N'guyen Duy Thong Case

CourtCourt of Cassation (France)
Date23 mars 1994
France, Court of Cassation (First Civil Chamber).

(Grgoire, President; Lemontey, Rapporteur, Gaunet, Advocate General)

N'guyen Duy Thong

Treaties Application by municipal courts Requirement of reciprocity Conditions for fulfilment under French Constitution, Article 55 Whether determination a matter for courts or Executive Whether formal notification by Minister for Foreign Affairs sufficient

Treaties Termination Lapse of bilateral treaty Notice of non-application by contracting party Legal effect The law of France

Summary: The facts:Mr N'guycn Duy Thong, a Vietnamese national, practised as an advocate in Vietnam from 1971 to 1975. He subsequently came to France and applied for registration at the Bar on the basis of the FranceVietnam Judicial Agreements of 1954 which, he argued, created reciprocal rights of establishment for lawyers in the two countries. His application and subsequent judicial challenges were rejected and he appealed to the Court of Cassation.

Held:The appeal was dismissed.

Since the Minister for Foreign Affairs had formally notified the French courts that Vietnam no longer regarded itself as bound by the Agreements of 1954, they were to be regarded as having lapsed and therefore, pursuant to Article 55 of the Constitution, they no longer had superior authority to statutes.

The following is the text of the judgment of the Court:

On the single ground of appeal

Mr N'guyen Duy Thong, a Vietnamese national, exercised the profession of an advocate in Vietnam from 1971 to 1975. He has requested his registration with the Bar of Seine Saint-Denis in reliance on the FranceVietnam Judicial Agreements of 15 and 16 September 1954 which, he argues, require the two countries to grant reciprocal rights of establishment to advocates.

The judgment under appeal (Paris, 22 May 1991) rejected his application on the ground that, by a circular of 5 August 1980 published in the Official Journal of 29 August, the Minister of Justice notified the Procureur gnral of a letter of 13 December 1979 by which the Minister for Foreign Affairs had informed him that the above-mentioned Agreements must be considered as...

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