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Construction Law


The principal legal source applicable to building construction law in France is the "Code civil" being a codified official publication of French statutory civil legislative provisions.

The full text of the "Code civil" is now available online, in French, via the official French Government Legifrance website

An English translation of the "Code civil" is also available on the same site, although some caution is necessary as the translation is not always fully up to date when compared to the French original; which latter will of course systematically prevail.

In addition to, and separate from, the "Code civil", there is a further official publication of codified French law known as the "Code de la construction et de l'habitation" (cf. French Building Construction and Housing Code)

We are not aware of any English official or other translation of this Code.

Other legal sources include not only numerous rules and regulatory texts but also considerable case law relating to French Building and Construction issues; however these are not generally available in English. That said, the general thrust of the information on our own site is not to offer an exhaustive enumeration or presentation of codified French Building Construction statute or case law.

Instead we attempt to pick out a certain number of issues which are particular to France and which may appear highly unusual or even counterintuitive to law practitioners and/or company executives from common law jurisdictions. The sorts of issues we highlight on our site are those often encountered for the first time by entities or practitioners situated outside France where they

  • Are envisaging taking action before the French Courts, or
  • Have been drawn into litigation in France

Thus the principal areas of French Building and Construction law which are briefly examined on our site include

  • the statutory presumption of liability of the constructor
  • the statutory 10 year mandatory construction guarantee
  • the French law concept of "réception"
  • the French system of appointing a single judicial expert during litigation

It is respectfully pointed out that although every effort has been made to attempt to ensure that the material contained on this site is accurate at the date of publication, it may not in any circumstance be held to constitute professional legal advice and may therefore not be relied upon as such.

A suitably trained and qualified French lawyer should always be consulted directly in regard to any specific legal problem or matter relating to French Law.

For specific information, in English, on any French Building Construction Law issue, please click here.