In this issue - The legal field is undergoing important changes that affect its very structure at every level, starting with constitutional law. The second article of this issue focuses on the transitional judicial body set up in Tunisia to review the constitutionality of draft laws following the adoption of the new constitution in 2014. This unique institution – set up in a political context that hardly needs to be recalled and whose work is made all the more necessary since the institution it was supposed to replace, the Constitutional Court, is still not in operation – deserved to be presented. And who better to do this than a member of this very institution! This has now been done with the contribution of Professor Chikhaoui-Mahdaoui (University of Tunis and member of the provisional body in charge of reviewing the constitutionality of draft laws). While the establishment of this institution is a sign of strengthening constitutionalism in Tunisia, it is, on the contrary, an authoritarian drift of Japanese constitutionalism that is the focus of Professor Yamamoto (Keio University). His contribution in this issue is a French translation of a book chapter originally written in English, carried out by Valentin Pinel le Dret (Sorbonne Law School) and Simon Serverin (Keio University). This, in this day and age, is rather rare, English generally being a target language for translations. This article therefore deserves to be read both for its content and its form.
International law is also at the core of this issue and the contributions devoted to it are essentially conflict-oriented. In the physical sense of the term, Alexis Bouillo (Sorbonne Law School) undertakes a study of relationship between law and violence, a – literally – fundamental subject since the pacifying role of law is accepted as axiomatic by most lawyers. It is, however, a deconstruction of this “belief”, in his own words, that the author undertakes so as to offer another analysis of the relationship between the two notions. The contribution of Mutoy Mubyala (UNHCR) explores conflict in the military sense through the issue of the right to the use of force in Africa. The regional point of view adopted by the author is particularly instructive in a field whose study is often considered in its global dimension. The article, which stems from a lecture given by its author at the Sorbonne Law School in October 2018, analyses the subject both in its historical framework and in its practical application.
While these two presentations primarily focus on the rights and obligations of classic subjects of international law, namely States and international organisations, the status of private persons in this legal order should not be overlooked. The present issue addresses the subject from the perspective of European Union law. In his article, Professor Baratta (University of Macerata) goes searching for the foundations of a “community of rights and values” in the process of European integration and looks at the consequences of its existence. It is these same consequences that interest Anna Nowak (European University Institute). Taking as an example the case of annulment proceedings in State aid matters, she explores the question of effective judicial protection within the European Union, in an analysis that combines the technicality of a particular aspect of European competition law with a more general analysis of the right to a remedy. It is also to competition law that Valentin Depenne (University of Fordham) dedicates his contribution, the only one in this issue written in English. He carries out a comparative analysis of the application of antitrust in the labour market, taking the United States and the European Union as the subjects of his study.
Competition law, with which these two presentations deal, invariably refers to consumers, who are often placed in situations of imbalance vis-à-vis their contracting partners. This problem, which affects both competition law and consumer law, is not limited to this and also applies, for example, to employees vis-à-vis their employers. This imbalance between the weaker parties and their contracting parties is accentuated in international labour and consumer contracts and it is in particular with a view to protecting these weaker parties that their will in determining the applicable law is generally excluded in this type of contract. However, it is not impossible to imagine an autonomy of will that would protect these weaker parties. It is to this question of autonomy in favoremthat Jessica Balmes (Sorbonne Law School) devotes a contribution whose complexity and interest deserved to, just once, (slightly) exceed the authorised page limit!
The contribution of Miguel Ángel Martínez-Gijón Machuca (University of Seville), who focuses on the particular case of the protection of sick workers under European Union law, is also devoted to the theme of protecting the weaker parties. The subject is obviously essential in terms of content, but it is above all for its form that this article stands out in our review, as it is published in Spanish!