Accueil > Person, personhood: a comparative study


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2019-2020

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This course will be an inquiry into the relationship of the law to the person in multiple legal contexts and in a comparative perspective. With a particular focus on French and American law, our investigation will discover whether the concept of the person in Western legal cultures always exists outside of the concept of personhood. After exploring constitutional and international human rights references to the person, our comparative survey will look into a variety of fields where the person interacts in situations which determine questions of identity and fundamental rights. New issues concerning bioethics, demographic and social change will allow us to re-examine legal norms on the right to dignity, the right to be forgotten, guardianship of the person, reproductive rights of women, personality rights, commercial rights linked to the body, same-sex marriages as well as workplace issues, procedural issues and the personal status of companies.


MERCAT BRUNS, Marie (Affiliated Professor at Sciences Po Law School and Associated Tenured Law Professor at CNAM)

Pedagogical format

Twelve sessions of 2 hours.

Course validation

Continuous assessment : 100% of the final grade. Assessment : 50% Paper (10 pages min) December 3 on topic of choice 50% Class commitment during the semester : 1)Class Engagement : participation, 2)Written Comment Before Every Class on reading (Required), 3)Choice of one Controversy (oral debate) Extra Credit (1 point) December 3 (presentation of outline of paper)

Required reading

  • M. Mercat-Bruns, Discrimination at work 2016 UC Press
  • J. Radin, Contested Commodities Harvard University Press 1996
  • J. Rochfeld, Les grandes notions de droit privé, Themis PUF, 2011
  • M. Mercat-Bruns, Discrimination en droit du travail comparé : Dialogue avec la doctrine américaine, coll. « A droit ouvert », Dalloz, 2013
  • M. Mercat-Bruns, Le racisme au travail : les nouveaux modes de détection et les outils de prévention, Droit social 2017, p. 361

Additional required reading

  • M. Mercat-Bruns, Le droit de la non discrimination : une nouvelle discipline en droit privé ? D 2017, p.224
  • M. Fineman (Dir.), Feminist and Queer Legal Theory : Intimate Encounters and Unconfortable Conversations 2009
  • M. Jones, Ctrl + Z : The right to be forgotten, NYU Press 2016
  • M. Mercat-Bruns, La personne au prisme des discriminations indirectes, D 2013, p. 2475
  • M/ Mercat-Bruns (dir.), Personne et Discrimination : Perspectives historiques et comparées, "Thèmes et Commentaires", Dalloz, 2006.
  • M. Mercat-Bruns, L'identification de la discrimination systémique, RDT 2015, p. 672
  • M. Mercat-Bruns, L. Cluzel, Discriminations dans l'emploi, Etude comparative de la jurisprudence du Conseil d'Etat et de la Cour de cassation, étude proposée à la Halde, La Documentation française, 2011
  • B. Edelman, Ni chose, ni personne Hermann 2009