Volume 10 (2004) / Issue 3
This article analyses how successive French governments have sought to resolve the problem of political violence in Corsica by introducing measures of decentralisation for the island. The adoption of provisions specific to Corsica has proved problematic given the traditional understanding of the constitutional principles of national unity and equality as applied by the Constitutional court. The article examines the transformation of the region of Corsica, created in 1982 with an Assembly unique in its organisation and attributes, into the 'collectivité territoriale de Corse' with increased powers distinct from those of mainland local authorities. Measures to recognise legally the people of Corsica, to introduce the compulsory teaching of Corsican in schools and, most controversially, to permit the Assembly to derogate from Parliamentary laws have, however, been held unconstitutional. Finally, consideration will be given to the implications for Corsica of the constitutional reforms of 2003, ending with the rejection by the Corsican electorate in a referendum of further institutional reforms for the island.
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