March 29, 2024


🎤L’émergence du contentieux systémique (Emergence of the Systemic Litigation), in 🧮Importance et spécificité du Contentieux Systémique Émergent, cycle of conference-debates "Contentieux Systémique Émergent"

by Marie-Anne Frison-Roche

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► Full ReferenceM.-A. Frison-Roche, "L’émergence du Contentieux Systémique" ("Emergence of the Systemic Litigation"), in Importance et spécificité du Contentieux Systémique Émergent (Importance and specificity of the Emerging Systemic Litigation)in cycle of conferences-debates "Contentieux Systémique Émergent" ("Emerging Systemic Litigation"), organised on the initiative of the Cour d'appel de Paris (Paris Cour of Appeal), with the Cour de cassation (French Court of cassation), the Cour d'appel de Versailles (Versailles Court of Appeal), the École nationale de la magistrature - ENM (French National School for the Judiciary) and the Ã‰cole de formation des barreaux du ressort de la Cour d'appel de Paris - EFB (Paris Bar School), under the scientific direction of Marie-Anne Frison-Roche, March 29, 2024, 11h-12h30, Cour d'appel de Paris, salle Masse


🧮see the full programme of this event


🧮see the programme of the entire cycle Contentieux Systémique Émergent


🌐consult on LinkedIn the report of this speech (in French)


🌐consult on LinkedIn a general présentation of this event, which links to a presentation and a report of each speech (in French)


🧱consult the scientific coordination sheet of this event, which gives an account of the various speeches made


🔲see the slides used to support this intervention (in French)


🚧read the bilingual Working Paper which is the basis of this speech


► English Summary of the conference: We are seeing the emergence of what should be referred to as a category of its own: the "Systemic Litigation". This concept, proposed in 2021📎!footnote-3521, refers to the hypothesis in which a system is 'involved' in a particular 'case' submitted to the judge. The presence of a system should not be confused with a systemic analysis of a phenomenon. The term 'cause' must be understood in the procedural sense, as used in article 5 of the Code civil (French Civil Code). Specifically, the prohibition contained in article 5 of the French Civil Code does not apply because a system thus involved calls for factual responses and solutions and not necessarily general and abstract solutions: the solution of a systemic nature and scope, that the presence of a system in a cause calls for, may be a factual solution, even if it radiates out from the system as a whole. But precisely because the presence of a system in the case often gives rise to a question that is itself systemic, the judge, if he wishes to comply with article 4 of the French Civil Code, must respond not only a minima by not evading the question, for example of systemic risks, but also fully by providing systemic solutions, for example remedies to preserve in the future the solidity and durability of the systems involved in the case. 


These systems may be of different kinds: banking, financial, transport, health, energy, digital, algorithmic or climatic. Their presence in cases brought to the attention of judges, the variety and difficulties of which will be seen in later contributions, leads to basic questions relating to the emergence of Systemic Litigation: firstly, how can Systemic Litigation be defined? Secondly, what makes this category of litigation emerge? The answers to these two questions have essential practical consequences. 

The new solutions must be based on a classic distinction, used in particular in criminal and administrative proceedings, which are more objective, but also in civil proceedings, notably by Hébraud, namely the distinction between the "party to the dispute/litigation" and the "party to the proceedings". Depending on whether it is accepted that the system should be considered as a "party to the litigation", which would allow it, through an entity that is legitimate in expressing it, to allege claims and formulate demands against an adversary, or as a "party to the proceedings", a much broader category, which would allow the judge to hear the interests of the systems involved without individuals being able, on behalf of a system, to formulate claims against or for the benefit of a party to the litigation.



This makes it possible to innovate while preserving the measure of which the judge is the guardian.



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