Updated: July 4, 2019 (Initial publication: April 30, 2019)
Complete reference : Frison-Roche, M.-A., Have a good behavior in the digital space, working paper2019.
This working document serves as a basis for a contribution to the collective book dedicated to Professor Michel Vivant, article written en French.
The jurist sees the world through the way he learns to speak
The Law of the Environment has already come to blur this distinction, so finally so strange because this classical conception refers to a person taken firstly in his immobility (Law of individuals), and then in his only actions (Contrats and Tort Law, Property Law). Indeed, the very notion of "environment" implies that the person is not isolated, that he/she is "surrounded", that he/she is what he/she is and will become because of what surrounds him/her ; in return the world is permanently affected by his/her personal action. On second thought, when once "Law of Individuals" was not distinguished from Family Law, the human being was more fully restored by this division in the legal system that not only followed him/her from birth to death but also in him/her most valuable interactions: parents, siblings, couples, children. Thus Family Law was finer and more faithful to what is the life of a human being.
To have instituted Law of Individuals, it is thus to have promoted of the human being a vision certainly more concrete, because it is above all of their identity and their body about what Law speaks, astonishing that the we have not noticed before that women are not men like the othersTo have instituted the Law of the people, it is thus to have promoted of the human being a vision certainly more concrete, because it is above all of his identity and his body that one speaks to us, astonishing that the we have not noticed before that women are not men like the others
From this concrete vision, we have all the benefits but Law, much more than in the eighteenth century, perceives the human being as an isolated subject, whose corporeality ceases to be veiled by Law
This freedom will come into conflict with the need for order, expressed by society, social contract, state, law, which imposes limits on freedom of one to preserve freedom of the other, as recalled by the French Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme of 1789. Thus, it is not possible de jure to transform every desire in action,, even though the means would be within reach of the person in question, because certain behaviors are prohibited in that they would cause too much disorder and if they are nevertheless committed, they are punished for order to return. Thus, what could be called "law of behavior", obligations to do and not to be put in criminal, civil and administrative Law, national and international Law, substantial Law and procedural Law :they will protect the human being in movment pushed by the principle of freedom forward others and thing, movement inherent in their status as a Person.
The human being is therefore limited in what they wants to do. In the first place by the fact: their exhausting forces, their death that will come, the time counted, the money that is lacking, the knowledge that they does not even know not to hold, all that is to say by their very humanity; Secondly, by the Law which forbids so many actions ...: not to kill, not to steal, not to take the spouse of others, not to pass as true what is false, etc. For the human being on the move, full of life and projects, Law has always had a side "rabat-joy". It is for that reason often ridiculed and criticized because of all its restraining regulations, even hated or feared in that it would prevent to live according to our desire, which is always my "good pleasure", good since it is mine. Isolated and all-powerful, the human being alone not wanting to consider other than his desire alone.
Psychoanalysis, however, has shown that Law, in that it sets limits, assigns to the human being a place and a way of being held with respect to things and other persons. If one no longer stands themselves by the prohibition of the satisfaction of all desire (the first of which is the death of the other), social life is no longer possible
But this presentation aims to make it possible to admit that the criterion of Law would be in the effectiveness of a sanction by the public power: the fine, the prison, the confiscation of a good, which the rudeness does not trigger whereas Law would imply it: by this way we are thus persuaded of the intimacy between the public power (the State) and Law... But later, after this first lesson learned, the doubt comes from the consubstansuality between Law and State. Is it not rather appropriate to consider that Law is what must lead everyone to "behave well" with regard to things and people around them? The question of punishment is important, but it is second, it is not the very definition of Law. The French author Carbonnier pointed out that the gendarme's "kepi" is the "Law sign", that is to say what it is recognized without hesitation, but it is not its definition.
The first issue dealt with by Law is then not so much the freedom of the person as the presence of others. How to use one's freedom and the associated deployment of forces in the presence of others? How could I not use it when I would like to harm them, or if the nuisance created for them by the use of my free strength is indifferent to me
We do not use our force against others because we have interest or desire, we do not give him the support of our strength while he indifferent us, because Law holds us. If the superego was not enough. If Law and the "parental function of the States" did not make alliance. We do it because we hold ourselves
Or rather we were holding ourselves.
Because today a new world has appeared: the digital world that allows everyone not to "hold" himself, that is to say to constantly abuse others, never to take them into consideration, to attack massively. It's a new experience. It is not a pathological phenomenon, as is delinquency (which simply leads to punishment), nor a structural failure in a principle otherwise admitted (which leads to regulatory remedies) but rather a new use, which would be a new rule: in the digital space, one can do anything to everyone, one is not held by anything or anyone, one can "let go" (I). This lack of "good behavior" is incompatible with the idea of Law, in that Law is made for human beings and protect those who can not afford to protect themselves; that is why this general situation must be remedied (II).
Cornu, G., Linguistique juridique, 2005.
Frison-Roche, M.-A. & Sève, R., Le Droit au féminin (ed.), 2003.
Under this "mask" of the "subject of Law", we are all equal. S. Archives de Philosophie du Droit, Le sujet de droit, 1989.
Baud, J.P., L'affaire de la main volée. Histoire juridique du corps humain, 1993.
Read the article of Alain Supiot about the idée of Rule common of all, under the discussion between all, presented by this author through the artwork of Kafka : "Kafka, artiste de la loi", 2019; Kafka is very present in the work of Alain Supiot, for example in his First Lesson in the Collège de France, 2012, or in an Introduction of La Gouvernance par les nombres ; This latter book is now available in English : Governance by numbers. The making a legal model of allegiance, 2017 (translated by S. Brown).
That's why splitting Persons Law and Family Law masks another reality: the family is not made up of third parties. The links are there. They pre-exist. Starting from the only Persons Law pushes to think one can "build" his/her family by links drawn on white paper: the contracting of the families made up of individuals becomes thinkable, even natural.
Sept. 1, 2014