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29 June 2014

THESIS ABSTRACT: G. Richard, "Teaching Public Law in Paris during the Third Republic" (Paris Ouest/Sciences Po)

Nomodos signals the recent thesis defense by Guillaume Richard (Paris Ouest/Sciences Po), in December 2013. An English abstract is available:

Public law has been instrumental in organizing Law Schools in France since the late 19th century. However, the notion remains problematic: based on the example of the Law School of Paris, the purpose of this study is thus to examine its specific impact on legal teaching. The Parisian School of Law, by far the biggest and closest to political institutions, played a leading role in the reforms which led to a generalization of public law in Law Schools during the Third Republic. Its framework provides a good example of how legal scholars have specialized after the separation, in 1896, of the agrégation recruitment competition into different sections, one of them being for public law and one for private law. Far from being simple, these evolutions remain unstable. Public law scholars both wish to distinguish themselves from the dominating civilists, and to maintain the unity of legal science. Public law itself is not a homogeneous field of knowledge. A collection of disciplines (administrative law, international public law, constitutional law, financial legislation) rather than a coherent science, it is characterized by two trends: the first sees public law as a formalized and autonomous body of knowledge, able to comprehend facts through its distinctive logic; on the contrary, the second trend sees it simply as a part of political and economic sciences. Before the supremacy of the first trend imposed itself – rather late – in the first half of the 20th century, public law was considered a social knowledge, used to explain contemporary political events. 
Key-Words 
Public law ; Legal history ; Legal education ;Law Faculties ; Third Republic (France) ; Legal diploma.

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