Le Grand Syllabus 2017/2018
and similarities between different legal families through the prism of the most fundamental legal principles. For such purpose, we will ﬁrstly build the conceptual theoretical bases for our analysis and deal with very ﬁrst questions. We will ask ourselves, amongst others : what is law ? Can we think legal norms outside of a legal system ? and, how do legal norms of different sources interact within and beyond national borders ? We will then look at the more important traits of the main branches of domestic law and at the hierarchy of norms within national borders. We will ﬁnally conclude the block by discussing how domestic, international and transnational norms operate in a globalized world. Our second block will be devoted to the notion of general principles of law and deal with some of the architectonical principles of every legal system. We will start by looking at the principle of good faith and one of its most controversial derivations, the prohibition of abuse of rights to then look at the principle of non- retroactivity of the law. We will close the block by studying the principle of res judicata and the principle of lis alibi pendens in the attempt to understand the interaction between different courts and tribunals. During our ﬁnal sessions, we will contextualize the general principles looked at earlier and look at their application in the main different legal families. Our focus here will be on identifying the differences and similarities in the reception of these legal principles, as reﬂection of the particularities of each legal tradition. Required reading : H. L. A Hart, The Concept of Law, Oxford University Press ; 3 edition (December 29, 2012).
Course validation : To validated the course, the student is expected to pass the following assignments : 1/ 2/3 of the ﬁnal grade is comprised of three equal marks obtained in seminars : one individual presentation (1/3 of the seminar grade), one group presentation (1/3 of the seminar grade), the mean grade of three written quizzes (1/3 of the seminar grade) ; see details hereafter, page 5. 2/ 1/3 of the ﬁnal grade : ﬁnal examination (8-minute oral presentation and 12 minutes of questions). Pedagogical Method : The course will be divided into 12 two-hour lectures and 6 two-hour workshops. Power points, required readings, and course outline will be available on Google Drive prior to each lecture. The power points and required reading should be studied before each lecture, allowing for 15 minutes of questions and debate at the end of each class hour. Weekly seminars will follow the lectures, and include both practical (case studies and commentaries) and theoretical (essays and debates) exercises. At the end of the course, the student is expected to : 1. Master the language and metalanguage of political institutions and comparative constitutional law (“key words” indicated on each of the 12 seminar outlines and the 6 workshop ﬁles). 2. Be able to argue the pros and cons of implementing particular institutional and constitutional choices (“key questions” indicated on each of the 12 seminar outlines and the 6 workshop ﬁles). 3. Be able to develop a personal critical issue and thesis concerning the principles, processes, and particularities covered in the class (as illustrated in the outlines of each of the 12 lectures and 6 workshops, and presented weekly in seminars). Course Description : The 18th century movement of constitutionalism posited a link between written constitutions and conceptions of Statehood, Nations, Peoples, and the collective regulation of fundamental values through political institutions. Four major waves of democratization (18201926 ; 1945-1960 ; 1974-1990 ; 2011-2014), as well as the growing use of constitutionalized political institutions by dictators, although greatly varied in content, have not modiﬁed the “constitutionalist” conception of the regulation of political institutions. Understanding the framework in which political institutions are born and organized