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Judicial DeliberationsA Comparative Analysis of Transparency and Legitimacy$
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Mitchel de S.-O.-l'E. Lasser

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199575169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575169.001.0001

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France: How is the Discursive Bifurcation Maintained?

France: How is the Discursive Bifurcation Maintained?

I. Introduction

(p.166) 6 France: How is the Discursive Bifurcation Maintained?
Judicial Deliberations

Mitchel de S.-O.-l’E. Lasser

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains the functions of France's civil judicial system on the basis of a radical discursive bifurcation, one in which only public legislative pronouncements can officially make law, but in which high-ranking, state-trained and state-sanctioned jurists, judges, and attorneys are fully understood and expected to play an important collective role in the establishment and development of legal norms. It describes the operation of the high French civil judiciary as defined by a particular theory of law and legal interpretation that functions in a particularly centralised, hierarchical, and meritocratically elitist procedural context. It seeks to explain how the radical French discursive dualism/bifurcation can be maintained both practically and conceptually in good faith. The views of Mirjan Damaska, John Dawson, and John Merryman regarding institutional structure are also considered, along with the Cour de cassation and its magistrates.

Keywords:   France, judicial system, institutional structure, judges, John Dawson, Mirjan Damaska, John Merryman, Cour de cassation

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