April 15, 2001 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on April 15, 2001.
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: email@example.com
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To U.S. and most Anglo - American lawyers, one of the world's great "mysteries wrapped in an enigma" is French law --
They have no jury system, after all... also no judicial review, and all too little use of precedent, and they have those mysterious crimes of passion... and inquisitorial instead of proper adversarial justice... and those strange juges d'instruction, who upset everybody all the time and are not really even, well, judges... and they think Victor Hugo still holds copyright on Notre Dame de Paris... and instead of august and forbidding caselaw the French have that even more august and forbidding Code Napoléon... and now, adding insult and obfuscation to injury, an enormous and arcane body of "European" law is being cobbled onto the already - confusing "French"...
And to French lawyers, many of whom understand US and Anglo - American law very well, not being online in France has been a frustration. In the US and Britain and elsewhere in the Anglo - American legal realm, the legal community has been in the forefront of online information -- dragged there, somewhat, by several enterprising commercial case reporting efforts, although also and in many cases, leading the charge toward public access to legal information. France, on the other hand -- the French generally, and their lawyers, and particularly their very careful and conservative general legal community -- has been getting online more slowly...
Now comes a change, however. The formidable Bibliothèque Cujas -- principal law library of the University of Paris --
sciences juridiques, économiques et politiques. La bibliothèque est dépositaire des publications de l'ONU, Centre de documentation européenne (CDE), et Centre d'acquisition et de diffusion de l'information scientifique et technique (CADIST) pour les sciences juridiques
-- now is online at,
and the offering in "French law" which it now makes to the global legal community is considerable:
(Nothing is more confusing for a foreign researcher than "accueil" in France. The French are tremendously proud of the personal aspect of the welcome which they accord foreign visitors: instead of the formalistic and automated and "cold" reception which so often greets the French themselves, when they travel to "efficient" places like the US, at home the French try their best to provide -- sometimes at the expense of a long wait, but always eventually -- a real, live, person, who will endeavor to divine a researcher's needs, and attempt at least to arrange personal and warm and useful and continuing human contact with real live people in the researcher's field in France.
But the French always underestimate the foreigner's terror at having to do all of this in French. It is a hard language to master, for any "Anglo - Saxon", or for a Japanese, or for some poor Latin American researcher trying to slide by in Spanish -- made harder by current official language policy which stiffens the whole attempt at "personal" communication somewhat.
So for this "accueil" purpose the Internet, and a good online library "page d'accueil" can help enormously: foreigners read French far better than they speak it, always, so the "page d'accueil" at least can fore - arm them with the always - necessary knowledge of opening hours, and inscription procedures, and telephone and photocopying availability and policies, and "schedules of repairs in the salle des périodiques", so that when the researcher finally arrives on - site the librarian can focus not on such details but on the actual research subject.)
Good, clean, very useful records, i.e.:
|Titre||Droit civil comparé|
|Sous-titre||Les Grands sytèmes de droit contemporains.|
|Droit des pays latins [suite]|
|Lieu de publication||Paris|
|Editeur||Cours de droit|
|Date de publication||1949|
|Nombre de pages||448 p|
|1er Magasin 45.859-784|
|1er Magasin 45.859-743|
CENTRE DE RECHERCHES DOCUMENTAIRES
"Le CERDOC facilite l'accès à l'information juridique et économique possédée par la Bibliothèque Cujas :
(That last is a link to their full CDROM titles list, in:
-- a list perhaps usefully scanned by anyone / any law shop interested in any of the above subjects.)
And, finally, and the most generally - useful resource by far offered on this Bibliothèque Cujas site, I myself think:
A very complete and thorough site: lawyers -- good ones -- are complete and thorough...
In these information - overloaded days -- time was, we were going to organize all of this so as to avoid "information overload", weren't we? -- there can be little substitute for these "filtering" and "organization" and "presentation" tasks, performed by an experienced librarian.
Sure, the users can get out on the Nets and find all of this stuff themselves. But just try it! I am a user, and I have tried -- using Yahoo!, Google, and the rest -- it is a time - consuming and costly exercise in frustration, one which gets much worse, not better, as new resources are added to the mass / mess. And how much worse, not better, for the highly - trained but even busier specialists in need of rapid access to just the right piece of information -- lawyers, doctors, physicists, engineers...
A law librarian still is better at finding things than a user is, even online. So the lists of links and annotations, and their selection and organization, which appear here courtesy of the Bibliothèque Cujas -- in what already is a very good and probably just a beginning effort -- are invaluable, I think. They are worth serious study by "information scientists" interested to see how Cyberspace is going to evolve: for somebody busy, like a lawyer, it -- Cyberspace -- is going to need law librarians.
And now a new and somewhat alarming statistic: if or at least to the extent true, then shame on the land which invented the Minitel long before the Internet was available -- France must learn the "XeroxPARC lesson", that it's not just invention or even "first to market" which counts... got to keep that ball rolling, & got to keep your eye on it... -- France is falling behind the Austrians, the Finns and, 'zounds, even the British now ---
Pourcentage de foyers à haut-débit
par rapport au nombre total de foyers connectés"
(Source Forrester Research, 2000)
and, parsing things a little -- this is Europe, and in Europe things never are simple --
Le câble et l'ADSL sont sans conteste du haut débit mais qu'en est-il de l'ISDN (commercialisé en France sous la marque Numéris par France Télécom). NetValue a choisi, après y avoir réfléchi, d'exclure l'ISDN du haut débit. Et, dans ce cas de figure, la France s'assure clairement de la sixième place européenne. En quoi l'ISDN n'est-il pas du haut débit ? Cette technologie permet une connexion à Internet à 64 kbit/s au minimum. C'est plus qu'un modem classique, mais seulement un peu plus. Mais l'ISDN permet aussi de doubler la ligne de connexion et de monter jusqu'à 128 kbit/s. C'est beaucoup mieux, et c'est souvent mieux que les débit actuels constat´s en pratique sur l'ADSL. Et dans le cas où l'on inclut l'ISDN dans le haut de'bit, l'Allemagne (premier pays européen en termes de connexions ISDN comme le souligne d'ailleurs NetValue) prend la sixième place à la France et le Danemark (deuxième sur l'ISDN en Europe) prend la septième, tandis que la France arrive en... huitième position..."
-- although smug Etats - unisiens need to tell me what the difference is between a "regret" and an "apology", vàv the Chinese spy plane incident this week... talk about "parsing"...
Haut débit : la France n'est pas première en Europe -- "Une récente étude de NetValue pourrait laisser croire, dans sa présentation, que la France est en tête du peloton des pays européens équipés en haut débit. Malheureusement, l'Hexagone se classe au mieux sixième... Alain Steinmann, Le Nouvel Hebdo, le 05/04/2001 à 15h26 )
How is Vivendi ever going to compete with AOL Time Warner, if Vivendi gets stuck developing applications for a 128 kbit/s pipe?...
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