Le Collectif Onze

An Enquiry in the Courts Publication date : November 18, 2013

This book was proposed and written by eleven social scientists: Céline Bessière (University of Paris-Dauphine), Emilie Biland (U. of Laval), Benoît Coquard (U. of Poitiers), Aurélie Fillod-Chabaud (European University Institute), Sibylle Gollac (CNRS), Wilfried Lignier (CNRS), Murielle Mille (EHESS), Julie Minoc (U. of Versailles), Samuel Neuberg (EHESP), Sabrina Nouiri-Mangold (EHESS) and Hélène Steinmetz (ENS).

The breakup of a couple is a personal affair. But when couples separate, especially if they are married or have children, they surrender their privacy to the scrutiny of a public institution: the law.
The aim of this book is to show and analyse the confrontation between the law and the personal and family problems of people who in most cases were totally unprepared to appear in court.
The Groupe Onze carried out investigations in five French civil courts, covering 330 cases that were heard by 16 different judges. They also examined many other cases and interviewed 21 magistrates, as well as court clerks, lawyers and social-service agents.
The book offers a unique picture of divorce in France today. It shows the effects of massification on the legal system and the law’s limited impact on social and gender inequalities. Eschewing altruistic and ideological arguments, the authors’ first and foremost goal is to enable those who are directly involved (whether as professionals or as clients) to speak out.

• A unique, nationwide enquiry covering a wide social base.
• An exceptional viewpoint revealing the reality of divorce in France today.