France: How is the Discursive Bifurcation Maintained?

Mitchel de S.-O.-l’E. Lasser

in Judicial Deliberations

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199575169
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191706714 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in European Law

France: How is the Discursive Bifurcation Maintained?

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This chapter explains the functions of France's civil judicial system on the basis of a radical discursive bifurcation, one in which only public legislative pronouncements can officially make law, but in which high-ranking, state-trained and state-sanctioned jurists, judges, and attorneys are fully understood and expected to play an important collective role in the establishment and development of legal norms. It describes the operation of the high French civil judiciary as defined by a particular theory of law and legal interpretation that functions in a particularly centralised, hierarchical, and meritocratically elitist procedural context. It seeks to explain how the radical French discursive dualism/bifurcation can be maintained both practically and conceptually in good faith. The views of Mirjan Damaska, John Dawson, and John Merryman regarding institutional structure are also considered, along with the Cour de cassation and its magistrates.

Keywords: France; judicial system; institutional structure; judges; John Dawson; Mirjan Damaska; John Merryman; Cour de cassation

Chapter.  16079 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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