French & German Constitutions

4 April 2015
Compares major provisions, methods & circumstances of adoption, individual rights and separation of powers.

FRENCH AND GERMAN CONSTITUTIONS
This research paper describes and compares the principal provisions and features of the present constitutions of the Fifth Republic of France and the Federal Republic of Germany. There are important similarities and differences between the two constitutions reflecting the historical experiences of each nation with parliamentary democracy. Both constitutions were adopted under crisis conditions and were intended to remedy excesses of previous governments but the nature of those crises and failures were fundamentally different. In each, somewhat different methods were used to achieve a reasonable balance between individual rights, legislative prerogatives and effective executive action. Each constitution contains unique features. In practice both of them have worked out well.
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