COVID-19: The French Government Issues Orders Extending Procedural Deadlines and Limitation Periods and Adapting Proceedings Before Civil and Commercial Courts in the Wake of COVID-19
May 15, 2020
On Monday March 23, 2020, the French Parliament adopted an emergency law establishing a “health state of emergency” (Emergency Law No. 2020-290 of March 23, 2020 to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic) (the “Emergency Law”), which authorizes the Government to adapt procedural deadlines, limitation periods, and certain contractual deadlines with retroactive effect to March 12, 2020.
The Emergency Law empowers the Government to take general measures by order to combat the effects of Covid-19, as well as a number of specific measures to ensure the continued functioning of the economy and the State during the crisis.
In particular, the Emergency Law authorizes the Government to adapt procedural deadlines, limitation periods, and certain contractual deadlines, with retroactive effect to March 12, 2020. The Government may also amend the rules governing administrative and judicial procedures for the duration of the crisis.
These provisions are the subject of a series of orders, officially published since March 26, 2020. These orders provide, inter alia, an extension of most procedural deadlines and certain contractual time limits, as well as measures aimed at facilitating legal proceedings during the health state of emergency.
This note addresses civil and commercial matters. There are special provisions on administrative, tax, customs, criminal, and labor matters.
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