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Comparative and Foreign Law

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

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A Government By Judges: An Historical Re-View, Michael Henry Davis Jan 1987

A Government By Judges: An Historical Re-View, Michael Henry Davis

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

In 1921, Edouard Lambert, a professor of law at Lyon specializing in comparative studies and founder of an Institute of Comparative Law there, published a book, Le Gouvernement des judges et la lutte contra la legislation sociale aux Etats-Unis, thus singlehandedly creating the phrase, a "government of judges", to denote a truly unconstrained system of judicial review which could not be limited even by constitutional amendment. The phrase quickly entered the parlance of French public law and even that of popular culture, deriving much of its force, no doubt, from the historical French aversion to a strong judiciary, eventually becoming ...


The Law/Politics Distinction, The French Conseil Constitutionnel, And The U.S. Supreme Court, Michael Henry Davis Jan 1986

The Law/Politics Distinction, The French Conseil Constitutionnel, And The U.S. Supreme Court, Michael Henry Davis

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

A dispute burns across the landscape of French constitutional law regarding the juridical nature of the French constitutional "Supreme Court", the Conseil constitutionnel: is it a court? Both French and American scholars have claimed that, despite superficial similarities between the U.S. Supreme Court and the French Conseil constitutionnel, the American system of judicial review "can have no counterpart in the French system", that French legal and political theory is inconstistent with an effective supreme court, that there is "no possibility" that the French and American systems could surmount this "major difference", and that the Conseil is simply not a ...