Public Law is structured around the idea of the State. It is understood to be the set of principles and rules that govern the State, the status of its institutions and apparatus, and the relationships that these organs have with individuals. Public law was initially thought of via the distinction made between constitutional law and administrative law. Other sub-branches of this law were added, such as fundamental rights or land planning law. Public policy law is also beginning to assert itself in domains such as the economy, social welfare protection, mobility and transport, or even migration. These developments in public law are the expression of a transformation taking place in the State—one producing new types of regulations that are creating such phenomena as the globalisation of law and the privatisation of public law.
The mission of IDHEAP’s Public Law Unit is to describe, analyse and explain the social and legal transformations which take place within the State and, more precisely, its public administration. In this perspective, the public administration is considered both in its institutional dimension—the institutions of the State–and its functional dimension—public action. As part of a multidisciplinary institute, the Public Law Research Unit promotes an analytical methodology of the law which is easily accessible to the non-legal social sciences.