Client Alerts Covid-19 #2: A look at the impact of the French State of Health Emergency on deadlines before administrative courts and the Constitutional Council

April 6, 2020

Deadlines for challenging before administrative courts: if the statutory deadline expires between March 12th and June 25th, the deadline starts to run again from the latter date for its initial duration not exceeding two months

  • Example : In the case of a claim subject to the ordinary 2-month deadline, if the latter expires on March 30th, the claim will be admissible until August 25th, 2020. In case of the challenging of a prefectoral order permitting the operation of a classified facility published January 12th, 4-month deadline opened to third parties expires May 13th, 2020. This latter deadline starts to run again from 25th June 2020 for its 4-month initial duration not exceeding two months. Thus, the prefectoral order published January 12th could be challenged by third parties until 25th August

Investigative deadlines for administrative courts

  • Investigation closing dated between March 12th and May 25th are postponed on June 25th 2020.
  • Others investigation measures decided by courts expiring between March 12th and June 25th are expanded until August 25th
    • Examples : request for the submission of a brief or a document, request for the regularization of a claim
  • Deadlines of investigation measures statutory provided expiring between March 12th and June 25th will start to run again for all their duration until August 25th

Deadlines imposed on administrative courts for ruling: Deadlines running in whole or in part during the period from March 12th to May 25th are postponed until July 1st, 2020

Examination deadlines for a priority preliminary ruling on the issue of constitutionality (QPC) during the French State of Health Emergency

  • Case 1 : 3-month QPC examination deadline imposed on the French Conseil d’Etat and Cour de cassation, started from the date of referral by a lower court, is suspended until June 30th, 2020
    • Example : If a lower court referred to the French Conseil d’Etat on January 31st concerning a QPC demand, the Conseil d’Etat must rule before July 31st, 2020
  • Case 2 : 3-month QPC examination deadline imposed on the French Conseil d’Etat and Cour de cassation, started from the date of first submission before them, is suspended until June 30th, 2020
    • Example : If request for a QPC dated January 31st is first submitted before the French Conseil d’Etat,  the latter must rule before July 31st, 2020
  • Case 3 : 3-month QPC deadline imposed on the French Conseil constitutionnel for ruling is suspended until June 30th, 2020
    • Example :  If the French Conseil d’Etat has referred to Conseil constitutionnel concerning a QPC demand on January 31st, the latter must rule before July 31st 2020