The year 2015
words and pictures
State of Emergency: words that strongly marked France at the end of 2015 and the activity of the Conseil d’État in particular, in its dual role of adviser to the Government and administrative judge. On 17 November, it ruled on the extension and new statutory regime of this exceptional measure; on 11 December, on its inclusion into our Constitution; on 17 December on the conditions under which dangerous individuals are incarcerated, placed under house arrest or electronically monitored. The Conseil d'État – the supreme administrative court – also declared that the administrative jurisdiction had full control, in terms of proportionality, over house arrest measures, which in themselves create a presumption of emergency for the judge for urgent applications and that the state of emergency does not mean that the rule of law nor the guarantee of fundamental liberties are placed on hold.
2015: a long-term reflection on the office of administrative judge. Given the on-going and sustained growth in litigation, administrative justice must be resilient, adaptable and driven by a reforming spirit. Reform proposals have been drawn up as part of an overall strategy to regulate the demand for justice and to address this demand effectively and appropriately in a tight budgetary context.
Whilst traditionally kept secret, the Conseil d’État's opinions are now more widely available for the purpose of greater transparency and accessibility of law. ConsiliaWeb, an application commissioned in January 2015, provides full and free access to over 3,500 opinions concerning issues of government; and access to summaries of the opinions when they relate to draft legislation. In March 2015, a new milestone was crossed at the initiative of the President of the Republic: the opinions on parliamentary bills are now made public by the Government as soon as the bill is forwarded to Parliament.
The year 2015 has been marked by an increase in the activity of the Conseil d’État. In its role as advisor, it examined 1,250 texts – a level never reached since 2008 –, i.e. 30% more than in 2014 with review deadlines maintained. For litigation, the administrative tribunals, administrative courts of appeal and the Conseil d’État took advantage of the decrease or slight increase in cases to clear the backlog of those pending and managed to preserve or in some cases reduce case processing times.
The National Court of Asylum (CNDA) recorded an increase of 3.5% in cases. This is explained by an increase (+ 19%) in the number of rulings handed down by the French Agency for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra) and a consequential increase in the number of Ofpra's rejection decisions. For the sixth consecutive year, the average time observed has been reduced.
Draft texts examined by the Conseil d’État
Decisions handed down by the administrative jurisdiction