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Le concept de droit

By 29 août 2019mars 16th, 2021Projets

Le concept de droit, entre texte et contexte — 60 ans plus tard

Porteurs du projet :
Jean-Louis HALPERIN (ENS, CTAD)
Mate PAKSY (CTAD)

Une étude est près d’être finalisée et envoyée par nos soins pour une revue juridique anglo-saxonne sur la mise en application de sa théorie au contexte français, mais les plus importantes recherches sur les détails restent à faire. Notre recherche va beaucoup plus loin que d’étudier simplement Le concept de droit 60 ans après sa première parution (1961). Ainsi, selon l’hypothèse de travail, ce célèbre livre contient une théorie générale du droit, qui, en tant que théorie, est susceptible d’être adaptée dans un autre contexte socio-politique que le Royaume-Uni pendant les années 50 et 60, et notamment dans le contexte français. Or, afin de vérifier empiriquement l’hypothèse, il paraît utile de réaliser les recherches philologiques dans les archives à Oxford et à Jérusalem, de l’autre, pour comprendre la pensée de Hart. Certes, cette recherche elle-même va soulever le problème de traduction, étant donné la spécificité du vocabulaire utilisé dans le discours anglo-saxon de théorie analytique du droit. Notre recherche envisage une étude générale sur la relation entre la culture juridique française et Herbert Hart, qui, selon la préface de la 1ère édition française (1976) de son livre, maîtrisait bien la langue française. Notre recherche se penchera aussi sur la « traduction » en sens plus abstrait, plus éloigné de la personnalité de Herbert Hart. Ainsi, on va étudier comment les trois questions « récurrentes » de la philosophie du droit, identifiées par Le concept de droit peuvent être appliquées au contexte français. Est-ce que les lois perverses du régime Vichy peuvent être caractérisées comme orders backed by threat issues par une autorité illégitime ? Est- ce que le positivisme français est capable de distinguer entre les règles juridiques et morales comme le fait Hart ? Est-ce que les lois françaises sont des rules au sens de Hart et est-ce que la théorie de la « règle de reconnaissance » explique bien la supériorité de la constitution de la Ve République ou non ?

Hart en français (traductions) :

Année Les œuvres de H.L.A. HART — Traductions Titre originaire Traducteur(s) Année Parution
1961 Le concept de droit [1] The Concept of Law by H. L. A. Hart. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1961VIII+263 p. Van De Kerchove, Michel Van Drooghenbroeck, Joëlle
Célis, Raphaël (en coopération avec Gerard, Philippe + relu par HLA Hart)
1976 Bruxelles : Publications des Facultés universitaires Saint -Louis, 1976, 314 p.
1994 Le concept de droit [2] The Concept of Law Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1994, 1997, XII+315 p. (2e éd. accompagnée d’une postface, éd. P. A. Bulloch & J. Raz) M. van de Kerchove (en coopération avec Gerard, Philippe) 2005 Bruxelles : Publications des Facultés universitaires Saint -Louis, 2005, 344 p.
2012 Le concept de droit [3] The Concept of Law, 3e éd. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2012. (présentation : Leslie Green)
1961 « L’importance des définitions en droit » Le concept de droit [1] Équipe dirigée par Grzegorczyk, Christpohe, Michaut, Françoise, Troper, Michel 1990 Le positivisme juridique, sous la dir. de Grzegorczyk, Christophe, Michaut, François, Troper, Michel, Paris, Story, L. G. D. J. 1990, 1ère Partie, Texte n°10, 90
1961 « Distinction interne-externe, et la question de la validité des règles. » Le concept de droit [1] Équipe dirigée par Grzegorczyk, Christophe, Michaut, Françoise, Troper, Michel 1990 Le positivisme juridique, sous la dir. de Grzegorczyk, Christpohe, Michaut, François, Troper, Michel, Paris, Story, L. G. D. J. 1990, 2ème Partie, Texte n°10, 223
1961 « Le commandement du bandit n’est pas du droit. » Le concept de droit [1] Équipe dirigée par Grzegorczyk, Christophe, Michaut, Françoise, Troper, Michel 1990 Le positivisme juridique, sous la dir. de Grzegorczyk, Christophe, Michaut, François, Troper, Michel, Paris, Story, L. G. D. J. 1990, 3ème Partie, Texte n°3, 290
1961 « Scepticisme envers le scepticisme » Le concept de droit [1] Équipe dirigée par Grzegorczyk, Christophe, Michaut, Françoise, Troper, Michel 1990 Le positivisme juridique, sous la dir. de Grzegorczyk, Christophe, Michaut, François, Troper, Michel, Paris, Story, L. G. D. J. 1990, Texte n°23, p. 360–364
1955 « Existe-t-il des droits naturels ? » ‘Are There Any Natural Rights?’ Philosophical Review, vol. 64, 1955, n°2, 175-191. Girard, Charles 2011 Klesis, 21, 2011, p. 239–251.
1959 « Sur le réalisme scandinave » ‘Scandinavian Realism’, The Cambridge Law Journal, vol. 17, 1959, n°2, 233-240. reprint: H.L.A. Hart, Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1983, Part III, Ch.6, 161–178. Millard, Eric 2000 in O. Jouanjan (dir.), Théories réalistes du droit, Annales de la faculté de droit de Strasbourg, Strasbourg : 2000, 47–48.
1967 « La solidarité sociale et la mise en œuvre de la morale par le droit » ‘Social Solidarity and the Enforcement of Morality’, University of Chicago Law Review, vol.35, 1967, p.1-13 ; reprint: H.L.A. Hart, Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1983, Part II, Ch.11, 248-262. Bligh, Gregory
Plouviez, Mélanie
2014 Droit et Philosophie, 2014, vol.6, 181–195.
1973 « La démystification du droit. » ‘Bentham and the Demystification of the law’, The Modern Law Review, vol 36, 1973, 2–17, repr. Ch. 1., H.L.A. Hart, Essays on Bentham: Studies in Jurisprudence and political Theory, Oxford University Press 1982. Gérard, Philippe van de Kerchove, Michel 1987 In Actualité de la pensée juridique de Jeremy Bentham, sous la direction de Gérard, Philippe, Ost, François, van de Kerchove, Michel Bruxelles Publications des Facultés universitaires Saint -Louis, 1987, pp. 89–118.
1977 « Immoralité et trahison » ‘Immorality and Treason’, reprint dans R. Dworkin (dir.), The Philosophy of Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1977 Carpentier, Matthieu 2014 Droit et Philosophie</span, 2014, vol.6.

Littérature secondaire sur Hart en français :

1967 Jaeger, H. « Compte rendu de H. L. A. HART, The Concept of Law » Archives de philosophie du droit, 12, 1967, p. 357.
1970 Miedzianagora, J. Philosophies positivistes du droit et droit positif Paris : L. G. D. J. 1970.
1970 Kalinowski, G. « Théorie, métathéorie ou philosophie du droit. Réflexions sur The Concept of Law de H.L.A. Hart et On Law and Justice d’Alf Ross » Archives de philosophie du droit, 15, 1970, p. 179–195.
1974 El Shakankiri, M. E. « Analyse du langage et droit chez quelques juristes anglo-américains de Bentham à Hart » Archives de philosophie du droit, 19, 1974, p. 113–149.
1987 Strowel, A. « Analyse et utilitarisme dans les pensées juridiques de Bentham et de Hart » Actualité de la pensée juridique de Jeremy Bentham, sous la dir. de Ph. Gérard, F. Ost et M. van de Kerchove, Bruxelles : Publications des Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis 1987, p. 301–352.
1991 Bouretz, P. « Le droit et la règle : Herbert L.A. Hart » La force du droit. Panorama des débats contemporains, sous la dir. de P. Bouretz, Paris : Esprit 1991, p. 42 – …
2000 Picavet, E. Kelsen et Hart. La norme et la conduite Paris : P. U. F. 2000.
2007 Gérard, P.,van de Kerchove, M. « La réception de l’œuvre de H. L. A. Hart dans la pensée juridique francophone » « Hommage à H.L.A. Hart » Revue interdisciplinaire d’études juridiques, vol. 59, 2007, n° 2, p. 131–171.
2007 Bailleux, Antoine « Hart vs. Dworkin » and its Progeny. Actualité du « combat des chefs » dans la littérature anglo-saxonne « Hommage à H.L.A. Hart » Revue interdisciplinaire d’études juridiques, vol. 59, 2007, n° 2, 173 – 220.
2007 Panaccio, C.-M. « H. L. A. Hart : L’Homme et le Philosophe » « Hommage à H.L.A. Hart » Revue interdisciplinaire d’études juridiques, vol. 59, 2007, n° 2, p. 221–241.
2014 Kervegan, J.-F. « Hart, le positivisme juridique, l’utilitarisme et la question des droits moraux » Droit & Philosophie, vol. 6, 2014, p. 105 – 122.
2014 Bligh, G. « Portrait d’un grand juriste : à propos de la biographie de H. L. A. Hart » Revue d’études benthamiennes [en ligne], vol. 12, 2013.
2014 Blais, F. « La philosophie du droit de H. L. A. Hart » Canadian Journal of Law & Society / La Revue Canadienne Droit et Société, vol. 8, 1993, n° 2, p. 1–31.
2019 Nayfeld, M. « H. L. A. Hart et J. Glover : un point de vue utilitariste contre la peine de mort » Canadian Journal of Bioethics, vol. 2, 2019, n° 1, p. 47 – 56.
2018 Bligh, G. « Crise du standard de l’« homme ordinaire » en common law britannique d’après-guerre. Le débat Hart-Devlin et le multiculturalisme naissant » Droit et société, vol. 98, 2018, n° 1, p. 159–178.
2018 Brunon-Ernst, A. « L’utilisation de normes sociales dans la production de normes juridiques : une approche généalogique et critique des nudges » Les Cahiers de Droit, vol. 59, 2018, n° 1, p. 117–143.

Présentation de Wil Waluchow, invité à la première séance — par Mate Paksy (en anglais) :

It is a pleasure to see everyone — young and advanced scholars — here today. My name is Mate Paksy. A former student of the European Academy of Legal Theory and the Paris Nanterre University, I am currently working as Marie Curie Prestige researcher at the Centre for Theory and Analysis of Law in Paris-Nanterre. Before handing over to our keynote speaker, Professor Wil Waluchow, McMaster University, Canada, I would like to say a few words about our distinguished guest. Professor Waluchow is probably the finest living Canadian legal philosopher. I am indeed lucky to be in Paris today as he delivers the inaugural lecture in our Legal Theory Master Class series within the framework of the research project ‘Le concept de droit – Hart and French Legal Theory’. I would just like to shed some light on the idea behind this academic enterprise.

For almost half a century now, lawyers in France have been loath to use Le concept de droit; meanwhile, for almost six decades their British counterparts have considered the original book – Herbert Hart’s The Concept of Law – to be almost a gospel. As everyone in this room knows, the original book was published in 1961. Its first French translation appeared a decade later, in 1971, thanks to Swiss and Belgian philosophers. In 2005, the second French edition was published, again in Brussels. This included the famous ‘Postscript’ to the English second edition. Unfortunately, one of the two Belgian professors who led the translation team for both editions, Michel van de Kerchove, passed away a couple of years ago.

In the contemporary French context, it is plausible to suggest that legal theory books have overwhelmingly been replaced by the Introduction au droit for a number of essentially non-academic reasons – such as the profit expectations of the publishing companies. From the perspective of legal theory, this change is quite unfortunate. This is because the explication of legal concepts, the richness of the vocabulary used and the sharpness in describing the institutional background of the theory are vastly inferior in these introductions to law. In contrast to Dworkin – according to whom “legal theory is best understood in terms of the interpretation of a particular claim about the conditions under which the use of collective force in society is justified” – Hart’s Concept of Law was primarily intended to present a fresh legal theory to the students of law at Oxford. Without becoming an Introduction au droit, this book introduced a brand-new way of speaking philosophically about legal discourse. Here was a book that successfully and concisely encapsulated a theory of legal positivism and Weberian sociology. Among its other methodological merits, it allows one to comprehend a legal system as a union of primary and secondary rules, viewed an internal point of view as well. From now on, certain moral concerns be no longer seen as inappropriate to the legal discussion. Yet, in continental positivist legal theory – including in France — legal theorists base their position on the positivist idea of science and derive their claims of ethical neutrality and political amorality from one particular meta-theoretical choice of science. But Hart’s conceptualization of law requires his readers to find other methodological path. The members of our research team scrutinize Hart’s jurisprudential views, in order to delimit the general scope of his Concept of Law — that is to say, when all is said and done, to determine whether or not his legal theory is a general theory of law. At the same time, I am reluctant to conceal my view that the theoretical tenets of French legal positivism are also based on overwhelmingly unsustainable assumptions.

And so, by viewing these legal theories together — Hart’s Concept of Law on the one hand, and French legal theory on the other — we have a great opportunity to grasp the problem of the generality of any legal theory that is claimed to be general. In the course of the present project, we will seek to test those accounts that plausibly invite us to accommodate Hartian soft or  inclusive legal positivism into the French context. Again, according to our hypothesis at the outset, there is no real chance to perform a transnational methodological translation of Hart’s jurisprudence from the British to the French context.

One of the cornerstones of the project is to describe adequately French legal theory as discursive context into which Hart’s Concept of law may want to fit. In the broadest possible terms, one may describe French legal theory as the discourse of French academic lawyers, which take place almost always inside legal positivism, except Michel Villey’s legal philosophy, on the one hand, and critical legal scholars, on the other. In British academic circles, until the advent of Hart, criticism of legal positivism came essentially from outside the positivist camp. British legal theory describes a beautifully straight line from its beginnings until the publication of The Concept of Law: Hobbes developed Ockham’s philosophy – his “razor” – into a legal theory; Austin and Bentham adapted Hobbes’ utilitarian moral philosophy; Hart edited Bentham’s complete works and criticized Austin’s command theory; and finally there is Joseph Raz, whose theory of authority is based entirely on Hart’s theoretical legacy. This straightforward chain from Ockham to Raz that linked legal theorists within the legal positivist school was suddenly broken by Hart’s posthumously published Postscript to the Concept of Law. The Postscript tried to defend legal positivism against Hart’s enfant terrible – Ronald Dworkin’s – wholesale critique of legal positivism. In an excellent collective volume on Hart’s Postscript, Jeremy Waldron nevertheless admits that the line between Finnis’s natural law and normative positivism has become blurred, and that the opposition between natural law and legal positivism is passé.

Compared to Dworkin, the early works of another of Hart’s students – namely, our distinguished guest today – issued a clear invitation to return to the original path of British legal theory, by treating the methodological requirements of soft or inclusive legal positivism. Wil sought to remain inside the legal positivist tradition, whereas Dworkin, in attempting to launch a general attack on legal positivism, definitively stepped outside this school of legal thought. Not surprisingly, all the most important books on legal theory or jurisprudence published since the second edition of the Concept of Law and its Postscript have referred to Wil’s doctoral research on inclusive legal positivism. This was supervised by Hart himself, and was finally published by Clarendon Press in 1994.

Being inclusive, legal positivism is perfectly compatible with – and committed to – the judicial review of legislation. Wil’s constitutional theory easily garners support from Hart’s Concept of Law, for example when he treats the question of law application in his Common Law Theory of Judicial Review. Much to his readers’ astonishment, Wil is equally emphatic in using Dworkin’s normative theory to justify judicial review. His book nevertheless remains an example of how to integrate legal theory into constitutional theory. Finally, I would just like to mention that Wil recently edited an excellent book on Dworkin’s jurisprudential legacy.

Let me return to the concept of French legal theory for a moment. An important part of our project is to provide an adequate definition of this very broad category – one that is seemingly historical, but in fact is analytical or conceptual. Now I am trying to identify three main claims stemming from the purely artificial category of “French legal theory”: first, the need for anti-cognitivist metaethics; second, the infinite number of potential legal meanings using in judicial decision-making; and third, normativity is not a scientific issue.

These claims seem to revolve around a more fundamental and robust recommendation to do empirical legal science, instead of allowing ourselves to be tempted by normative political philosophy (in the sense of Dworkin) when doing legal theory. Discovering conceptual links between the claims does not put any particular intellectual strain on the scholar. Let’s take, for instance, the conceptual interplay between tenets one and three:

“Given that the scientific character of ‘legal science’ requires us to reject any moral theory that is compatible with the presumption of the intelligibility of moral concepts (e.g. justice, fairness, rule of law), in the field of legal science we cannot ask or answer the normative question of why people should be morally obliged to follow legal rules.”

We can discover a similar interplay between claims two and three:

“If legal rules have a finite number of meanings, then the judge is obliged to give the right answer in any given legal case.”

By the way, as far as the often axiomatically accepted tenet number one is concerned, it is worth referring to Herbert Hart’s caveat, as formulated in the Postscript against Dworkin, that “legal theory should avoid commitment to controversial philosophical theories of the general status of moral judgements” (Postscript, 243–244). If Hart’s system is sound vis-à-vis Dworkin, I cannot see why a rejoinder should not be made to the French legal positivists’ commitment to anti-cognitivist meta-ethics, given that this is also a controversial philosophical doctrine.

Now, once these claims of legal theory are translated into appropriate terms of Anglo-Saxon legal discourse, one may discern a natural convergence between American legal realism and the category I have called “French legal theory”. Therefore, the main question that might now arise is how to defend the idea of inclusive legal positivism against the idea of French realist legal theory based on empirical science, implying the complete emptiness of normative concepts and the meaninglessness of the moral discourse.

Télécharger l’affiche de la première séance : Hart and the French Legal Theory

Télécharger “HLA Hart’s General Theory of Law in the French Legal Context: Some Questions Focussed” (en anglais) ici et ici.