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Pau public law (PDP)
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Pau Droit Public (PDP) (Pau public law)Presentation

On January 1, 2011, the CECL (research center for local authorities) was replaced by the PDP (Pau public law) research center.

The former was created in the early 1980s under the dual responsibility of professors Franck Moderne and Jean-Claude Douence. Its original aim was to monitor trends in local authority law, and it gradually became a renowned expert in this field – ranking among the best French university research laboratories in 2008 – and in this respect was awarded the medal of honor of the city of Pau.

The center conducted collaborative work concerning the former Annuaire des collectivités locales (Directory of local authorities) that became Droit et gestion des collectivités territoriales (Rights and management of local authorities) (published by the Editions Le Moniteur) of the research group on local administration in Europe (GRALE-CNRS) of which it became member in 1984, and took part in the annotation of the successive editions of the General code of local authorities since its creation (Dalloz, 18th edition, 2014). It also contributed to the Encyclopédie Dalloz des collectivités locales (Dalloz encyclopedia of local authorities) (under the scientific direction of Jean-Claude Douence), to the GRALE-CNRS research program on the implementation of Act II of the decentralization law, and to the transfer of competencies to local authorities. In addition, several researchers are tasked with writing and updating the Guide des marchés publics (Public market guide) published by Dalian and the Mémento Lefebvre du maire et de l’action locale (The Mayor’s handbook, published by Lefebvre).

For many years, the center progressively extended its scope of investigation to other areas of public law corresponding to the various competencies of its members, including some nationally- and internationally-renowned figures such as Philippe Terneyre (permanent member of the high commission of codification since 2008 (as is Jean Gourdou), member of the circle of experts for the general secretariat of the government in charge of work to draw up a code of relations between public entities and administrations by late 2015, and recognized specialists of economic public law) or Denys de Béchillon (who was a member of the task forces concerning the “Modernization and readjustment of fifth Republic institutions” under the chairmanship of Mr. Edouard Balladur and “The preamble of the Constitution” under the chairmanship of Mrs. Simone Veil). As part of the “College of lawyers”, the latter also contributed to the task force on the revision of the Mining Code, and in making this Code compliant with all the constitutional principles of the Environment Charter, the aim being to provide mining activities with the high level of legal certainty they require. Annie Fitte-Duval was appointed member of the “National committee for the remembrance of the history of slavery” in 2013.

Given this wide variety of skills, it seemed appropriate to change the name and structure of the center, which became Pau Droit Public, authorized by the Ministry for the period 2011-2015 after receiving an “A” grade during the last evaluation performed by the AERES (Evaluation agency for research and higher education).

Currently directed by Professor Jean Gourdou, the center is composed of:

  • Four professors.
  • One professor emeritus.
  • Nine associate professors.
  • Two adjunct associate professors.
  • 24 PhD students.
  • One project manager.
  • One administrative manager.
  • 21 associate members.

It is subdivided into five research programs corresponding to the main subjects studied by its members:

  • Energy law.
  • Local authority law.
  • Public contract law.
  • Health and social.
  • Procedures and public litigations.

Some events are organized by the center on a regular basis, such as the annual meetings between the Conseil d’Etat and law faculties introduced in 1997. They are attended by leading figures of the French Conseil d’Etat and professors of several French universities to examine the landmark cases of the previous year and freely discuss the solutions adopted. Likewise, since 2009, a study day on a theme of administrative litigation has been organized with the other public law center of Pau “IE2IA”. It is attended by researchers-lectures and magistrates of the administrative court on the occasion of the solemn reassembly of the administrative court of Pau.  Finally, each year at the end of June, a topical issue concerning public law is put to academics and law practitioners for discussion.

Alongside these regular study days, the center organizes symposiums concerning its various research programs.

In parallel, the evolution of the center reflects a desire to better organize the different activities of public law specialists in Pau and make them more consistent and readable. This concerns Master’s degree courses, the promotion of public law professions and support to the association of former students (A2P).

Pau Droit Public effectively supports the two specialties of the public law Master’s degree in Pau:

  • Law and public litigation, which includes two curricula:

- Law and litigation over public markets.
- Law and litigation over fundamental liberties.

  • Local, health, social and medico-social administrations, which includes:

- The local framework.
- The framework of the health, social and medico-social sector.

It is also important to note that the center works in partnership with a number of local institutions including the Maison des Communes (House of Communes), the CDG 64 (management center of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department), the Centre National de la Fonction Publique Territoriale (national center for local public service), and many cooperation establishments and communes.

Within this framework, two university diplomas prepare students for local civil service exams:

  • Local officer (category A executives).
  • Local general administration professions (category B executives such as town hall secretaries).

There are also four university diplomas in the health and social sector:

  • “Social protection” in partnership with the EN3S (French national school for advanced social security studies) that prepare students for category A civil service exams in the health, social and medical-social sector:
  • Assistance and palliative care.
  • Evaluation and quality approach in health, medical-social and social establishments.
  • Assistance to people with autism.

In parallel, the laboratory takes an interest in political science, economy and management, making the most of the local multidisciplinary competencies specific to the structure of the UPPA. These partnerships are often fruitful when it comes to selecting the subjects of theses. While they focus essentially on legal issues, they nevertheless overlap with subjects addressed in other disciplines. This is the case for example of themes or sectors such as the governance of local assemblies, contractual relationships between public institutions, relationships between public and private corporate bodies, water, health, economic intervention, etc.