The Laboratory

Five-year project 2020-2025

During this five-year contract (2020-2025), the scientific project of the CHJ will be articulated around the generic theme of Norms and Practices. The research will be structured around four main axes: Institutional and procedural norms and practices, Commercial norms and practices, Social norms and practices and Penal and prison norms and practices.

The CHJ intends more particularly to study the implementation of legal norms by the judiciary, but also the influence that practice may have had on the definition or adaptation of norms. In particular, the role of the different actors involved in the normative and judicial process will be analysed, as well as the modes of conflict resolution and the use of specific expertise in the different fields of law. Particular attention will be paid to the phenomena of transplantation and hybridization of law, for example, on the basis of the example of the Parliament of Flanders, the evolution of commercial law since the great discoveries or the colonial experiences, under the Ancien Régime as well as in the 19th and 20th centuries.

To carry out this scientific project, the unit will be able to rely on its expertise in the analysis of archival sources and on its experience in the field of digital humanities. The specificity of the history of law consists in identifying, collecting and analysing information preserved in archival collections, in particular the Archives départementales du Nord (Lille), the Archives nationales (Paris and Pierrefitte), the Archives nationales d'Outre-mer (Aix-en-Provence) and the Archives nationales du Monde du travail (Roubaix). Thanks to its numerous national and international partnerships, the Centre will reinforce multidisciplinarity and comparative perspective. Finally, it will continue to make its research tools and databases freely available and will continue to invest in popularisation and scientific mediation activities for the general public.