." Its principle shall be: government of the people, for the people, and by the people.

Article 3Edit

National sovereignty belongs to the French people.

No section of the people, nor any individual may assume its exercise.

The people shall exercise it, in constitutional matters, through the vote of their representatives or through the referendum.

In all other matters, they shall exercise it through their Deputies in the National Assembly, elected by popular, equal, direct and secret ballot.

Article 4Edit

All French subjects and nationals of both sexes, who are majors and enjoy civil and political rights, may vote under the conditions prescribed by law.

TITLE II—PARLIAMENTEdit

Article 5Edit

Parliament shall be composed of the National Assembly and the Council of the Republic.

Article 6Edit

The duration of powers of each Assembly, its mode of election, the conditions of eligibility, and the rules of ineligibilities and incompatibilities of office, shall be determined by law.

However, the two Chambers shall be elected on a territorial basis, the National Assembly by direct popular vote, the Council of the Republic by the communal and departmental collectivities, by indirect popular vote. The Council of the Republic shall be renewable one half at a time.

Nevertheless, the National Assembly may itself elect, by proportional representation, Councillors whose number shall not exceed one sixth of the total number of members of the Council of the Republic.

The number of members of the Council of the Republic may not be less than 250 nor more than 320.

Article 7Edit

War may not be declared without a vote by the National Assembly and the preliminary opinion of the Council of the Republic.

Article 8Edit

Each of the two Chambers shall pass upon the eligibility of its members and the regularity of their election; each one shall accept the resignation of its own members.

Article 9Edit

The National Assembly shall convene by law every year on the second Tuesday in January.

The total duration of the recesses of the session may not exceed four months. Adjournments of more than ten days shall be considered as a recess.

The Council of the Republic shall sit at the same time as the National Assembly.

Article 10Edit

The meetings of the two Chambers shall be public. Reports of the debates in extenso, as well as parliamentary documents, shall be published in the “Journal Officiel.”

Each of the two Chambers may convene in secret committee.

Article 11Edit

Each of the two Chambers shall elect its Secretariat every year, at the beginning of its session, by proportional representation of the political parties.

When the two Chambers shall meet together to elect the President of the Republic, their Secretariat shall be that of the National Assembly.

Article 12Edit

When the National Assembly is not in session, its Secretariat, exercising control over the actions of the Cabinet, may convoke Parliament; it must do so upon the request of one third of the Deputies or of the President of the Council of Ministers.

Article 13Edit

The National Assembly alone shall pass the laws. It may not delegate this power.

Article 14Edit

The President of the Council of Ministers and the members of Parliament shall propose legislation.

Bills introduced by members of the National Assembly shall be filed with its Secretariat.

Bills introduced by members of the Council of the Republic shall be filed with its Secretariat and sent without debate to the Secretariat of the National Assembly. They shall not be admissible if they might result in the reduction of revenues or the creation of new expenditures.

Article 15Edit

The National Assembly shall study the bills submitted to it through committees whose number, composition and scope it shall determine.

Article 16Edit

The proposed Budget shall be submitted to the National Assembly.

It may include only such provisions as are strictly financial.

An organic law shall regulate the mode of presentation of the Budget.

Article 17Edit

The Deputies of the National Assembly shall have the power to initiate expenditures.

However, no proposals which tend to increase appropriations already decided upon, or to create new ones, may be presented during the discussion of the Budget and of prospective or supplementary appropriations.

Article 18Edit

The National Assembly shall regulate the accounts of the Nation.

It shall be assisted in this task by the “Cour des Comptes.”[1]

The National Assembly may entrust to the “Cour des Comptes” all investigations and studies concerning public revenues and expenditures or the management of the funds in the treasury.

Article 19Edit

Amnesty may be granted only by a law.

Article 20Edit

The Council of the Republic shall examine, in order to give its opinion thereon, the bills passed on first reading by the National Assembly.

It shall give its opinion not more than two months after receipt of each bill sent it by the National Assembly. When the Budget Law shall be under discussion, this period may be reduced, if need be, to the time taken by the National Assembly for its consideration and vote. When the National Assembly shall have adopted a rule for emergency procedure, the Council of the Republic shall give its opinion within the same period of time as that provided for debate in the National Assembly by the rule of that body. The time limits specified in the present Article shall be suspended during recesses of the session. They may be extended by a decision of the National Assembly.

Should the opinion of the Council of the Republic be in agreement with that of the National Assembly or should it not have been given within the time limits specified in the preceding paragraph, the law shall be promulgated in the text as voted by the National Assembly.

Should the opinion of the Council of the Republic not be in agreement with that of the National Assembly, the latter body shall examine the bill on second reading. It shall dispose definitively and absolutely of the amendments proposed by the Council of the Republic, accepting or rejecting them in whole or in part. Should these amendments be totally or partially rejected, the second reading of the bill shall be voted upon by public ballot and by an absolute majority of the members of the National Assembly whenever the vote on the whole bill has been taken under the same conditions by the Council of the Republic.

Article 21Edit

No member of Parliament may be prosecuted, sought by the police, arrested, detained, or tried because of opinions expressed or votes cast by him in the exercise of his office.

Article 22Edit

No member of Parliament may be prosecuted or arrested during his term of office for a criminal offense or a misdemeanor except upon authorization from the Chamber of which he is a member, unless it be a case of flagrante delicto. The detention or prosecution of a member of Parliament shall be suspended if the Chamber of which he is a member so demands.

Article 23Edit

Members of Parliament shall receive compensation for their services to be ascertained in relation to the salary of a given category of civil servants.

Article 24Edit

No one may be a member of the National Assembly and of the Council of the Republic at the same time. Members of Parliament may not be members of the Economic Council nor of the Assembly of the French Union.

TITLE III—THE ECONOMIC COUNCILEdit

Article 25Edit

An Economic Council, whose statute shall be determined by law, shall examine the bills within its purview in order to give its opinion thereon. The National Assembly shall send such bills to this Council before considering them.

The Economic Council may also be consulted by the Council of Ministers. It must be consulted concerning the establishment of any national economic plan for full employment and the rational utilization of material resources.

TITLE IV—DIPLOMATIC TREATIESEdit

Article 26Edit

Diplomatic treaties duly ratified and proclaimed shall be enforced even though they be contrary to French domestic laws, and no legislative acts, other than those necessary to ensure their ratification, shall be required for their enforcement.

Article 27Edit

Treaties relative to international organization, peace treaties, commercial treaties, treaties that involve national finances, treaties relative to the personal status and property rights of French citizens abroad, and those that modify French domestic laws, as well as those that call for the cession, exchange, or addition of territories, shall not become final until duly ratified by a legislative act.

No cession, no exchange, and no addition of territory shall be valid without the consent of the populations concerned.

Article 28Edit

Diplomatic treaties duly ratified and proclaimed having authority superior to that of domestic legislation, their provisions shall not be abrogated, modified or suspended without previous formal denunciation through diplomatic channels. Whenever a treaty such as those mentioned in Article 27 is concerned, such denunciation must be approved by the National Assembly, except in the case of commercial treaties.

TITLE V—THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLICEdit

Article 29Edit

The President of the Republic shall be elected by Parliament. He shall be elected for seven years. He shall be eligible for re-election only once.

Article 30Edit

The President of the Republic shall appoint in the Council of Ministers, the Councillors of State, the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor, ambassadors and envoys extraordinary, members of the High Council and of the Committee for National Defense, rectors of the universities, prefects, directors of the central administrative services, high ranking officers and Government representatives in the Overseas Territories.

Article 31Edit

The President of the Republic shall be kept informed of international negotiations. He shall sign and ratify all treaties. The President of the Republic shall accredit ambassadors and envoys extraordinary to foreign powers; foreign ambassadors and envoys extraordinary shall be accredited to him.

Article 32Edit

The President of the Republic shall preside over the Council of Ministers. He shall order the minutes of their meetings to be recorded and shall keep them in his possession.

Article 33Edit

The President of the Republic shall preside, with the same prerogatives, over the High Council and the Committee for National Defense, and shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

Article 34Edit

The President of the Republic shall preside over the High Council of the Judiciary.

Article 35Edit

The President of the Republic shall exercise the right of pardon in the High Council of the Judiciary.

Article 36Edit

The President of the Republic shall promulgate the laws within ten days after their text, as finally adopted, has been sent to the Government. This interval may be reduced to five days if the National Assembly declares a state of emergency. Within the time limit fixed for promulgation of a law, the President of the Republic, in a message stating his reasons, may ask that it be reconsidered by both Chambers; this reconsideration may not be refused.

Should the President of the Republic not promulgate a law within the time limit fixed by the present Constitution, the President of the National Assembly shall promulgate it.

Article 37Edit

The President of the Republic shall communicate with Parliament by means of messages addressed to the National Assembly.

Article 38Edit

Every act signed by the President of the Republic must be countersigned by the President of the Council of Ministers and by a Minister.

Article 39Edit

Not more than thirty and not less than fifteen days before the expiration of the term of office of the President of the Republic, Parliament shall elect a new President.

Article 40Edit

Should, in application of the preceding Article, the election take place during the period when the National Assembly is dissolved in conformance to Article 51, the powers of the President of the Republic in office shall be extended until a new President is elected. Parliament shall elect this new President within ten days after the election of the new National Assembly. In this case, the President of the Council of Ministers shall be designated within fifteen days after the election of the new President of the Republic.

Article 41Edit

Should the President of the Republic be unable to exercise his office for reasons duly established by a vote of Parliament, or in the event of a vacancy caused by death, resignation or any other circumstance, the President of the National Assembly shall assume his functions during the interim. He, in turn, shall be replaced in his duties by a Vice President. The new President of the Republic shall be elected within ten days, except under the conditions specified in the preceding Article.

Article 42Edit

The President of the Republic shall not be responsible except for high treason. He may be indicted by the National Assembly and arraigned before the High Court of Justice under the conditions set forth in Article 57 below.

Article 43Edit

The office of President of the Republic shall be incompatible with any other public office.

Article 44Edit

Members of the families that once reigned over France shall not be eligible for the Presidency of the Republic.

TITLE VI—THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERSEdit

Article 45Edit

At the beginning of the term of each legislature, the President of the Republic, after the customary consultations, shall designate the President of the Council of Ministers. The latter shall submit to the National Assembly the program and the policy of the Cabinet he intends to constitute.

The President of the Council and the Ministers may not be appointed until the President of the Council receives a vote of confidence from the National Assembly by public ballot and by an absolute majority of the Deputies, except in the case a force majeure shall prevent the National Assembly from meeting.

The same procedure shall be followed during the term of the legislature in the event of a vacancy caused by death, resignation, or any other circumstance, except in the case set forth in Article 52 below.

Article 51 shall not be applied as the result of any ministerial crisis occurring within the fifteen-day period after the appointment of the Ministers.

Article 46Edit

The President of the Council and the Ministers chosen by him shall be appointed by a decree of the President of the Republic.

Article 47Edit

The President of the Council shall ensure the enforcement of the laws. He shall appoint all civil and military officials except those specified in Articles 30, 46, and 84.

The President of the Council shall supervise the armed forces and shall coordinate all measures necessary for national defense.

The acts signed by the President of the Council and mentioned in the present Article, shall be countersigned by the Ministers concerned.

Article 48Edit

The Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the National Assembly for the general policy of the Cabinet and individually responsible for their personal actions. They shall not be responsible to the Council of the Republic.

Article 49Edit

Request for a vote of confidence may not be made except after deliberation by the Council of Ministers; it can be made only by the President of the Council. A vote of confidence may not be taken until one full day after the request has been made to the Assembly. The vote shall be taken by public ballot.

The Cabinet may not be refused a vote of confidence except by an absolute majority of the Deputies in the Assembly.

Refusal to give such a vote shall automatically result in the collective resignation of the Cabinet.

Article 50Edit

Passage of a motion of censure by the National Assembly shall automatically result in the collective resignation of the Cabinet. The vote on such a motion may not be taken until one full day after the motion has been made. It must be taken by public ballot.

A motion of censure may be adopted only by an absolute majority of the Deputies in the Assembly.

Article 51Edit

Should, in the course of an eighteen-month period, two ministerial crises occur under the conditions set forth in Articles 49 and 50, the Council of Ministers, with the concurrence of the President of the Assembly, may decide to dissolve the National Assembly. Its dissolution shall be proclaimed by a decree of the President of the Republic, in accordance with this decision. The provisions of the preceding paragraph may not be applied before the expiration of the first eighteen months of the term of the legislature.

Article 52Edit

In the event of dissolution, the Cabinet, with the exception of the President of the Council and the Minister of the Interior, shall remain in office to carry on current business. The President of the Republic shall appoint the President of the National Assembly as President of the Council. The latter shall appoint the new Minister of the Interior with the approval of the Secretariat of the National Assembly. He shall appoint as Ministers of State members of political parties not represented in the Government.

General elections shall take place not less than twenty and not more than thirty days after dissolution.

The National Assembly shall convene by law on the third Thursday after its election.

Article 53Edit

The Ministers shall have access to the two Chambers and to their Committees. They must be heard upon request. During discussions in the Chambers, they may be assisted by Committee members designated by decree.

Article 54Edit

The President of the Council of Ministers may delegate his powers to a Minister.

Article 55Edit

In the event of a vacancy caused by death or any other circumstance, the Council of Ministers shall call upon one of its members to exercise temporarily the functions of the President of the Council of Ministers.

TITLE VII—THE LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY OF MINISTERSEdit

Article 56Edit

The Ministers shall be legally responsible for crimes and misdemeanors committed in the exercise of their office.

Article 57Edit

The Ministers may be indicted by the National Assembly and arraigned before the High Court of Justice. The National Assembly shall decide this question by secret ballot and by an absolute majority of its members, with the exception of those who may be called upon to participate in the prosecution, investigation, or judgment of the case.

Article 58Edit

Members of the High Court of Justice shall be elected by the National Assembly at the beginning of the term of each legislature.

Article 59Edit

The organization of the High Court of Justice and its rules of procedure shall be determined by a special law.

TITLE VIII—THE FRENCH UNIONEdit

SECTION I—PRINCIPLESEdit

Article 60Edit

The French Union shall be composed, on the one hand, of the French Republic which comprises Metropolitan France and the Overseas Departments and Territories, and, on the other hand, of the Associated Territories and States.

Article 61Edit

The position of the Associated States within the French Union shall, in the case of each individual State, depend upon the Act that defines its relationship to France.

Article 62Edit

The members of the French Union shall place in common all their resources so as to guarantee the defense of the whole Union. The Government of the Republic shall coordinate these resources and direct such policies as will prepare and ensure this defense.

SECTION II—ORGANIZATIONEdit

Article 63Edit

The central organs of the French Union shall be: the Presidency, the High Council and the Assembly.

Article 64Edit

The President of the French Republic shall be the President of the French Union; he shall represent its permanent interests.

Article 65Edit

The High Council of the French Union, under the chairmanship of the President of the Union, shall be composed of a delegation of the French Government and of the representatives that each Associated State shall accredit to the President of the Union. Its function shall be to assist the Government in the general conduct of the affairs of the Union.

Article 66Edit

The Assembly of the French Union shall be composed half of members representing Metropolitan France and half of members representing the Overseas Departments and Territories and the Associated States. An organic law shall determine the mode of representation of the different sections of the population.

Article 67Edit

The members of the Assembly of the Union shall be elected by the Territorial Assemblies for the Overseas Departments and Territories; for Metropolitan France, two thirds shall be elected by the National Assembly representing Metropolitan France and one third by the Council of the Republic also representing Metropolitan France.

Article 68Edit

The Associated States may appoint delegates to the Assembly of the French Union within the limitations and conditions determined by a law and by an act individual to each State.

Article 69Edit

The President of the French Union shall convoke the Assembly of the French Union and shall close its sessions. He must convene it upon the request of half its members. The Assembly of the Union may not sit during recesses of Parliament.

Article 70Edit

The rules set forth in Articles 8, 10, 21, 22, and 23 shall be applicable to the Assembly of the French Union under the same conditions as prevail for the Council of the Republic.

Article 71Edit

The Assembly of the French Union shall examine the bills or proposals submitted to it by the National Assembly or the Government of the French Republic or the Governments of the Associated States, in order that it may give its opinion thereon. The Assembly shall be empowered to express its opinion on resolutions proposed by one of its members and, if these resolutions are accepted for deliberation, to instruct its Secretariat to send them to the National Assembly. It may submit proposals to the French Government and to the High Council of the French Union.

In order to be admissible, the proposed resolutions referred to in the preceding paragraph must concern legislation pertaining to the Overseas Territories.

Article 72Edit

Legislative powers with regard to penal law, civil liberties, and political and administrative organization in the Overseas Territories, shall rest with Parliament. In all other matters, the French law shall be applicable in the Overseas Territories only by an express provision to that effect, or if it has been extended to the Overseas Territories by decree, after consultation with the Assembly of the Union.

Moreover, in derogation to Article 13, special provisions for each Territory may be enacted by the President of the Republic in the Council of Ministers, after preliminary consultation with the Assembly of the Union.

SECTION III—THE OVERSEAS DEPARTMENTS AND TERRITORIESEdit

Article 73Edit

The legislative regime of the Overseas Departments shall be the same as that of the Departments of Metropolitan France, save for exceptions determined by law.

Article 74Edit

The Overseas Territories shall be granted a special statute which takes into account their particular interests with relation to the general interests of the Republic. This statute and the internal organization of each Overseas Territory or group of Territories shall be determined by law after the Assembly of the French Union has expressed its opinion thereon, and after consultation with the Territorial Assemblies.

Article 75Edit

The status of the respective members of the French Republic and of the French Union shall be subject to change. Modifications of status and passage from one category to another within the framework established in Article 60 may take place only as the result of a law passed by Parliament, after consultation with the Territorial Assemblies and the Assembly of the Union.

Article 76Edit

The representative of the Government in each Territory or group of Territories shall be vested with the powers of the Republic. He shall be the administrative head of the Territory. He shall be responsible to the Government for his actions.

Article 77Edit

An elective Assembly shall be instituted in each Territory. The electoral regime, composition and powers of this Assembly shall be determined by law.

Article 78Edit

In the groups of Territories, the management of matters of common interest shall be entrusted to an Assembly composed of members elected by the Territorial Assemblies. Its composition and its powers shall be determined by law.

Article 79Edit

The Overseas Territories shall elect representatives to the National Assembly and to the Council of the Republic under the conditions determined by law.

Article 80Edit

All subjects of the Overseas Territories shall be citizens with the same status as French nationals of Metropolitan France or of the Overseas Territories. Special laws shall determine the conditions under which they may exercise their rights as citizens.

Article 81Edit

All French nationals and subjects of the French Union shall have the status of citizens of the French Union, and thereby they shall be ensured the enjoyment of the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Preamble of the present Constitution.

Article 82Edit

Citizens not claiming French civil status, shall retain their personal status so long as they do not renounce it.

This status may in no case constitute a ground for refusing or restricting the rights and liberties pertaining to the status of French citizens.

TITLE IX—THE HIGH COUNCIL OF THE JUDICIARYEdit

Article 83Edit

The High Council of the Judiciary shall be composed of fourteen members:

  • The President of the Republic, President;
  • The Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice, Vice President;
  • Six members elected for six years by the National Assembly, by a two-thirds majority and chosen outside its membership, six alternates being elected under the same conditions;
  • Six members designated as follows:
    • Four judges elected for six years under conditions provided by law, and representing each judicial branch, four alternates being elected under the same conditions.
    • Two members appointed for six years by the President of the Republic and chosen outside the membership of Parliament and the judiciary, but from among the members of the legal profession, two alternates being designated under the same conditions.

The decisions of the High Council of the Judiciary shall be determined by majority vote. In case of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote.

Article 84Edit

Upon nomination by the High Council of the Judiciary, the President of the Republic shall appoint the judges, with the exception of those in the Office of the Public Prosecutor.

In accordance with the law, the High Council of the Judiciary shall ensure the discipline of these judges, their independence, and the administration of the courts.

These magistrates shall hold office for life.

TITLE X—LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE UNITSEdit

Article 85Edit

The French Republic, one and indivisible, shall recognize the existence of local administrative units.

These units shall comprise the Communes, the Departments, and the Overseas Territories.

Article 86Edit

The framework, the scope, the eventual regrouping, and the organization of the Communes, Departments, and Overseas Territories shall be determined by law.

Article 87Edit

The local administrative units shall be free to govern themselves by councils elected by popular vote.

Decisions made by the councils shall be carried out by their mayor or by their president.

Article 88Edit

The coordination of the activities of Government officials, the representation of the national interests, and the administrative control of these units shall be ensured, within the departmental framework, by delegates of the Government appointed in the Council of Ministers.

Article 89Edit

Organic laws shall further extend the liberties of the Departments and Municipalities; for certain large cities, these laws may establish rules of operation and an administrative structure different from those of small towns, and they may include special provisions for certain Departments; they shall determine the conditions under which Articles 85 to 88 above shall be applied.

Laws shall likewise determine the conditions under which local offices of the central administrative services shall function, in order to bring the administration closer to the people.

TITLE XI—AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTIONEdit

Article 90Edit

Amendment of the Constitution shall take place according to the following procedure:

The amendment must be decided upon by a resolution adopted by an absolute majority of the members of the National Assembly.

This resolution shall stipulate the purpose of the amendment.

Not less than three months later, this resolution shall have a second reading under the same rules of procedure as govern the first reading, unless the Council of the Republic, to which the resolution has been referred by the National Assembly, shall have adopted the same resolution by an absolute majority.

After this second reading, the National Assembly shall draw up a bill to amend the Constitution. This bill shall be submitted to Parliament and adopted by the same majority and according to the same rules established for any ordinary legislative enactment.

It shall be submitted to a referendum unless it has been adopted on second reading by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly, or by a three-fifths majority of each of the two assemblies.

The bill shall be promulgated as a constitutional law by the President of the Republic within eight days after its adoption.

No constitutional amendment affecting the existence of the Council of the Republic may be adopted without the concurrence of said Council or recourse to a referendum.

Article 91Edit

The President of the Republic shall preside over the Constitutional Committee.

The Constitutional Committee shall include the President of the National Assembly, the President of the Council of the Republic, seven members elected by the National Assembly at the beginning of each annual session, by proportional representation of the political parties and chosen outside its own membership, and three members elected under the same conditions by the Council of the Republic.

The Constitutional Committee shall determine whether the laws passed by the National Assembly imply amendment of the Constitution.

Article 92Edit

Within the period allowed for promulgation of a law, the Committee shall receive a joint request to examine the law from the President of the Republic and the President of the Council of the Republic, the Council having so decided by an absolute majority of its members.

The Committee shall examine the law, shall strive to bring about agreement between the National Assembly and the Council of the Republic, and, if it does not succeed, shall decide the matter within five days after it has received the request. This period may be reduced to two days in case of emergency.

The Committee shall be competent to decide only on the possibility of amending the provisions in Titles I through X of the present Constitution.

Article 93Edit

A law which, in the opinion of the Committee, implies amendment of the Constitution shall be sent back to the National Assembly for reconsideration.

Should Parliament adhere to its original vote, the law may not be promulgated until the Constitution has been amended according to the procedure set forth in Article 90.

Should the law be judged as conforming with the provisions in Titles I through X of the present Constitution, it shall be promulgated within the period specified in Article 36, said period being prolonged by the addition of the periods specified in Article 92 above.

Article 94Edit

In the event of occupation of all or part of the metropolitan territory by foreign powers, no procedure of amendment may be undertaken or continued.

Article 95Edit

The republican form of government may not be the object of a proposed amendment.

TITLE XII—TEMPORARY PROVISIONSEdit

Article 96Edit

The Secretariat of the National Constituent Assembly shall be responsible for ensuring the continuity of national representation until the meeting of the Deputies of the new National Assembly.

Article 97Edit

In exceptional circumstances, the Deputies of the National Constituent Assembly in office may, until the date specified in the preceding Article, be called together by the Secretariat of the Assembly, either on its own initiative, or upon the request of the Government.

Article 98Edit

The National Assembly shall convene by law on the third Thursday following the general elections.

The Council of the Republic shall meet on the third Tuesday following its election. The present Constitution shall take effect an that date.

Until the meeting of the Council of the Republic, die organization of the Public Powers shall be governed by the Law of November 2, 1945, the National Assembly assuming the powers conferred on the National Constituent Assembly by that law.

Article 99Edit

The Provisional Government constituted under the terms of Article 96, shall tender its resignation to the President of the Republic, as soon as he has been elected by Parliament under the conditions set forth in Article 29 above.

Article 100Edit

The Secretariat of the National Constituent Assembly shall be responsible for preparing the meeting of the Assemblies created by the present Constitution and, especially, for providing, before the meeting of their respective Secretariats, the premises and administrative facilities necessary to the exercise of their functions.

Article 101Edit

During a period of not mere than one year after the meeting of the National Assembly, the Council of the Republic may officially deliberate as soon as two thirds of its members shall have been proclaimed elected.

Article 102Edit

The first Council of the Republic shall be renewed entirely within the year following the renewal of the Municipal Councils, which renewal shall take place within one year after the promulgation of the Constitution.

Article 103Edit

Until the organization of the Economic Council and during a maximum period of three months dating from the meeting of the National Assembly, the application of Article 25 of the present Constitution shall be suspended.

Article 104Edit

Until the meeting of the Assembly of the French Union and during a maximum period of one year dating from the meeting of the National Assembly, the application of Articles 71 and 72 of the present Constitution shall be suspended.

Article 105Edit

Until the promulgation of the laws provided for in Article 89 of the present Constitution, and without prejudice to the provisions fixing the status of the various Overseas Departments and Territories, the Departments and Communes of the French Republic shall be administered in accordance with the laws now in force, except for Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 97 of the Law of April 5, 1884, for the enforcement of which the State police shall be placed at the disposal of the mayors.

However, any action taken by the prefect in his capacity as representative of the Department, shall be subject to the permanent supervision of the president of the Departmental Assembly.

The provisions of the preceding paragraphs shall not be applicable to the Department of the Seine. 

Article 106Edit

The present Constitution shall be promulgated by the President of the Provisional Government of the Republic within two days after the date of the proclamation of the results of the referendum, and in the following manner:

“The National Constituent Assembly has adopted,
“The French people have approved,
“The President of the Provisional Government of the Republic promulgates the following Constitution:
(Text of the Constitution)
The present Constitution, considered and adopted by the National Constituent Assembly, approved by the French people, shall be enforced as the Law of the State.
Paris, October 27, 1946.

Constitutional Law of December 7, 1954Edit

Aimed at the Revision of Articles 7 (addition), 9 (1st and 2nd paragraphs), 11 (1st paragraph), 12, 14 (2nd and 3rd paragraphs), 20, 22 (1st sentence), 45 (2nd, 3rd and 4th paragraphs), 49 (2nd and 3rd paragraphs), 50 (and paragraph) and 52 (1st and 2nd paragraphs) of the Constitution. 

The National Assembly and the Council of the Republic have deliberated,
The National Assembly has adopted,
The President of the Republic promulgates the following constitutional law:

Article 1Edit

Article 7 of the Constitution is hereby completed as follows:

“A state of siege shall be proclaimed under the conditions stipulated by law.”

Article 2Edit

The first and second paragraphs of Article 9 of the Constitution are hereby abrogated and replaced by the following provisions:

“The National Assembly shall convene by law for its regular session on the first Tuesday in October.

“When this session shall have lasted at least seven months, the President of the Council may pronounce it closed by a decree taken in the Council of Ministers, This seven-month period shall not include recesses. Adjournments of more than eight full days shall be considered as a recess.”

Article 3Edit

The first paragraph of Article 11 of the Constitution is hereby modified as follows:

“Each of the two Chambers shall elect its Secretariat every year, at the beginning of the regular session, and under the conditions provided by its Standing Orders.”

Article 4Edit

Article 12 of the Constitution is hereby abrogated and replaced by the following provisions:

“When the National Assembly is not in session, its Secretariat may convoke Parliament for an extraordinary session; the President of the National Assembly must do so upon the request of the President of the Council of Ministers or of the majority of the members of the National Assembly.

“The President of the Council shall pronounce the extraordinary session closed in accordance with the procedure set forth in Article 9.

“When the extraordinary session is held upon the request of the majority of the National Assembly or of its Secretariat, the cloture decree cannot be taken before Parliament has exhausted the limited agenda for which it has been convoked.”

Article 5Edit

The second and third paragraphs of Article 14 of the Constitution are hereby abrogated and replaced by the following provisions:

“Bills are filed with the Secretariat of the National Assembly or the Secretariat of the Council of the Republic. However, bills tending to authorize the ratification of the treaties referred to in Article 27, budgetary or financial bills, and bills resulting in the reduction of revenues or the creation of new expenditures must be filed with the Secretariat of the National Assembly.

“Bills introduced by members of Parliament are filed with the Secretariat of the Chamber to which the latter belong, and sent, after adoption, to the other Chamber. Bills introduced by members of the Council of the Republic are not admissible if they might result in the reduction of revenues or the creation of new expenditures.”

Article 6Edit

Article 20 of the Constitution is hereby abrogated and replaced by the following provisions:

“All bills shall be examined successively by both Chambers of Parliament, in view of securing the adoption of an identical text.

“Unless it has examined the bill on first reading, the Council of the Republic shall pronounce itself not more than two months after receipt of the text adopted on first reading by the National Assembly.

“With regard to financial and budget bills, the time limit allowed the Council of the Republic must not exceed the time previously taken by the National Assembly for its consideration and vote. Should the National Assembly adopt a rule for emergency procedure, the time limit shall be double that provided for debate in the National Assembly by the rule of that body.

“Should the Council of the Republic not pronounce itself within the time limits specified in the preceding paragraphs, the law shall be ready for promulgation in the text voted by the National Assembly.

“Should no agreement be reached, each of the two Chambers shall continue its examination of the bill. After two readings by the Council of the Republic, each Chamber shall, for this purpose, be allotted a time limit equal to that taken by the other Chamber for the previous reading; this time limit cannot, however, be less than seven days, or less than one day for the texts specified in the third paragraph.

“Failing agreement within a period of one hundred days from the day on which the bill was submitted to the Council of the Republic for a second reading this period being reduced to one month for financial and budget bills, and to fifteen days in cases of procedure applying to urgent matters the National Assembly may rule definitively either by readopting the last text passed by it, or by modifying this text through the acceptance of one or several amendments proposed to it by the Council of the Republic.

“Should the National Assembly exceed or extend the time limits allotted to it for examination of the bill, the time limit provided for agreement by the two Chambers shall be increased accordingly.

“The time limits specified in the present Article shall be suspended during recesses of the session. They may be extended by a decision of the National Assembly.”

Article 7Edit

The first sentence of Article 22 of the Constitution is hereby abrogated and replaced by the following provisions:

“No member of Parliament may be prosecuted or arrested during parliamentary sessions for a criminal offense or a misdemeanor except upon authorization from the Chamber of which he is a member, unless it be a case of flagrante delicto. Any member of Parliament arrested when Parliament is not in session may delegate his vote as long as the Chamber of which he is a member has not pronounced itself on the removal of his parliamentary immunity. If it has not pronounced itself during the thirty days following the opening of the session, the arrested member shall be released by law. Except in cases of flagrante delicto, authorized prosecution or final conviction, no member of Parliament may be arrested, when Parliament is not in session, except upon authorization from the Secretariat of the Chamber of which he is a member.”

Article 8Edit

The second, third and fourth paragraphs of Article 45 of the Constitution are hereby abrogated and replaced by the following provisions:

“The latter shall choose the members of his Cabinet and submit the list to the National Assembly, before which he shall appear to obtain a vote of confidence on the program and the policy that he intends to pursue, except in the case a force majeure shall prevent the National Assembly from meeting.

“The vote shall be taken by secret ballot and by a majority of the votes cast.

“The same procedure shall be followed during the term of the legislature in the event of a vacancy of the Presidency of the Council, except in the case set forth in Article 52.”

Article 9Edit

The second and third paragraphs of Article 49 of the Constitution are hereby abrogated and replaced by the following provisions:

“A vote of confidence may not be taken until twenty-four hours after the request has been made to the Assembly. The vote shall be taken by public ballot.

“The Cabinet is refused a vote of confidence by an absolute majority of the Deputies in the Assembly.”

Article 10Edit

The second paragraph of Article 50 of the Constitution is hereby abrogated and replaced by the following provision:

“The vote on a motion of censure shall be taken under the same conditions and in the same form as the vote on a question of confidence.”

Article 11Edit

The first and second paragraphs of Article 52 of the Constitution are hereby abrogated and replaced by the following provisions:

“In the event of dissolution, the Cabinet shall remain in office.

“However, should dissolution be preceded by the passage of a motion of censure, the President of the Republic shall appoint the President of the National Assembly as President of the Council and Minister of the Interior.”

Article 12Edit

The new provisions of Article 9 of the Constitution shall not enter into effect before the first Tuesday in October following the promulgation of the constitutional revision law.

The present constitutional law shall be enforced as the Law of the State.

Done in Paris, December 7, 1954.
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