Le Conseil Constitutionnel: An Analysis from Inside

Dominique Schnapper (Paris)

Berliner Seminar Recht im Kontext
Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Villa Jaffé
Wallotstr. 10, 14193 Berlin

“In spite of all experience, in spite of all the analyses a sociologist can offer, even in the privileged conditions that were offered to me, the role of the legal precedent in creating a legal tradition remains a kind of mystery. On one side, one can observe the everyday life of an institution from the inside, and it might seem non very rational and essentially contingent. But at the same time, it does create a judicial rationality. The judicial control exercised by the Conseil has created a body of rulings which have the significance of a progress of the state of law, l’Etat de droit. One must keep in mind both dimensions of this reality. But it is true that the transition from the everyday life of a small group of “judges”, observed by the sociologist in the inside, to the judicial rationality studied by the professor of public law from the outside keeps some kind of mystery.” Dominique Schnapper.