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Appeals for cassation before the Council of State

Verified 29 janvier 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Certain decisions rendered at first instance by the administrative judge cannot be appealed. The only way to challenge them is to appeal to the Council of State for cassation. The cassation judge does not have the power to retry the case, but he must check whether the law has been properly applied by the court. In most cases, the appeal period is 2 months and it is mandatory to take a lawyer. There are no procedural fees.

You may appeal against the following decisions:

  • Appeal decision of an administrative court of appeal or a specialised administrative court
  • Decision of an administrative court which cannot be appealed (e.g. decision of the National Court of the Right of Asylum)
  • Single judge of an administrative tribunal for a dispute not exceeding €10 000

The protest must be about illegality. The State Council does not rejudge the case, but checks how the law has been applied. Thus, the appeal must address the following cases:

  • Vice
  • Right Error
  • Violation of the law

The challenge to the act itself is still possible.

General case

The assistance of a lawyer is required.

The chosen lawyer must be a lawyer at the Boards (also called lawyer at the Council of State and the Court of Cassation).

Appeal against a decision on pensions

The assistance of a lawyer is not mandatory in the event of an appeal against a decision on pensions. This is specified in the letter accompanying the notification of the judge's decision.

Appeal against a decision on social assistance

The assistance of a lawyer is not mandatory in the event of an appeal against a decision on social assistance. This is specified in the letter accompanying the notification of the judge's decision.

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Online

You can submit your request via the online service Remedies citizens.

Citizens' telemedicine (appeal to the administrative judge)

Council of State

If you wish to file the appeal via the online service Citizen's Remedies, please consult the brochure explaining the procedure and the documents to be provided .

You must send the following electronically:

  • Query: the identification in the application Telemetry is the identification in the request and the signature
  • Signature of other applicants, if you make the request on behalf of more than one person
  • Mandate registered in the Application Remote Appeal, if you file the request on behalf of a third party
  • Attachment files: one file per part, with a label that has a serial number
  • Attachment inventory, with a title that describes the contents of each attachment clearly and explicitly, unless you are using the Remote online service Auto Inventory

The query shall specify the following:

  • Purpose of the application (for example, rescinding a decision)
  • Statement of Facts
  • Arguments to support your claim

On site

The query may be filed at the Registry of the Council of State in as many copies as the parties to the dispute.

The appeal shall be lodged by written application query.

You must sign the request and provide your full name, first name and address.

It shall specify:

  • Purpose of the application (for example, rescinding a decision)
  • Statement of Facts
  • Arguments to support your claim

You must attach the following documents to your query:

  • Copy of the contested decision
  • Copies of supporting documents needed to resolve the dispute

By mail

The query can be sent by mail preferably with RAR to the Registry of the Council of State in as many copies as parties to the dispute.

The appeal shall be lodged by written application query.

You must sign the request and provide your full name, first name and address.

It shall specify:

  • Purpose of the application (for example, rescinding a decision)
  • Statement of Facts
  • Arguments to support your claim

You must attach the following documents to your query:

  • Copy of the contested decision
  • Copies of supporting documents needed to resolve the dispute

  Please note : if you are represented by a lawyer, they must use the application Remedies to submit your request.

You do not have to pay to bring the appeal.

But if you take a lawyer, you have to pay his fees. Depending on your income, you may be entitled to legal aid.

The time limit for appeal shall be indicated in notification of the contested decision.

Metropole

Except in special cases, the appeal for cassation must be made within 2 months of notification of the court decision.

This period shall be reduced to 15 days for appeals concerning referees.

A period of less than 2 months must be mentioned in the notification of the court decision.

Otherwise, the time limit is 2 months.

Overseas

You reside overseas

If the court has its seat in metropolitan France, except in special cases, the period shall be 3 months from the date of the notification of the court decision and 1 month and 15 days for an appeal in the matter of referenced.

You live in metropolitan France

If the court has its seat overseas, except in special cases, the period shall be 3 months from the date of notification of the court decision and 1 month and 15 days for an appeal in respect of referenced.

Foreign

Except in special cases, for a person residing abroad, the time limit for filing an appeal for cassation is as follows:

  • 4 months from notification of the judgement
  • 2 months and 15 days for an appeal in respect of referenced

The appeal for cassation is not suspensive. This means that you must execute the contested decision until the decision of the Council of State. However, you can ask the judge to suspension.

Pre-admission procedure

The appeal is subject to a prior admission procedure. This means that appeals that are inadmissible (e.g. the appeal period has expired) or that are not based on a serious means (e.g. insufficient argument of the request) are rejected.

Since 19 November 2020, the Council of State may organise an oral hearing or an investigative hearing.

The oral instruction session and the instruction hearing can allow for a contradictory debate with your opponent on admission.

If the appeal is allowed, it is then examined.

From 20 November 2020, the administrative courts may amend the rules of procedure applicable to the cases they deal with, to allow them to continue their activity during the state of health emergency. Changes may include:

  • Possibility for courts to communicate with parties by any means
  • Conduct of the hearing by audiovisual or electronic means of telecommunication
  • Possibility for judges to participate in the hearing remotely
  • Use of the procedure without an interim hearing
  • Use of the procedure without a hearing in certain cases for disputes relating to the right to lodging
  • Exemption from reading of decisions rendered in an emergency in the case of expulsion of aliens

These possibilities to modify the rules of procedure will cease on the day of the end of the health emergency, that is, on 16 February 2021.

Decision of the Council of State

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Appeal dismissed

If the appeal is rejected, there is no longer any judicial remedy (except the application for review).

Appeal accepted

If the appeal is accepted, the decision is broken. The Council of State then refers the case to the court that has already tried it or to another court of the same nature. In certain limited cases, the Council of State may decide to settle the case definitively without sending it back.