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Empirisme et conceptualisme en droit constitutionnel

Abstract : The issue of empiricism and conceptualism has been studied in administrative law. It refers to the possibility for academics to infer general and abstract categories from case law. Such reasoning by induction aims to facilitate the knowledge of administrative law, which essentially consists of case law. Studying this issue in constitutional law is justified by the changes which have occurred in the discipline since the birth of the Conseil Constitutionnel in 1958. Specifically, the development of constitutional case law has led to the assumption that constitutional law has a more empirical dimension and that new relations are being established between academics and judges. In practice, the alternation between empiricism and conceptualism in constitutional law goes beyond the relation between legal scholars and case law. Thus, this study attempts to capture the systematization of law in all stages of the discipline and whatever the sources. The analysis is not only following the changes in the mode of thinking concerning constitutional law by respecting a chronological sequence, it also aims at identifying periods.The conceptualism of the past, inherited from the first treatises on constitutional law at the end of the nineteenth century, has developed the main principles of French constitutional law. Since then, the evolution of doctrinal methods, throughout the twentieth and the early twenty-first century, in conjunction with the development of law itself, subjects these principles to more empirical approaches, bringing them closer to the reality of constitutional law. More precisely, three empirical periods can be identified. The first period emerged after Word War II and is described as “political empiricism” in this study. The second time appeared in the 1970’s and advocates a “legal empiricism”. Finally, the development of the jurisprudence of the Conseil constitutionnel opens the way for “case law empiricism”, widely discussed in this analysis.
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Julien Lainé. Empirisme et conceptualisme en droit constitutionnel. Droit. Université du Droit et de la Santé - Lille II, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011LIL20014⟩. ⟨tel-01681198⟩

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