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is that which has to do with the offices .; and the third is the judicial part (Tò dukátov). — ARISTOTLE, Politics, book vi. c. xiv.
Il y a dans chaque État trois sortes de pouvoirs: la puissance législative, la puissance exécutrice des choses qui dépendent du droit des gens, et la puissance exécutrice de celles qui dépendent du droit civil.
Par la première, le prince ou le magistrat fait des lois . . . et corrige ou abroge celles qui sont faites. Par la seconde, il fait la paix ou la guerre, envoie ou reçoit des ambassades, établie la sûreté, previent les invasions. Par la troisième, il punit les crimes, on juge les différends des particuliers. On appellera cette dernière la puissance de juger, et l'autre simplement la puissance exécutrice de l'État. . . .
Lorsque dans la même personne ou dans le même corps de magistrature, la puissance législative est réunie à la puissance exécutrice, il n'y a point de liberté; parce qu'on peut craindre que le même monarque ou le même sénat ne fasse des lois tyranniques pour les exécuter tyranniquement.
Il n'y a point encore de liberté si la puissance de juger n'est pas séparée de la puissance législative et de l'exécutrice. Si elle étoit jointe à la puissance législative, le pouvoir sur la vie et la liberté des citoyens seroit arbitraire: car le juge seroit legislateur. Si elle étoit jointe à la puissance exécutrice, le juge pourroit avoir la force d'un oppresseur.
Tout seroit perdu si le même homme, ou le même corps des principaux, ou des nobles, ou du peuple, exerçoient ces trois pouvoirs : celui de faire des lois, celui d'exécuter les résolutions publiques, et celui de juger les crimes ou les différends des particuliers. - MONTESQUIEU, L'Esprit des Lois, livre xi. c. vi. (1748).1
Le corps politique a les mêmes mobiles: on y distingue de même la force et la volonté; celle-ci sous le nom de puissance législative, l'autre sous le nom de puissance exécutive. Rien ne s'y fait ou ne s'y doit faire sans leur concours.
Nous avons vu que la puissance législative appartient au peuple, et ne peut appartenir qu'à lui. Il est aisé de voir, au contraire, par les principes ci-devant établis, que la puissance exécutive ne peut appartenir à
1 It may be confidently laid down, that neither the institution of a Supreme Court, nor the entire structure of the Constitution of the United States, were the least likely to occur to anybody's mind before the publication of the "Esprit des Lois." We have already observed that the "Federalist" regards the opinions of Montesquieu as of paramount authority, and no opinion had more weight with its writers than that which affirmed the essential separation of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial powers. The distinction is so familiar to us, that we find it hard to believe that even the different nature of the Executive and Legislative powers was not recognized till the fourteenth century; it occurs in the Defensor Pacis of the great Ghibelline jurist, Marsilio da Padova (1327), with many other curious anticipations of modern political ideas, but it was not till the eighteenth that the "Esprit des Lois" made the analysis of the various powers of the State part of the accepted political doctrine of the civilized world. ― MAINE, Popular Government, 218. — Ed.
la généralité comme Législatrice ou Souveraine; parce que cette puissance ne consiste qu'en des actes particuliers qui ne sont point du ressort de la loi, ni par conséquent de celui du Souverain, dont tous les actes ne peuvent être que des lois.
Il faut donc à la force publique un agent propre qui la réunisse et la mette en œuvre selon les directions de la volonté générale, qui serve à la communication de l'État et du Souverain, qui fasse en quelque sorte dans la personne publique ce que fait dans l'homme l'union de l'ame et du corps. Voilà quelle est dans l'État, la raison du gouvernement, confondu mal à propos avec le Souverain, dont il n'est que le ministre. Qu'est-ce donc que le Gouvernement? Un corps intermédiaire établi entre les sujets et le Souverain pour leur mutuelle correspondance, chargé de l'exécution des lois, et du maintien de la liberté, tant civile que politique....
J'appelle donc Gouvernement ou suprême administration l'exercice légitime de la puissance exécutive, et Prince ou magistrat l'homme ou le corps chargé de cette administration. -ROUSSEAU, Du Contrat Social, livre iii. c. i. (1762).
Le principe de la vie politique est dans l'autorité Souveraine. La puissance législative est le cœur de l'Etat, la puissance exécutive en est le cerveau, qui donne le mouvement à toutes les parties. Le cerveau peut tomber en paralysie et l'individu vivre encore. Un homme reste imbécile, et vit: mais sitôt que le cœur a cessé ses fonctions, l'animal est mort. - Ib. c. xi.
In all tyrannical governments, the supreme magistracy, or the right both of making and of enforcing the laws, is vested in one and the same man, or one and the same body of men; and wherever these two powers are united together, there can be no public liberty. The magistrate may enact tyrannical laws, and execute them in a tyrannical manner, since he is possessed, in quality of dispenser of justice, with all the power which he, as legislator, thinks proper to give himself. But, where the legislative and executive authority are in distinct hands, the former will take care not to intrust the latter with so large a power as may tend to the subversion of its own independence, and therewith of the liberty of the subject. With us, therefore, in England, this supreme power is divided into two branches: the one legislative, to wit, the Parliament, consisting of king, lords, and commons; the other executive, consisting of the king alone. It will be the business of this chapter to consider the British Parliament, in which the legislative power, and (of course) the supreme and absolute authority of the State, is vested by our constitution.-1 Blackst. Com. (1st ed.) 142 (1765).1
The original power of judicature, by the fundamental principles of society, is lodged in the society at large: but as it would be impracti
1 At p. 52 Blackstone had already remarked: "I proceed to observe that, as the power of making laws constitutes the supreme authority, so wherever the supreme authority in any State resides, it is the right of that authority to make laws.” — ED.
cable to render complete justice to every individual, by the people in their collective capacity, therefore every nation has committed that power to certain select magistrates, who with more ease and expedition can hear and determine complaints; and in England this authority has immemorially been exercised by the king or his substitutes. He therefore has alone the right of erecting courts of judicature; for, though the constitution of the kingdom hath intrusted him with the whole executive power of the laws, it is impossible, as well as improper, that he should personally carry into execution this great and extensive trust: it is consequently necessary that courts should be erected, to assist him in executing this power; and equally necessary that, if erected, they should be erected by his authority. And hence it is, that all jurisdictions of courts are either mediately or immediately derived from the Crown, their proceedings run generally in the king's name, they pass under his seal, and are executed by his officers. — lb. 266, 267.
Two features have at all times since the Norman Conquest characterized the political institutions of England.
The first of these features is the omnipotence or undisputed supremacy throughout the whole country of the central government. This authority of the State or the nation was, during the earlier periods of our history, represented by the power of the Crown. The king was the source of law and the maintainer of order. The maxim of the courts, "Tout fuit in luy et vient de lui al commencement," was originally the expression of an actual and undoubted fact. This royal supremacy has now passed into that sovereignty of Parliament which has formed the main subject of the foregoing chapters.
The second of these features, which is closely connected with the first, is the rule or supremacy of law. This peculiarity of our polity is well expressed in the old saw of the courts, "La ley est le plus haute inheritance, que le roy ad; car par la ley il même et toutes ses sujets sont rulés, et si la ley ne fuit, nul roi, et nul inheritance sera.” — DICEY, Law of the Const. (4th ed.) c. iv. 173.
It has been already pointed out that in many countries, and especially in France, servants of the State are in their official capacity to a great extent protected from the ordinary law of the land, exempted from the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunals, and subject to official law, administered by official bodies. This scheme of so-called administrative law is opposed to all English ideas, and by way of contrast admirably illustrates the full meaning of that rule of law which is an essential characteristic of our constitution. . . .
The term droit administratif is one for which English legal phraseology supplies no proper equivalent. The words "administrative law," which are its most natural rendering, are unknown to English
1 He could not agree that the judiciary, which was part of the executive, should be bound to say that a direct violation of the constitution was law. - Gouverneur Morris, 5 Ell. Deb. 429.-ED.
judges and counsel, and are in themselves hardly intelligible without further explanation.
This absence from our language of any satisfactory equivalent for the expression, droit administratif, is significant; the want of a name arises at bottom from our non-recognition of the thing itself. In England, and in countries which, like the United States, derive their civilization from English sources, the system of administrative law, and the very principles on which it rests, are in truth unknown. .
Droit administratif, or "administrative law," has been defined by French authorities in general terms as "the body of rules which regulate the relations of the administration or of the administrative authority towards private citizens; " and Aucoc, in his work on droit administratif, describes his topic in this very general language: "Administrative law determines (1) the constitution and the relations of those organs of society which are charged with the care of those social interests (intérêts collectifs) which are the object of public administration, by which term is meant the different representatives of society among which the State is the most important, and (2) the relation of the administrative authorities towards the citizens of the State."
These definitions are obviously wanting in precision, and their vagueness is not without significance. As far, however, as an Englishman may venture to deduce the meaning of droit administratif from foreign treatises and reports, it may (at any rate for our present purpose) be best described as that portion of French law which determines (i.) the position and liabilities of all State officials, and (ii.) the civil rights and liabilities of private individuals in their dealings with officials as representatives of the State, and (iii.) the procedure by which these rights and liabilities are enforced.
The effect of this description is most easily made intelligible to English students by giving examples of the sort of matters to which the rules of administrative law apply. If a minister, a prefect, a policeman, or any other official, commits acts in excess of his legal authority (excès de pouvoirs), as, for example, if a police officer, in pursuance of orders, say from the Minister of the Interior, wrongfully arrests a private person, the rights of the individual aggrieved and the mode in which these rights are to be determined is a question of administrative law. If, again, a contractor enters into a contract with any branch of the administration, e. g., for the supply of goods to the government, or for the purchase of stores sold off by a public office, and a dispute arises as to whether the contract has been duly performed, or as to the damages due from the government to the contractor for a breach of it, the rights of the contracting parties are to be determined in accordance with the rules of administrative law, and to be enforced (if at all) by the methods of procedure which that law provides. All dealings, in short, in which the rights of an individual in reference to the State, or officials representing the State, come in question, fall within the scope of administrative law. .
The second of the general ideas on which rests the system of administrative law is the necessity of maintaining the so-called separation of powers (séparation de pouvoirs), or, in other words, of preventing the government, the legislature, and the courts from encroaching upon one another's province.
The expression "separation of powers," as applied by Frenchmen to the relations of the executive and the courts, with which alone we are here concerned, may easily mislead. It means, in the mouth of a French statesman or lawyer, something different from what we mean in England by the "independence of the judges," or the like expressions. As interpreted by French history, by French legislation, and by the decisions of French tribunals, it means neither more nor less than the maintenance of the principle that while the ordinary judges ought to be irremovable and thus independent of the executive, the government and its officials ought (whilst acting officially) to be independent of and to a great extent free from the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts. It were curious to follow out the historical growth of the whole theory as to the "separation of powers." It rests apparently upon Montesquieu's "Esprit des Lois," book xi. c. 6, and is in some sort the offspring of a double misconception; Montesquieu misunderstood on this point the principles and practice of the English Constitution, and his doctrine was in turn, if not misunderstood, exaggerated and misapplied by the French statesmen of the Revolution, whose judg ment was biassed, at once by knowledge of the inconveniences which had resulted from the interference of the French "parliaments" in matters of State, and by the characteristic and traditional desire to increase the force of the central government. The investigation, however, into the varying fate of a dogma which has undergone a different development on each side the Atlantic would lead us too far from our immediate topic. All that we need note is the extraordinary influence exerted in France, and in all countries which have followed French examples, by this part of Montesquieu's teaching, and the extent to which it underlies the political and legal institutions of the French Republic....
We can now understand the way in which the existence of a droit administratif affects the whole legal position of French public servants, and renders it quite different from that of English officials.
Persons in the employment of the government, who form, be it observed, a much larger and more important part of the community than do the whole body of the servants of the English Crown, occupy in France a position in some respects resembling that of soldiers in England. For the breach of official discipline they are, we may safely assume, readily punishable in one form or another. But if like English soldiers they are subject to official discipline, they have what even soldiers in England do not possess, a very large amount of protection against legal proceedings for wrongs done to private citizens. The party wronged by an official must certainly seek relief, not from