Public power

The State

In this article about « the State »  published in a Handbook on administrative Law, it is claimed, in the first part, that the french professors of public law have forgotten that the State played a key role in the elaboration of the administrative law.  It is a striking feature when we compare the works of the two great Founders of the  administrative law, ie Léon Duguit and Maurice Hauriou (under the 3rd Republic) and their followers (Jèze, Waline and Vedel) who ignored the theory of State. In the second part of this article, it is argued that, nevertheless,  the theory of State may be useful to explain not only the structure of the « State apparatus », but also  some famous “case studies” (as some decisions of Conseil d’Etat : Dehaene, Popin, Papon, ) which illustrated both the unity and continuity of the State. All these cases reveals that the concept of sovereignty still continues to irrigate the french administrative law.

For an Illusion-Free Phenomenology of Law and Ethics

If there is one domain that is crying out for the elucidative intent and the watchword of ‘back to the things themselves’ of Husserlian phenomenology, it is indeed law and more broadly ethics. ‘Jurists are still looking for a definition of their concept of law’ observed Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason in 1781. Things have not come very far since then. Theorists still feel that ‘pursuing a definition of law is a hopeless undertaking’ so much so that some of them, like Michel Troper or Denys de Béchillon, no longer hesitate to proclaim that such a definition could only be purely ‘stipulative’ (meaning arbitrary).