Accueil > Comparative legal reasoning


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Focusing on the work of English judges, also making reference to U.S. courts — some of the most influential judicial agents in the world —, this course offers a comparative introduction to legal reasoning through a detailed examination of 12 judicial decisions. It aims to answer such basic questions as "How do judges think?" and "How do judges construct legal knowledge?". Thoroughly deconstructive, the course consistently draws on insights from other disciplines (such as philosophy, anthropology, literary criticism, and linguistics). By the end of the programme, students will have acquired the kind of knowledge making it possible for them to engage critically with the practice of English and U.S. courts and to revisit the practice of French judges.


LEGRAND, Pierre (Professeur des Universités)

Pedagogical format

A seminar of 12 sessions lasting 2 hours each. The course consists of lectures interspersed with questions directed at students with a view to allowing for the oral expression of critical thought in English.

Course validation

An examination of legal reasoning with principal reference to English and U.S. judicial practice. A written exam (3h), 100 % de la note finale.


The weekly workload is estimated to range between 6 and 8 hours depending on the student's level of English proficiency.

Required reading

  • Legrand (P.) et Samuel (G.), Introduction au common law, Paris, La Découverte, coll. «Repères», 2008
  • Legrand (P.), Le Droit comparé, Paris, PUF, coll. "Que sais-je ?", 2015, 5e édition
  • Reading materials include two short introductory books (see above) and 12 English or U.S. judicial decisions. Readings will be communicated to students at the beginning of the course. Provision will be made for students who cannot read French