American Vs French Legal System Analysis

Improved Essays
A Comparison of the American and French Legal Systems
Western Europe has been engaged in extensive government regulation for a quite a long period of time as compared to the United States. France is one of the Western Europe states whose law is based entirely on written civil law (Terrill, 2015). This is in contrast to England and the U.S. whose laws are mainly derived from the common law. Civil law can be defined as “the set of legal rules regulating the organization and functioning of courts of law competent disputes affecting private citizens” (Cadiet & Amrani-Mekki, 2008, p. 307). France’s legal system was mainly obtained from Roman law and is based on codified laws that were drafted in 1804 under Napoleon.
The French legal system follows
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The Constitution of the United States has established the Supreme Court and grants Congress the authority to establish two levels of federal courts under these: the U.S. District Courts and the U.S. Courts of Appeals. At least one District Court is located in each state; they are the first instance in the federal system (Chemerinsky, 2011). In the District courts, judges sit alone to hear cases. In addition to this type of judge, there is a bankruptcy judge and magistrate judges all falling under the district courts. On the next level are the circuit courts of appeals. These are 12 in the country with a panel of judges that hears the appeals from different districts. At the top of the chain is the Supreme Court made up of 9 judges that sit together to hear cases that may be appeals from the federal circuit courts of appeal and the highest state courts. Jenkins (2011) explains that this is normally the case when the appeals coming in involve the U.S Constitution or federal …show more content…
Judges are appointed by the president and are divided into six different chambers: First Civil Chamber, Second Civil Chamber, Third Civil Chamber, Labor Chamber, Commercial Chamber and Criminal division each of which is headed by a presiding judge.
The other court branch is the administrative branch, and it has the following types of courts:
1. Administrative courts which are 35 in number with about 600 magistrates. They settle disputes between public authorities or state-owned companies on one side and the citizens.
2. The Council of State, which is the highest jurisdiction of the administrative branch, serves as an instance of first and last resort, as a court of appeal, as a court of Cassation and as a government advisor (Ministere de la Justice, 2011; Cadiet & Amrani-Mecki, 2008).
The Council of State is composed of state advisors and presided by the Prime Minister and the Vice president who is the Minister of Justice (Ministere de la Justice, 2011). There is a tribunal called the Conflicts Tribunal, which is composed of 8 members who are elected for a three-year term. In the United States the President appoints Justices of the Supreme Court, circuit and district judges if the nominations are approved by a majority of the U.S. senate. It is quite clear that some parallels can be drawn from the two

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