French Law

Experiment of new rulings (procédures de rescrit) under French Law

Law dated 10 August 2018 (n°2018-727) creates by way of experiment the possibility for a plaintiff to raise a written question in order to obtain a legal position related to the application of the law. The particularity of such a new regulation is that such a question may be raised before French administration (Article 22 of the law) or before the administrative judge (Article 54 of the law) (depending on the applicable procedure).

Inspired by the historical roman institution (rescrit du préteur), this new legal institution is additional to the already existing ones, such as the question préalable (for administrative law), the question préjudicielle (for EU law), the question prioritaire de constitutionnalité (QPC) (for constitutional law) or the tax ruling (for tax law).

The mechanism underpinning the procedure is the same: raise a question on the application or construction of the law. The addressee is however different: judge for a question préalable, a question préjudicielle or a QPC, administration for the tax ruling and administration or judge for the new rulings. The experiment will last for a period of three years starting the date of publication of a specific decree.

These procedures aim at improving legal safety (even if it can be alleged that the drawback of the multiplication of these rulings may lengthen the process).

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