Overseas Countries
and Territories Association

Dictionnaire juridique image

First legal dictionary on French Overseas law

French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna

A dictionary on French Overseas law was presented to the ministry of overseas territories in France this September. This is dictionary co-written by Géraldine Giraudeau and Mathieu Maisonneuve.

This encyclopedic dictionary is the first comprehensive legal work devoted to the French overseas territories. The work aims to offer a study of all overseas themes, whether they are specific to certain territories or reveal common issues. It includes a variety of perspectives, including international law and comparative law.

The project stemmed from Geraldine Giraudeau “three years earlier from the observation that the law of the French overseas territories was the poor relation of legal studies” explains Mathieu Maisonneuve. “This is a sort of paradox because the Overseas Territories represent 17% of the French territory, almost three million inhabitants, and 90% of France’s biodiversity. Yet there were not any studies that addressed the law of overseas territories in the margins.”

Géraldine Giraudeau is a law professor at the University of Perpignan and an associate member of law and economic research at the University of New Caledonia and Mathieu Maisonneuve is a public law professor at the University of Aix Marseille and an associate member of the legal research centre of la reunion.

“The law that applies in Reunion Island and the law that applies in New Caledonia or in French Polynesia are not the same. The law of Reunion, like the law of Guyana or the law of the West Indies, is more or less similar to the law of France. It is much less true in Wallis and Futuna, in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon or in Polynesia”, explains Mathieu Maisonneuve.

Laws of the country”, “Autonomists/independents”, “Languages”, “Real equality”, “Customary status”, “Nuclear tests”, but also “Cyclones”, “Cockfights”, “Sharks”, “Sea grant”, “Center of material and moral interests”, “Black code”, “Invasive exotic species“, or even “Rum” are some of the 150 entries in this dictionary. They are the result of the collective work of nearly 100 authors, specialists in all branches of law and other disciplines.

More information here (french): Le tout premier dictionnaire juridique des Outre-mer vient de paraître – Ou (francetvinfo.fr)