Analysis of Legal Discourse


To enable the student to critically analyze legal discourse as a discourse contextualized in the socio-political and cultural world.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Soraya Nour Sckell


Weekly - 3

Total - 36

Teaching language



Not Applicable


Available on moodle, folder " texts ".

Teaching method

Theoretical-practical classes, with a strong incentive to student participation.

Evaluation method

1) Other elements: 20 marks

1.1) 2 mini-exams (each worth 5 marks)

a) The mini-exams will last three hours and are worth 5 marks each.

b) It is recommended that each analysis be around 1 page in length.

c) Example of the question type: "Analyze the following sentence by Bourdieu: ...".


An analysis must contain 

- the formulation of the problematic that will be analyzed (0,25)

- its development (0,25)

- and a personal position (0,25)

- THEORICALLY grounded, that is, based on the concepts and theoretical conceptions of the authors studied (0.25).

A problem relates what is said in the sentence to something that is not said in the sentence (an idea, a concept, a theory, a criticism...).

Example 2: "Jurists are the hypocritical guardians of collective hypocrisy, that is, of respect for the universal. The verbal respect that is universally accorded to the universal is an extraordinary social force and, as everyone knows, those who manage to have the universal at their side are endowed with significant social strength" (Pierre Bourdieu, The jurists, guardians of collective hypocrisy). Possible problems:

- The codification of law according to Bourdieu: production of rationalization, universalization, normalization and hypocrisy.

- Universal reason: a priori, historical or hypocritical? An analysis based on Bourdieu 


1.2) Paper (10 points)

a) Only the paper will be evaluated, but only the paper of those who have made the oral presentation will be considered.

b) Date of delivery of the paper by moodle: one week after the last day of class.

c) The best papers will be recommended for publication as working paper in CEDIS.

d) Paper structure:

Introduction (1.5 points). Presentation of the question to be investigated and the structure of the paper. 

Part 1: Historical and theoretical contextualization (1 mark). Ex: The rhetoric in the exercise of citizenship in antiquity

Part 2: Fundamental concepts of the author of general scope (1,5 marks). Ex: Concept of rhetoric for Aristotle. 

Part 3: Fundamental concepts of the author specific to law (1,5 marks). Ex: Concept of legal rhetoric for Aristotle.

Part 4: Reception (uses of this author by another authors in the analysis of legal discourse) (1 value). Ex: Perelman's reception of Aristotle's concept of rhetoric. Eventually, the group can analyze a judgment of its choice according to Aristotle's rhetoric.

Conclusion (1.5 marks). Critical analysis. Ex: what is the importance of Aristotle's rhetoric today?


2) Final exam (20 points)

a) The final exam is not mandatory. It can be taken by those who are not evaluated by "Other Elements" or wish to improve their grade.

b) Three-hour exam without consulting any material, about the complete program with questions of various formats (sentence analysis, comparison between concepts of various authors, analysis of some event using the concepts studied, etc.)


Subject matter

Class 1) Introduction (09/14)

Class 2) Kant (09/21)

Class 3) Kelsen (9/28)

Class 4) Arendt (10/12)

Class 5) Habermas (10/19)

Class 6) Mini-exam (11/02)

Class 7) Ricoeur (11/09)

Class 8) Foucault (11/16)

Class 9) Balibar (11/23)

Class 10) Mini-exam (11/30)

Class 11) Review (11/07)


Programs where the course is taught: