Law and public institutions


The Law and Public Institutions method seminar has three objectives. First, it aims to familiarize students with the construction of legal language and to enable them to construct — both orally and in writing — reasoned arguments concerning the legal frameworks of political and administrative power. A second objective is to help the students (in the first semester) master the fundamental concepts of constitutional law (State, fundamental principles of democratic regimes, democratic political systems, representative systems and voting systems), legal frameworks in which the political authorities operate (levels of normative authority and their relations, jurisdictional orders) and of the organization and functioning of the three branches of power within the French Constitution of the 5th Republic. Finally, in the second semester, the students will study  deconcentration and decentralisation, the different public policy actors and the balances between the central and the peripheral organs of the French administrative system.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

As this course, is, for most students, a first introduction to law, no prerequisites are required. However, it is essential for students to have a good knowledge of the main stages in the different successive regimes since the French revolution.


  • Pierre Sadran, La République territoriale, La documentation française, 2015
  • Revue Pouvoirs
  • Revue de droit public
  • Revue française de droit constitutionnel
  • Revue française d’administration publique

Educational formula

The general form of this course involves the following: for each session, students work on a theme and present the results of their work in the form of an oral presentation and a written report. The students will also be required to present their work in the form of technical reports (a specific, law related technical topic is presented by a student), reading reports (presented by a student) or reports on a "current topic" (a student describes and analyses a topical legal issue). This course is delivered in the form of “flipped classrooms”;  the skills and knowledge necessary for understanding  a question are assimilated through personal work and classes are used to present and discuss those questions.

In brief

Year Third year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Annual

ECTS credits 5.0

Number of hours 36.0

Teaching activityMethod seminar

ValidationContinuous assessment

Mandatory teaching



Forest Amandine [+]

Prévot Christophe [+]

Educational manager :
Gaudin Anne [+]