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

See all articles by Mathilde Cohen

Mathilde Cohen

University of Connecticut - School of Law

Date Written: July 2, 2017

Abstract

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

Cohen, Mathilde, Judicial Colonialism Today: The French Overseas Courts (July 2, 2017). Journal of Law and Courts, Vol 8(2), pp.247-276 (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3685097

Mathilde Cohen (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
20
Abstract Views
187
PlumX Metrics