DROIT ADMINISTRATIF

This is a French term, and can be defined as a body of public law which determines the organization and the duties of public administration, and regulates the relations of the administration with the citizens of the State.

This term “Droit Administration” is associated with the name Napoleon Bonaparte. Before the revolution in 1789, there was a constant see-saw struggle for power going on in the French politics between the traditionalist Bonapartists (who supported the executive power even in judicial matters) and reformist parliaments (who supported the jurisdiction of ordinary court).

In pre- revolution France, Conseil du Roi advised the king in legal and administrative matters. This body can be compared with Curia Regis and the privy council in Britain during feudalistic days. Conseil du Roi also discharged judicial functions such as deciding disputes between great nobles. Ordinary courts (Parlements) became jealous and not only interfered with the functioning of the executive but also tried to impede the growth of the measures which the monarchy wanted to introduce.

The major event took place after the revolution of the 1789, here the first step taken by the revolutionists was to curtail the power of the executive which was done on the basis of the theory of separation of power. From this the Conseil du Roi was abolished and the king’s power was also curtailed.

They wanted the separate institution which deals with the cases specifically against the people who abuse their administrative power and Grant relief against them.

Therefore in 1799 Counseil d’ Etat was established and its main purpose is to remove the difficulty against the course of administration. It’s main task is to advise the minister with whom the complaint was to be lodged. So, the minister was the judge and the Counseil administered only advisory justice. It has no power to pronounce the judgment. It was against the Dicey Concept of rule of law.

But in 1872, the formal power to give judgment was established and laid down that the judgment related to Administration and under the jurisdiction of the Conseil d’Etat was final.

It does not represent principle and rules laid down by the French parliament but includes rules developed by the judges of the  administrative courts.

  1. Rules dealing with administrative authorities and officials : these are related to appointment, dismissal , status and salary duties.
  1. Rules dealing with the Operation of public service to meet the needs of citizens:  these services by the public officials or under their official or any private agencies to provide public utility services.
  1. Rules dealing with administrative adjudication : if any injury is done to any private individual then the matter would be decided by the Conseil d’Etat which is the highest administrative court and its decision would be final.

If there is any conflict between the ordinary courts and the administrative courts regarding jurisdiction, the matter is decided by the Tribunal Des Conflicts. This tribunal consists of an equal number of ordinary and administrative judges and is presided over by the Minister of Justice.

There is no code of Droit Administration like the code civil. They developed their own doctrines and to help the citizens against the arbitrary use of the administrative powers. After some time, they adopt the civil code through parliament.

It has been said that no institute protects the private citizen against the excesses of the administration as has been done by the Conseil d’Etat.