Parlament we francuskiej tradycji ustrojowej
Parliament in the French Constitutional Tradition
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This article presents two different traditions of perception of parliament existing in the French doctrine of constitutional law. In the fi rst one — called the Jacobin tradition — parliament is treated quite exceptionally, as an authority expressing national sovereignty and, therefore, unchallenged. That tradition has found its fullest expression in the political system of the Third and Fourth Republic, and especially the Third Republic which developed an extremely strong position of parliament, called the monistic parliamentary system, one-sided, predominant pathological or extreme parliament. From that time on in France a specifi c meaning ascribed to the phrase “parliamentarism” which has ceased to be only the system of government with specifi c relationships between the three elements of the system, i.e. the government — parliament — the head of state, and has become synonymous with exuberant, extremely strong position of parliament. This position was, inter alia, refl ected in: the lack of formalized procedures for holding government to account, an exclusive character of acts of parliament and their unrestricted scope, or election of the president of the Republic by parliament, which led to the situation in which he became “a hostage of the parliamentary majority.” This position of parliament, so shaped or rather deformed, has driven the reform efforts, known as rationalization. All of them belong to the second section of French parliamentary tradition, associated with criticism and, consequently, the weakening of the position of parliament in the system of government. This tradition, called the Bonaparte tradition, found its fullest expression in the political system of the Fifth Republic. Therefore, Gaullism is sometimes called a contemporary version of Bonapartism. Their common denominator is the desire to restrict parliament in the name of balance of powers. They are refl ected e.g. in the limitation of statutory matter, the introduction of constitutional judiciary or wider use of referendums and the establishment of universal and direct presidential elections. The latter two instruments especially have anti-parliamentary connotation, because they juxtapose parliament with two other institutions which also express national sovereignty.
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