Léon Duguit

Léon Duguit (1859–1928) was a major French scholar of administrative law. After a stint at Caen from 1882 to 1886, he was appointed to a chair of constitutional law at the University of Bordeaux during 1892, where one of his colleagues was Émile Durkheim.

Duguit's novel objectivist theory of public and constitutional law, developed in amicable rivalry with his colleague Maurice Hauriou of Toulouse, was to have a lasting effect on the development of these parts of law. In Duguit's opinion, the state was not a mythical Sovereign inherently superior to all its subjects, or even a particularly powerful legal person, but merely a group of people engaged in public service, the activity constituting and legitimising the state. Although critical of notions such as sovereignty, democracy, legal personhood and even property to the extent it is not legitimised by a social purpose, he distinguished himself from Marxists by emphasizing the function of the economy for the development of the state.
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