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14 - France

Rethinking ‘Droits-Créances’

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Malcolm Langford
Affiliation:
Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo
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Summary

INTRODUCTION

In the field of human rights, or to use a more recent term, some would say a more ‘fashionable’ one, fundamental rights, it is common to distinguish between individual rights and collective rights as well as between ‘droits-libertés’ and ‘droits-créances’. Social rights can come within each of these categories. However, it is the latter notion that is by far the most widely debated in France. Indeed, any discussion on social rights as constitutional ‘droits-créances’, that is, rights to claim a benefit or access to a service from public authorities, often tends to polemic. Also labelled ‘droits à…’ [rights to] (as opposed to ‘droits de…’ [rights of]), numerous academics have denied their justiciability and regretted the fact that their programmatic nature undermines the concept of subjective rights. These social rights as positive constitutional rights (droits-créances) will be the focus of this Section. A brief overview of the historical context surrounding their constitutional recognition (Section 2) as well as an understanding of the legal changes brought by the progressive emergence of the Conseil constitutionnel [Constitutional Council] as an effective constitutional judge (Section 3) appear imperative in order to fully appreciate the legal impact of the on-going ‘constitutionalisation’ of this particular category of fundamental rights (Section 4).

THE CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION OF SOCIAL RIGHTS

Any overview of the constitutional recognition of social rights by the Preamble to the Constitution of 27 October 1946 (‘1946 Preamble’) should be preceded by a succinct presentation of the main characteristics of the founding text of French political modernity, the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights of 26 August 1789 (‘1789 Declaration’).

Type
Chapter
Information
Social Rights Jurisprudence
Emerging Trends in International and Comparative Law
, pp. 267 - 275
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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References

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  • France
  • Edited by Malcolm Langford
  • Book: Social Rights Jurisprudence
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511815485.016
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  • France
  • Edited by Malcolm Langford
  • Book: Social Rights Jurisprudence
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511815485.016
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • France
  • Edited by Malcolm Langford
  • Book: Social Rights Jurisprudence
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511815485.016
Available formats
×