Constitutional, Prevention, Damages, Jurisdiction, Public Participation

The Constitutional Council received an application for a priority preliminary ruling on the issue of constitutionality from the Conseil d'État raised by several associations.

The applicants challenged the compatibility of Article L. 411-2 of the Environmental Code with the principle of public participation.

Article L. 411-1 of the Environmental Code prevents any attack on wild animal or plant species and any destruction or modification or damage to their environment if their conservation is justified by a specific scientific interest or the requirements of preserving biological heritage.

The contested provisions contained in Article L. 411-2 of the Environmental Code referred the task of setting the conditions under which exceptions from the prohibitions referred to above are to be issued to a decree of the Conseil d'État.

According to the applicants, the legislator has violated the principle of public participation enshrined in Article 7 of the Environmental Charter because he did not provide any requirement for public participation in the issue of measures authorising the destruction of protected species.

The Constitutional Council ruled that the contested provisions were unconstitutional on the basis that in adopting these provisions without providing for participation by the public, Parliament acted in excess of its powers.