Civil Law slide 5

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Civil Law slide 5

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Civil Law slide 5

  1. 1. Introduction to Civil Law School of Law An Scoil Dlí
  2. 2. Introduction to Civil LawDr Suzanne Kingston School of Law An Scoil Dlí
  3. 3. Court structures
  4. 4. Court structures• More than one set of courts
  5. 5. Court structures• More than one set of courts• Each with own jurisdiction
  6. 6. Court structures• More than one set of courts• Each with own jurisdiction• Administrative courts
  7. 7. Court structures• More than one set of courts• Each with own jurisdiction• Administrative courts• “Ordinary” courts
  8. 8. Court structures• More than one set of courts• Each with own jurisdiction• Administrative courts• “Ordinary” courts• Contrast common law – Pyramid structure
  9. 9. Example: Structure of the Irish CourtSystem
  10. 10. Example: Structure of the Irish CourtSystem
  11. 11. Contrast: French court structure
  12. 12. Contrast: French court structure
  13. 13. France: Ordinary courts
  14. 14. France: Ordinary courts• Civil courts – Tribunaux d’instance – Tribunaux de Grande instance (above €10,000 unless specialist jurisdiction; to be consolidated) – Irish equivalent?
  15. 15. France: Ordinary courts• Civil courts – Tribunaux d’instance – Tribunaux de Grande instance (above €10,000 unless specialist jurisdiction; to be consolidated) – Irish equivalent?• Commercial: tribunaux de commerce – Disputes between traders over money – Not career judges – lay judges elected by local business community – Irish equivalent? – No separate commercial courts in all civil law jurisdictions eg Italy
  16. 16. France: Ordinary courts• Civil courts – Tribunaux d’instance – Tribunaux de Grande instance (above €10,000 unless specialist jurisdiction; to be consolidated) – Irish equivalent?• Commercial: tribunaux de commerce – Disputes between traders over money – Not career judges – lay judges elected by local business community – Irish equivalent? – No separate commercial courts in all civil law jurisdictions eg Italy• Absorbed Ecclesiastical courts
  17. 17. France: Ordinary courts
  18. 18. France: Ordinary courts• Employment tribunals: Conseil de prud’hommes – Lay judges, representing employers and employees – Irish equivalent?
  19. 19. France: Ordinary courts• Employment tribunals: Conseil de prud’hommes – Lay judges, representing employers and employees – Irish equivalent?• Variety of other courts of first instance eg social security, disability
  20. 20. France: Ordinary courts• Employment tribunals: Conseil de prud’hommes – Lay judges, representing employers and employees – Irish equivalent?• Variety of other courts of first instance eg social security, disability• Courts of appeal: general jurisdiction
  21. 21. French court structure: Cour decassation
  22. 22. French court structure: Cour decassation• Highest court of “ordinary” courts
  23. 23. French court structure: Cour decassation• Highest court of “ordinary” courts• Civil, criminal matters
  24. 24. French court structure: Cour decassation• Highest court of “ordinary” courts• Civil, criminal matters• Origins: Tribunal de cassation – Function to ensure courts don’t deviate from text of legislation – Originally courts referred doubtful questions of construction to legislature – This changed quickly: became proper court (cour)
  25. 25. French court structure: Cour decassation
  26. 26. French court structure: Cour decassation• Can construe statutes
  27. 27. French court structure: Cour decassation• Can construe statutes• Can quash judgments of lower ordinary courts
  28. 28. French court structure: Cour decassation• Can construe statutes• Can quash judgments of lower ordinary courts• Can’t substitute its view on the merits
  29. 29. French court structure: Cour decassation• Can construe statutes• Can quash judgments of lower ordinary courts• Can’t substitute its view on the merits• Lower court not bound to follow view in the first instance, but bound in the second instance – Contrast eg Corte di Cassozione in Italy
  30. 30. French Cour de cassation
  31. 31. French Cour de cassation• Only answers questions of law, not fact
  32. 32. French Cour de cassation• Only answers questions of law, not fact• Structure
  33. 33. French Cour de cassation• Only answers questions of law, not fact• Structure• Over 80 trial judges (conseillers)
  34. 34. French Cour de cassation• Only answers questions of law, not fact• Structure• Over 80 trial judges (conseillers)• 40 case management judges (conseillers référendaires)
  35. 35. French Cour de cassation• Only answers questions of law, not fact• Structure• Over 80 trial judges (conseillers)• 40 case management judges (conseillers référendaires)• Office of the prosecutor (parquet général) – Headed by the Chief Prosecutor (procureur général) – Judicial officer charged with giving legal advice to Court – civil and criminal matters – Equivalent to Rapporteur public (formerly Commissioner of Government) in Council of State (Conseil d’Etat)
  36. 36. French Cour de cassation• Only answers questions of law, not fact• Structure• Over 80 trial judges (conseillers)• 40 case management judges (conseillers référendaires)• Office of the prosecutor (parquet général) – Headed by the Chief Prosecutor (procureur général) – Judicial officer charged with giving legal advice to Court – civil and criminal matters – Equivalent to Rapporteur public (formerly Commissioner of Government) in Council of State (Conseil d’Etat)• Barristers (avocats) need to pass special exam
  37. 37. French Cour de cassation
  38. 38. French Cour de cassation• 6 divisions (chambres): – First Civil Division (première chambre civile): individual rights, copyright and contracts – Second Civil Division (deuxième chambre civile): divorce, malfeasance – Third Civil Division (troisième chambre civile): property, urban affairs – Business & Financial Division: corporations, bankruptcy, business, banking and patents – Labour Division (chambre sociale): labour disputes, worker compensation, social security – Criminal Division (chambre criminelle): criminal cases
  39. 39. French Cour de cassation
  40. 40. French Cour de cassation• Stare decisis vs jurisprudence constante
  41. 41. French Cour de cassation• Stare decisis vs jurisprudence constante• Style of judgments – Contrast eg • Irish Supreme Court • House of Lords • German Court
  42. 42. French court structure: Administrativecourts and Conseil d’Etat
  43. 43. French court structure: Administrativecourts and Conseil d’Etat• Rationale for separate administrative courts – Contrast English mandamus, quo warranto
  44. 44. French court structure: Administrativecourts and Conseil d’Etat• Rationale for separate administrative courts – Contrast English mandamus, quo warranto• Conseil d’Etat: Created 1799, but not an independent court for 90 years
  45. 45. French court structure: Administrativecourts and Conseil d’Etat• Rationale for separate administrative courts – Contrast English mandamus, quo warranto• Conseil d’Etat: Created 1799, but not an independent court for 90 years• Reformed to add: – Administrative tribunals (first instance) – Administrative courts of appeal (cours administratives d’appel, 1989) – Contrast eg Germany, Austria: separate administrative courts long beforehand
  46. 46. Conseil d’Etat
  47. 47. Conseil d’Etat• 6 divisions – 5 administrative: home affairs, finance, research, public works, welfare – 1 litigious – Members are traditionally members of both • Independence problems? ECHR
  48. 48. Conseil d’Etat• 6 divisions – 5 administrative: home affairs, finance, research, public works, welfare – 1 litigious – Members are traditionally members of both • Independence problems? ECHR• Official president: Prime Minister
  49. 49. Conseil d’Etat
  50. 50. Conseil d’Etat• Powers – Advisory • Obligatory consultation before legislation made • Discretionary consultation by government in other administrative matters (eg Islamic headscarves 1989, International Criminal Court 1999) – Judicial • Rarely first instance • Mainly appeals on point of law only • Can be referred question for advice on points of law by lower administrative courts
  51. 51. Conflicts of court jurisdiction?
  52. 52. Conflicts of court jurisdiction?• Decided by Tribunal des conflits (Jurisdiction disputes court) – Positive conflict: eg administration considers a case should be in administrative courts • Préfet is told • If préfet can’t agree with court, referred to jurisdiction disputes court – Similar if negative conflict ie no court thinks it’s competent – Mixed cases: Jurisdiction disputes court can be asked to decide the case if courts come to conflicting outcomes (happens rarely)
  53. 53. Conseil constitutionnel
  54. 54. Conseil constitutionnel• Created by founders of (current) Fifth Republic (1958 Constitution)
  55. 55. Conseil constitutionnel• Created by founders of (current) Fifth Republic (1958 Constitution)• Members: les sages
  56. 56. Conseil constitutionnel• Created by founders of (current) Fifth Republic (1958 Constitution)• Members: les sages• Former presidents have right to sit
  57. 57. Conseil constitutionnel• Created by founders of (current) Fifth Republic (1958 Constitution)• Members: les sages• Former presidents have right to sit• Others chosen by politicians: – President of the Republic (3) – President of the National Assembly (3) – President of Senate (3)
  58. 58. Conseil constitutionnel
  59. 59. Conseil constitutionnel• Decisions bind judges and unappealable
  60. 60. Conseil constitutionnel• Decisions bind judges and unappealable• Roles – Supervising elections and judging any litigation resulting from elections (eg election expenses, eligibility of candidates) – Judging constitutionality of statutes, international treaties • Before promulgation • Eg Corsica decision (1991) – acknowledging existence of separate Corsican nation contravenes Article 1 French Constitution (“France is an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic”) • Eg Carbon tax (December 2009) – Judging ability of President to be able to exercise functions
  61. 61. Conseil constitutionnel
  62. 62. Conseil constitutionnel• Who can refer to Conseil? – President, PM, President National Assembly/Senate, 60 members of National Assembly/Senate – Or (since March 2010) if compatibility of statute with constitution is raised by party in case and referred by Cour de cassation or Conseil d’Etat
  63. 63. Conseil constitutionnel• Who can refer to Conseil? – President, PM, President National Assembly/Senate, 60 members of National Assembly/Senate – Or (since March 2010) if compatibility of statute with constitution is raised by party in case and referred by Cour de cassation or Conseil d’Etat• Limits of conseil’s powers – Not acts • Passed after referendum • Amending Constitution • Not referred to Conseil • Incorporating European directives into French law – Not compatibility of French act with EU law
  64. 64. German court structure
  65. 65. German court structure• 5 separate branches of court (contrast France)
  66. 66. German court structure• 5 separate branches of court (contrast France)• Ordinary courts (civil and criminal) – First instance (local) courts: Amtsgerichte – Regional courts: Landgerichte (original jurisdiction on appeal) – Regional appellate courts: Oberlandesgerichte (points of law)
  67. 67. German court structure• 5 separate branches of court (contrast France)• Ordinary courts (civil and criminal) – First instance (local) courts: Amtsgerichte – Regional courts: Landgerichte (original jurisdiction on appeal) – Regional appellate courts: Oberlandesgerichte (points of law)• Labour courts – Judge consults with employer and employee representatives
  68. 68. German court structure• 5 separate branches of court (contrast France)• Ordinary courts (civil and criminal) – First instance (local) courts: Amtsgerichte – Regional courts: Landgerichte (original jurisdiction on appeal) – Regional appellate courts: Oberlandesgerichte (points of law)• Labour courts – Judge consults with employer and employee representatives• Tax courts
  69. 69. German court structure• 5 separate branches of court (contrast France)• Ordinary courts (civil and criminal) – First instance (local) courts: Amtsgerichte – Regional courts: Landgerichte (original jurisdiction on appeal) – Regional appellate courts: Oberlandesgerichte (points of law)• Labour courts – Judge consults with employer and employee representatives• Tax courts• Social security courts
  70. 70. German court structure• 5 separate branches of court (contrast France)• Ordinary courts (civil and criminal) – First instance (local) courts: Amtsgerichte – Regional courts: Landgerichte (original jurisdiction on appeal) – Regional appellate courts: Oberlandesgerichte (points of law)• Labour courts – Judge consults with employer and employee representatives• Tax courts• Social security courts• Administrative courts
  71. 71. German court structure
  72. 72. German court structure
  73. 73. German court structure
  74. 74. German court structure• Lay involvement in commercial matters and labour matters
  75. 75. German court structure• Lay involvement in commercial matters and labour matters• Highest ordinary court: Bundesgerichtshof – Federal Court of Justice
  76. 76. German court structure• Lay involvement in commercial matters and labour matters• Highest ordinary court: Bundesgerichtshof – Federal Court of Justice• Each branch has its own federal court
  77. 77. German court structure• Lay involvement in commercial matters and labour matters• Highest ordinary court: Bundesgerichtshof – Federal Court of Justice• Each branch has its own federal court• Plus Federal Constitutional Court
  78. 78. German court structure
  79. 79. German court structure• Administrative courts – First instance, High Courts in each state (Länder) – Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) • Review on point of law • “Revision” possible to lower judgment (contrast cassation) – All non-constitutional public law matters unless expressly assigned by statute to fiscal/social courts – Eg asylum, planning, environmental matters
  80. 80. German court structure• Administrative courts – First instance, High Courts in each state (Länder) – Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) • Review on point of law • “Revision” possible to lower judgment (contrast cassation) – All non-constitutional public law matters unless expressly assigned by statute to fiscal/social courts – Eg asylum, planning, environmental matters• Contrast Conseil d’Etat: – No advisory functions – Wholly independent from executive
  81. 81. Constitutional courts
  82. 82. Constitutional courts• State constitutional courts (Länder)
  83. 83. Constitutional courts• State constitutional courts (Länder)• All courts subject to review by Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG)
  84. 84. Constitutional courts• State constitutional courts (Länder)• All courts subject to review by Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG)• Bundestag (parliament), Bundesrat (federal council) each choose half of members
  85. 85. Constitutional courts• State constitutional courts (Länder)• All courts subject to review by Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG)• Bundestag (parliament), Bundesrat (federal council) each choose half of members• 12 year non renewable term
  86. 86. Constitutional courts• State constitutional courts (Länder)• All courts subject to review by Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG)• Bundestag (parliament), Bundesrat (federal council) each choose half of members• 12 year non renewable term• Bundestag delegates to judges election board
  87. 87. Constitutional courts• State constitutional courts (Länder)• All courts subject to review by Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG)• Bundestag (parliament), Bundesrat (federal council) each choose half of members• 12 year non renewable term• Bundestag delegates to judges election board• Age of judges: 40-68
  88. 88. German court structure
  89. 89. German court structure• Conflicts of jurisdiction?
  90. 90. German court structure• Conflicts of jurisdiction?• Court where case is filed decided whether it has jurisdiction
  91. 91. German court structure• Conflicts of jurisdiction?• Court where case is filed decided whether it has jurisdiction• If decides no jurisdiction, may transfer cases to another court
  92. 92. German court structure• Conflicts of jurisdiction?• Court where case is filed decided whether it has jurisdiction• If decides no jurisdiction, may transfer cases to another court• Contrast: – France: Tribunal des conflits – Italy: Court of cassation decides conflicts

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