Law is a citizen’s combat — Monique and Roland Weyl – translation by Walid Okais

The following article was published in the June 2024 issue of the International Review of Contemporary Law, the journal of the IADL, focusing on the 77th anniversary of the United Nations Charter.

Monique and Roland Weyl – translation by Walid Okais


Not only for the so-called common man, but also in the mouths of associative or political activists, the formula is pro-nounced in a recurrent way, and it says a lot. It has a double resonance:

In a sense, it is a way of apologizing for not being competent, for not being able to address a problem that would fall within the domain of the Law, which is therefore too complicated, and can only be treated by specialists whom one is obliged to trust. But at the same time, one can perceive a certain tone of contempt in it: the law, by its inextricable difficulties, encumbers what is common sense, so I do not bother with these arcane of “chat fourrés”. (used during the Ancien Régime to mockingly refer to people associated with the judicial system who wore fur).

Against the Law, one invokes efficiency, which its constraints bother, but also its sister the necessity: the requirements to meet a legitimate need would justify over-riding the obstacles or the detours of the Law.

In terms of efficiency, how many projects have been cancelled by the courts, some-times resulting in compensation and even criminal prosecution, because they wanted or thought they could avoid legal constraints?

As for necessity, that of one is not necessarily that of the other or others, and arbitrariness has always invoked necessity to free itself from the constraints of the Law.

However, outside the law, there is only the law of the jungle.

Indeed, law fulfills a function of defining social relations, through its value as a reference. It therefore has an essentially political function of organizing society (the Romans used to say “ubi societas ibi jus”, “where there is a society there is law”.

This is why it is an essential component of political combat, and therefore of civic responsibilities, because not only is the possibility of referring to it a security, but it is easier to act by referring to a legitimacy recognized by the Law, and to be able to oppose one’s adversary’s obligation to conform to it than to have to go against it.

It follows that not only can it not be safely ignored, but it can be an element in the balance of power,

At the same time, in return, it depends, both for its content and for its application, on this balance of power.

Indeed, the same right does not have the same legitimacy for all the components of a contradictory society. There is certainly good law and bad law, but what is good for one is bad for the other, and vice versa. It thus depends on a permanent struggle between the different, even opposing, forces that have an interest in it being this or that and is only the record of the shifting state of the balance of power of its components, each one fighting for its “good” right.

However, under the reality of the antagonism of interests, the anarcho-syndicalist heritage of the French labor movement has long weighed: the law was seen only as a machinery of the bourgeoisie to defend its interests, and the jurists were bourgeois. It was therefore necessary to be wary of the law like the fox of the lion’s den. 

Then little by little, with the progress of mass political literacy, the Law appeared as an issue, and the fights of an organized opposition were productive of an evolving and strongly contradictory legislation, the fight splitting then, between the action on the content of the law and the one for the application of the good law and the prevention of application of the bad.


It is true that laws are very complicated. They are more and more complicated, and even jurists often have difficulty finding their way around them, to the point that specialization in this or that area of the law flourishes, with those who pride themselves on knowing one area of application dispensing with knowledge of the others, so that the old adage that no one is supposed to be unaware of the law should be replaced today by the adage that no one can be expected to know it.

This is not progress:  In the 19th century, Balzac’s peasant could not always read, but he knew the laws that guaranteed his property.  The current legal hypertrophy is the product of the crisis of society.

On the one hand, the production of law is burdened by the crisis of democracy, which means that the legislative work, more and more regulatory, is elaborated in the ministerial offices or in the kitchens of an undivided presidential majority, which means that it is devoid of any real contradictory debate. Even when it goes through parliamentary elaboration, the conditions of referral and discussion of the Parliament do not allow the examination and the serene discussion in osmosis with the citizens.

On the other hand, in a context of incessant contradictions, the law must be produced on a day-to-day basis, conceding a compromise here, taking up ground there, if necessary through apparent mini-corrections which mean that a given text has been the subject of ten or fifteen successive amendments, often in the form of references from one text to another, the accumulation of texts privileging the regulatory abundance over the great legislative avenues and obliging to skillful and subtle exercises of reconciliation between those which combine or contradict each other, with the fact that in these exercises of interpretation one never knows what will be that of the Court of Cassation when it will be brought to pronounce at the end of the race of a lawsuit engaged who knows when.

But it does not matter that this legal maze is inaccessible to the layman, because it has a function of framing the individual, object of power, and it is thus in conformity with its function that it is not sharable.

This certainly makes the joy of certain jurists, that Molière would have called the Diafoirus of the Law, because it makes them indispensable, gives them a qualification, and constitutes a commercial source.

It remains true that this law cannot be mastered, and that it is also necessary to have recourse to specialists to resist its hold. But it is a crisis of the Law, which generates a legal insecurity


However, to fulfill its function as a reference for social behavior, the law should be clear, simple, and easy to apply, but this is inseparable from its acceptance as legitimate.

A child who is spanked reacts by saying to his parents “you don’t have the right!” and if he puts his finger in the jam, he says “I have the right!

And as it is a means and a place of ideological regulation of social relations, it consists essentially in defining the means of implementation of the power of who over what in relation to whom, it implies an opposition between a law serving a central power from above and a law serving a citizen power from below.

This is why it is a place and an object of struggle, to win the proclamation defended, or to make fall what is contrary to it, so that it is not only on paper.

The trade union militants have understood this and there is no longer any need to convince them that labor law is one of their essential fronts of action. Beyond that, it is not as late as we think and everything remains to be done or almost: “A vos armes citoyens” (To your weapons, citizens!) And for that purpose, build up your legal arsenals and seize the others to dismantle them!


The classic function that has given law its perverse image is that of a law of permissions and prohibitions, which treats the citizen as an object of power and legitimizes the organizational choices of the authority. It is logical that this right is not very accessible, not very sharable by the layman, because it is not intended to be be controlled or taken in hand by the citizen but “suffered” by him.

The Law is then reduced to a function of supervision or framing, where the individual is only an object of power.  And it is in this sense that a civic instruction confined to the teaching of behavioral obligations that can be summed up as passive “civism”, as opposed to active citizenship, goes.

Even the simple proclamation of freedoms intended to protect against the abuses of supervision remains strictly defensive and participates in the logic of a of supervision. This is obviously a minimum that can neither be underestimated nor neglected, but the function of law in the regulation of social relations being first of all that of a regulation of relations of power, comprises therefore principally the definition of these relations of power, over citizens or of citizens.

If/when it is intended to legitimize and organize a function of framing, it operates insofar as it legitimizes the force that frames.

Law can, on the other hand, have a function of legitimizing liberating social relations, and of reversing the relations of power by changing their nature, including in order to reach this ideal objective of replacing a law to govern men with a law to administer things by a common mastery of these social relations by a liberated and self-controlled humanity.

The terms are thus set for the fight between two conceptions of Law. The Law will then be at the same time the place and the object of this fight, for a content which answers the social needs and legitimizes the struggles, so that in return it helps these struggles. This Law will then have to have the opposite qualities of the defects that give it its perverse image: since it can only be imposed by those to whom it is called to benefit, it must be shareable, and therefore clear.


There are thus two conceptions of Law: the “framing” Law, non-shareable, protected by a supposed technicality, which organizes by means of regulations and prohibitions, and the legitimating Law, clear, simple, and shareable. And the battle is, without denying the necessities of a minimum of technicality, to put this technicality and the right to organise in the light and under the discipline of the law of legitimacy, in other words the regulatory law of a prime minister in dependence of the “political” law, in the noble sense of politics.

The problem is that, traditionally, jurists only recognize the value of “jus cogens”, i.e., having binding force, to organizational law, conceding to legitimation law only a value of moral orientation.

This privilege for technicality is largely explained by the fact that it benefits from an appearance of objectivity, whereas the right of legitimacy cannot be the same for everyone, for the dominant and the dominated. The jurists who take refuge in technicality thus believe that they are avoiding a choice, whereas they only give the appearance of not choosing, since they serve a system by managing its implementation.

The reason given is that only a right with a sanction can have a legal value, that is to say, if it benefits from the support of force, which alone makes it enforceable. In other words, law can be good or bad, but it is really law if it is enshrined as such by the legislative and judicial institutions of the State, because they have the police force to enforce it.

Paradoxically, this approach has benefited from an image of progress insofar as, in the 19th century, it claimed to free itself from the legitimations first of monarchical law, which referred to divine right, and then of bourgeois law, which invoked a so-called “natural law”. Thus was given privilege to the proclaimed law, called moreover “positive law”, in that it had the face of “objective” right as opposed to “subjective” right proceeding from moral and philosophical options, and thus had the superiority of being a unique and equal Right for all, of corresponding to the requirement to put above all the principle of legality, which was unquestionably a democratic progress but erased the internal antagonisms in the Society in the name of the fiction of a unity of the Nation. 

In the same approach, the same jurists, including the most progressive ones, considered that international law was not law, because it did not have sanctions.

This was, however, to make light of the fact that, even in “State” law, the use of force to make it “enforceable” did not always stand the test of legitimacy. Thus, the “brave soldiers of the 17th” refused to shoot the striking Languedoc winegrowers, and the 1962 miners’ strike was so popular that the requisition decree issued by De Gaulle to break the strike was never applied. 


This should lead us to agree that the right is only worthwhile when it is sanctioned, but that this sanction is not necessarily that of the police, but that of the consensus. 


As soon as one considers that the Law is only worth the sanction that one can obtain from the courts, one tends to reduce all legal matters to the judicial. 

It is true that, as a last resort, one may be forced to resort to it. But we must be aware of the limits. The courts can misjudge. Indeed, a legal debate cannot be posed in terms of grammatical discussions on the exegesis of a text: the gymnastics of the texts makes it possible to arrive at everything and its opposite, and knowingly or unknowingly the judge analyzes the texts and applies them under the influence of what he considers to be the “good law”.

It has already happened that it has been judged that if judges must be independent of political power and owe allegiance only to the law, their conscience, in the sense of knowledge and discernment, whatever their probity, is not independent of their training, family, school, university, and of the information in which they are bathed. This is why, and not only for reasons of balance between the parties to the trial, the rights of the defense are part of the need for contradiction, which alone can guarantee that the judge has a complete and objective knowledge of the terms of the dispute. 

Moreover, to bring everything back to the judge’s tie-breaking process is a kind of undermining of the citizen, comparable to the child who comes to tell the schoolmaster “He did that to me! 

In any case, the judiciary must only be the ultimate treatment of a pathology that could not be solved by doing without it, and the overload of the courts is always the thermometer of the crisis of the society and its institutions. 

And the judiciary must be subject to the legal system. In other words, the judge cannot judge according to opportunities that would depend on his personal ethics. He must be independent of political power, but not of the law, which it is his role to enforce and apply. If the law is bad, we must fight to have it changed, but if each judge could judge “in conscience”, it would be enough to choose his judge according to what is expected of him. 

This is why, in the middle of the 20th century, the law faculties denounced as an example not to be followed that of the “good judge of Château Thierry”, President Magnaud, who in 1898 had caused a scandal for having acquitted Jeanne Ménard, prosecuted for having stolen a loaf of bread to feed her child. It is true that the unpopularity of the aforementioned “good judge” was also due to the fact that he had to his credit the “invention” of the right to strike for agricultural workers, the employer’s responsibility for work accidents, etc. ….

But when one examines his decisions, which are abundantly motivated and thus offer themselves to a public control of their legitimacy, one notices that if they exceed the regulatory law, they are eminently justified by legitimating legal considerations.  On the one hand, in the case of Jeanne Menard, it refers to the state of necessity. But it is not the same notion of the state of necessity as the one by which a power pretends to justify getting rid of everything that hinders its use of force: it is the taking into account of the necessity in which the individual finds himself to whom society has not given the means to do otherwise. 

And the other thread … And the other “red” thread of its decisions, which precedes the logic of the right of work or protection of the tenants, it is the taking into account of the economic, social and cultural inequality to consider that people were not free to make otherwise, which is quite simply the application of the fundamental principle of the law that is the notion of defect of the consent. The “good judge of Château Thierry” thus did not oppose his freedom to the constraints of the law but gave precedence to the fundamental principles of the law over the bad laws which ignored them.

This always brings us back to the relation of the juridical to the political (in the noble sense of the term), whether it is curative at the judicial stage or preventive at the stage of the solution of the problems that can be posed by the daily life of social relations.

More generally, “legalism”, proceeding from an inhibition with regard to the law and which would command to respect it only because it is the law without any critical treatment, must be denounced, as already did in antiquity the adage “summum jus, summa injuria” (the maximum of law is the maximum of injustice), as well as “juridism” which consists in investing everything in the skill of handling texts without inserting in the use of legitimating references.


The rise of fascism no longer allowed to stick to a “positive law” free of legitimating references, because fascist law was law, and this demonstrated how law can only be valid in terms of its legitimacy. At the same time, the two world wars have raised the need for the institution of an international law with the value of international legality.

Thus, the universal conscience has produced a new legitimating law with the objective character of a unitary positive law of universal value formalized, like the law of framing, in terms of obligations and prohibitions whose legal value and character of “jus cogens” cannot be contested.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the masterpiece, but it is itself articulated on the basis of world legality, which is the part of the United Nations Charter devoted to the statement of principles that must govern international relations.

To this were added the United Nations Covenants of 1966 on Human Rights, which are all the more important because they have two parts, one on civil and political rights (known as the “first generation” because they were the first to be affirmed), and the other on economic, social and cultural rights, known as the “second generation” because they came later in the legal culture, based on the observation that a person who has only political rights cannot enjoy them if he does not also enjoy the economic rights that give him the means to exercise them.

In fact, in France, the Declaration of 1789 (which is too often forgotten to be the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen) remains above all a charter of protection against police arbitrariness, and it will take the preamble of the Constitution of 1946 for economic and social rights to appear.

 But in 1948, even before the Covenants included the two components, the Universal Declaration (of which two of the main authors were the Frenchmen René Cassin and Stéphane Hessel) included both.



As these texts do not have the help of an institutional police force, they will therefore still be considered as not being “jus cogens”.

The paradox is even that many of those who celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights continue to be encumbered by this alleged difficulty.

As for the internal law of the different countries, the same ones, when they invoke it, believe they can only do so to exhort governments and parliaments to be inspired by it and lament when this is not the case.

For international law, everything should go through international jurisdictions:

Undoubtedly, as far as the repression of international crimes is concerned, their necessity is unavoidable, even if experience shows how much it should not be idealized.

The tendency to ask the International Court of Justice to give its opinion on problems of legality is a different matter,

We only ever talk about the condemnation of the United States towards Nicaragua, or the opinion that condemned the wall in Jerusalem.

But there is no shortage of examples of the opposite: this was the case when pacifists, trapped by the quest for “jus cogens”, asked the ICJ  to rule on the illegality of nuclear weapons. Indeed, since 1945 there have been numerous studies by jurists from the most diverse countries to demonstrate this illegality on the basis of all the universally recognized principles and rules, and in particular the humanitarian conventions known as the “laws of war”, the United Nations Charter, and the reasons for the judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Moreover, a UN General Assembly resolution of 1961 declared the weapon criminal. There was therefore nothing to be gained by asking the opinion of judges who might say the opposite.

And in fact, when the Court issued the requested opinion, it certainly affirmed the illegality of the weapon, but added an article 2 in which it said that it was perhaps not illegal for the ultimate defence needs of the State! The conclusion to be drawn from this is not that it made the weapon legal, but that it gave an illegal opinion.

However, there are still jurists who argue that an opinion of the Court (by the way, only a majority, and therefore partial, of 7 people) would have more legal value than a resolution of the UN General Assembly (i.e., of a minimum of 90 peoples).

This example suffices to show how crucial it is to demystify the notion of “jus cogens”, which is based less on the sanction by judicial institutions than on its value of legitimacy in the consciousness of citizen forces.

This also implies not absorbing the Law into the functioning of the institutions that are in charge of implementing it, because any institution can violate the Law.

This is particularly true in the case of the State.

Constantly and in every respect, we hear the State vilified, as if the State were a person or a group of persons who are evil by nature.

But the State is only a mode of administration, and the question is only to know for whom and what it serves and against whom and what. And because it is a mode of administration, its functioning depends on its mode of structuring. A mainly repressive state does not function in the same way as a mainly public service state, if only because it is not structured in the same way according to the function for which it is intended. And this structuring is a matter of law, just as the construction and definition of the competences of any institution is a matter of law. So we cannot say that the State is an obstacle to citizenship: it is an element of citizenship, which makes it a stake and an object of citizen’s fight, as a legal object.



Law is a fight for its proclamation and for its application.

With the texts recalled above, even if they can be constantly enriched, the first fight has been won. It remains to lead the other one, so that the first one was not in vain.

And these documents are conceived in terms that are clearly legal enough (affirmation of rights, prohibitions, obligations) so that their legal nature cannot be denied, and they cannot be reduced to simple moral or philosophical declarations of intent.

Moreover, it is very expressly that their formulation creates legal obligations for the national States, since it is sometimes stated that “The States signatories to the present Covenant undertake to ……” and sometimes that “The States signatories to the present Covenant recognize the right to ….”, which can therefore be opposed to them as an obligation that they have admitted to have, without the need for X or Y to reinvent, in limited domains and in a limited manner, an “opposable right”.

So, this battle should be the one of the jurists. But we must unfortunately distinguish between those whose philosophical options do not accommodate these new rules and who prefer those which, at the level of their States, guarantee the privileges of their social environment, and those who are still inhibited by the absence of means to make “jus cogens”.

Thus, the question of what gives the written proclamation its living value, that is to say, the terms of the struggle for its application, always comes back in force. 

From then on, it must be clear that, since the Law can have a role of hindrance but also of contribution in the political field, the question of knowing which law to make prevail is thus a political battle, in the least political sense since it is independent of partisan options, and consequently a citizen’s affair.

It is not useless in this respect to clarify the relationship between Law and State. 

It was one of the major causes of the Soviet drifts to consider that Law was a product of the State. On the contrary, it is the State that is a product of the Law, according to both the criteria of legitimacy of the mode of organization of society (monarchy, delegation of power, dictatorship with a populist base, reduction of democracy to voting or permanent exercise of popular sovereignty, etc.) and the balance of power between Law and force. 

If the law that has the value of “jus cogens” is the one to which those who fight for its application can refer, the first mission of jurists should therefore be to help citizens to take hold of the law in order to make it prevail. 

And this is all the more true since this role of citizens is itself consecrated by this new legality as one of its cornerstones. 

To begin with, and commanding the whole, the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations (“We the Peoples of the United Nations, …… have determined to unite our efforts…accordingly our governments have signed this Charter) makes the sovereign action of Peoples, and therefore of the citizens who compose them (and not of the States, which must be only their administrative and relational instruments) the basis and the dominant one of the relations of the individual to society.

And significantly, the two Covenants on Human Rights begin by stating in their first article that the first right of Man is the right of his people to control their own affairs.

The right of peoples to control their own affairs is therefore the first principle of universal public order which commands all the others and makes everything that is contrary to it or detracts from it subordinate.

But, as far as France is concerned, it is not even necessary to resort to this notion of universal public order because the Constitution of the Republic (even of the 5th whose authors did not dare to erase what the achievements of the Resistance had marked that of the 4th) provides in its article 3 that “national sovereignty shall vest in  the (French) people who shall  exercise it through their representatives” and not (shall exercise it by their representative) and precaution  added for all purpose: “within the framework of the laws which regulate it” can only be valid subject to the conformity of these laws to the universally proclaimed fundamental principles.

It should not be forgotten that this also applies to European legal documents, whether they concern European structures or the texts they enact, because the region is itself responsible for respecting fundamental principles, including the right of peoples to control their own affairs. Moreover, the Charter provides for the possibility of regional organizations, but under the condition of respect for the principles it lays down. 

It is therefore essential that citizens take in hand the defense and exercise of their rights, which thereby become duties of citizenship for them. For that, it is necessary that they become aware of this necessity but also of its possibility and thus that they overcome their traditional inhibitions towards the Law.

The battle to make prevail the good rights, passes therefore by another battle, of ideological order for a conception of the Right, clear, appropriated by the citizens, against that of a confiscated right because not sharable. And this battle must also be shared between jurists and citizens.


The need to appropriate the Law is no longer to be demonstrated in the field of work. Even if it is necessary to call upon the assistance of a specialist, who may be a union activist, to go to the Prudhommes (Labour Court), it is still necessary for him to know that he has the Law for himself, that, for example, if he has signed a waiver of his leave, he can still take it.

The same goes for family law, for birth control, for consumer law, with the only reservation that one must be careful not to become a procedural maniac, nor to get carried away with the well-known “you can’t prove me wrong” attitude.

But this is true in all other fields.

Democracy cannot be confined to the right to vote, and it is a point of law to demand the correct implementation of article 3 of the Constitution, which says, “national sovereignty belongs to the French people who exercise it through their representatives” and not “whose representatives exercise it”. And therefore, not to resign the right to make the elected representatives responsible permanently and in all the fields. And also to exercise this sovereignty on the other instruments of the State, among which the prefects, and even the courts whose publicity of the debates is a guarantee of democracy, because if the citizen should not dictate to them what they must judge, according to his own arbitrariness, he must be able to make sure that the way of judging is conducted in the respect of the rights of all and also of the law.

Indeed, if the judge must be independent of the political power in order not to judge according to the convenience of this one, he cannot judge according to his own arbitrariness, which would put the fate of the lawsuit in dependence of the choice of such or such judge, but according to the law, of which it belongs to the citizen sovereignty to impose the change if it is bad.

In a general way, the exercise of citizenship requires the mastery of the criteria of legitimacy in all the ways of functioning of this citizenship.

Can we fight for peace without using the principles of international law set out in the United Nations Charter?

Can we not use the principles of the right to a trial to fight against the liquidation of judicial guarantees, and allow them to be reduced to alleged corporate interests?

Can we allow the power that monopolizes the State to get out of the obligation contracted by signing the 1966 Pact, whose article 11 affirms the right of every person and his family to an adequate standard of living, including food, clothing and housing?

But here again the legal debate goes well beyond commas and pure technicality. Courts have objected that the Covenants are not incorporated into the domestic legal order. How, then, should they be, and what is lacking for them to be, when it is expressly stated, and countersigned by the States, that they “shall enter into force” upon the 35th ratification? What would “entry into force” mean if it were not an integration into the internal legal order? And the debate is so open at this level that the Court of Cassation has just rendered a decision for which it did not bother with such questions: it has just declared null and void a clause in an employment contract that prohibits a dismissed employee from being hired by a competing company (a so-called non-competition clause), even though nothing prohibits this in French law, but because article 7 of the Covenant proclaims the right to work. It therefore considered that the Covenant was part of our internal legal system.

However, the fight is not over, because the administrative courts persist in challenging its application in domestic law. However, article 55 of the Constitution provides that treaties that have been approved have a higher authority than laws as soon as they are published, and the Pact was approved by a law of June 25, 1980, and published in the Official Journal of February 2, 1981, with the mention that it will therefore enter into force for France on February 4, 1981!

What remains, against austerity, is to campaign to impose it and for this to be known and taken up by the citizens.

The citizen’s battle in the field of the Law is therefore not a philosophical abstraction.

The reference to Law also allows us not to be trapped by the fashionable formula of the “civil society”, which amounts to opposing the body of citizens to a State which would not be an object of power but an adversary, and to the “political class” which would be its servants, when the said “civil society” is not reduced to the body of the “NGOs” to leave excluded from citizenship those who do not belong to it.


The reference to law also allows us to restore to the State its true nature, which is not that of a power but of an instrument of power, which must therefore not be fought as an adversary but contested against the adversary who confiscates it, in order to evict this adversary from the use he makes of it as a means of power over the citizens, and to transform it into a public service in the hands of the citizens.

It also makes it possible to understand that the elected representatives who oppose the forces of domination are themselves inside the State and participate in it as a contradictory force within it in the internal prolongation of the external pressure of the citizens’ actions and that the objective is to reverse the balance of forces to overcome this contradiction by a really democratic control of the State, which leads the citizens to put themselves in duty to master the problematic of the Law and the institutions.

For that, it is capital 1) to demystify the Law, not to idealize it and not to demonize it, and to understand that it is an essential element of the fight, being itself in dependence of a fight, 2) not to underestimate the importance of the assistance of specialists of which one is entitled to expect not only the quantitative erudition in the documentary knowledge of the texts, but also and above all the qualitative assistance of a cultural training in legal matters. 3) not to leave the fight to the specialists alone, because since it is an instrument of management of the social relations, the fight for its contents and its application is a political fight and thus a fight which falls to the citizens.

 It is therefore also a struggle in the field of education. The bourgeois Republic of the past had included in the school curricula of the youngest age what was called “civic instruction” where, without a doubt, the moral education of “civism”, that is to say of obligations and duties, held a great place, but also, inherited from the declaration of 89, that of rights and citizenship. Today, it has drifted into the main teaching of the technical structures of management. It would not be useless to restore, as it was in the republican times, the transmission of a “republican” culture by enriching its content of popular sovereignty.

To become aware of the fact that the Law must be a citizen’s fight carries a double implication:

On the one hand, no social action, whether political, trade unionist, or of any other associative nature, can do without taking into account the legal component of its objectives and its means.

On the other hand, the citizen cannot abdicate the taking into account of it to delegate it only to specialists, to whom the crisis of the law makes recourse unavoidable, but in consultation with the citizen who remains sovereign and master of the choices that guide his criteria of legitimacy.

And it is to this that the jurist of progress must work, even if it is necessary for him, in the state of the dominant ideology, to overcome the preventions of his interlocutors.

All articles published in the International Review of Contemporary Law reflect only the position of their author and not the position of the journal, nor of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.