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Decision of July 16, 1971, Con. const., 1971 J.O. 7114

Issue: the Constitutional Council (Conseil Constitutionnel) was asked to verify the constitutionality of the proposed legislation subjecting certain associations to the a priori approval of administrative or judicial authorities.

Holding: the Constitutional Council invalidated the proposed legislation

Reasoning: the principle of freedom of association underlies the general provisions of the law of July 1, 1901 relating to the contract of association. It provides that associations are freely constituted and can be made public subject only to the requirement of the filing of a prior declaration. The formation ofassociations, even when they appear to be void or to have an illicit purpose, cannot as a condition of their validity be subjected to prior action by the administrative authorities or even by the judiciary. Accordingly, the proposed law instituting a procedure subjecting associations to a prior review by the judiciary of their conformity with the law is unconstitutional.



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