Colloquium organized by the Institut de Recherche Montesquieu (University of Bordeaux), the Institut des Sciences Sociales du Politique (Université Paris Saclay) and Les Marchés, Institutions et Libertés (Université de Créteil).
The relationships that law develops with heritage are obviously not limited to the tools by which the former (law) ensures the protection of the latter (heritage). While heritage law is a field of research that is now well established in France, there is also, today, a significant number of works that are interested in law as a heritage.
This work is characterized by an immense diversity, both in content and in approach. In a very schematic way, we can distinguish three main sets of contemporary research that can be considered as working on the law apprehended as heritage:
A first set of works focuses on objects – both tangible and intangible – in which the law is projected through the centuries, whether it is the architecture of courthouses, allegorical representations of law and justice, or rituals at work in courts, parliaments or law faculties.
A second set of work focuses on the “intellectual heritage” of lawyers over the long term: archives, libraries, and more generally all discursive forms through which legal cultures are manifested and forged.
A third set of works, which is actually older, is devoted to historicizing the legal forms themselves, and to observing the way in which they, like monuments, pass through time while being constantly reinvested.
It is in this rich intellectual context that our colloquium is positioned. Its originality lies in the fact that it does not intend to be a vast exercise of synthesis around the «legal patrimony», which would claim, through the concept of patrimony, to give unity and coherence to works today scattered. The objective is different: more than on the legal patrimony, our colloquium intends to work on the phenomena of the patrimonialization of the law, that is to say, on the ways in which the category of «heritage», on the one hand, and the tools of heritage protection, on the other hand, they are today mobilized with regard to law and legal objects.
The objective of this symposium is thus to map the diversity of uses of the concept of “heritage” in order to try to better understand this legal phenomenon in its complexity, questioning both the meaning, the usefulness and the effects of its uses, but also, in a broader perspective, by working on the intersections and interrelations between law and heritage, by striving to understand what is produced by bringing these two universes into contact, in terms of concepts, approaches, discourse, concrete achievements or demands. It is thus a question, basically, of analysing what the fact of thinking the legal phenomenon by this entry of the patrimony can reveal to us of the institutionalization of the law.