Violences juvéniles sous expertise(s): un ouvrage


Expertise has played an essential role in the historical construction of juvenile violence as a social problem. The expert, who is situated at the centre and periphery of the child protection system, gathers the expression of violence and gives it form. In so doing, he/she contributes to a more complex definition of violence : from physical to psychic violence, and even to symbolic violence. Since the 19th century, experts have moved beyond making simple diagnoses and entered the field of treatment of violence, joining others in the practice of care and rehabilitation. Physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, pedagogues, sociologists and anthropologists have addressed the question of youth at risk, helping to define a target population for public policies.

Dans la construction historique du problème social que constitue la violence juvénile, le rôle de l’expertise est primordial. L’expert, agissant au coeur ou à la lisière du système institutionnel de protection de la jeunesse, peut être celui qui recueille et met en forme l’expression de cette violence. De ce fait, il contribue à l’extension de sa définition : violence physique, mais aussi psychique, voire symbolique. Les experts dépassent alors la posture du simple diagnostic pour s’inscrire dans une démarche de soin et de réhabilitation sociale. Depuis le XIXe siècle, médecins, psychiatres, puis psychologues, pédagogues, sociologues et anthropologues, ont investi la question de la jeunesse irrégulière, contribuant ainsi à la définition d’une population-cible pour les politiques publiques.


Aurore François, chargée de recherche FRS-FNRS ; Veerle Massin, doctorante en histoire ; David Niget, chargé de recherche postdoctoral et coordonateur du projet de recherche ARC « Jeunesse et violence. Approches sociohistoriques », sont tous trois chercheurs au Centre d’histoire du droit et de la justice (CHDJ, UCL).


  • Fabricating risk… Sketching the history of expert power, Aurore François David Niget
  • Children as Transgressors in Urban Space Delinquency, Public Order and Philanthropy in the Ottoman Reform Era, Nazan Maksudyan
  • L’expertise médicale et psychopédagogique d’Ovide Decroly en action. Utiliser le « fardeau » qu’engendre l’inadaptation sociale au profit de la société, Marc Depaepe Frank Simon Angelo Van Gorp
  • Revising Reform: a Cultural History of Juvenile Justice Reform in the United States, Erik Paul Reavely
  • Violence et anormalité La déjudiciarisation des mineures délinquantes au profit des institutions psychiatriques (Belgique,1912-1965), Veerle Massin
  • Redefining the Delinquent Experts and Youth Gangs in the British and American Contexts, Tiffany Bergin
  • Usages des références françaises et internationales dans le développement et la promotion d’une expertise québécoise : la psychoéducation (1940-1970), Louise Bienvenue Lucia Ferretti
  • Legalism and Paternalism in Greece. Powerful Trends in the Reification of Risk and the Treatment of Juvenile Offenders, Vasso Artinopoulou Vassiliki Petoussi-Douli
  • Expertise as Fluency in Rhetorics of Fear Deviant Youth and Institutional Morals, Gregory Vance Smith
  • Les mesures « d’investigation » dans le champ de la justice des mineurs française Une expertise sous tensions, Anne-Cécile Broutelle Nicolas Sallée
  • Les « violences urbaines » revisitées par les « nouveaux experts en sécurité » Étude d’un cas d’expertise de violences juvéniles, Konstantinos Delemitsos
  • Les limites de l’expertise psychiatrique dans l’évaluation de la dangerosité juvénile La mise en observation des malades mentaux (loi de 1990) appliquée aux mineurs belges, Serge Goffinet Caroline Depuydt Alexandre Beine
  • Postface Les ruses de l’expertise, Michel Chauvière
  • Forensic Medicine in Western Society. A History (K. Watson)

    Publisher’s presentation

    The first book of its kind, Forensic Medicine in Western Society: A History draws on the most recent developments in the historiography, to provide an overview of the history of forensic medicine in the West from the medieval period to the present day. Taking an international, comparative perspective on the changing nature of the relationship between medicine, law and society, it examines the growth of medico-legal ideas, institutions and practices in Britain, Europe (principally France, Italy and Germany) and the United States.

    Following a thematic structure within a broad chronological framework, the book focuses on practitioners, the development of notions of ‘expertise’ and the rise of the expert, the main areas of the criminal law to which forensic medicine contributed, medical attitudes towards the victims and perpetrators of crime, and the wider influences such attitudes had. It thus develops an understanding of how medicine has played an active part in shaping legal, political and social change.

    Including case studies which provide a narrative context to tie forensic medicine to the societies in which it was practiced, and a further reading section at the end of each chapter, Katherine D. Watson creates a vivid portrait of a topic of relevance to social historians and students of the history of medicine, law and crime.

    Introduction 1. The Legal Inheritance 2. Medico-Legal Practice before the Modern Period 3. Experts and Expertise 4. Criminal Responsibility and the Insanity Defence 5. The Medicalization of Deviance 6. Twentieth-Century Developments in Forensic Medicine and Science Bibliography.

    Veleno. Credenze, crimini, saperi nell’Italia moderna

    Alessandro Pastore, Veleno. Credenze, crimini, saperi nell’Italia moderna. (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2010).
    Secondo il giudizio comune l’Italia del Rinascimento è un paese di intrighi, complotti e violenze; le sue piccole corti turbolente dove fioriscono le arti, scrisse nell’Ottocento il grande storico Burckhardt, sono abitate da uomini “nei quali la scelleratezza è portata al colmo, e che commettono il delitto per il delitto”. L’Italia del Rinascimento è l’Italia dei Borgia “spietati e scellerati”, il paese del pugnale e del veleno. Del veleno, soprattutto. Esperto ad un tempo di storia della giustizia e storia della medicina, Pastore nel suo nuovo libro pone dunque sotto la lente questo tema molto italiano, studiandolo nei più diversi aspetti. In primo luogo mette in luce come si sia venuta creando nel corso del tempo questa immagine dell’Italia come terra di avvelenatori poi, uscendo dal mondo delle corti e degli intrighi politici, studia come il delitto di veneficio sia trattato dai giuristi, ne riscontra casi concreti nelle carte dei tribunali, illustra le posizioni e le ricerche della medicina sia sull’identificazione dei veleni sia sulla preparazione degli antidoti.

    CFP: Panel on the history of forensic medicine and infanticide 18th-19th c. Utrecht, September 2011

    At the conference ‘Body and Mind in the History of Medicine and Health’, organized by the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, taking place 1-4 September 2011 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, we plan to organise a session on body and mind in forensic medicine, focussing on cases of infanticide in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since our own research is on England and Wales (Dr. Katherine Watson, Oxford Brookes University) and the Netherlands (Dr. Willemijn Ruberg, Utrecht University), we welcome proposals for papers on different countries, in order to facilitate international comparison. Questions that may be addressed include:

    * Who was allowed to examine the bodies and minds of women accused of infanticide?
    * How did different groups of experts (physicians, legal scholars, midwives, press and other lay people) claim knowledge on body and mind?
    * How did gender, class and racial identities shape the construction of knowledge on body and mind?
    * Can shifts be identified in the relationship between body and mind in cases of infanticide during the 18th and 19th centuries?
    * How did legal and medical organisation structure the definition of knowledge and expertise?
    * Which methodology might be adopted to study body-mind configurations in forensic medicine?
    * How can the study of forensic medicine be related to other debates in social and cultural history?

    Abstracts should not exceed one page and should include information concerning the scientific question examined, the sources and approach used and the (preliminary) results, as well as the title of the paper and name, affiliation, address and email address of the speaker. Please send your abstract before 15 October 2010, to: Dr. Willemijn Ruberg ( and Dr. Katherine Watson (

    For more information on the conference, see:

    Juger la folie au 19e siècle, par Laurence Guignard

    Parution de Laurence Guignard, Juger la folie. La folie criminelle devant les Assises au XIXe siècle (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2010)

    Présentation par l’éditeur
    Des faits-divers aux réformes pénales, le thème de la folie criminelle est aujourd’hui fortement médiatisé. L’ouvrage se propose de revenir sur son histoire et de saisir comment, au XIXe siècle, au moment où la psychiatrie prend son essor, la justice a discerné les fous des sains d’esprit, comment elle a appliqué l’article 64 du Code pénal sur l’irresponsabilité des déments et comment, au fil des enquêtes judiciaires et des procès, a pu émerger puis se conclure un « diagnostic judiciaire » d’aliénation mentale. L’intense effort d’élaboration d’une doctrine de la responsabilité ne résout que très partiellement les multiples difficultés pratiques auxquelles se confronte l’exercice du droit de punir. Du côté de la psychiatrie, les propositions contradictoires et fluctuantes des experts posent autant de questions qu’elles n’en résolvent. Les conceptions neuves de la folie comme la monomanie homicide, véritable folie du crime qui surgit dans le corpus médical autour de 1817, les instincts, l’hérédité morbide ou la dégénérescence, forment en effet autant de limites problématiques à l’exercice de la volonté libre supposée diriger le sujet responsable. C’est alors la notion d’inconscient, non encore établie, qui travaille souterrainement la médecine mentale du premier XIXe siècle, faisant des salles d’audience un véritable laboratoire du sujet moderne. Dans la lignée des travaux de Michel Foucault, mais aussi de Gladys Swain et Marcel Gauchet, la réflexion porte sur la place croissante de la psychiatrie en justice, et s’inscrit dans l’histoire de la naissance d’un sujet psychique.

    Agrégée d’histoire et docteur en histoire contemporaine, Laurence Guignard est maîtresse de conférences à l’Université de Nancy II. Spécialiste de l’histoire de la criminalité et de la justice au XIXe siècle, son intérêt se porte également sur l’histoire du corps et des représentations du sujet.

    Forensic Cultures in Interdisciplinary Perspectives

    University of Manchester, UK
    Friday 11 – Saturday 12 June 2010

    This international conference examines in analytical and historical perspective the remarkable prominence of forensic science and medicine in contemporary culture. It brings together leading scholars from history, sociology and socio-legal studies, media and cultural studies, and practitioners working within the diverse locations of forensic culture – from crime scenes and bio-medical laboratories to television studios. Topics for discussion include the politics and practice of DNA evidence, the use of “cold case review” in re-evaluating celebrated murder trials from the past, the historical invention of “crime scene investigation”, the work of forensic identification at mass grave sites, and media forensics –- including a dinner event featuring the creators of the BBC forensic dramas _Waking the Dead_ and _Silent Witness_.

    Forensic Cultures is sponsored by the University of Manchester’s Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM), and by the Wellcome Trust.

    For further details, including registration information, please see the conference website at

    or contact the organisers, Dr Ian Burney ( and Dr David Kirby (
    Continuer la lecture de Forensic Cultures in Interdisciplinary Perspectives

    Legal Medicine and Expertise in History

    Taking place:

    Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, Gipsy Lane Campus, Buckley Building, Room BG10 (where to find us)
    4 December 2009 – 10:00 – 17:15

    The workshop is designed to facilitate intellectual exchange and debate between academics working on the history of forensic medicine, by bringing together scholars who study the subject in a variety of national contexts and across a broad period of time. It will engage with two central themes: the character and role of forensic medicine in Europe since the medieval period; and the relationship between medicine, the law and wider society as illuminated by the notion of ‘expertise’ (a modern and highly contentious concept which does not map directly on to the pre-modern context).

    The aim is to identify fruitful areas of scholarship for future research, by considering how work ongoing in different countries and stimulated by different research agendas and traditions might be brought together into a collaborative network. The meeting is thus intended to serve as a foundation for a funding application to create an international and interdisciplinary research network. It is therefore organized in two parts: five speakers will be followed by a 2-hour round-table discussion which will appraise the state of the subject and outline the rationale for the planned grant application.

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    The History of Medicine and Global Connections: The Problem of Public Health Experts

    In recent years, global history and related subjects such as transnational, world, and connected history have caused a stir. The interest is in part a response to many kinds of public discussions about the global in our lives, but also in part–at least from the perspective of medical historians–because the turn toward social and cultural history tended to concentrate attention on complex relationships in local environments despite the fact that many aspects of medicine and science travel widely. Some kinds of medical and health practices and ideas do indeed remain rooted in particular languages, cultures, and socio-political systems, but medical commodities may be shipped from place to place while various kinds of practices and concepts also move about: ‘Western’ medicine has been globalised, but so has ‘Chinese’ medicine, and much else. Continuer la lecture de The History of Medicine and Global Connections: The Problem of Public Health Experts

    LegalMedicine, a new electronic list for the history of legal medicine

    LegalMedicine is an electronic mailing list devoted to the history of legal medicine (forensic medicine, medical jurisprudence). It offers a good way to share news and information, and foster international collaboration among those who are working in this relatively small area of historical research. Continuer la lecture de LegalMedicine, a new electronic list for the history of legal medicine

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