Institutions of the Fifth Republic


"Constitutional public authorities", "parliamentary assemblies", "territorial authorities of the Republic", "administrative and judicial authorities", "political parties and groups" are all legal categories used by the Constitution of 4 October 1958 to cover the various institutions of the Fifth Republic. While new categories have been added by successive constituent assemblies, others no longer exist. However, all those that have lasted through the sixty years of the regime - such as the President of the Republic or the Court of Cassation - have undergone changes in both their status and their powers. The purpose of this lecture course is to study the constitutional system that the Institutions of the Fifth Republic constitute. The aim is to present them, to understand the changes they have undergone since their foundation and to understand, by examining their interactions, the institutional balance that has been created under the Fifth Republic, which is still being called into question, either by the constituted or the constituent authorities.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

Examination of key texts: Constitution of 4 October 1958, the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the Preamble to the Constitution of 1946, the Charter of the Environment.

The students will use the knowledge gained in Year 1: French political institutions, Introduction to political science and French political history.


  • Jan (Pascal), Les Constitutions de la France, 3 tomes, LGDJ, 2017, coll. «Systèmes».
  • Chevallier (Jean-Jacques), Carcassonne (Guy), Duhamel (Olivier), Benetti (Julie), Histoire de la Ve République. 1958-2017, Prais, Dalloz, 16e édition, 2017, coll. «Classic».
  • Boudon (Julien), Manuel de Droit constitutionnel. La Ve République, tome II, Paris, PUF, 2014, coll. «Droit fondamental».
  • Jan (Pascal), Le Président au centre du pouvoir, Paris, La Documentation française, 2001.
  • Rousseau (Dominique), Gahdoun (Pierre-Yves), Bonnet (Julien), Droit du contentieux constitutionnel, Paris, Montchrestien, 11e édition, 2016.

Educational formula

This lecture course will enable the students, through the activities conducted in the sessions, to place the concepts within their legal and historical context, to question the institutional mechanisms studied, to take an interest in French and foreign constitutional affairs, to approach the institutional mechanisms and developments studied from a critical perspective, and to use informed arguments to support their reflection of constitutional matters.

In brief

Year Third year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 2.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal written examination

Mandatory teaching



Forest Amandine [+]

Prévot Christophe [+]

Educational manager :
Savonitto Florian [+]