The French Conseil constitutionnel in its Context

In many ways, the Conseil constitutionnel continues to be an exception among constitutional courts in Europe, especially when it comes to its approach to international law in general and to European law in particular. Its approach is founded on the ‘law-centered’ tradition together with, albeit somewhat paradoxically, its inherent task of enforcing the French constitution, from which it derives its legitimacy. In this regard, the Conseil constitutionnel has found itself largely on the fringes of the French judicial system rather than a central pillar, while also marginalized by European and other higher domestic courts. The purpose of the presentation is to determine whether the introduction of a specific, concrete review of constitutionality (question prioritaire de constitutionnalité) ten years ago has altered the place of the Conseil constitutionnel within the overall judicial architecture, and whether its legitimacy may be strengthened through further engagement with European law.