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French Labor Tribunals and the making of Labor law. Toward a sociology of judiciary roles – L. Willemez

Laurent Willemez
Department of sociology, University of Poitiers, 8, rue René-Descartes, 86022 Poitiers cedex, France

Available online 11 November 2013 on Science direct
doi : 10.1016/j.soctra.2013.09.001

How do the verdicts of French joint industrial tribunals (Conseils de prud’hommes) participate in shaping the law in the field of labor relations ? A “sociographic” survey brings to light both the multiplicity of forms of commitment to the institution and the key role played by a group of “professionals” in these labor tribunals, where elected representatives of employer associations and trade-unions sit side by side. Analyzing how councillors are socialized by the institution and how they arrive at their decisions shows that judgments stem from a combination of three different rationales : the law, union representation and the world of work. Between magistrates’ social characteristics, institutional affiliations and manners of judging, a new way of studying judiciary activity is suggested.

Article Outline

  • 1. From parity to the force of experience : modes of prud’homme commitment and diversity in the conceptions of labor law
  • 2. The production of French labor law
  • 3. Conclusion
  • References

Sociologie du Travail
Volume 55, Supplement 1, November 2013
Translated by Gabrielle Varro