Dictionnaire Constitutionnel

Authors: Duhamel & Mény
Summary: In about 1400 words the entry presents, in a French perspective, a definition of the concept, its nature and its juridical consequences, its limits and its different categories.
Liberty is defined, with references to some articles of the 1789 Declaration, as the power to do all that is not forbidden by the constitution or by laws conformed to international accords.
It is a natural right and therefore recognized to everyone. However, in the matter of fact, liberty is a right for the abstension of the others: laws cannot authorize actions (in this case is no more a liberty domain), but only forbid and in the same way individuals cannot claim an action from other individuals.
Obviously liberty is not without limits. There are contexts like e.g. public order, entrepreneurial activity or communication where a restriction of a liberty, by an accountable legislature, is necessary.
Liberties can be classified according to the entity which is entitled with (phisical or moral entity) or according to the way of exerting these liberties (public or privat). According to their degree of importance (more or less fundamental) it is not possible to classify them but anyway the Supreme Court (Conseil constitutionnel) can choose to apply a more or a less extensive control on liberties, being the Court itself bounded by the nature of laws related to them.