Université Lille 2 Droit et Santé

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Monday 29 November 2021
Ecole Doctorale 74
Faculté de Droit
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59000 - Lille -France
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Viva voce examinations of PhD Thesis

Mortal remains, a Sacred thing Rediscovering a forgotten juridical category (4 jull. 2008, 14:30)

27/06/2008 23:23 Age: 13 an(s)
Category: Private Law PhD, CRDP-LEREDS , Xavier Labbée

By: Popu Hélène

This Private Law PhD thesis was realised inside the LEREDS and supervised by

Xavier Labbée

For a long time, law did not show any interest in death and did not care about the body, which was left to the doctors’ expertise and to the priests’ rituals. Then, scientific and technological progress was made. It therefore became necessary to reflect upon the status of the mortal remains. Traditional doctrine agrees that once separated from the person, the human body is an object.

The aim of the following paper is to demonstrate that, nevertheless, the corpse is not some trivial object ordinarily covered by the laws pertaining to goods and chattels.

The usual descriptions concerning movable things, fixed things or dangerous things can certainly be used. However they are insufficient because, above all, the body is sacred. This concept will be considered in its most secular sense, i.e. as something worthy of respect.

This description, founded by the Romans and which seems to be the one prevailing nowadays, will enable us to explain the laws pertaining to the mortal remains, the responsibilities towards them and to justify the implementation of funerary rituals surrounding this body that has become a thing.

Mortal remains - corpse/body - sacred thing - burial place - cremation - burial - cryonics - funeral rites - funerary law - usufruct - respect for the dead.