jurisprudence de principe


I'm translating a text about competition law. I understand that 'jurisprudence' is 'case law', but I'm puzzled by this mention of 'jurisprudence de principe' in the sentence below. What does the 'de principe' bit mean?

À cet égard, la jurisprudence de principe de la Cour mentionnée ci-dessus a rappelé qu’une mesure nationale restreignant les exportations parallèles afin de lutter contre les pénuries en médicaments à usage humain et, dès lors de protéger la santé publique, doit être proportionnée à l’objectif de santé publique poursuivi.
  • dasubergeek

    Senior Member
    English - US; French - CH
    I would translate it as "controlling case law". That's certainly not a literal translation, but it's as close as I can come to a definition that American attorneys would understand.


    Senior Member
    English - US; French - CH
    To expand a little bit, and to use American examples (sorry if you are British, Canadian or Australian!) the courts will sometimes rule based on the merits of the case, and sometimes it will be a technicality. For example, someone sues company X for doing something illegal, and the appeals court decides the person has no standing to sue company X, then the case law there would not be "jurisprudence de principe". Someone might still cite it later when trying to challenge another plaintiff's standing, but couldn't use it to say that the court said company X's actions were illegal.

    Take, though, Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled on the merits of the case of segregation and found it illegal—Brown v. Board of Education is "une jurisprudence de principe".
    < Previous | Next >