July 16, 2020

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Legal Research Reports:The Revocation of Huguenot Rights to French Citizenship

The Law Library of Congress is proud to existing the report, The Revocation of Huguenot Rights to French Citizenship

The 1685 revocation of the Edict of Nantes deprived French Protestants, or else acknowledged as the Huguenots, of all religious and civil liberties.  This led to the common persecution of Huguenots, and above 400,000 emigrated from France as a final result.  Spiritual independence was re-established through the French Revolution, and a 1790 regulation supplied that descendants of French folks who had fled the region because of to religious persecution had a ideal to settle in France and declare French citizenship.  This rule, confirmed in a a bit amended sort in 1889, remained applicable until finally 1945, when the French Citizenship Code abrogated practically all prior legislation on the issue of citizenship, together with the laws of 1790 and 1889.

The 1945 French Citizenship Code was adopted by way of an ordonnance, which is, in this context, an act of delegated legislation.  The French Structure permits, under sure ailments, the executive department to legislate in lieu of Parliament.  These functions of legislation, which are matter to each prior authorization and afterwards confirmation by Parliament, are known as ordonnances.  As soon as an ordonnance has been ratified or confirmed by Parliament, it becomes the equal of a regulation.  An ordonnance may well amend or entirely abrogate prior legislation. 

The notion of delegated legislation has existed in France for a extended time, under various names.  On the other hand, the 1945 ordonnance that instituted the then-new French Citizenship Code in no way approved by Parliament, for the reason that France had no Parliament to communicate of between July 1940 and Oct 1945.  It does not seem that the legality and legitimacy of the ordonnances of 1945 have been ever challenged, and French courts handle them as a valid exercising of legislative authority.  The 1945 ordonnance which abrogated the ideal to French citizenship for descendants of Huguenots ought to consequently be viewed as a valid piece of legislation under French regulation.

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