The Public Service of Dissemination of the French Law on the Internet

Acta Universitatis Sibiu (Romania), V (supp. 2005), 115-140, 2005

23 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2012 Last revised: 5 May 2022

See all articles by Stephane Cottin

Stephane Cottin

Conseil constitutionnel - Constitutional Council (1993-2008 + 2019-); Secrétariat Général du Gouvernement (2008-2019)

Date Written: May 1, 2005


The French public powers have given for a long time a special attention to the dissemination of their national law. Not only in order to ensure the effectivity of the rule of law and the legal security, but also to assess in a certain manner the influence of the French law at the international level. Nevertheless, France has not waited the development of the new information technologies to take advantage of their extraordinary facilities as regards the better access to legal data. Thus, ever since 1960, university labs, in co-operation with the ministry of Justice, the services of the Prime-Minister and the supreme courts, established the first legal databases in the world.

After the especially rich developments during these more than forty years, these public legal databases are ever since the object of an established and protected public service (for a long time in fact, as it is organised by a decree at least from 1984). This public service, as it results from the last decree of 2002, anticipated the application of the European Directive on the reuse of data of the public sector. This field is a very rich incubator of ideas for the public powers. In fact, with a view to make more accessible their funds, the producers and editors of official legal databases try to use the advanced new technologies at their best. The regime of this public service of dissemination of law on the Internet allows, by its particular functioning to initiate technological innovations often revolutionary, like, among others, the one which allows to propose an authenticated electronic official journal.

The French version of this paper can be found at:

Keywords: Law research, dissemination of the law, France, Internet

JEL Classification: D83, K40

Suggested Citation

Cottin, Stephane, The Public Service of Dissemination of the French Law on the Internet (May 1, 2005). Acta Universitatis Sibiu (Romania), V (supp. 2005), 115-140, 2005, Available at SSRN:

Stephane Cottin (Contact Author)

Conseil constitutionnel - Constitutional Council (1993-2008 + 2019-) ( email )

2 rue Montpensier
Paris, 75001
+33 1 40 15 30 00 (Phone)


Secrétariat Général du Gouvernement (2008-2019) ( email )

56 rue de Varenne
Paris, 75007
+33 1 42 75 80 74 (Phone)


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