Prof. Jérôme Pélisse of Sciences Po visits the Amsterdam Law School for a ACT Lecture.
Jérôme Pélisse is a professor of sociology at Sciences Po and a researcher at the CSO since September 2015. He was formerly a lecturer at the University of Reims and then at Versailles Saint Quentin in Yvelines where he was awarded a CNRS chair and directed the PRINTEMPS laboratory (Professions, Institutions, Temporalities, UMR CNRS) between 2011 and 2013. Co-founder of the GIS GESTES, which he led between 2011 and 2015, he develops a set of research combining sociology of work and sociology of law, sociology of industrial relations, organizations and public policy. In various fields - employment policies, changes in industrial relations in companies, health and safety issues (particularly related to nano risks), uses of labor law, judicial expertise -, he focuses on the processes of endogenisation of law within organizations, as well as on the day-to-day relationship to the law that actors develop in work situations. He is currently studying various figures of legal intermediaries, especially those who are not recognized legal professionals, to analyze the processes of juridicisation of labor relations and economic activities.
Legal intermediation is an emerging theoretical concept developed to grasp the importance of the process and actors who contribute to legal endogenization, in particular in the field of economic activities and work governed by various public regulations. This communication proposes to extend the analytical category of legal intermediary to all actors who, even if they are not legal professionals, deal on a daily basis with legal categories and provisions. In order to deepen our understanding of these actors and their contribution to how organizations frame legality, this paper investigates four examples of legal intermediaries who are not legal professionals. Based on field surveys conducted over the past 15 years in France on employment policy, industrial relations, occupational health and safety regulation, and forensic economics, this study makes three contributions.
First, the cases show the diversity of legal intermediaries and their growing reflexive roles in our complex economies. The paper suggests the increasing complexity and ambiguity of legal rules coupled with the shift from government to governance provide legal intermediaries greater opportunities to influence law and social change. Second, while they are not legal professionals per se, to different degrees, these legal intermediaries assume roles similar to those of legal professionals such as legislators, judges, lawyers, inspectors, cops, and even clerks. Finally, depending on their level of legitimacy and power, the study shows how legal intermediaries take part in the process of legal endogenization and facilitate or inhibit social change. The paper analyzes more broadly how they frame ordinary legality, by filtering law through non-legal logics emanating from various organizational fields.