The Constitutional Council was established by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic adopted on 4 October 1958. It is a court vested with various powers, including in particular the review of the constitutionality of legislation. The Constitutional Council is not a supreme court that is hierarchically superior to the Conseil d'État or the Cour de Cassation.
Founding documentsConstitution of 4 October 1958Declaration of Human and Civic Rights Of 26 August 1789Preamble to the Constitution of October 27th 1946Charter for the environment
As the overall standard of the French judicial system, the French Constitution has been, since its publication, modified twenty four times, either by the constituent power, or the houses of the French parliament meeting jointly, or directly by the people, following a referendum. It currently has sixteen titles, one hundred and four articles (one transitional) and a Preamble. It does not therefore limit itself to organising public powers, their role and their relationships, as the Preamble refers directly and explicitly to three other fundamental texts: the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 26 August 1789, the Preamble of the Constitution of 27 October 1946 (the Constitution of the Fourth French Republic) and the 2004 Charter for the Environment.
Decisions are served on the parties and published in the Journal officiel of the French Republic (series "Laws and Decrees") along with, for conformity decisions, the text referred from Parliament (from 1983 onwards) and the observations of the Government (from 1995 onwards). All rulings since the Council was founded are available on the website of the Constitutional Council, some of which are accompanied by a commentary written by its legal service.