Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas University
Panthéon-Assas University (French: Université Panthéon-Assas; [ynivɛʁsite pɑ̃teɔ̃ asas]), also referred to as Assas ([asas]) or Paris 2 (French: Paris II[paʁi dø]), is a research university specializing in law and economics in Paris, France, and often described as the top law school in France.
Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas
|1971-1990: Université de droit, d’économie et de sciences sociales de Paris (shortened name: Paris II)|
1950s-1970: Faculté de droit et d’économie de Paris
1802-1950s: Faculté de droit de Paris
1679-1793: Faculté de droit civil et canonique
12th Century-1679: Consultissima decretorum
12th Century – Faculty of Law of Paris
|Affiliation||Chancellerie des Universités de Paris|
|Budget||€91 million (2013)|
Red and white
It is considered as the direct inheritor of the Faculty of Law of Paris, the second-oldest faculty of Law in the world, founded in the 12th century. Following the division of the University of Paris (the "Sorbonne") in 1970, most of its law professors (88 out of 108) choose to perpetuate the faculty by creating and joining a university of law offering the same programs within the same two buildings. Panthéon-Assas currently provides law courses for the Sorbonne University.
The majority of the nineteen campuses of Panthéon-Assas are located in the Latin Quarter, with the main campuses on Place du Panthéon and Rue d'Assas - hence its current name. The university is composed of five departments specialising in law, political science, economics, journalism and media and public and private management, and it hosts twenty-four research centres and five specialised doctoral schools. Every year, the university enrolls approximately 18,000 students, including 3,000 international students.
When the University of Paris (nicknamed the Sorbonne), which had been founded in the middle of the 12th century and officially ceased to exist on 31 December 1970, following the student protests of 1968, the Faculty of Law and Economics of Paris professors had to choose the future of the faculty. Most of the law professors (88 out of 108) wished only to restructure it into a new university. In pursuit of this, they founded with professors of economics the "University of law, economics and social sciences of Paris" (Université de droit, d'économie et de sciences sociales de Paris), administratively shortened as "Paris II" and kept in it the research centers and teaching programs of the Paris Law faculty. Hence, it is generally considered as its direct inheritor.
The official name of the university was changed to "Panthéon-Assas (Paris II)" in 1990. The name Panthéon-Assas is a reference to the main addresses of the pre-1968 faculty of law of Paris, which are now part of the university; namely, the buildings on Place du Panthéon and Rue d'Assas. The university is also referred to as "Assas" or "Paris II", "Sorbonne-Assas" and "Sorbonne Law School".
After the creation of a new Sorbonne University, to which Panthéon-Assas provides law courses in joint degrees, Sorbonne University wanted to integrate Panthéon-Assas as a law school but Panthéon-Assas preferred to act as such as an independent university.
Panthéon-Assas is governed by an administration council, a scientific council, and a council for studies and university life. Members of these boards serve two year terms. The president of Panthéon-Assas is elected by members of the administration council, for a four-year tenure; he or she presides over this council. The president is assisted by two vice-presidents and several professors elected within their respective academic departments. Members of the administration council choose the faculty representatives who make up the scientific council.
The university inherited the academic departments from the Faculty of Law of Paris. It currently houses five of them: one for private law and criminal sciences, one for public law and political science, one for Roman law and legal history, one for economics and management, and one for journalism and communication.
The university has 18 campuses in Paris, one in the city of Melun and other abroad.
In 1753, Louis XV decided that a new building would be constructed for the faculty of law. Jacques-Germain Soufflot, alumnus of the faculty who had become the architect of the King designed and supervised the construction. It took place from 1771 to 1773 and the new building opened in 1774.
History under the Faculty of Law of Paris
The largest campus of Panthéon-Assas is located on rue d'Assas and receives second-year to four-year law students. It was designed by Charles Lemaresquier, Alain le Normand and François Carpentier to accommodate the growing number of students at the University of Paris. It was built between 1959 and 1963 on the former grounds of Société Marinoni. At the time of its inauguration, its main lecture theatre was the largest in France, with 1,700 seats
Renovation and expansion in the 21st century
The Assas building has been hosting concerts of classical music for decades. Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Martha Argerich, Gundula Janowitz, Christa Ludwig, Alfred Brendel, Arthur Rubinstein, Seiji Ozawa, Carlo Maria Giulini, or Samson François, among others, have performed in it. The 28th edition of the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs has been held in it in 2017.
The campus on rue de Vaugirard gathers first-year students. It is located in the chapel wing of the defunct Jesuit College of the Immaculate Conception, where Charles de Gaulle had been a pupil; the chapel itself, dating from the eighteenth century, was transformed into a lecture theatre in the 1980s. The structure is a national heritage site as well. The campus on rue Charcot receives third-year and master students of economics. South-east of Paris, the campus in Melun, which opened in 1987, gathers over a thousand first-cycle students who do not reside in Paris.
The Center of Roman Law and Legal History of Paris 2, hosting its research centers in Legal History, is situated inside the Collège Sainte-Barbe, former school founded in 1460. The school was founded by Pierre Antoine Victor de Lanneau, teacher of religious studies, as a college of the University of Paris. Ignace de Loyola, Gustave Eiffel, Alfred Dreyfus and others were students there.
The campus in the city of Melun hosts local first-year students. It is located in the old town of Melun, on Saint-Étienne Island, among Roman and Gothic remains. The Institute of Law and Economics of Pantheon-Assas University is located there. It has extension under work.
The university inherited the research centers from the Faculty of Law of Paris. Originally, the faculty of law was not organized around research centers and professors were pursuing their research as part of faculty of law in general. Hence, only newly emerging fields of research would have newly created institutes, whereas traditional subjects such as Roman Law and Legal History, Private Law in general and Public law in general, would not necessarily have ones.
Currently, among the research centers at Paris 2, there are:
- the Institute of Legal History, which is one of the largest research center in Roman Law and Legal History of Europe. It hosts the Société d'histoire du droit ("Legal History Society", for French legal historians), created in 1913 by professors of Legal History at the Faculty of Law of Paris. Created in 2001 as such, the Institute of Legal History regroups the Centre de Documentation des Droits Antiques, created in 1962, the Centre d’Histoire des Institutions and the Centre d’Études d’Histoire Juridique, created in 1953. It is now also attached to the CNRS and to the French National Archives.
- the Institute of Higher International Studies, founded in 1921 by Paul Fauchille and Albert de Lapradelle.
- the Paris Institute of Criminology and Criminal Law, founded in 1922, the oldest research center in Criminal Law of France.
- the Paris Institute of Comparative Law, founded in 1931 by Henri Capitant and Henri Lévy-Ullmann.
- the French Press Institute, founded in 1937 at the Faculty of Law of Paris by Boris Mirkine-Guetzevitch (professor of Law) and Georges Bourdon (Secretary General of Unions of journalists). It is the first research center in journalism and media studies in France.
- the Research Center in Business Law, created in 1945 by Joseph Hamel.
Each research center usually has one or several Research LL.M. attached to it.
The campuses at rue d'Assas, rue de Vaugirard and Melun host the university libraries, which are open to all the students. The university's research centres, institutes and reading rooms host twenty-two more specialized libraries. The total seating area of the university's libraries spans over 3,400 m2, and the university's collections gather over three hundred thousand volumes together.
Faculty and students of the university also have free access to Cujas Library, which is the largest law library in Europe and to general research and study libraries in Paris, like the Sainte-Geneviève Library or the French National Library.
Journals and publications
Panthéon-Assas hosts several faculty-led publications in French: Jus Politicum ("Political Law") since 2008, the Revue de droit d'Assas ("Assas Legal Journal") since 2010 and Droits fondamentaux ("Human Rights") since 2012. They are all available online.
Programs and schools
The undergraduate law program of Panthéon-Assas is selective, with an acceptance rate of 14%. The first-year pass rate in law hovers around 40%. Panthéon-Assas accepts only 3% of transfer requests. Admission to the second year of the university's master programs is selective as well, some of these programs admitting only 1.7% of applicants.
Graduate programs (Masters)
The four 4 Masters in Law or LL.M. ("DES" in Law) of the Faculty of Law of Paris were (by order of importance at their creation in 1925 and of mention in the decree): 1° Roman Law and History of Law, 2° Private Law, 3° Public Law and, starting in 1964, Criminal Law. They are now, as "Master 2" or "Parcours" (meaning a second-year "path", within a 2-year masters), the:
- LL.M. in History of Law (Research), with the Institute of Legal History. Albert Rigaudière, member of the Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles Lettres, was its director.
- LL.M. in General Private Law (Research), with the Civil Law Research Center. According to Le Nouvel Observateur, "considered as a star-degree of the faculty, long been the pet of headhunters, it trains the virtuosi of the law". Pierre Raynaud was its director at the Faculty of Law of Paris before 1970 and at Paris II afterwards.
- LL.M. in Specialized Public Law (Research). It was once directed by Yves Gaudemet, member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques.
- LL.M. in Criminal Law (Research), with the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Law of Paris.
Originally exclusively linked to research and doctoral studies, the 5th-year LL.M. is now part of the Master program and has become the norm in France for lawyers (including barristers). They have become quite selective and in competition with one another (among all the programs in France). Many LL.M. programs have been created at Paris II since the Decree of 16 April 1974 authorizing more LL.M.s than the 3 and eventually 4 original ones.
Collège de droit and École de droit
On top of its core curriculum, Panthéon-Assas developed a number of internal "university diplomas" delivered to its top students. In particular, the Collège de droit (3-year undergraduate diploma) and the École de droit (2-year graduate diploma) were largely talked about in the press, which talked about this program as constituting a "prestigious" "way of excellence" for "top-level lawyers".
Paris 2 offers international integrated undergraduate programs (Bachelor-Double maîtrise) with universities such as Oxford University, University College London, King's College London, University College Dublin. It offers international integrated postgraduate programs (LL.M.-Master 2) with some universities such as, on top of the latter ones, Boston University, Humboldt University of Berlin, Ludwig Maximilians University, Sapienza University of Rome, University of Padua.
Yale Law School and Paris II signed in June 2011 an Agreement for Collaborative Activities to create an environment for long-term joint research, exchange. and programming activities. They organize, together with the ESSEC Business School, a summer school in law and economics, the Yale-Paris II-Essec Summer School.
Joint academic programs
Panthéon-Assas offers several joint undergraduate and graduate programs with Sorbonne University. It has also joint programs with other French universities and institutions such as INSEAD, Paris-Dauphine University, ESSEC Business School, HEC Paris, or École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris.
In 2013, the university set up an e-learning platform, called Agor@ssas. It created that year a distance-learning undergraduate degree in law, the first and unique one in France. It is taught by professors from Paris II and leads to exactly the same degree offerings the same rights. In addition, "e-students" have access to "e-tutors" to help them with pedagogical and administrative questions.
In July 2012, Panthéon-Assas became the first university in France to open preparatory school for the bar school entrance examination, which were until this point the monopoly of private preparatory schools. These courses were offered for a cheap price, and for free for the students with low-income family (10% of the students of the preparatory school). This led private preparatory schools to plead unfair competition and the justice asked Paris II to close the school.
Reputation and rankings
The French Research and Higher Education Evaluation Agency stated in 2013: "Paris II University presents itself as a university of excellence. This claim is not abusive. The university occupies – in Paris, in France, in the European Union and, more broadly, in the international scientific community – a prominent place. The university's reputation and notoriety has not been usurped. They are based on teaching and research activities as well as publications whose quality is recognized and celebrated in academia. And this beyond frontiers."
Panthéon-Assas University is often described as the "top law school in France". It is ranked first of France in law in the French Eduniversal rankings. In QS World University Rankings, based on English speaking publications, the university is ranked in law 62nd worldwide.
Most of the students admitted at the French National School for the Judiciary come from Panthéon-Assas, more than 40% in 2011 (people who went to Assas Faculty of Law and then passed the exam from elsewhere not included).
Economics and business
Assas undergraduate program has been ranked fifth in 2020 by Eduniversal.
Assas was in 2011 the second best-ranked university in France (behind Paris-Dauphine University) for its master's degrees in business fields, with 20 ranked masters (law included) in Eduniversal ranking. In 2016, it was first of France in International business, 1st in Decisional computing and 2nd in Finance and banking.
This section is about notable faculty from Panthéon-Assas University (since 1971). To see a list of notable faculty of the Faculty of Law of Paris (before 1970), see that article.
The dates are the dates of professorship at the Faculty of Law of Paris and at University of Paris II.
Among the professors of Panthéon-Assas who reformed French or foreign laws, there are:
- Jean Foyer, who was a close advisor of the Général de Gaulle, one of the main writers of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, Minister of Justice under Charles de Gaulle and who put in motion important reforms of many parts of French Law (family, ownership and business, nationality, etc.).
- Jean Carbonnier (1955-1976), who renewed huge parts of the French Civil Code in the 1960s and 1970s, and especially family law.
- Gérard Cornu (1967-...), who wrote the new French Code of Civil Procedure in the late 1970s and is also well known in France for his Dictionary of Legal Vocabulary, translated in English.
- Serge Guinchard, head of the first Judicial Studies Institutes of France (in Panthéon-Assas) in the 1990s and head of several governmental commissions for criminal procedure and criminal law reforms in the 2000s in France, Senegal and for the Council of Europe.
- Pierre Catala, who reformed inheritance law and law of donations with Jean Carbonnier in the 2000s, and who initiated the reform of French contract law, tort Law and law of evidence, and was the head of the official committee for its reform
- François Terré (1969-1999), president in 2008 of the legal section of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques, head of the private committee for the reform of French Law of Obligations.
- Jean-Claude Martinez (1983-...), special advisor of Hassan II of Morocco supervising the creation of the first Moroccan Tax Code
Members of the Institut de France
The Institut de France is a learned society which was created as such in 1795 and maintained close links with Napoléon Bonaparte. It regroups 5 Académies, by subject (Science, Arts and the 3 other listed below).
- Suzanne Bastid, faculty of Paris 2 and first woman professor of Law of France, has been the first female member of the history of the whole Institut de France.
Among its members or former members, there are:
- Académie des sciences morales et politiques (Philosophy, Law and Politics): Suzanne Bastid, Prosper Weil, François Terré, Pierre Delvolvé, Yves Gaudemet, Henri Mazeaud (1939-...), Roland Drago and Louis Vogel. Suzanne Bastid and François Terré have been president of the Académie.
- Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres (History), created in 1663 by Jean-Baptiste Colbert under Louis XIV: Albert Rigaudière.
- Académie Française (Language), created in 1635 by the cardinal de Richelieu: Georges Vedel.
Among faculties that had prominent positions in the Judiciary, there are:
- Georges Vedel (1949-1979), former member of the Constitutional Council of France
- Jacques Robert (1969-1979), former member of the Constitutional Council of France
- Philippe Ardant, former president of the Constitutional Court of the principality of Andorra and former president of the Arab World Institute
- Dominique Chagnollaud, former member of the Supreme Court of Monaco
Presidents of university
To this day, Panthéon-Assas has been governed by ten presidents. The founding president, Berthold Goldman, a jurist, was succeeded by Jacques Robert, former member of the Constitutional Council of France, who was followed by Jean Boulouis, a private law jurist. Next came another private law jurist, Georges Durry, followed by Philippe Ardant, former president of the Constitutional Court of the Principality of Andorra and former president of the Arab World Institute. Panthéon-Assas was then presided by Bernard Teyssié, a specialist in social law, who was succeeded by Jacqueline Dutheil de la Rochère, a public law jurist. She was followed by Louis Vogel, a private law jurist. He implemented numerous innovations, the aim of which has been to adapt the education given at the University of Paris to the needs of the 21st century. He was elected head of the Presidents of Universities of France Society in 2010. Guillaume Leyte, a legal historian, was elected president of the university on June 20, 2012, and reelected in 2016. On November 30, 2020, Stéphane Braconnier, a public law professor, has been elected as the new president of the university, succeeding Guillaume Leyte.
- Suzanne Bastid (1947-1977), the first woman professor of Law of France, first woman to be a member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques and secretary General of the Institute of International Law (Nobel prize 1904).
- Henri Mazeaud (1939-1971), twin brother of Léon Mazeaud, resistant to Nazi Germany and deported to Buchenwald, honorary professor at Paris 2.
- Henri Batiffol, professor of international Private Law and professor at the Institute of International Law.
- Yves Lequette, professor of private law and international Private Law and professor at the Institute of International Law.
- Joe Verhoeven, former the general secretary of the Institute of International Law
- Olivier Beaud, professor of Public Law
- Gérard Cornu, author of the Dictionnaire de linguistique juridique
- David Naccache, forensic expert at the International Criminal Court and member of the Computer Science Laboratory of the École normale supérieure
Among faculties that had prominent political positions, there are:
- Edmond Alphandéry, former French minister of economy
- Jean Foyer, former minister of Justice
- Roger-Gérard Schwartzenberg, former minister of Research
- Abderrazak Zouaoui, Tunisian minister of economy
- Hugues Portelli, member of the Senate of France
- Roger-Gérard Schwartzenberg, member of the French Parliament, former minister of research and former member of the European Parliament
- Jean-Claude Martinez, member of the French Parliament and of the European Parliament
- Nicole Catala, former member of the French National Assembly
This section is about notable alumni from Panthéon-Assas University (since 1971). To see a list of notable alumni of the Faculty of Law of Paris (before 1970), see that article.
Among alumni of Paris II who had significant role in politics in France, there are:
- François Hollande, former president
- Dominique de Villepin, former prime minister of France, former minister of the interior and former minister of foreign affairs
- Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former prime minister of France and senator
- Claude Chirac, advisor to former President of France Jacques Chirac
- Michèle Alliot-Marie, former French minister of justice, minister of the interior, minister of defence and minister of foreign and European affairs.
- Christiane Taubira, French minister of justice, former member of the French National Assembly and former member of the European Parliament
- Martine Aubry, former first secretary of the Socialist Party of France, mayor of Lille, former minister of social affairs, and member of Parliament
- Rachida Dati, member of the European Parliament and former French minister of justice
- François Baroin, member of the French National Assembly, former French minister of finance, minister of the interior, and minister for overseas territories
- Marine Le Pen, prominent politician
- Claude Goasguen, member of the French National Assembly and former minister
- Bruno Gollnisch, member of the European Parliament and former member of the French National Assembly
- Corinne Lepage, member of the European parliament, former French minister of the environment
- Gabriel Attal, spokesman of french government
Outside of France
- Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, president of Greece since 2020
- Catherine Samba-Panza, first female president of the Central African Republic
- Prokopis Pavlopoulos, president of Greece, former member of the Hellenic Parliament and former Greek minister of the interior
- Pierre-Damien Habumuremyi , Prime Minister (Rwanda)
- Panagiotis Pikrammenos, former president of the Greek Council of State
- Evangelos Venizelos, former deputy prime minister of Greece, former Greek minister of finance
- Néstor Osorio Londoño, permanent representative of Colombia to the United Nations, former permanent representative of Colombia to the International Coffee Organization and executive director of the International Coffee Organization, former and first permanent representative of Colombia to the World Trade Organization
Judiciary and Law
Among alumni of Paris II who had significant role in the judiciary and in Law, there are:
- Joaquim Barbosa, former president of the Supreme Federal Court of Brasil
- Yves Bot, general attorney at the Court of Justice of the European Union
- Mireille Delmas-Marty, member of the Institut de France, professor and activist
- Emmanuel Gaillard, chairman of the International Arbitration Institute and former professor at Harvard Law School
- Éric Halphen, anti-corruption French judge
- Raymond Ranjeva, vice-president of the International Court of Justice
- Vassilikí Thánou-Christophílou, president of the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court of Greece and Prime Minister
- Daniel Turp, professor of Llaw and member of the National Assembly of Quebec
Among alumni of Paris II who had significant role in the media, there are:
- Claire Chazal, anchor at TF1
- Laurent Delahousse, anchor at France 2
- Jean-Pierre Elkabbach, journalist
- Marc-Olivier Fogiel, TV and radio host
- Bernard Rapp, investigative journalist
- Léa Salamé, anchor at France 2 ;
- Thomas Sotto, anchor at Europe 1
Heads of media
- Cécilia Sarkozy, former First Lady of France
- Henri Giscard d'Estaing, son of former President of France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
- Floriane Chinsky, female rabbi
- Corinne Coman, Miss France 2003 and top of class at Paris II
- Raphaël Haroche (Raphael), singer
- Catherine Guillouard, president of RATP Group
- Denis Hennequin, president of Accor
- Maxime Lombardini, director of Iliad
- Ludwik Sobolewski, president of Warsaw Stock Exchange from 2006 to 2013 then president of Bucharest Stock Exchange
- Higher education in France
- Law schools in France
- Paris Law Faculty
- The Savary bill of 1984 aimed at centering universities on "education and research units" (French: unités de formation et de recherche) which match academic departments— offering both undergraduate and graduate programs—to research centres. Panthéon-Assas comprises six of these units: one for first cycle and basic legal qualification in law and political science, one for second and third cycles in law and political science, one for economics and management, one for private and public management, the French Press Institute, and the Institute of Judicial Studies.
- The origin of this degree lies in the "doctorate courses" that existed in legal studies in France until they were replaced in 1925 by the Diplôme d'études supérieures en France ("DES"). The Decree of the 2 May 1925 created in each faculty of Law 4 DES: DES in Legal History Roman Law, DES in Private Law, DES in public Law and DES in Politics and Economics. It required students to obtain two of them undergraduate studies to be able to begin a doctorate (PhD). In 1964, the undergraduate studies took 4 years (4-year licence, and eventually 3-year licence and a one-year maîtrise) and only one DES was necessary to begin a doctorate. 2 additional DES are created in each faculty: DES in Criminal Law and Politics and Economics are separated in two DES.
The Decree of the 16 April 1974 replaced the DES with the Diplôme d'études approfondies ("DEA") for research and afterwards the Diplôme d'études supérieures spécialisées ("DESS") for professional orientation. Additional LL.M. (DESS or DEA) are created. In 2005, with the Bologna Process, these two degrees are replaced with a second year of Master ("Master 2") degree with a selection of students among the general pool of students in France after the first year of Master ("Master 1", following the 3-year licence). "Master 2" programs are sometimes divided between the Master 2 Research (inheritors of the DEA programs) and the Master 2 Professional (inheritors of the DESS). In 2021, Paris II followed new government rules to select students after the 3-year licence to do a two-year masters' degree with specific "parcours" ("paths") in second year (corresponding to the LL.M.). The masters' degree is mandatory to pursue a PhD degree.
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Media related to Université Panthéon-Assas at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Video of presentation from the university: Panthéon-Assas, Le film institutionnel
- Pictures of the campus
- Pictures of the main Library
- "Rénovation studieuse à l'université Panthéon-Assas", by batiactu.com (pictures of the new learning center in the Assas building)