Judicial Colonialism Today: The French Overseas Courts
Journal of Law and Courts, Vol 8(2), pp.247-276 (2020)
30 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2020 Last revised: 2 Nov 2020
Date Written: July 2, 2017
France maintains a court system outside of the European continent in so-called overseas regions such as Martinique and New Caledonia. Held as colonies until the 1940s, these territories became part of the French state with varying degrees of autonomy. Drawing on original qualitative and archival research, this article argues that through these overseas courts, France continues to legally assume the traditional role of a colonial power despite its declared commitment to the nation-state, republican model. Subordinating discourses and elements of colonial structure have outlived the transition to nonempire, continuing to exert strong influences on the courts’ operations, especially the way in which judges and prosecutors are appointed and promoted. This study should also be read as a contribution to the scholarship on how court systems around the globe grapple with the legacy of colonialism in shaping their organizational structure and practices.
Keywords: judicial diversity, courts, judges, race, France, overseas, outre-mer, ultramarin, discrimination, colonialism, Neo-colonialism, postcolonial, judicial selection, empire, language rights
JEL Classification: K1, K40, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation