We suggest that you find in this section the main statutory instruments and the jurisprudence relating to the use of the French language and the languages of France.
Constitution of 1958
Article 2 of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic of 4 October 1958, in its first paragraph introduced by the Constitutional Law of 25 June 1992, provides that:
' The language of the Republic is French.”
Law No. 94-665 of 4 August 1994, known as the “Toubon Act”, is the main text determining the general framework for the use of the French language. You can find this text on the Légifrance website in its consolidated version on 22 December 2015, by following the link below:
The legal framework for the use of the French language is implemented by the Decree No. 95-240 of 3 March 1995 taken for the application of the law of 4 August 1994 (as amended by the decrees of the 1 July 1998 and the 30 September 2014).
The Conseil supérieur de la langue française and the general delegation to the French language and the languages of France are instituted by the Decree no. 89-403 of 2 June 1989 (as amended by the decrees of the 16 October 2001, of the 18 August 2004, of the 8 June 2006).
In terms of european patents, the Decree no. 2008-469 of 20 May 2008 publication of the agreement on the application of Article 65 of the Convention on the Grant of European Patents modifies the patent translation obligations in Europe.
Circulars and case law
To access the circulars relating to the use of French, click here.
To access the case law on the use of French click here.