The "legislative rider" and the constitutional council

A "legislative rider" is an article of law that introduces provisions that have nothing to do with the subject of the bill.

Ok ... but why have added in the title the "constitutional council"? What is the relationship ?

Chapter 1. Prohibition of legislative jumper

The link with the constitutional council? ... is simply that the "legislative rider" is prohibited by the constitution ... (well ... not expressly, but I let you judge!)

TheArticle 45 of the Constitution has:

Any bill or bill is examined successively in both Assemblies of Parliament with a view to the adoption of an identical text. Without prejudice to the application of Articles 40 and 41, any amendment is admissible at first reading since it presents a link, even indirect, with the text deposited or transmitted.

Section 1.1. A "jumper" amendment

Thus, for an amendment to be admissible, it must have a link with the original (even indirect) text (here, I grant you, the term "indirect"Is not very clear ...).

So, on the contrary, an amendment can not be aimed at GMO rice cultivation if the title of the law is "Law for the Promotion of Informatics” .

Section 1.2. A bill "cavalier"

We can rightly ask if a provision of the law (present in the draft when it is filed) can be considered as a legislative rider in the absence of an amendment to this provision.

Indeed, Article 45 of the Constitution expressly refers to amendments and not the original text ...

Honestly, I have not found examples where this was the case. This lack of example can be justified by the fact that it would be quite incomprehensible for a parliamentarian or the government to propose a law whose title would be unrelated to the content (this would not be very serious). But in the unlikely event that this happens, I do not know how the constitutional council would answer.

Chapter 2. The reasons for this prohibition

In my opinion, there is only one reason for this prohibition.

In my opinion, the purpose of the prohibition of the "legislative rider" is to prevent certain amendments from being voted in the absence of subject specialists.

In short, it avoids passing laws in soft!

Consider the following situation:

  • Each group of parliamentarians has experts on certain subjects (for some parliamentarians, it's fishing, others it's computer science, others it's work, others it's agriculture ...);
  • An informatics bill is tabled;
  • Only specialists move to the national assembly because "it's really boring computer" (to be convinced, look at the number of MP in the hemicycle);
  • The government tabled an amendment on GM rice and had it voted;
  • As agricultural specialists are on vacation (ok ... I'm kidding ...), and that others do not really know what it means "Genetically Modified Organism", everyone accepts the amendment (good ok ... the opposition refuses in principle ... but hey that does not mean they understood).

It is therefore necessary to avoid that the specialists of the subjects discussed are absent. Thus, the proposed amendments must be related to the title of the bill.

Moreover, the court of cassation, in its decisions sanctioning the "legislative rider", often writes:

[the amendments] were adopted in disregard of the clarity and sincerity of the parliamentary debate

Chapter 3. Some examples ...

Decision N ° 2010-622 : "Law n ° 2010-658 of June 15, 2010 relating to the individual entrepreneur with limited liability"

  • one of the provisions of this law was to modify the "indexing regime for certain rents".

Decision N ° 2009-584 : "Law n ° 2009-879 of July 21st, 2009 relating to the reform of the hospital and relating to the patients, the health and the territories"

  • a provision of this law aimed at modifying the social security code to change the name of the National School of Social Security;

Decision N ° 2003-479 : "Law on financial security"

  • one provision of this law was a possible derogation from the rules on legal representation and assistance;

Decision N ° 2003-481 : "Law on the organization and promotion of physical and sport activities"

  • a provision of this Act was intended to change the reimbursement rate of certain drugs

Decision N ° 2002-459 : "An Act to establish a support system for the employment of young people in companies"

  • a provision of this law was aimed at the creation of a specific contribution for employers and employees covered by the "scheme for the unemployment insurance of entertainment workers"

Decision No. 2000-436 : "Law on Urban Solidarity and Renewal"

  • a provision of this law referred to the rules of organization of regional natural parks

One Comment:

  1. thank you
    this clarifies my understanding for my preparation for competitions.
    happy New Year

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