This article analyses the way of the French Constitutional Council, starting with its famous Association decision in 1971, transformed a brief reference to historical declarations of rights in the thin Preamble of the current French constitution (adopted in 1958) into a wide-ranging judge-made catalogue of fundamental rights. This, combined with two important reforms of the procedure for submissions of statutes to the Constitutional Council for review (in 1974 and 2008), are gradually establishing the Constitutional Council as an important actor in the legislative process and a central body for the protection of human rights in France. The article also briefly explores the scope and limits of this protection. It then discusses recent proposals for amending the Preamble. It analyses the only amendment so far, namely the inclusion of a reference to the Charter for the Environment, which aimed at providing a constitutional basis for the protection of environment, as well as other controversial suggestions, such as those aiming at enabling positive discrimination measures towards minorities, the guarantee of media pluralism, the protection of privacy and personal data and the respect of human dignity. It concludes on the use and misuses of comparative law for constitutional reforms.
The preambles are used in the Czech legal system during the last twenty years rather rarely. Nonetheless, constitutions in the Czechoslovak history as in the Czech history are traditionally introduced by the preambles. As the Czech constitutional system inclines to consist of more constitutional legal acts at the supreme level of the interior legal system, we can found two constitutional preambles in the recent Czech constitutional system. Both top constitutional acts-the Constitution and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms are preceded by their own preamble. The preambles differ as they are focused on different part of constitutional issues. Despite of this obvious fact they are built-up on some features, which are common to both of them. The preambles are characterized by a modest form-their purpose is to explain, why the new chapter of the legal development is opened, and to offer us a common starting line. Nonetheless, they also keep to us a freedom of movement in the new legal period. Their main goal is to connect the people, not to divide, if the constitutional act, which is introduced by them, should be an expression of the common national will.