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Problem-Solving Justice in French Civil and Commercial Matters


Ludovic Pailler


Problem-solving justice ((PSJ) is not controversial in French legal literature. It is not an explicit objective for either the courts or the legislator. Judges are formally required to rule on legal issues not to settle extra-legal issues. However, one can observe some current mechanisms that are connected to PSJ, or getting closer to it. In particular, certain changes in the judicial office, particularly in family matters, and the new ways to collaborate with courts, achieve some of the PSJ goals without corresponding exactly to its definition. In addition, a new concept of ‘therapeutic justice’, currently emerging in France, appears to be an equivalent to problem solving justice. It aims at further involving the specific people concerned in the decision-making process, at easing the conflict and at taking into account the impact of the trial on the individuals’ well-being. However, while arguably promising, therapeutic justice remains under-used in France, except in family matters and other limited initiatives that are still quite specific in nature.
How to Cite: Pailler, L., 2019. Problem-Solving Justice in French Civil and Commercial Matters. Utrecht Law Review, 14(3), pp.31–39. DOI:
Published on 29 Jan 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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