Obligation to state reasons for an administrative decision
Verified 11 October 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)
You have received a negative response from the administration and you do not understand why? We will tell you when an administration must justify (explain) its decision and how you can request the reasons for refusal in case of implied decision .
The rationale for an administrative decision is to explain what led to the decision.
The statement of reasons must state:
- the legal provisions on which the decision is based
- and facts which justify the decision taken in the light of the applicable legal provisions.
The motivation must be written.
Administration shall motivate (explain) the subsequent individual decisions :
- Measure restricting the exercise of a public freedom
For example, expulsion of a foreigner
- Decision imposing a penalty
For example, the dismissal of a public servant
- Authorization subject to restrictive conditions
For example, building permits subject to special requirements
- Cancelation or deletion of a rights-creating decision
For example, termination of the contract of a non-permanent public servant
- Prescription, foreclosure or forfeiture
For example, the expiry of a building permit.
- Denial of a benefit which is a right of the applicant
For example, denial of an allowance to a person who qualifies
- Refusal of authorization
However, the administration need not give reasons for the refusal if the communication of the reasons could infringe a State secret
- Rejection of a administrative appeal of which the presentation is obligatory above all else dispute
For example, contractual dispute
- Decision which does not follow a general rule fixed by law or by regulation (decision derogatory)
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You have received a written decision
Where absolute urgency has prevented a decision from being reasoned, failure to state reasons shall not render that decision unlawful.
However, in the absence of a statement of reasons, you can ask the reasons of the decision within time-limits for bringing proceedings.
The administration should to communicate the reasons for the decision within theone month according to your request.
You have not received a written decision
The absence of a statement of reasons does not make a implied decision Refusal.
For example, an implicit decision by an administration to refuse a request for access to a state job.
However, you can ask the reasons of the decision within time-limits for bringing proceedings.
The administration should to communicate the reasons for the refusal decision within theone month according to your request.
The time limit to make a litigation against this refusal decisions is prolonged.
You have 2 months from the day on which the reasons were communicated to you.
Who can help me?
Find who can answer your questions in your region
- Code of relations between the public and the administration: Articles L211-2 to L211-4Decisions concerned
- Code of relations between the public and the administration: Articles L211-5 to L211-6Motivation
- Code of relations between the public and the administration: Articles L231-4 to L231-5Exceptions to the rule of silence as acceptance
- Code of relations between the public and the administration: Article L232-4Communication of the grounds for an implied decision rejecting
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