Thesaurus : Doctrine

Full Reference: Delalieu, G., La loi sur le devoir de vigilance des sociétés multinationales : parcours d’une loi improbable, Droit et Société, 2020/3, n°106, p.649-665.


English Summary of the Article (done by the Author): (Corporate Duty of Vigilance in France: The Path of an Improbable Statute). This article offers an analysis of the resistance encountered by defenders (NGOs and trade unions) of the French Law on Corporate Duty of Vigilance. These actors sought to behave as institutional entrepreneurs deploying intense advocacy and lobbying efforts to successfully have this bill tabled, examined, and ultimately passed by the French government. Considering this case, the concept of “institutional entrepreneurship” is discussed and then relativized using Machiavelli’s notion of “Fortuna,” to describe the “improbable” adoption of this statute. The results tend to put into perspective the importance that individual actors, including collective ones, can have in the explanation of institutional change, in favor of a multilevel analysis of change (micro, meso, macro).



Compliance and Regulation Law bilingual Dictionnary

The goal for which a mechanism, a solution an institution or a rule is adopted, instituted or elaborated, is in principle external to them. Knowledge of this goal is a tool to better understand them and is only that.

On the contrary, in Regulation Law, the goal is the heart itself. By definition, Regulation Law is a set of instruments that articulate to take their meaning in relation to a goal. Moreover, these instruments are legitimate to represent a constraint only because they realize a goal which is itself legitimate. The interpretation of Regulation Law is based on the aims pursued: the reasoning is teleological.

This teleological nature explains that efficiency is no longer merely a concern - as for ordinary legal mechanisms, but rather a principle of Regulation Law. It explains the welcome, especially through the European Union Law of the theory of the useful effect. This link between rules, which are only means, and aims, refers to the principle of proportionality, which requires that constraints and exceptions be applied only when they are necessary, proportionality being the form off the classic principle of necessity.

Because the aim is the center, it must be expressed by the author of the Regulation standards, and this is all the more so if they are of a political nature, being not limited to mitigating technical failures of markets. This goal can be varied: the management of systemic risks, but also the consideration of the fundamental rights of people, the preservation of the environment, public health, civilization, education, etc. The silence of the legislature, which limits itself to the making of rules whereas these are merely instruments, without explicating the goal whereas the latter is a political decision, is a fault in the legislative art.

Moreover, in order that the person who applies the Regulation norm, in particular the Regulator and the Judge, has no excessive margin for interpretation and does not substitute for political power, the author of the Regulation norm needs to aim specifically for one goal : in this way, the one who applies the norm will be constrained. Or, if the author targets several purposes, then he must articulate them in relation to each other, by hierarchizing them for example. If he fails to do so, the institution which applies the regulatory standards will itself have to choose the purpose and exercise a power which he does not possess.

This express designation of purpose has been made for the European Banking Union,  this Regulation and Supervision construction, whose primary aim is to prevent systemic risks and resolve crises. Similarly, the purpose of the Regulation of essentiel infrastructures is to provide third parties access to the network. Similarly, in the case of a transitional regulation introduced following liberalization, the aim is to establish competition, the principle of which has been declared by the liberalization law. When this is not clearly stated, there is a lapse in the legislative art.



May 28, 2020


Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., L'impossible unicité juridique de la catégorie des "lanceurs d'alertes" ("The impossible legal unicity of the category of "whistleblowers""), in Chacornac, J. (dir.), Lanceurs d'alertes, regards comparatistes, ("Whistleblowers, comparative perspectives"), Publications of the Centre français de droit comparé ("French Comparative Law Center"), May 2020, Volume 21, p.13-31. 


Read the article (in French).   

Read the general presentation of the collective book in which this article is published

Read the bilingual working paper which had served of basis for this article. 

Read the presentation of the conference "Les lanceurs d'alertes: glose" (Whistleblowers: glose") and especially the slides elabored for the colloquium organized by the Centre français de droit comparé ("French Comparative Law Center") on 23th of November 2018 under the direction of Jérôme Chacornac


Introduction of the article

"Whistleblowers". This is a new expression. Which is a great success. Barely heard once, we hear it everywhere ...

A topic not of course or knowledge test, but rather a topic of daily conversation. Because it is spoken to us every day, in more or less gracious terms. For example President Donald Trump on October 1, 2019 declared to the press "want to question" the whistleblower who would have illegally denounced him and would not, according to him, have the right to conceal his identity, proof in this according to him of the lying character of his assertions against him, while his lawyer indicates on October 6, 2019 that he is not speaking on behalf of a single whistleblower thus taken to task but of a plurality of people who gave information against the President of the United States. Even the most imaginative screenwriters would not have written such brutal and rapid twists and turns. Spectators, we are waiting for the next episode, secretly hoping for the escalation.

And precisely if we go to the cinema, it is still a whistleblower whose dedication and success, we are told about, even the drama, for the benefit of global society, and in particular democracy, since the secrets are fought for the benefit of the truth. The Secret Man designates Mark Felt as the first whistleblower. Returning to what we often present as being a more "serious" media!footnote-1391, we listen to France-Culture and here is another story told by a historian who worked as an archivist on events that political power would have liked to keep hidden by possibly destroying their traces but which its trade led to preserve: here it is expressly presented to the studious listeners like a "whistleblower" .... While the same radio tries to find the one who could well be, as in a kind of contest the "first whistleblower"!footnote-1727? .... This rewriting of History can be defended because ultimately what did other Voltaire do for Calas, or Zola for Dreyfus?

It is also a subject of legislative discussion since in the United States the Dodd-Frank law of 2010 inserted in the law of 1934 which established the Securities & Exchanges Commission a complete device of remuneration and remuneration of the whistleblowers, whereas after having developed flexible but guiding lines in this regard in 2012!footnote-1698, the European Commission published on November 20, 2018 the text of what will become a Directive intended to give a unified European status to the character, in the system gradually developed to protect the one who was presented in 2018 as that "cannot be punished for having done what is right".

In Europe, the Directive first approved by a Resolution of the European Parliament on April 16, 2019 on the protection of persons denouncing breaches of Union Law and then adopted on October 7, 2019 (Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of European Union on the Protection of Persons who Report Violations of European Union Law, different title, it should be noted, will have to be transposed into the laws of the Member States within the next two years. , since only "violations of Union Law" are targeted, but the character of the "whistleblower" is more generally targeted: he is "whole"!footnote-1699.

In short, the whistleblower is a star!footnote-1390. A sort of historical figure, covered in blows and glory, going from Voltaire to Snowden, both of whom find themselves embodied on the screens!footnote-1681 ....,

Consecrated by law, which associates with it a legal regime of protection to such an extent that, like a Nessus tunic, it is this legal regime which will define the character and not the reverse. When we read the law of December 9, 2016 relating to transparency in the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life, known as "Sapin 2", we notice that the Legislator makes much of this character, since 'he dedicates its chapter II to him!footnote-1682: "From the protection of whistleblowers", and that it is by his very protection that he formally opens the door of Right to him.

But why a plural? Admittedly when we read the recitals of the Community Directive of October 7, 2019 on the protection of whistleblowers!footnote-1702, it is only a list of all the subjects on which it is a good idea to protect them, which therefore prompts us to see in this plural only the index of this non-exhaustive list of subjects which it is good to tell us, a sign of the lack of definition of who should alert us. Reading the French law known as "Sapin 2" makes it less severe but more perplexing. Indeed, this plurality referred to by the title of the chapter devoted to "whistleblowers", there is no longer any question in the rest of the law, in the very definition which follows, article 6 which opens this chapter devoted to "whistleblowers" offering the reader immediately a singular since it begins as follows: "A!footnote-1684 whistleblower is a person ...". No mention of diversity. The art of legislative writing would however have required that the qualifying article not only be singular but that it should not yet be undefined. Stendhal if he had still deigned to have the law for bedside book would have wanted to find at the beginning of chapter a sentence like: "The!footnote-1683 whistleblower is a person ...".

Thus seem to contradict themselves within the law "Sapin 2 the very title which presents the character, in that it uses a defined plural (the) while the defining article which presents it is in the undefined singular (one). ...

Here is a first reason not to advance any more but in a very careful way, in this "step by step" that constitutes a reading word for word: a gloss. This consists of taking the expression itself literally. The second reason for this technical choice is that the gloss is well suited to the introduction of a collective work, thus allowing more targeted developments to take place in other contributions, on the techniques, the difficulties and the limits of this protection, or on its history, or the reasons for the arrival in French law of these whistleblowers and the way they develop, or not, elsewhere.

I am therefore going to content myself with taking this already legal expression to the letter: The (I) whistle (III). blowers (II). 




March 9, 2020

Law by Illustrations

Joachim du Bellay offre ce poème, qui est demeuré célèbre en ce qu'il exprime dans le style de la plainte l'expression de l'amour nostalgique d'un pays perdu. 

Mais si l'on s'attachait ici à la mention dans son premier vers, qui fait son titre : "France, mère ... des lois"  ?

L'on s'aperçoit alors que la mention en est faite en frontispice du poème pour ne plus jamais apparaître.

Qu'en est-ce de cet sorte d'hommage implicite, effanescent ?



France, mère des arts, des armes et des lois

France, mère des arts, des armes et des lois,
Tu m'as nourri longtemps du lait de ta mamelle :
Ores, comme un agneau qui sa nourrice appelle,
Je remplis de ton nom les antres et les bois.

Si tu m'as pour enfant avoué quelquefois,
Que ne me réponds-tu maintenant, ô cruelle ?
France, France, réponds à ma triste querelle.
Mais nul, sinon Écho, ne répond à ma voix.

Entre les loups cruels j'erre parmi la plaine,
Je sens venir l'hiver, de qui la froide haleine
D'une tremblante horreur fait hérisser ma peau.

Las, tes autres agneaux n'ont faute de pâture,
Ils ne craignent le loup, le vent ni la froidure :
Si ne suis-je pourtant le pire du troupeau.





Nov. 20, 2019


Référence générale: Frison-Roche, M.-A., Le législateur, peintre de la vie, in Archives de philosophie du droit (APD), Tome 61, 2019, pp. 339-410.

Résumé : Peindre si bien que la toile est un objet vivant est un exploit technique qui fût atteint par peu. Francis Bacon obtînt de la toile qu'elle fasse son affaire de préserver en elle la vie, tandis que Carbonnier, avec une semblable modestie devant la toile et le métier, obtînt que la Loi ne soit qu'un cadre, mais qu'elle ne laisse pourtant cette place-là à personne et surtout pas à l'opinion publique, afin que chacun puisse à sa façon et dans ce cadre-là faire son propre droit, sur lequel le législateur dans sa délicatesse et pour reprendre les termes du Doyen n'appose qu'un "mince vernis". Ces deux maîtres de l’art construisaient des cadres avec des principes rudimentaires pour que sur cette toile le mouvement advienne par lui-même. Ainsi la Législateur créée par Carbonnier offrit à chaque famille la liberté de tisser chaque jour son droit. Mais c’est pourtant bien au Législateur seul que revint et doit revenir l’enfance de l’art consistant à tendre la toile sur le métier. Il est alors possible, comme le fit Bacon, d’obtenir un objet immobile permet que surgisse sans cesse les figures mobiles. Les gribouillis réglementaires sont à mille lieux de cet Art législatif-là. 


Lire l'article.

L'article ne comprend pas de reproductions, celles-ci figurent dans le document de travail.

Lire le document de travail ayant servi de base à l'article publié, document de travail bilingue comprenant des notes de bas de page, des références techniques et de liens hypertextes.

Updated: Oct. 8, 2019 (Initial publication: Nov. 22, 2018)


This working paper served as a basis for a conference done in French for the Centre de droit comparé (Center for Comparative Law) in Paris on 23 November 2018.

Updated, it has served as a basis for an article published in French in a book of the Société de Législation comparé (Society of Comparative Legislation).




"The whistleblowers". This is a new expression. Which wins a full success. Barely heard once, we hear it everywhere ...

A theme not only of academic teaching, but rather a topic of daily conversation. Because it is every day that we speak about it, in terms more or less graceful. For example President Donald Trump on October 1, 2019 told the press he "wants to interrogate" the whistleblower who would have unlawfully denounced him and would not have, according to him, the right to conceal his own identity, evidence in this according Donald Trump of the false character of his assertions against him, while his lawyer indicates on October 6, 2019 that he does not speak on behalf of a single whistleblower thus taken apart but of a plurality people who gave information against the President of the United States. Even the most imaginative scriptwriters would not have written twists as abruptly or so fast. Spectators, we wait for the next episode, secretly hoping for climbs and slashs.

Precisely if we go to the cinema, it is still a whistleblower whose dedication and success, or even drama, we are told, for the benefit of the global society, and especially of Democracy, since the secrets are fought for the benefit of the truth. Thus, the movie The Secret Man designates Mark Felt as the first whistleblower. Returning to what is often presented as a more "serious" media, for example in France the radio "France Culture" we can learn the story of a historian who worked as an archivist on events that the political power would have wanted to keep hidden by possibly destroying their traces but that his profession led to preserve!footnote-1391: here it is expressly presented to the studious listeners as a "whistleblower" ... While the same radio is trying to find the one that could be, as in a kind of contest, the "first whistleblowers"!footnote-1727?. This rewriting of History can be made because finally Voltaire for Calas, or Zola for Dreyfus did they anything else? 

It is also a topic of legislative debate since in the United States the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 inserted in the 1934 law that established the Securities & Exchanges Commission (SEC) a complete system for retribution and remuneration of whistleblowers, while after elaborating guidelines about about in 2012!footnote-1698, the European Commission has published the text on November 20, 2018 in order to give the character a unified European status, in the device gradually developed to protect the one that was presented in 2018 as who  like that : ""The new whistleblowers' protection rules will be a game changer. In the globalised world where the temptation to maximise profit sometimes at the expense of the law is real we need to support people who are ready to take the risk to uncover serious violations of EU law. We owe it to the honest people of Europe.". Step for the Directive of October 7, 2019. 

In Europe, the Directive first approved by a Resolution of the European Parliament on 16 April 2019 on protection of persons reporting breaches of Union law and then adopted on 7 October 2019 (Directive 2019/78 (EU) of the European Parliament European Union and the Council of the European Union on the Protection of Persons Reporting Breaches of Union law, will have to be transposed in the next two years to the legal systems of the Member States. is not general, since only "violations of European Union Law" are targeted but the character of the "whistleblower" is more generally referred to: it is "whole"!footnote-1699.

In short, the whistleblower is a star !footnote-1390. A kind of historical character, covered with blows and glory, going from Voltaire to Snowden, one as the other being incarnated on the screens!footnote-1681 ....

Recognized by national legislations, which associate to him a legal regime of protection to such a point that, like a tunic of Nessus, it is this legal regime which will define his character and not the opposite. When we read the French law of December 9, 2016 relative à la transparence à la lutte contre la corruption et à la modernisation de la vie économique (on transparency in the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life), usually known as "Sapin 2 Act", we note that the lawmaker makes much of this character, because he devotes to him the chapter II: "De la protection des!footnote-1682 lanceurs d'alerte" ("The protection of!footnote-1682 whistle-blowers") and that it is by his very protection that the French Parliament formally opens the door of Law to him and throws it openly.

But why a plural? Certainly when we read the recitals of the European Directive of 7 October 2019 on the protection of whistleblowers!footnote-1702, this is only an enumeration of all the subjects about which it is a good idea to to protect them, which encourages us to see in this plural only the index of this non-exhaustive list of topics about which it is good that we are alerted, sign of the lack of definition ... Reading the French law known as "Sapin 2" makes us less severe but more perplex. Indeed, from this plurality covered by the title of the chapter devoted to Les lanceurs d'alerte ("The whistleblowers"), there is no longer any question in the rest of the law, in the very definition that follows, Article 6 which opens this chapter devoted the "whistleblowers" offering the player immediately a singular since it begins as follows:  "Un!footnote-1684 lanceur d'alerte est une personne ..." (A! footnote-1684 whistleblower is a person ..."). No more mention of diversity. The art of legislative writing would have even required that the qualifying article should not be singular but not yet indefinite. 

Thus seem to contradict in this law "Sapin 2" itself the very title which presents the character, in that it uses a definite plural ("the whistleblowers") while the article of definition which presents the topic does it by using the singular indefinite : "a whistleblower....".

This is a first reason to move forward only in a very cautious way, in this "step by step" that constitutes a word-by-word reading: a gloss. This method consists in taking literally the expression itself. The second reason for this technical choice is that the gloss is well suited to an introduction of a collective work, allowing more specific developments to take place in other contributions, for example on the techniques, the difficulties and the limits of this protection, or the history of it, or the reasons for the arrival in French law of these American or Brithish whistleblowers and the way they develop, or not, in other legal systems or other countries.

I will therefore content myself with taking again literally this already legal expression: The (I) launchers (II) of alert (III).

See below developments.



On the more general fact that cinema is undoubtedly the medium which most seriously restores the state of the Law, c. Frison-Roche, M.-A., Au coeur du Droit, du cinéma et de la famille : la vie, 2016.


L'histoire du premier lanceur d'alerte, France Culture, septembre 2019. 


However, precisely the so common use of plurality ("whistleblowers") raises doubts about the uniqueness of the character. On this question, see. all the first part of the developments of this study, which leads to the conclusion rather than beyond the multitude of particular cases, there are rather two kinds of whistleblowers. V. infra I.


Thus, the adventures of Snowden were brought to the screen by Oliver Stone in 2016, Snowden. On the question of knowing whether this film "faithfully reproduces" or not the case, Schetizer, P., Le film Snowden est-il à la hauteur de la réalité?, 2017. This article is favorable to the whistleblower, and to the film which tells us with emotion his case, in particular because (sic), it is easier than to read the Washington Post.


Underlined by us.


Underlined by us.


About this directive, v. the developments infra


Underlined by us.

Updated: Sept. 25, 2019 (Initial publication: June 17, 2019)


This working document is the basis for an article published in the Archives of Philosophy of Law (APD).

Summary: Painting so well that the canvas is a living object is a technical feat that was achieved by little!footnote-1680. Francis Bacon obtained from the canvas that it made it his business to preserve life in it, while Carbonnier, with a similar modesty before the canvas and the profession, obtained that the Law was only a framework, but that it did not however, leave this place to no one and especially not to public opinion, so that everyone can in their own way and within this framework make their own right, on which the legislator in his delicacy and to use the terms of the Dean n affixes only a "thin varnish". These two masters of art built frames with rudimentary principles so that on this canvas the movement could happen by itself. Thus the Legislator created by Carbonnier offered each family the freedom to weave their rights every day. However, the childhood of the art of stretching the canvas over the loom came back to the Legislator alone. It is then possible, as Bacon did, to obtain an immobile object which allows the mobile figures to constantly arise. Regulatory scribbles are a thousand miles from this Legislative Art.


In numerous writings and interviews, The painter Francis Bacon explains his act as a painter: it is "preserving the vitality of the canvas". In the book he devoted to it, Gilles Deleuze pointed out that Bacon said that "the procedures used do not force the Figure to stand still"!footnote-1611.


With the same pedagogical friendliness, in numerous writings and interviews, the jurist Carbonnier explains his act as a legislator, in particular in his collection of texts Essais sur les lois: legislate well, and let life unfold through texts, well after their adoption, because posed on pages which are never white, written compositions which are only the "varnish" of the life which must be able to throb in these Laws which one presents however so often but so strangely as "engraved in marble ". While on the contrary it is only a question of "preserving" the vitality of what is under the letter of the Law, the life of each one, life which does not resemble that of the neighbor, to obtain that the web of the legislative system is so flexible that this system lives by itself after the promulgation of the texts.

But it may seem to force the line to find elements common to two characters who undoubtedly were unaware of their reciprocal existence or at least, although living at the same time, did not appear similar. Before showing how similar their action is, therefore, put them face to face beforehand.



Thus, the family painted in broad outlines by a few new articles of the Civil Code written by Carbonnier could nevertheless flourish afterwards, in each family, without the need to rewrite the text. One might be surprised that Carbonnier expressly only likes the Law and not the judiciary, this association of the Right to the Law often being worth rigidity; yet - and the formula made him famous - he conceived of the Law as only "flexible", without recognizing the judge as a general source of the Law, without recognizing him the power to soften over time the edge of the adapted law formerly, then once. In fact, the Flexible Droit volume brings together almost only texts relating to laws, while in his latest work, Droit et passion du Droit sous la Vième République, he challenges the influence of the courts over the Law.

Carbonnier abides by the Law. These laws which we are constantly told us that their quality should be never to move .... And to evoke in order to convince us the imperative of legal certainty, predictability, etc., each new report on the subject saying the same thing as the previous one, this one serving as a reference for the next one.

Thus, all these numerous works explain to us that, in the ideal towards which one should tend, the Law does not move in the main lines while the judge, by "jurisprudence" comes to adapt it and that thanks to "dialogue ", even to the" dialectic "between legislation and jurisprudence", cahin-caha we arrive at something suitable. In practice. And here is legal security well served, since it would be the only concern. A universal model to apply everywhere , at everything.


But this presentation, now very common and also constituting the vulgate of the economic analysis of law, does not correspond to the conception of Carbonnier, who did not admit the creative power of the Judge, being, like Motulsky, above all a jurist . Because if he asked as a question "Any law in itself is an evil?", It is only to answer it firmly: No, going so far as to compare in this article the announcement of a new law with the announcement made by the angel Gabriel.

Perhaps it is his attachment to the Law, his refusal to consider the jurisprudence as the source of the law, his respect for the legal matter itself that make his work today less cited than the work of sociologists who do not know not more the legal technique than the economists who describe the "legal regulation" to adopt to be effective? It should also be noted that its legislative art is little used today!footnote-1606. When laws are written by experts who do not deem it useful to know the law (for example to reform collective procedures solely on the basis of economic knowledge), who even think it useful to not know it so as not to be captured by his technicality, there is no need to look on the side of Carbonnier.

 It is true that to make a painting, to have the strength to fade in front of your canvas, you must master the technicality to return to the childhood of art, ambition of all artists, all teachers, all the Masters. Francis Bacon, also a wise reader of writers, rejecting the modern opposition between painted lines and written texts, repeated at each interview that he awaits "the accident" which comes alone to get the flesh out of the skin that traps him!footnote-1659. This technicality of the accident, this unexpected preparedness that allows life to find its place in the stretched canvas. Carbonnier did not do anything else: stretch the canvas of the Law so that family life can, in each of the families we make up, unfold overflowing with the text which is only "varnished". But it is nevertheless a law, as Bacon never disputed making paintings.


The theme of Carbonnier Sociologie juridique's book is this necessary presence of law in a sociological analysis which would not betray the law presented while managing to keep its distance: that is to say, let it breathe, allowing us to watch live. This is why, like Truffaut, he took an interest in children's pocket money.

By a game of mirrors, Carbonnier explained, for example about the reform he conceived of the Law of matrimonial regimes and whose genesis he explained in an article in L'Année sociologique!footnote-1619, that the sociology of law must allow distant readers that we are faced with the only written sheet of the work to see the living law come out of the pages. As historians aspire, History being living matter, as the author of literature understands it. Carbonnier wrote a novel about himself. A novel about a legislator therefore. "Self-fiction". We know judges of absolute modernity who have brought this art to its excellence, similarly concerned with writing life.

Admittedly, one could underline that if Francis Bacon signed his tables, which attaches to him the work and holds the Figure which moves there, it was not the case for Carbonnier. You must already be a scholar to know that the author of the train of reforms of the XXth century which transformed the Civil Code has for patronym "Jean Carbonnier": the Legislator is an abstract character, who, like the State, always carries this same title , like the King, and passes indifferently from head to head, from the dead instant to the crowned instant. Whoever looks at the painting will attribute it to Francis Bacon because it is written on it, while on the contrary he will designate for example the law of July 15, 1975 as the law reforming the law of divorce, without referring to the human being who designed it. Yes, it is the Parliament, which, in the name of the People via the Representation, is the author of the Laws. And not such and such.


So the comparison would not be worth. But let's take a detour by Romain Gary. The action of this one showed what one could call "the right of the literature", ie what can go the power of this one. Its power is so great that the author can never appear in it!footnote-1614. Romain Gary not only wrote under pseudonym, which allowed him to pass under the radar of the legal standard of Gongourt which cannot be given twice - and which was it, but wrote himself a book supposedly written by his ghostwriter after the hoax discovered - and therefore supposedly finished, speaking ill of Romain Gary, against which he protested but nevertheless undertook legally not to complain in court. While he himself wrote the book. The author can be a ghost, which multiplies, ghost of the ghost, is discovered only to hide under his face that is believed to be discovered, etc. But by dint of covering the smoke with smoke, the author himself disappears: and then remains the pure work, the Figure which moves alone, perfectly free. Thus under the mask of the Legislator, it was Carbonnier who designed and wrote, without ever signing, because it is the Law who speaks, and never Carbonnier. No greater tribute a law clerk can pay to the Law than disappearing under his letter. Thus, an author does not recognize his signature, it is only a clue, not a condition.

There is no need to go to Law & Literrature, a current which dries up the Law rather to cover it with a conception of the Law as a fabric of strategic lies and retrospective narratives of justification of decisions. No, Carbonnier, far too erudite and far too good a jurist to go towards a thought above all critical of an object, made sociology to show us a living Law and at the same time had a sociological conception of Legislative Art , writing laws which capture in their austere lines the daily and various lives which will come after the writing of a law which writes only in capital letters, general, aiming nothing special so that the particular remains in the hands of each individual!footnote-1607.

But how, if we get the judge out of the normative game, can the law be "flexible"? If not by drawing up laws which "preserve" in themselves, in their "canvas" even their vitality, which allows them to move, in an ink which must never be dry or reach marble?


Why not make the connection between the two creators, Francis Bacon and Jean Carbonnier?

How even not to do it, the design and the method are so similar to them.

When Bacon paints scenes of daily life as a field of ruin, while Carbonnier aims only "the interest of the child", on which one glosses so much, only as "a key which opens on a vacant lot"!footnote-1608, how not to bring them together?

For the two authors, painting for one and the law for the other, both must tear them away from their static support so that there is expressed and "preserves" life in its mobility itself. Even more, it is thanks to this support, which we thought motionless, that the fluidity of life appears to us. Thus life is, for them, the common object of painting and the law. This definition is carried by few people, because we find so often in the presentations which are made of the Law the imperative of a choice to operate, to put on the side of the immobile or on the side of the mobile, but not this conception of mobility expressed by an immobile support (I). It must be recognized that few have the level of technical mastery and thinking of Bacon and Carbonnier.

But if we go back to Carbonnier's conception of the law, while at a distance, as would do, in his own words, in his own country a "foreign" legislator!footnote-1603 in relation to it, laws that 'he nevertheless made with a master's hand, was it not in terms of painter that he described it, evoking the "frame" that it constitutes and the "thin varnish" by which it must simply always cover life which always prevails, since it is the canvas? (II).




The two authors thus put life at the center, one of the tables, the other of the laws. Yet two motionless objects, some made of "canvas", others made of "marble".

But both wanted - emphasizing the difficulty of the task - forcibly reinserted into the materially intrinsic immobility of the object - the canvas of the table that the flaking of the paint by the passage of time will damage , the letter of the Law that subsequent reforms will challenge - life. That is to say, finally give them their true object. And yet impossible to restore. And they got there. Undoubtedly by their own qualities: mastered technicality, modesty, perseverance, effacement before life itself which unfolds and occupies all the space and "does its work" on the support, which becomes mobile. Thus Francis Bacon's paintings move as the laws written by Carbonnier live, which is natural since it was directly inserted. What modesty was it worth to fade to this point.

Achieve by technical prowess that life is still throbbing in the canvas, in the text published in the Official Journal. Only in what by nature is fixed: the canvas, the Law, not only does life still throb, as if by "inadvertence", as Francis Bacon says, because life has a hard life, but because the masters that they were so delicate and so masters of their Art that they made everything that it was the very object of their work: the canvas of the picture was for Francis Bacon what life was made of, the marble of the law was for Carbonnier that by law life was made.


So as when the Master of Sewing removes the thread, the canvas no longer exists, the diary has long been lost, but life is still there. This is no coincidence, as sociologists who seem to boast of knowing nothing about law seem to present, speak of a "legislative vacuum" and always ask for more "new laws", sometimes stressing that Carbonnier was also arbitrary in law that bad in sociology - because there is to say it.

On the contrary, it is the Law bringing to its perfection: practical art, the Law relates to life and if in advance, in its very conception, it knows how to fade in front of life, it then joins in practice the art of painting because it takes a painter to force life on canvas (I). This requires a painter, because we often talk about legislative art but it is also appropriate to talk about artists who hold the pen. These do not "regulate", they draw a picture which, through the effect of correspondence, can let life continue to unfold because the ink is never dry. Of this table, it is the law which forms the framework, a light framework which allows to keep contours to what is the Right and what is not. Carbonnier always knew that in relation to life, Law was only a "thin varnish". Like all great masters, it was modest, drawing up great pictures, that were the complete reforms of the Civil Code that he wrote, never forgetting to conceive them only as a varnish so that life always finds its way out, breathe, in the same movement of a woman coming down the stairs or of a Pope who rules on his throne (II).


Il est remarquable que pour Bacon, Van Gogh, que le premier considére comme un "héros",  a peint d'une "façon littérale" et que c'est grâce à celui qu'il a pu grâce à son "technicité" restitué "la vie" désertique du paysage. 


Deleuze, G., Francis Bacon, rééd. par Badiou, A. et Cassin, B., 


...., in Verdier, R. (dir.), Jean Carbonnier. L'homme et l'oeuvre. 


Comment dès lors ne pas penser à la définition de l'écriture par Céline, la définition comme le fait de tanner sa peau sur la table de l'écrivain ? 


Terré, Fr., Jean Carbonnier et l'année sociologique, L'Année sociologique, 2007/2, vol.57, pp.555-569.


"le droit de la littérature est de n'y apparaître jamais comme auteur".


Comme le souligne très bien Frédérique Niboyer, pour montrer que les lois actuelles qui visent tous le cas possibles (ce qui est impossible) empruntent une méthode contraire à celle de Carbonnier : ""Le doyen Carbonnier avait une autre conception : une loi générale devait pouvoir s’adapter à tous (d’où le pluralisme du droit de la famille) tout en ouvrant des champs à d’autres ordres normatifs, alors qu’aujourd’hui le « légicentrisme » devient roi : la seule norme à laquelle on fasse confiance serait ici la loi qui, partant, doit être spécialisée pour chaque catégorie.".


Carbonnier, "A beau mentir qui vient de loin", 

Dec. 19, 2018


Portalis aurait-il pu imaginer cela, tandis qu'il concevait son Discours préliminaire au Code civil ?

Tandis qu'au bout de la table de travail Napoléon écoutait les 6 jurisconsultes construire ce qui fût appelé la "Constitution civile" de la France, aurait-il pu imaginer cela ?

Une directive se prépare pour établir un "Code européen des communications électroniques". 

A lire ce texte, l'on ne retrouve rien de ce qui est si souvent décrit comme "l'art de la codification", ce qui distinguerait - au sens fort du terme - le Droit continental - des autres systèmes. 

Il convient donc de décrire ce que sera ce "Code européen des communications" (I) avant de se demander ce qu'il aurait pu être ...(II)

Feb. 14, 2018

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Référence complète : Pando, A. , Les propositions de la professions comptable pour le plan pour la croissance et la transformation des entreprises, Petites Affiches, 14 février 2018, p.4 à 6.

Les étudiants de Sciences po peuvent lire l'article via le drive dans le dossier MAFR - Régulation & Compliance.


Les experts-comptables demandent :

  • que l'entreprise individuelle est une personnalité juridique autonome (pour protéger l'entrepreneur) mais un régime fiscal et social pourtant harmonisé puisqu'il s'agit d'un entrepreneur ;
  • de favoriser la transformation de l'entreprise individuelle en société, par un sursis d'imposition ;
  • de remédier à la sous-utilisation du dispositif "Dutreil" pour la transmission d'entreprise, parce que trop lourd, en supprimant l'obligation de déclaration annuelle et de conservation collective des titres, pour n'imposer cela qu'aux seuls bénéficiaires de la transmission d'entreprises ;
  • d'inciter à prêter pour reprendre des entreprises en accroissant la déduction des intérêts d'emprunt ;
  • d'inciter à des financement alternatif pour les petites entreprises ;
  • de supprimer les restrictions territoriales concernant les allégements fiscaux d'incitations à la recherche, notamment en matière de brevet ;
  • de supprimer le caractère optionnel du régime fiscal des sociétés mère-fille, qui ne se justifie que par le mécanisme de l'avoir fiscal ;
  • de développer le crédit d'impôt pour le développement international de l'entreprise ;
  • de rétablir l'imputabilité des déficits réalisés à l'étranger, ce qui incite également au développement international.

June 7, 2016


Référence complète : Frison-Roche, M.-A., audition par Madame la Députée Valérie Boyer, rapporteure de la proposition de loi visant à lutter contre le recours à une mère-porteuse et Monsieur le Député Philippe Gosselin, rapporteur de la proposition de loi constitutionnelle visant à rendre constitutionnel le principe d'indisponibilité du corps humain, Assemblée Nationale, 7 juin 2016.



N.B. Les deux propositions de loi furent rejetées le 8 juin 2016 en séance.

March 8, 2016

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Référence complète : Ossege, Ch. (dir.), European Regulatory Agencies in EU Decision-Making.Between Expertise and Influence , Palgrave MacMillan, 2016, 216 p.

Lire la quatrième de couverture.

Lire la table des matières.

Nov. 13, 2015


Référence : Frison-Roche, M.-A., Concevoir des normes adéquates, in Office parlementaire d’Évaluation des mesures scientifiques et technologiques, L'état de l'art en matière de mesure des émissions de particules et de polluants par les véhicules  , Sénat, salle Médicis, 13 novembre 2015, 9h-13h.

Consulter le programme.


April 30, 2015


Référence complète : Frison-Roche, Les lignes de force de la réforme du droit des contrats, Les Annonces de la Seine, 30 avril 2015, p.29-32.

Cet article renvoie à la conférence-débat organisé à Science po autour de l'intervention de Madame la Ministre de la Justice Christiane Taubira, garde des Sceaux.

Il restitue son intervention, les questions qui lui furent posées par les étudiants du Cours de Grandes Questions du Droit du Collège Universitaire de Sciences po, ainsi que par les dirigeants d'entreprise présents à la tribune.

Il exprime également ce qui constitue dans cette réforme du droit des contrats, bienvenue sur le fond mais également constitutif d'un retour vers l'art classique d'écrire le droit, en langue accessible dans un plan construit, en ne s'alourdissant pas des règles techniques inutiles, laissant au juge le soin de détailler le droit mais posant les définitions et formulant les principes.

C'est de cela que la population, celle pour laquelle les Lois sont faites, a besoin.

C'est en cela que le Code civil peut demeurer le lieu du "droit commun", ici celui du droit des contrats.

Accéder à l'article.

April 16, 2015

Organization of scientific events

Il s'agit d'une conférence-débat de Madame Christiane Taubira, Ministre de la Justice, garde des Sceaux

Lire le compte-rendu fait par le Ministère de la justice.

Lire l'article de Marie-Anne Frison-Roche, faisant suite : Les lignes de force de la réforme du droit français des contrats.

Cette conférence-débat a eu lieu à Sciences po (Paris), le 16 avril 2015, de 17h à 19h.

Son thème porte sur La réforme du droit des contrats.

La participation était sur invitation.

17h00 : Accueil et mot de bienvenue par Frédéric Mion, directeur de Sciences Po

17h05 : Présentation de la réforme du droit des contrats par Christiane Taubira, ministre de la justice, Garde des Sceaux

17h25 : Débat entre Christiane Taubira et deux dirigeants  d’entreprise

-          Rémi Cléro, Président Directeur Général d'Amore Pacific Europe

-          Jean-Marc Janaillac, Président Directeur Général de Transdev


18h00 : Débat entre Christiane Taubira et les étudiants

Modération des débats par Marie-Anne Frison-Roche, professeur de droit à Sciences po.



March 11, 2015

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Référence complète : Sunstein, Cass. R., Simpler. The Future of Government, ... 2015.

We don’t need big government or small government; we need better government. Governments everywhere are undergoing a quiet and profound revolution: they’re getting simpler, more cost-effective, and focused on improved outcomes not politics.

Sur ce constat, on est tous d'accord. C'est après que cela se complique.

L'auteur, professeur de droit à Chicago, puis à Harvard, puis conseiller du Président Obama pour les questions de Régulation, dont le spécialiste américain, examine ce qui pourrait ou devrait être l'art de gouverner dans le futur : il doit devenir "plus simple".

Non pas pour ceux qui manient les règles mais pour ceux qui en subissent les conséquences, pour les destinataires des règles.

L'auteur estime que cela doit être fait non seulement pour des raisons politiques (la démocratie), mais parce que si les individus comprennent les règles ils peuvent alors choisir et agir, ce qui rend le système plus efficace. Ainsi, en matière de santé, cela sauve de nombreuses vies.

L'expérience américaine menée en matière de santé (le livre étant aussi un panégérique d'Obama, de son administration, ... et de l'auteur lui-même) peut être généralisé sur l'art de gouverner en toute matière, sur ce qui serait une technocratie participative.

On y mesurer que le Parlement n'y a guère voix au chapitre. Cela se comprend de la part d'un auteur si associé à la Maison-Blanche du temps d'Obama qui a sans cessé buté sur l'obstruction du Congrès.

Peut-on le suivre toujours sur ce point ?

Feb. 21, 2015


Le contrat de maternité de substitution, désigné souvent par le sigle "GPA", vend à la fois la mère et l'enfant, la mère consentant à se vendre afin que l'enfant auquel elle donne naissance puisse être emporté par ceux qui ont payé pour devenir ses parents, par la seul puissance du contrat qui concrétise leur "désir" d'enfant, leur "intention" d'être parent, leur "droit à l'enfant", leur "droit à la parentalité".

L'atteinte fondamentale que constitue ces contrats à la notion même de personnes, devenues des "choses" à la disposition d'autres personnes plus puissantes qu'elles, produit des surréactions. La loi adoptée le 20 février 2015 en Thaïlande, telle que le journal Courrier International , lui-même renvoyant à un article du Bangkok Post,  en décrit le contenu, est une réaction à ce trafic. Mais il s'agit plutôt d'une "surréaction", car la seule solution est d'exclure radicalement ces contrats, alors que la loi thaïlandaise veut les "encadrer", les "réguler", en excluant de leur "bénéfice" les célibataires, les couples homosexuels et les étrangers.

Cette surréaction est un effet pervers. Elle montre encore plus la nécessité d'une prohibition claire et net, telle qu'elle continue d'être posée dans l'article 16-7 du Code civil en France.


Lire les développements ci-dessous.


Feb. 16, 2015

Thesaurus : 02. Lois

Lire le texte exhaustif de la loi relative à la modernisation et à la simplification du droit et des procédures dans les domaines de la justice et des affaires intérieures.

Lire ci-dessous l'article 8 de la loi d'habilitation du Gouvernement à procéder par voie d'ordonnance pour réformer le Code civil en matière de droit des contrats.

Oct. 26, 2014


Des mécontentements s'expriment à propos des professions juridiques.

Soit du point du vue des usagers, des clients, parce qu'elles leur coûteraient trop cher par rapport aux services rendus, ce surcoût venant du monopole que les droits exclusifs leur confèrent. Ainsi, parce qu'elles sont "réglementées" et constituent un monopole, elles seraient trop peu profitables au "client". C'est donc une opposition entre le marché et la réglementation qui est avancée. Le Gouvernement en a souci, parce qu'il veut que ceux qui recourent aux services des greffiers, des huissiers, des notaires et des avocats ne payent pas de surcoûts.

Soit du point de vue des professionnels eux-mêmes. Parce que ces professions sont composés majoritairement d'hommes et qu'ils sont âgés de plus de 50 ans. C'est donc l'idée de "caste" qui est ici pointée.

Dès lors, la concurrence devrait avoir pour double effet heureux de faire baisser les prix et, multipliant les professionnels, ouvrant la profession, en ouvrir les bras aux jeunes et aux femmes.

Coup double.

C'est ce qu'Emmanuel Macron, Ministre de l'Economie, est venu expliquer le 22 octobre 2014 devant l'Assemblée Nationale, reprochant aux professions de greffiers des tribunaux de commerce, aux notaires et aux huissiers d'être trop masculins et trop vieux. Il a affirmé que la réforme, qui introduit de la concurrence et lutte contre l'idée même de "réglementation", va lutter contre cette situation regrettable.

Il faudrait bien que la loi intervienne, puisque selon lui et pour reprendre ses termes "il y a quand même quelque chose qui ne fonctionne pas dans les professions réglementées du droit".

Peut-on voir les choses aussi simplement ? Peut-on changer les moeurs par décret ? La situation tient-elle au caractère fermé des professions ou bien à tout autre chose, ce qui rendrait le "remède" inadéquat ?



Le 22 octobre 2014, Emmanuel Macron rappelle tous les chiffres devant

Oct. 24, 2014


Référence complète : FRISON-ROCHE, Marie-Anne, La nature prométhéenne du droit en construction pour réguler la banque et la finance, in Rapport Moral de l'Argent dans le Monde 2014, Régulation. Gouvernance. Complexité dans la finance mondialisée, Association d'Économie financière, 2014, p.37-48.

Lire l'article.

 On croit que le droit est plus que jamais puissant en régulation bancaire et financière : il envahit tout et apparait sous sa forme la plus terrible qu'est le droit pénal et le droit administratif répressif. Cela ne paraît que le début : tout est droit ! Il faut pourtant considérer que le droit est plus faible que jamais.En effet, si le droit de régulation bancaire et financière est devenu avant tout répressif, c'est parce qu'il est faible. Il n'est plus que la voie d'exécution d'une multitude de règles microscopiques, une sanction s'adossant à toute prescription. Mais la répression a perdu son autonomie, tandis qu'elle se débarrassait des droits de la défense. Plus encore, le droit s'est dégradé en réglementation. La régulation va vers un amas aléatoire de prescriptions peu compréhensibles, dans un droit qui s'essouffle à poursuivre l'imagination des opérateurs. Alors que ceux-ci auraient besoin d'un droit qui fixe par avance et clairement des lignes. C'est donc un droit faible et de mauvaise qualité vers lequel la régulation bancaire et financière va et par lequel elle est envahie. Le juriste ne peut qu'être tout aussi chagriné que le financier.

Cet article a été établi à partir d'un working paper.

Sept. 12, 2014


La loi du 4 août 2014 pour l'égalité réelle entre les femmes et les hommes  est sans doute ce que l'on peut faire de pire en matière de ce que l'on n'ose plus désigner comme "l'art de faire les lois".

C'est une loi dans laquelle le Législateur a glissé au passage des dispositions qu'il ne savait pas où mettre ailleurs, par exemple des dispositions sur l'enseignement supérieur. C'est une "loi-valise". Il l'a fait même par amendements en cours de navette et a été sanctionné pour cela par le Conseil constitutionnel.

C'est également une "loi-fleuve". De très nombreux articles, qui partent dans tous les sens, dans une langue très compliquée et hachée car les textes modifiés par la loi nouvelle ne sont pas reproduits. Ainsi, celui qui voudrait comprendre l'état du droit qui résulte de la loi devrait reconstituer lui-même les textes de plus de 35 textes législatifs modifiés.

C'est en effet une loi qui modifie de multiples codes et de multiples lois, en rajoutant des bribes de phrases à des fins d'alinéas dans des milieux d'articles. On y mêle la numérotation à la française et à l'américaine. On y segmente les codes. Ainsi, des dispositions importantes passent inaperçues, mêlées à d'autres, insignifiantes.

Le Législateur utilise le droit comme un simple outil au service d'une fin. Ainsi, la loi tient tout entier dans son but :  la "concrétisation" de l'égalité "en vrai" entre les hommes et les femmes. C'est pourquoi de très nombreuses dispositions sont expérimentales et donnent lieu à des techniques d'évaluation. Reprenant la présentation que Marx fait du droit, le Législateur veut un droit non plus "formel" mais "réel" et prend ce dessein comme objet même de son pouvoir normatif. C'est confondre Loi et politique publique.

Le Législateur laisse de ce fait son exposé des motifs déborder dans le texte même de la loi. Ainsi et par exemple, la lutte contre les "stéréotypes" devient une disposition normative, répétée plusieurs fois. Le Législateur se croit donc tout-puissant, puisqu'il veut vaincre les stéréotypes, atteindre l'égalité "réelle".

le Législateur de 2014 aurait-il tout oublié du discours de Portalis ou de l'Essai sur les lois de Carbonnier ? Le législateur devrait avant tout savoir bien manier la langue française et doit savoir rester modeste. Mais il est vrai que ce Législateur qui écrit cette loi du 4 août 2014 semble peu connaître le Code civil, lui qui y raye le "bon père de famille", parce qu'il croit l'expression "sexiste" et la remplace par un adverbe ("raisonnablement"), ce qui aurait bien chagriné Stendhal qui voyait dans le Code civil l'apogée de l'art de bien manier la langue française. 

Sept. 7, 2014

Teachings : Grandes Questions du Droit, Semestre d'Automne 2014

Le Président François Hollande a indiqué fin août 2014 qu'il allait recourir aux Ordonnances pour élaborer une législation en faveur de la croissance. Cela incite à revenir sur la dimension politique de ce mécanisme des ordonnances.

La Constitution a deux fonctions majeures : organiser les rapports entre les Institutions de la Républiques et fonder les libertés et droits fondamentaux.

A ce premier titre, l'article 34 vise les matières réservées au Parlement tandis que l'article 37 se réfère aux domaines laissés au pouvoir réglementaire.

La technique des ordonnances brouille cette répartition à première vue simple. Elle la trouble et, depuis 1958, elle déplace la frontière entre le pouvoir législatif et le pouvoir exécutif au profit de celui-ci.

Cela s'est opéré en droit, puisque l'interprétation des textes par le Conseil d'État et le Conseil constitutionnel est favorable au pouvoir exécutif, qualifiant les ordonnances d'acte de nature réglementaire.

Cela s'est également opéré en fait. Et cela dès le début. En effet, c'est par une Ordonnance de 1959 que la méthode d'élaboration de la Loi de Finance a été posée. Ainsi, c'est le Gouvernement qui a conçu la façon dont le consentement à l'impôt est donné par le Parlement. Cela perdura jusqu'à l'adoption de la LOLF en 2001.

Plus encore, en 1986, le Président François Mitterrand refusa de signer les ordonnances élaborées par le Gouvernement dont Monsieur Jacques Chirac était Premier Ministre. En avait-il le droit ?

June 27, 2014

Thesaurus : Doctrine

April 22, 2014


Référence complète : FRISON-ROCHE, Marie-Anne, Après la Loi Bancaire, le droit bancaire au milieu d'un gué, in 30 ans de Loi bancaire, Revue Banque & Droit, hors série, mars 2014, p. 88-94.

Cet article s’appuie sur une série de contributions, dont il fait la synthèse. Son objet est donc très général. Il fait le point sur les 30 ans qui se sont écoulés depuis l’adoption de la "Loi Bancaire" du 24 janvier 1984 et s’efforce de mesure ce vers quoi s’oriente la matière.

Il s'appuie lui-même sur un  working paper élaboré pour construire le rapport de synthèse présenté lors du colloque.

A partir des diverses contributions, ce travail sur l’évolution du droit bancaire mesure que deux logiques sont en articulation, plus ou moins harmonieuses, entre l’organisation par la loi des relations contractuelles bilatérales entre la banque et ses clients, d’une part, et le souci de préservation du système bancaire et financier, d’autre part. La prévalence de celui-ci se marque de plus en plus, le droit financier semblant absorber alors le droit bancaire.

Pour que la sécurité juridique ne souffre pas de cette transformation, l’essentiel est que l’on conserve des définitions solides, dont la première est de savoir ce qu’est une banque.

Accéder à l'article.

Accéder au Working Paper, plus complet et plus explicite, avec notes de bas de page.

May 26, 2011


Le colloque s'est déroulé à la Maison du Barreau, à Paris.

Accéder au programme.

 Il résulte des contributions que l’art législatif est mis à rude épreuve par les échecs précédents des lois successives en la matière. En décidant de réinsérer l’urbanisme commercial dans le droit de l’urbanisme, la proposition de loi "Ollier" pose que le marché n’est qu’une composante de la ville, ce qui donne pouvoir premier aux maires et aux intercommunalités. Dans le silence de la loi, c’est pourtant des critères économiques que les maires manient et il n’est pas sûr que la Commission européenne approuve un tel dispositif. En outre, parce qu’il faut réguler la distribution, c’est peut-être le juge administratif qui le fera ex post.

Lire le rapport de synthèse ci-dessous.

April 16, 2008


Référence complète : Terré, F, La confiance dans les mots de la loi, in Bénabou, V.-L. et Chagny, M., La confiance en droit privé des contrats, coll. "thèmes et commentaires", Dalloz, 2008, p.7-10.