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Part one: les Amphis du Droit

The project will aim to consider the following questions: Why is French law ‘traditionally’ so ill-suited to opening up to other subjects?

When multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary issues arise, why are the limits between private law, public law and legal history immediately evoked?


Is law not a unique discipline, rich in public and private law aspects?


Accordingly, the issue of overlaps in different fields does not only concern the law itself but many other discussions transcending far-reaching boundaries. It is not a case of public law opening itself up to private law or legal history. Law must open itself up to non-legal fields: history, economics, linguistics, psychology, sociology, anthropology and many others. Such a broadening of the law has the erudite intention of cultural enrichment. The idea behind broadening the subject is to contribute to law’s advancement, effectiveness, and ability to find solutions beyond the legal rule. Unfortunately, it is still a nascent idea in France, unlike in other jurisdictions. The United States Supreme Court has thus been able to make spectacular jurisprudential reversals by relying on non-legal works, following the example of European constitutional courts. In France, this stance is not only ignored but even scorned. The roots of the rule of law’s self-sufficiency are perhaps to be studied in theoretical presumptions. Normativism, for example, leaves less space for disciplinary embrace than realism or sociological theories.


This closing of French law to other subjects must be explained to be better fought against. There have been times when our great legal actors have placed importance on the work of sociologists, anthropologists, ethnologists, political scientists and philosophers. But in France, all these ‘sister’ subjects continue to be no more than optional subjects in our university courses, while they are sometimes core subjects for our European neighbours.


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