The Fondation, a tool for ensuring a global legal balance
The Fondation pour le Droit Continental was created to bolster the influence of continental law and contribute to ensuring striking a global legal balance.
Several families of legal systems can be identified, in particular those countries that practice Anglo-American law, or Common Law, and the family of the countries governed by continental law, or civil law, to which France belongs.
Common Law has a high-profile presence on the international stage, to the significant detriment of our legal and economic environment. That is why the influence of the continental tradition and the promotion of its benefits should be developed, especially in all that regards the impact that legal rules exert on the economy.
Law as a Vehicle to Economic Competitiveness
Entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike now view the law as a means for spurring economic competitiveness.
It serves as a protection against litigation risk and as a means of consolidating a strong foothold in negotiations. Good legal services, for example, endow a product with protection against counterfeiting and pirating. Inadequate legal services, on the other hand, could jeopardize the company’s balance if it mishandles the inherent legal risk that exists in any business action.
While it is true that the law is the expression of a society’s fundamental choices, it is also a product and service that is sold and exported. The legal services industry is also worth mentioning. Law can be an attractiveness factor for investors and improves the overall business environment. The diversity of available legal techniques gives rise to a range of flexible solutions for economic decision-makers and allows them to better adapt to international competitiveness.
The Multiple Benefits of Continental Law
Continental law is an accessible legal system, largely because it is based on codified law. It is a legal system that is geared toward preventing lawsuits and lending legal certainty to commercial transactions, in that it relies on rules established in advance rather than on rulings handed down a posteriori by a judge. Continental law is characterized by its concern for striking a balance between the parties to an agreement; its flexibility; and its openness to all sources of law. Lastly, it is a relatively inexpensive legal system, in terms of counsel fees as well as litigation costs. In addition, it allows for cutting down on legal expenses related to economic transactions.
The Legal Aspect of Economic Competition
The continental legal system and similar hybrid systems represent approximately 60 % of the worldwide GDP, while the Common Law system represents around 35%.
The strong presence of Anglo-American law is very noticeable in international commerce. This is a result of its distinctive features, but it is also attributable to the power of the United States economy, the linguistic predominance of English, and the solid professional organization of American and British lawyers in the form of large law firms.
Civil-law legal professionals, regardless of their nationality, are now organizing in order to play their full part in global competition.
The Fondation conducts safeguards an international legal monitoring and compiles an inventory of the multiple initiatives that exist within the realm of global legal competition. On that basis, it analyzes the needs of its partners. It sets thematic and geographic priorities, specifically geared to the countries that make up the emerging markets on the international stage, such as China, Russia, and Brazil, along with countries that neighbor the European Union.
The Fondation’s efforts to ensure a level playing field for our legal system, as well as the experience and knowledge gained from the standpoint of its partners have enabled it identify certain areas for improving our law.
It is also a commitment undertaken by the Fondation’s public partners to accept to take into account in their decision-making process those specific elements derived from the experience of actions that have been implemented by the Fondation’s partners.
The Fondation’s Objectives
- To promote the benefits of written and codified laws on the international stage in order to strike a balance between the diverse legal systems, based on innovative, high-quality research, as well as on a wide-reaching policy of dissemination
- To generate a sense of solidarity among civil-law legal professionals as a means of orchestrating joint efforts to promote this legal system
- To implement a legal influence strategy at the international level in the interests of civil-law companies
- To enhance the expertise of legal professionals on a global scale
- To reinforce and develop the international presence of the continental law stakeholders
- To contribute, through training, to the worldwide expansion of civil-law legal professionals
How It Works
Development to serve the Fondation’s Partners
The Fondation pour le droit continental is a flexible structure that comprises various legal participants: businesses, representatives of the public sector, legal and accounting professionals, and academics.
Its strong point is serving as a tool for collective action for public and private professional institutions and associations, both in France as well as abroad, which are brought together on a case by case basis, by consensus, to carry out concrete projects.
The Fondation plays a complementary role to the broad array of existing initiatives. It seeks to support stakeholders in the competition between legal systems, decentralized innovation, and the pooling of resources for economies of scale.
The partnership with countries of the same continental legal tradition is a benefit that the Fondation has set up. In respecting the diversity of the competencies and interests of each, this structure ensures a broad array of benefits for the entire group of stakeholders.
A Meeting Place for Legal and Economic Affairs
The Fondation pour le droit continental serves as a meeting place for legal and economic stakeholders:
- A crossroads of multiple initiatives that make continental law known on the international stage
- Mobilization of stakeholders to create awareness of the issues, to reinforce their confidence in the legal tools of the continental tradition, and to pool their competencies
- Guarantee to preserve each stakeholder’s independence, specifically with regard to public authorities, as well as the transparency of actions through certified published accounts of independence
- Work on sustainability
- Provision of a structure to better communicate in the public interests that are at stake, especially within international legal venues
A High-Performance Public-Private Partnership
Most of the Fondation’s capital has been built from the legal professions and the companies that were involved in its creation. That translates to a majority of seats on the Board of Directors, and thus the institution’s truly autonomous decision-making process. However, the partnership with public authorities, government offices, and high courts is also a distinctive feature of the Fondation. It can therefore rely on the resources and competencies of the public sector to support its projects. In the end, a successful public-private balance has been attained.