Theory and History of Legal Systems

This component examines the nature and role of legal standards and models, their historic organisation, their interpretation and their diffusion.
Axe Théorie et histoire des systèmes juridiques

Research Themes

The Theory and History of Legal Systems component is at the crossroads of research on the nature and role of legal standards and models, their historic organisation, interpretation and diffusion. It focuses on four research themes:

  • State, Administrative and Judicial Orders
    This theme studies the organisation of legal standards in areas that specifically reflect the exercise of public authority: constitutional history and the theory of the State, the history of administration and administrative law, judicial procedure in its historic and contemporary expressions.
  • Competition between Legal Models, Internationalisation and Globalisation of Law
    This theme analyses the way in which the main legal models are developed, their features, their resistance over time, their worldwide dissemination and the controversy they have generated, in order to grasp the rhetorical methods finetuned by legal experts: their reasoning, their respective argumentation, their discourse strategies.
  • Sources of law and traditional law
    This theme focuses on the way in which the sources of law relate to each other at a time when traditional law, which is in essence oral and constantly evolving, is being formally written down. On the basis of a contract with the Institut d'études et de recherches sur le droit et la justice, it consists in:
    - providing the public with free online access to the maximum number of customary sets published in the world to date;
    - accompanying this online access with an international and interdisciplinary epistemological reflection on the phenomena that are at work when customs are put into writing, and therefore fixed, controllable, and partly distorted;
    - understanding why certain political authorities have avoided or refused to put their legal traditions in writing.
  • Standards and Markets
    This theme examines the development and evolution of regulations for markets of food products, manufactured goods but also financial products. Whether national, European or international, standards appear as the result of an often long-established, constantly changing process, given that the representation and supervision of markets remain inseparable from economic, political and social changes.