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Encyclopedia > Decree

Decree is an order that has the force of law.

The word decree is often used as a derogative term for any authoritarian decision. See also rule by decree.


The word decree (décret) is used as a technical term to describe the executive decisions from the President or Prime Minister of France; they may be compared to US executive orders. Those decisions must conform to the Constitution and statutes of France, and it is possible to sue for their cancellation in the Conseil d'État (litigation section).

Decrees are of the two following kinds:

  • simple decrees (décrets simples);
  • decrees in the Council of State (décrets en Conseil d'État), when a statute mandates the advisory consultation of the Conseil d'État.

Sometimes, people refer to décrets en Conseil d'État improperly as décrets du Conseil d'État. This would imply that it is the Conseil d'État that takes the decree, whereas the power of decreeing is restricted to the President or Prime Minister; the role of the administrative sections of the Conseil is purely advisory.

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  Results from FactBites:
decree: Definition, Synonyms and Much More from Answers.com (1330 words)
One of the most familiar of the decrees given by courts of equity is the decree of divorce, adjudicating the dissolution of a marriage and awarding alimony.
Decrees are enforced by proceedings for contempt of court.
Presidential decrees are generally nominations, or exceptional measures where law mandates a presidential decree, such as the dissolution of the French National Assembly and the calling of new legislative elections.
  More results at FactBites »



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