How to learn law in school: ideas from 10 personalities

The “Your Honor” being launched arbitrarily in the courts would not matter if they did not mask a profound ignorance of justice. L’Opinion asked ten personalities associated with the world of law and education about this question. They all point to the fundamental link between understanding the law and defending democracy. Here are their proposals for practicing law school.

“Going to Schools” – Yaël Braun-Pivet, President of the National Assembly

“How can we make tomorrow’s citizens understand our institutions and, in particular, our justice? How can we best convey to them the principles underlying our rule of law and our Republic? We all have a part to play in this. Members of Parliament, actors of the justice system, representatives of each of our institutions: we have a duty to support our teachers in the civic education of our children. By going to schools to intervene with students, we have the opportunity to make our institutions lively and concrete, accessible and understandable. And to give everyone the keys to become active and satisfied citizens. »

“Compulsory training” – François Molins, Attorney General of the Court of Cassation

“If we want our young people to become informed citizens, it is essential to include an introduction to law in the curricula so that it is no longer possible for a student to finish school without knowing what the institution judiciary, what it stands for and how it works.This initiation cannot settle for taking the form of an option in the last year as is the case today (“Law and Major Challenges of the Contemporary World”) , which certainly represented real progress, but unfortunately not only 8% of the students.This training should therefore be compulsory and general.And ideally all students should have visited a jurisdiction at least once during their education to have a hearing there. to see. “

“Doing the law of everyday life” – Thibault de Montbrial, lawyer and security adviser to Valérie Pécresse for the presidential election


“Employment contract, rental contract, marriage or PACS: law is central to everyday life. Using examples from their daily lives, we can raise awareness among our high school students about the general principles of law and thus show them the crucial importance of applying the rules to a well-organized system. This pedagogy can only benefit French society, the accelerated disintegration of which is of particular concern. »

“Raising awareness of freedoms” – Patrice Spinosi, attorney


“Learning about individual freedoms guarantees democracy. Democracy is often reduced to government by the people. But that is not enough. Without strict oversight by fundamental freedoms, the risk of populism is real, bearing the seeds of the end of that same democracy. Our parents knew the value of freedom because they had been deprived of it. In order not to go through the same ordeal, our children must be reminded of it from school. This is the most effective way to prevent history from repeating itself. »

“Reconstruction of Lawsuits” – Naïma Moutchou, Deputy (Horizons), Vice-President of the National Assembly and Attorney


“To bring justice closer to the city, it needs to be shared more. Showing how a court works, raising awareness of the professions that support the institution, is giving a concrete overview of how the justice system works. By attending a trial and discussing with the actors, we give the youngest observers the means to understand the fundamentals: impartiality and independence, presumption of innocence and contradiction. Process re-enactments make it possible to take stock of the limitations of judging and defending. Because in 2021, in the National Assembly, he ordered the restitution of the trial against Mersault (of Abroad, de Camus), in collaboration with a class of BTS from Aubervilliers, I can say that the students are not indifferent. »

“Strengthening Citizenship Education” – Bruno Bobkiewicz, President of SNPDEN (Leaders’ Union)


“We don’t give enough moral and civic education in school – it’s 30 minutes a week… Some teachers responsible for this education don’t use this time to the fullest and sometimes have hours left over for their own subject, history-geography for example. »

“Recalling principles” – Christiane Féral-Schuhl, lawyer, former president of the Paris Bar and former president of the Conseil national des barreaux


“Lawyers have campaigned for an introduction to law from an early age. In 2018, the National Bar Association entered into a partnership agreement with the Ministry of National Education to establish Rights Day in colleges. More than 1,500 meetings have been organized between a lawyer and a class of 5. In order to participate, I have been able to observe the great interest of young people, their curiosity and their amazement when they discover that justice is not there to punish but to to protect citizens.

It is urgent to recall a fundamental principle: every citizen has rights AND duties from an early age. It should also be remembered that freedom of expression finds its limits with respect for individual freedoms, in particular the right to respect for private life. »

“Completing social education with legal training” – Julie Couturier, President of the Paris Bar and Vincent Nioré, Deputy President of the Paris Bar


“Since 2005, the Paris Bar, through the InitiaDroit association, has been working in middle and high schools to introduce students to the law that everyone practices on a daily basis. This transfer between legal professionals and young citizens should be enhanced by supplementing civic education with legal instruction. »

“Working on the concept of responsibility” – Bruno Questel, former LREM deputy and member of the Judiciary Committee


“We need to bring the law back to basics. We always forget that the Minister of Justice is the Keeper of the Seals of the Republic. The link between the institutions and the citizens is the basis of everything in this matter. We need to re-think in an organized framework designed for everyone: the Republic. Second, reintroduce the concept of individual and collective responsibility so that everyone knows that committing a reprehensible act will inevitably have consequences. And third, to gauge why we’re here and to undermine the “anything goes” culture…”

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