Julien Jeanneney is a Professor of Law at the University of Strasbourg. His research focuses on constitutional law, constitutional theory, administrative law, and international law.
He published a book based on his Ph.D. dissertation, entitled Constitutional Gaps [Les lacunes constitutionnelles] (Dalloz, 2016). He is also the author of several articles in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in collective books.
Before becoming tenured "agrégé" in Public Law, he received his Ph.D. in Public Law from Sorbonne University. He also holds a Master's degree in Public law and a Master's degree in Philosophy from Sorbonne University and studied in the Ecole normale supérieure in Paris. He has also been a Jane Eliza Procter Visiting Fellow at Princeton University, a Visiting Research Scholar at Yale Law School, and an Associate Professor at the Sorbonne Law School.
Professor of Law — University of Strasbourg (since 2018)
- Teaching: Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law of European States, Justification of Legal Decisions: the U.S. Supreme Court, Major Contemporary Legal Issues
Visiting Research Scholar — Yale Law School (Spring 2017)
Associate Professor — Sorbonne Law School (2015-2018)
- Teaching: Comparative Constitutional Process, Human Rights, Administrative Law, Public Procurement Law, Transnational Law of Public Contracts, Administrative Contracts, Administrative Property
- Director of the Double Degree in English and French Law between the Sorbonne Law School and King's College London / Queen Mary University London (2016-2018)
Teaching and Research Fellow — Sorbonne Law School (2010-2015)
- Teaching: Administrative Law, Constitutional Process, Law of Administrative Contracts
"Agrégation", Public Law (2018)
Ph.D., Public Law — Sorbonne Law School (2010-2014)
Paris Bar (2011)
- Jane Eliza Procter Fellow, Graduate School, Department of Politics, Woodrow Wilson School (2008-2009)
- Law — Licence (2007), Master 1 "International Law" (2008), Master 2 "Public Law" (2010)
- Philosophy — Licence (2006), Master 1 (2007), Master 2 "Philosophy and Society" (2009)
- History — Licence (2006)
Ecole normale supérieure
- Humanities, competitive exam (2005), graduation (2010)
- Preparatory Classes, Humanities
Institut de recherches Carré de Malberg, University of Strasbourg
Institut des sciences juridique et philosophique de la Sorbonne, Panthéon-Sorbonne University
- Associate Member
Institut Michel Villey, Panthéon-Assas University
- Associate Member
This research started from the claim, made by Hans Kelsen and many other scholars, that gaps are impossible in legal systems in general and particularly in constitutional systems. The book shows that despite the diversity of books and articles striving to prove the impossibility of gaps, in several countries, since the end of the 19th Century, the very idea of gap remains largely vague when used by legal scholars. Hence, it was important to confront the many concepts put behind the word "gap" and positive legal systems, and especially the French 1958 Constitution – the goal of this confrontation being to shed some light on the relative values of each of those concepts.
The first part of the book is based on a "descending" reasoning: starting from the usual claims in legal theory regarding legal gaps, and arriving to positive law, the book shows that constitutional gaps are based on some legal dogmas. Firstly, constitutional gaps are hard to know. One is always prevented by some systemic and linguistic impediments to fully know the gaps. The former impediments proceed from a dogmatic imaginary that surrounds the systemic vision of legal norms. The later impediments prove to be the consequence of indeterminacy in legal communication. Secondly, constitutional gaps are hard to deny. The books shows how limited are the usual claims made in order to prove the necessary completeness of legal systems, when confronted with positive law: first, the arguments based on the idea of an implicit subsidiary norm, ponctual or general, supposed to guarantee the completeness of a system which seems to have a gap; then, the arguments based on the idea of the irrelevance of legal gaps, since the enforcement of legal systems always enable the judge to fill such gaps.
The second part is based on an "ascending" reasoning: starting from positive law, and arriving to claims in legal theory regarding legal gaps, the book shows the actual effects of the argumentative use of the idea of gaps by several interprets of the law in general, and of the French 1958 Constitution in particular. Firstly, constitutional gaps are phenomena presented as something that one can simply discover in the law. As such, gaps are an imperfect measuring tool. Such imperfection derives from the tendency of legal scholars to call "gaps" the consequence of the confrontation of the law as it is, and of the law as it ought to be, or to call "gaps" the technical situation in which the lack of a legal norm deprives a superior norm of legal efficiency. The books claims that a new concept of gaps – called "institutional gaps" – is useful to designate situations in which the lack of a constitutional norm can be deemed more objective than others. Secondly, in a strategic perspective, legal gaps tailored by the interpret that claims that they exist appear a subversive legal tool. Axiological gaps are a model of legal argumentation, used by public authorities or by constitutional judges in order to circumvent constitutional provisions. The book shows how efficient such a tool can be.
Scandal and Fury. About Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court
"Le scandale et la fureur.
Sur la confirmation de Brett Kavanaugh à la Cour Suprême",
Jus Politicum, vol. 22, 2018
Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings leave unanswered an allegation of sexual misconduct and the possibility of a perjury in front of the United States Senate Committee on the judiciary. The article shows that those hearings were not as original as we could think: they fit into a long tradition of scandals that showed up during confirmation processes such as this one, and that shared with this one many common points. What was original, here, was the nominee's defense strategy: Brett Kavanaugh broke with the a tradition of usual behavior of Supreme Court nominees who try to remain calm and to embody the abstract idea of judicial dignity.
Presidential Dignity in the Criminal Court: the Trial of Jacques Chirac
"La dignité présidentielle devant le tribunal correctionnel: le procès de Jacques Chirac", Revue du droit public et de la science politique en France et à l'étranger, vol. 134, n°2, 2018, p. 407-422
More than five years after former French president Jacques Chirac's trial, it is possible to shed a new light on the constitutional provisions regarding the French president of the Republic, beyond their temporal scope, and on the conditions pursuant to which first level politicians can be judged by a ordinary criminal court. Jacques Chirac's trial put an end to the commonly shared idea of the criminal impeccability of the French head of state. This article shows that two common claims in French constitutional law should be nuanced i.e., that a former president would become, after the term of his presidency, an "ordinary" citizen to be held accountable by the law as any other citizen, and that the criminal judge would be in a better position to judge such a politician than the political judge.
Legislative Intent and Normative Ambiguity
"Le recours à l'intention du législateur face aux énoncés normatifs ambigus", Droit & Philosophie, vol. 9, 2018, p. 79-119
It is commonly believed that legislative intent is a way to eradicate the ambiguity of a legal norm. This articles highlights the many confusions surrounding the concept of "legislative intent", and offers a clarification of the phenomena referred to by such an expression. It shows that references to legislative intent are flawed, in several ways, and that many of the claims made about such a use of legislative intent are to be criticized.
Misappropriation of Land Reserves for Commercial Purposes
"Le détournement des réserves foncières à des fins mercantiles", Revue française de droit administratif, vol. 31, n°5, 2015, p. 937-955
For a long time, land reserves have been seen as a way to control the price of the land in France. Many of them are misappropriated by local authorities: by way of example, lands that have been expropriated or pre-empted in the past are then sold by the authorities, retrospectively depriving the land reserves of their purpose. The article claims that administrative interest and general interest should be differentiated in that instance.
Atlantis. Submersion of the State in International Law
"L'Atlantide. Remarques sur la submersion de l'intégralité du territoire d'un Etat", Revue générale de droit international public, vol. 118, n°1, 2014, p. 95-130
The prospect of a rise in sea levels bringing about the total submersion of some island states’ territory raises new questions for international law, questions that should be considered in anticipation of this geophysical phenomenon. The physical disappearance of a State’s territory would be a new cause of State extinction, and all the more original as it would, by assumption, make the succession of States impossible. Notions which form the cornerstone of international law – the territory and the State – will potentially need to evolve when faced with a geophysical phenomenon of such magnitude.
Constitutional Reformism during the French Fifth Republic
"Le réformisme constitutionnel sous la Ve République", in Ph. Blachèr (dir.), La Constitution de la Cinquième République: 60 ans d'application (1958-2018), LGDJ-Lextenso, 2018, p. 135-153
Constitutional reformism can be understood as the tendency to prescribe a change in the Constitution, in order to improve institutions and the protection of rights and freedoms. Embodied by the public statements that strive to convince that the Constitution should be amended, constitutional reformism sheds a new light on constitutional norms and constitutional interpretations. This chapter circumscribes the concept of "constitutional reformism" before putting into perspective some of the main manifestations of such a phenomenon.
To be published
"La réclamation en droit constitutionnel", in J. Benetti, D. Rousseau (dir.), Réclamer en démocratie, Mare & Martin, 2019
Registers of grievances during the French Revolution, petitions, street demonstrations, conversation with a member of Parliament: all of the above are part of the idea of "constitutional complaints". They bring forward many questions regarding the theories of sovereignty and representation. This text is a global study of such phenomena.
"Justice pénale: assumons le clivage", Le Nouvel Observateur, 4 février 2010 (avec M. Chichportich)
V. Ferreres Comella, "Est-il légitime de contrôler la constitutionnalité des lois?", in D. Chagnollaud, M. Troper (dir.), Traité international de droit constitutionnel, Dalloz, 2012, t. 3, p. 69-105
Invited Seminars & Presentations
Cour de cassation — February 22, 2019
Yale Law School — April 27, 2017
Panthéon-Assas University, Institut Michel-Villey — March 21, 2016
Paris-Nanterre University — May 24, 2011
Sciences-po — June 20, 2018
- Doctoral Seminar "Intensive Doctoral Week"
- Animation of the workshop regarding "Legal Theory for Non Legal Theorists" [La théorie du droit pour les non-théoriciens]
Sorbonne Law School — December 11, 2017
- Seminar "Law and Philosophy"
- Topic of the communication: "Around Dominique Rousseau's book, Radicalizing Democracy" [Autour de l'ouvrage de Dominique Rousseau, Radicaliser la démocratie]
Sciences-po — June 21, 2017
- Animation of the workshop regarding "Populism and Constitution" [in English]
Sorbonne Law School — June 19, 2017
- Lunch seminars of the Sorbonne Law School
- "Parliamentary Hearings of Prospective Justices in the U.S. and France" [L'audition parlementaire des candidats à la fonction de juge constitutionnel aux Etats-Unis et en France]
University of Rouen — January 19, 2017
- Seminar "Legal Thought"
- Topic of the communication: "How Singular is the Legal System in Constitutional Law?" [Les singularités de l'esprit de système en droit constitutionnel]
Sorbonne Law School — December 12, 2012
- Seminar "Center for Research in Constitutional Law"
- Topic of the communication: "Constitutional Gaps" [Les lacunes constitutionnelles]
University of Strasbourg
- Constitutional Law
- Current Legal and Political Issues
- Dynamics of the U.S. Supreme Court
- Comparative Constitutional Law of European States
Sorbonne Law School
- Major Doctrinal Debates in Public Law
Sorbonne Law School — Courses
- Human Rights and Liberties (2017-2018)
- Comparative Constitutional Process (2016-2018)
- Transnational Law of Public Contracts (2016-2018)
- Public Procurement Law (2016-2018)
- Administrative Law (2016-2018)
- Legal Method (2016-2018)
- Introduction to French and European Law [in English] (2016-2017)
- Current Legal and Political Issues (2015-2016)
- Administrative Law History: Five Authors (2015-2016)
Sorbonne Law School — Seminars
- Law of Public Contracts (2014-2016)
- Constitutional Litigation (2013, 2015)
- Public Property (2015-2016)
- Administrative Law (2010-2016)
French National School of Administration, "E.N.A."
- French Constitutional and Administrative Organisation (2016)
- Constitutional and Administrative Institutions [in English] (2015)
Other Teaching Responsibilities
Director of the dual degree in English and French Law
- Sorbonne Law School and University of London (King's College/Queen Mary University) (2016-2018)
Sorbonne Law School
- Preparation to the Oral Competitive Exam, French National School for the Judiciary, E.N.M. (2016-2018)
- Preparation to the Oral Competitive Exam, Paris Bar Exam (2015-2016)