Introduction to French Law

Edited by George Bermann & Etienne Picard

{Kluwer Law International: 2008}

Winter 2009

In their new book, Introduction to French Law, Columbia Law School Professor George Bermann and Etienne Picard, a professor of law at the University of Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne), decipher the complex bodies of law that govern legal practice in France today. A compilation of 17 chapters, each written by a distinguished French legal scholar, the book covers multiple facets of the country’s legal system, including tax law, intellectual property law, European Union law, family law, and civil procedure.

France adheres to many established legal statutes in effect since the Code Civile of 1804 was created. However, there are several aspects of the country’s legal system that leave it vulnerable to change. Judges are able to create public law at their discretion, and since 1974, the government has been authorized to assess the constitutionality of existing laws. To navigate this complex territory, Bermann, the Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law and the Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law, and Picard have created a guide for practitioners and a comprehensive survey of French law, covering each legal field in substantive and procedural detail.

Photographed by Ian Allen