Research subjects

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Pau public law (PDP)
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Research subjects

The team’s work in the field of administrative disputes is concentrated and multifaceted.

Close links have existed for a long time between the team’s researchers and the various administrative jurisdictions and in particular the highest of these: the Conseil d’État (French Conseil d’Etat). Researchers, including Philippe Terneyre and Denys de Béchillon, are regularly called upon to take part in work groups with members of the Conseil d’Etat. Jean Gourdou, for his part, has contributed, as independent council, to the work of the Conseil d’Etat in the Section for legal disputes, the Section for Public Works and the Section for reports and studies (the enforcement of court rulings unit).

For the past twenty years, this collaboration has facilitated the organization of an annual one-day conference held by the Conseil d’Etat and Universities which brings together leading figures of the High Court and professors from several French universities. The conference examines significant case law over the year and allows participants to freely discuss the solutions chosen. These “Pau-based days” are particularly appreciated and this is reflected in the loyalty of regular contributors and the presence, each year, of new attendees. Moreover, several universities have been inspired by this initiative and have organized similar conferences.

The Center also has ties with the Administrative Tribunal of Pau, which includes several former PhD students of the University of Pau who successfully sat the external exam for Administrative Tribunal and Administrative Appeal Court advisors. Each year a study day is organized, bringing together administrative magistrates and Pau university students.

In addition to these days, the team also produces significant amounts of documents on subjects relating to administrative disputes, including articles, columns and leaflets in encyclopedias and jurisclasseurs and even book chapters. Denys de Béchillon was for many years the scientific director of the Dalloz encyclopedias for administrative disputes and public authority liability. Jean Gourdou and Antoine Bourrel were entrusted with the entire overhaul of the section of the Dalloz encyclopedia of local authorities covering litigation regarding the acts of these authorities (seven chapters of which two are already complete).

The team’s work in the field of constitutional disputes and more generally the register for disputes relating to freedoms is also significant.

The close affiliation between the majority of the Faculty’s publicists and the Aix concept of constitutional law predisposes them to dedicating a great deal of time to the research of these subjects. Moreover, the close links between members of the team described herein and those at IE2IA – who, in addition to their interest in comparative law, are all constitutional lawyers highly dedicated to fundamental rights research – help make these subjects key components of the intellectual unity of the Public Law department within the University.

The reflection of this investment in the activities of team members is clearly visible, and has been for years. For example, Denys de Béchillon who has, over his many years at the department, dedicated much of his work to reviewing constitutionality, from both a procedure and content point of view, has been appointed on several occasions to chair official bodies tasked with preparing major reforms relating to the Constitution itself (on the Balladur Committee), its Preamble and, more generally, fundamental rights (on the Veil Committee for the Preamble to the Constitution, and as a member of the Mandelkern Commission for the continuity of public transportation services). Recently, for example, he delivered, through a dialog with Nicole Belloubet of the Constitutional Council, the conference organized by the Constitutional Council to celebrate its 55th anniversary. As for Philippe Terneyre, he is the author of major work covering social and economic constitutional disputes.

The prominence of disputes relating to fundamental freedom and rights, in particular due to today’s major focus on constitutionality and the development of the monitoring of international compliance with laws, explains and justifies at all levels the case for sustained research on this subject.

Thanks to its resources, history and tradition of cross-disciplinarity, the Pau Faculty is well equipped in this field.