HDR defense

November 27, 2017 10:00 am - November 27, 2017 11:30 am

On Monday November 27, 2017, Jean-François Dreuille, Senior Lecturer in Private Law and Criminal Sciences at the Centre de Droit Public et Privé des Obligations et de la Consommation (CDPPOC) and Dean of the USMB Faculty of Law, will defend his habilitation to direct research around his work "Les mutations du droit pénal: progression ou régression?" .

The defense will take place at 10am in the Salle des Professeurs, Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, 15 quai Claude Bernard, Lyon.

thesis summary

If we look at developments in criminal law, both substantive and procedural, in France since the end of the 1970s, we can see that criminal policy is moving in the direction of security. This trend gained momentum in the wake of the September 2001 attacks in the United States, and more recently gained momentum following the terrorist attacks on French soil. Legislative inflation and the imprecision that often characterizes it are undermining the principle of criminal legality. This is not the only pillar of criminal law to be shaken: the notion of culpability is gradually being diluted by that of dangerousness, with the aim of anticipating repression for particular categories of the penal population. The signs of the gradual advent of a criminal law of the enemy are clearer. At the same time, the blurring of traditional legal categories - administrative/judicial - has never been so prevalent. The interpretation and misapplication of the right to security, the significant reinforcement of the arsenal for the prevention and repression of terrorism, and the perpetuation of the state of emergency in ordinary law are, last but not least, the most obvious signs of this. From this point of view, changes in criminal law reflect the idea of regression.

However, the picture is not quite so clear-cut: the significant rise of human rights, and in particular the rights of the defence, under the combined impetus of interpretations by the European Court of Human Rights, European harmonization and, internally, a movement towards the constitutionalization of criminal law, are limiting the legislator's desire and reflex for security. In other words, significant advances can also be observed during the period studied. The main aim of this HDR defense will be to demonstrate this pendulum swing, attesting to the amphibious nature of changes in criminal law, by drawing on the most relevant works - theoretical and technical writings or oral communications.