Not only France: preliminary review of the constitutionality of laws around the world

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Author: Irina Galyaeva

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2022-3-62-99

Keywords: preliminary constitutional control; preliminary constitutional review; constitutional veto; political veto; promulgation; specialized and political constitutional control; written procedure in constitutional courts; consequences of the decisions of the constitutional courts; res judicata; stare decisis


Preliminary review of the constitutionality of laws is one of the primary types of constitutional control of legislation. While it exists in many countries of the world, as to domestic doctrine, research about it is limited to a description of the French model of constitutional control. The purpose of this article is to describe this institution based on analyses of constitutions, legislation, the practice of constitutional control bodies, and the doctrines of countries in different parts of the world (Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia). This article studies the experience only of specialized judicial bodies of constitutional control. It has been established that the most important aspects of analyses of this institution in various countries are the moment of application of preliminary control either “at the entry” or “at the exit”, including the relationship of preliminary control and the right of veto; who may seek this review; the features of this procedure (such as time limits for making a decision, the form of application for review, formation of the subject of verification); and the consequences of a decision of constitutionality or unconstitutionality, including its relationship to subsequent constitutional review. Thus, preliminary judicial control of the law is carried out, as a rule, from the moment the legislative process for a law begins and continues through enactment by the parliament and until signing or promulgation of the law, which is described as control “at the entry”. Between these time points, there may be a veto by the head of state, the relationship of which to preliminary control “at the exit” depends on whether a veto on constitutional grounds and a veto on political grounds are differentiated in a given country. Who may apply for preliminary constitutional control is limited, but regardless of the form of government, the most frequently permitted entities are the president and a group of parliamentarians. The most notable features of preliminary constitutional review as a whole are its predominantly written nature, the limited time limits for it, and the way courts evaluate the contested norms. At the same time, the consequences of decisions not only of unconstitutionality but also of constitutionality are important, since this decision may lead to the impossibility of exercising subsequent constitutional review of the same law.

About the author: Irina Galyaeva – postgraduate student of the Faculty of Law, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Galyaeva I. (2022) Ne tol’ko Frantsiya: predvaritel’nyy sudebnyy konstitutsionnyy kontrol’ zakonoda­tel’stva v mire [Not only France: preliminary review of the constitutionality of laws around the world]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 62–99. (In Russian).


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