Noémie Turgis successfully completed her doctoral defence at the Université de Paris I (Panthéon Sorbonne) on 6 December. The thesis was entitled Transitional Justice and International Law, and the jury gave it the highest accolade possible: mention très honorable avec félicitations du jury, and recommendations for publication and for a prize.
From left: Prof. Vincent Chetail (Institut des Hautes Études Internationales et du
Développement), myself, Prof. Denis Simon (Paris I), Dr. Turgis, Prof. Xavier Philippe (Paul Cézanne Aix-
Marseille III) and Prof. Jean-Marc Sorel, who was the supervisor.Professor Sorel is not wearing his gown, having passed it to Noémie after she had successfully finished the defence.
This is the doctoral defence à la française, which is held publicly and is generally attended by fellow doctoral students, friends and family, as was the case here. The defence takes several hours - in this case, about three - and includes substantial statements or speeches by the members of the jury. Although it is generally a foregone conclusion that the thesis will be accepted, the important issue concerns the conclusion of the jury and the recommendations, which can have a decisive effect on the candidate's career.
Traditionally, when it is all over the candidate hosts the members of the jury and the guests at a reception that involves good food and champagne, a nice tradition that universities in other countries should encourage.