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Constitutional Framework

France's politics take operates within the framework of a semi-presidential system set by the French Constitution. The nation declares itself to be a social Republic, democratic, secular, and indivisible. France's separation of power is based on the constitution and the Declaration of 1789 proclaims the Rights of Man and the principles of national sovereignty.

France's political system consists of an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch. The Government consists of the Prime Minister and ministers, but the President of the Republic and the Government exercises executive power. The President appoints the Prime Minister and is responsible to Parliament. But the National Assembly (lower House of Parliament) can revoke the government and Prime Minister through a "censure motion." This ensures that the Prime Minister is always supported by a majority of the lower house, which has prominence over the upper house.

Parliament consists of the Senate and National Assembly as they pass statutes and vote on the budget. Furthermore, they control the action of the executive through formal questioning in the House of Parliament and establish commissions of inquiry. The constitutionality of the statutes is checked by the Constitutional Council, appointed by the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly, and the President of the Senate.

The independent judiciary is based upon the civil law system that evolved from the Napoleonic Codes. The system is divided into the judicial branch (civil law and criminal law), administrative branch and each with their own independent supreme court of appeal. Moreover, the French government includes various bodies that check abuses of power and independent agencies.


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