Vol. 5 No. 1 (2022): Vol. 5 No. 1 (2022)
Vol. 5 No. 1 (2022)

In our previous issue, published in January 2022, we announced the reinvention of editorial practices, at the end of a challenging health crisis that seemed, at the time, condemned to remain in the center of political and societal debates. On rereading the editorial written at that time by Charlotte Collard, I cannot help but be amazed at the turn the events of past months have taken.

Indeed, barely six months after the publication of the Sorbonne Student Law Review’s last issue, the future of law – as well as individual rights – has never looked so insecure. We have witnessed the reversal of the most basic foundations of international law, starting with the principle of territorial sovereignty, since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, marking the return of an armed conflict and massive human rights violations at the very heart of the European continent. Then came the collapse of rights so hardly won, yet so easily taken away, with the overturning by the Supreme Court of the United States of America of Roe v. Wade[1] and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey[2], permanently challenging the access to abortion for a large number of American women[3]. These successive challenges to legal principles and rights that were thought to be immutable are all the more chocking because they occurred where we least expected them: wasn't Europe a model to follow in terms of human rights protection, in particular through the efficiency of the European Court of Human Rights? Weren’t the United States a symbol of progressivism and modernity? This uncertainty as to States’ ability to comply with the rule of law, as well as their ability to protect individual rights, necessarily calls for reflection and reform.

It is this reform, in all its shapes and forms, that this issue is about. First of all, a reform among the Review itself, with a complete overhaul of our editorial team. Along with Lisa Forrer, who has taken over the head of Editorial Committee, I am delighted to welcome our new editors: Alex Alexis, Amani Ayadi, Vincent Boucher, Marina Lovichi, Rémi Poirot, Benjamin Tendron, Guillaume Tourres and Marco Santoro.

Secondly, reform is the common thread linking every contribution published in this issue. You will find the transcript of an intervention that took place during our last conference, organized in September 2021, on “Law and Francophone songs”. This transcript deals with the needed reform of SACEM’s practices in light of the emergence of digital technology in the music industry, a fascinating subject that raises many issues of representation, and presented by Simon Lhermite (“Le rôle de la SACEM dans l'évolution de l’industrie musicale francophone à l’heure du numérique”).

Reform is also discussed in the article written by Pierre-Claver Kamgaing (“Réforme de la procédure civile et réforme du droit des contrats. À propos de quelques influences réciproques”), which questions this notion with respect to reciprocal influences in the reform of contract law and civil procedure. As the author rightfully points out, while the purpose of reform is to improve the efficiency of law, it may also create new obstacles, particularly in civil matters, where both areas influence each other. These difficulties are particularly reflected in Ernest Awono’s contribution, entitled “Du volontarisme au solidarisme contractuel : aspects d’un réajustement progressif des paradigmes classiques de la théorie générale du contrat”. The latter shows that, even though the inclusion of contractual solidarism in French and Cameroonian legal practice is to be welcomed, this inclusion has been a real challenge. In fact, it still raises various theoretical and practical questions, among which is the concern of creating a situation of legal uncertainty regarding the execution of contractual obligations - that risk being perfectly unfounded, according to the author. Finally, Rafaela de Deus Lima highlights one of the major developments in environmental protection methods, namely the “patrimonialization” of environmental property, and its supervision through an increased public participation (“La participation du public et la protection de l’environnement comme patrimoine commun : l’analyse de la Convention d’Aarhus et de l’Accord d’Escuazú”).

In short, all these contributions emphasize the unique capacity of legal instruments to evolve and adapt, including – and especially – when confronted to massive challenges such as climate emergency. There is nothing like a reminder of this extraordinary quality in such uncertain times as ours.


Anne-Charlotte Cervello

Chief Editor – PhD candidate, Sorbonne Law School


[1] U.S. Supreme Court, Jane Roe et al. v. Henry Wade, n°70-19, January 22nd, 1973. 

[2] U.S. Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Robert P. Casey, n°91-744, 91-902, June 29th, 1992.

[3] U.S. Supreme Court, Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health et al., v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization et al., n°19-1392, June 24th, 2022.

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