28 November 2011

NOTICE: Janke and Licari on Contra Non Valentem Agere Non Currit Praescriptio

Benjamin West Janke (Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC) and Juris Diversitas member François-Xavier Licari (University of Metz - Faculty of Law) have published 'Des rives de la Seine à celles du Mississipi: le fabuleux destin de la maxime contra non valentem agere non currit praescriptio' ('From the Banks of the Seine to Those of Mississipi: The Fabulous Destiny of the Maxim "Contra Non Valentem Agere Non Currit Praescriptio"') will be published in the (2011) 63 Revue Internationale de Droit Comparé 809; it is already available (in French) on SSRN through the link above.

The abstract reads:

La relation entre la France et la Louisiane ne se limite pas au droit légiféré. Elle se manifeste aussi en ce qui concerne un important principe non écrit du droit de la prescription: "contra non valentem agere non currit praescriptio". En ce domaine, la parenté juridique est étroite. En Louisiane, "contra non valentem" est le fruit de la doctrine et de la jurisprudence françaises. Nous mettrons aussi en lumière la similarité notable entre le destin de la maxime en France et en Louisiane. Dans ces deux pays, les tribunaux l’ont déclarée morte, mais malgré l’hostilité à laquelle elle a été confrontée, elle est devenue une pièce majeure de l’institution de la prescription. En dernier lieu, nous briserons le mythe bien enraciné selon lequel contra non valentem ne s’applique pas en droit louisianais de la prescription acquisitive, révélant ainsi une autre convergence de taille entre la France et la Louisiane.

The relationship between Louisiana and France is not limited to written law. It also exists in one important extra-codal principle of prescription law: "contra non valentem agere non currit praescriptio". In this regard, the juridical parenthood is tight. We will show that "contra non valentem" in Louisiana is the fruit of French doctrine and jurisprudence. Furthermore, we will bring to light the noticeable similarity of the maxim’s fate in France and Louisiana. Courts in both jurisdictions proclaimed it as dead, but despite the antagonism it faced, contra non valentem evolved as a major component of prescription’s institution. Finally, we will dispel a deep-rooted myth that contra non valentem does not apply to the domain of acquisitive prescription and reveal another strong convergence between Louisiana and France.

Note that this article is the French version of Janke and Licari, 'Contra Non Valentem in France and Louisiana: Revealing the Parenthood, Breaking a Myth' (2010) 71 Louisiana Law Review 503.

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