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The word decree is often used as a derogative term for any authoritarian decision. See also rule by decree.


The word decree (décret) is used as a technical term to describe the executive decisions from the President or Prime Minister of France; they may be compared to US executive orders. Those decisions must conform to the Constitution and statutes of France, and it is possible to sue for their cancellation in the Conseil d'État (litigation section).

Decrees are of the two following kinds:

Sometimes, people refer to décrets en Conseil d'État improperly as décrets du Conseil d'État. This would imply that it is the Conseil d'État that takes the decree, whereas the power of decreeing is restricted to the President or Prime Minister; the role of the administrative sections of the Conseil is purely advisory.

They may be classified into: