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Decision no. 2011-632 DC of 23 June 2011

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Law determining the number of local councillors for each Department and each region

In the conditions provided for by Article 61-2 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Council was seized of an application relating to the Law determining the number of local councillors for each Department and each region on 10 June 2011 by Mr JeanMarc AYRAULT, Ms Patricia ADAM, Ms Sylvie ANDRIEUX, Messrs JeanPaul BACQUET, Dominique BAERT, JeanPierre BALLIGAND, Gérard BAPT, Claude BARTOLONE, Jacques BASCOU, Ms Chantal BERTHELOT, Mr Patrick BLOCHE, Ms MarieOdile BOUILLÉ, Mr Christophe BOUILLON, Ms Monique BOULESTIN, Mr Pierre BOURGUIGNON, Ms Danielle BOUSQUET, Messrs Alain CACHEUX, Thierry CARCENAC, Laurent CATHALA, Guy CHAMBEFORT, JeanPaul CHANTEGUET, JeanMichel CLÉMENT, Ms MarieFrançoise CLERGEAU, Mr Pierre COHEN, Ms Catherine COUTELLE, Ms Pascale CROZON, Ms Claude DARCIAUX, Messrs Pascal DEGUILHEM, Guy DELCOURT, Michel DELEBARRE, Bernard DEROSIER, Michel DESTOT, René DOSIÈRE, Julien DRAY, JeanPierre DUFAU, William DUMAS, Ms Laurence DUMONT, Messrs Philippe DURON, Olivier DUSSOPT, Christian ECKERT, Henri EMMANUELLI, Albert FACON, Ms Martine FAURE, Mr Hervé FÉRON, Ms Aurélie FILIPPETTI, Ms Geneviève FIORASO, Mr Pierre FORGUES, Ms Valérie FOURNEYRON, Messrs Michel FRANÇAIX, JeanLouis GAGNAIRE, Ms Geneviève GAILLARD, Messrs Guillaume GAROT, Jean GAUBERT, Ms Catherine GÉNISSON, Mr JeanPatrick GILLE, Ms Annick GIRARDIN, Messrs Joël GIRAUD, Jean GLAVANY, Daniel GOLDBERG, Marc GOUA, Ms Élisabeth GUIGOU, Mr David HABIB, Ms Danièle HOFFMANRISPAL, Mr François HOLLANDE, Ms Françoise IMBERT, Messrs Serge JANQUIN, Henri JIBRAYEL, Régis JUANICO, Armand JUNG, Ms Marietta KARAMANLI, Messrs JeanPierre KUCHEIDA, Jérôme LAMBERT, Jack LANG, JeanYves LE BOUILLONNEC, JeanMarie LE GUEN, Ms Annick LE LOCH, Mr Bruno LE ROUX, Ms Marylise LEBRANCHU, Ms Catherine LEMORTON, Messrs Bernard LESTERLIN, Serge LETCHIMY, Michel LIEBGOTT, Ms Martine LIGNIÈRESCASSOU, Messrs Albert LIKUVALU, François LONCLE, Jean MALLOT, Ms Jeanny MARC, Ms MarieLou MARCEL, Messrs JeanRené MARSAC, Philippe MARTIN, Ms Martine MARTINEL, Ms Frédérique MASSAT, Messrs Gilbert MATHON, Didier MATHUS, Ms Sandrine MAZETIER, Messrs Michel MÉNARD, Kléber MESQUIDA, Jean MICHEL, Philippe NAUCHE, Henri NAYROU, Alain NÉRI, Ms MarieRenée OGET, George PAULANGEVIN, Messrs Germinal PEIRO, JeanLuc PÉRAT, Ms MarieFrançoise PÉROLDUMONT, Ms Martine PINVILLE, Mr Philippe PLISSON, Ms Catherine QUÉRÉ, Messrs JeanJack QUEYRANNE, Dominique RAIMBOURG, Ms MarieLine REYNAUD, Messrs Alain RODET, Marcel ROGEMONT, Bernard ROMAN, Gwendal ROUILLARD, Michel SAINTEMARIE, Michel SAPIN, Ms Odile SAUGUES, Ms Christiane TAUBIRA, Ms Marisol TOURAINE, Messrs Philippe TOURTELIER, JeanJacques URVOAS, Daniel VAILLANT, Jacques VALAX, Manuel VALLS, Michel VAUZELLE, JeanMichel VILLAUMÉ and Philippe VUILQUE, Members of Parliament.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL,

Having regard to the Constitution;

Having regard to Ordinance no. 58-1067 of 7 November 1958 as amended, concerning the basic law on the Constitutional Council;

Having regard to Law no. 20101563 of 16 December 2010 reforming the local authorities, along with Decision no. 2010618 DC of 9 December 2010 of the Constitutional Council;

Having regard to the observations of the Government, registered on 17.06.11;

Having heard the Rapporteur;

1. Considering that the applicant Members of Parliament have referred to the Constitutional Council the law determining the number of local councillors of each Department and each region; that they challenge the procedure by which it was adopted; that they also submit that this law violates the principle of equality in elections;

2. Considering that, according to the applicants, the initial draft law, having regard to its object, was in the first instance submitted to the National Assembly in breach of the provisions of Article 39(2) of the Constitution;

3. Considering that the last phrase of the second subparagraph of Article 39 of the Constitution provides: "Without prejudice to the first subparagraph of article 44, Bills primarily dealing with the organisation of local authorities shall be tabled first in the Senate";

4. 4. Considering that the draft bill tabled in the National Assembly, as the first house to be seised, had the sole objective of determining the number of local councillors comprising the deliberative assembly of each Department and of each region; that the rules governing the organisation of local authorities include the determination of the number of members of their deliberative assembly; that accordingly, the draft bill that resulted in the law referred was incorrectly tabled first other than in the Senate; that consequently, the law was adopted according to an unconstitutional procedure; that, without any requirement to examine any other complaint, it must be ruled unconstitutional,

HELD:

Article 1 The Law determining the number of local councillors for each Department and each region is unconstitutional.

Article 2. This decision shall be published in the Journal Officiel of the French Republic.

Deliberated by the Constitutional Council in its session on 23 June 2011, sat on by: Mr JeanLouis DEBRÉ, President, Mr Jacques BARROT, Ms Claire BAZY MALAURIE, Mr Guy CANIVET, Mr Michel CHARASSE, Mr Renaud DENOIX de SAINT MARC, Ms Jacqueline de GUILLENCHMIDT, Mr Hubert HAENEL and Mr Pierre STEINMETZ.