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Guillaume François Larouche

GEM-DIAMOND doctoral fellow

ESR 8 – Technocratic actors as ‘teachers’ of the rule of law: EU technical assistance, capacity-building and other pathways

As a member of GEM-DIAMOND, I am fortunate to enter a world of critical thinking and to join a community of researchers whose purpose is to produce empirical, scientific & data-driven legal research to understand normative tensions caused by mounting dissensus over liberal democracy within the European Union and the rise of alternative models outside its borders.

Host Institutions

The Exportation of the Rule of Law by the European Commission’s Lawyers: A Legal Ethnography


  • Jean-Frederic Morin
  • Mikael Madsen

Research abstract

The conception of the rule of law traditionally promoted by the EU in its external action is substantive as it comprises liberal democratic values. Once widely accepted, this conception is currently facing dissensus in non-EU countries due to the rise of alternative models. In response, the EU has embarked on an enterprise of exporting its conception of the rule of law outside its borders through the development and use of socialization instruments, including capacity building and regulatory assistance programs. Such instruments are particularly used in the fields of human rights and international investment, through which EU lawyers are advocating for strong “international rule of law institutions” (Romano 2022) with their support to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and their promotion of the Multilateral Investment Court (MIC). This research investigates the influence of human actors, namely the EU lawyers, and non-human factors, the socialization instruments they use, on the dynamics of the exportation process of the EU conception of the rule of law. It studies the “low-visible” (Baldwin & Davis 2005) phenomenon of the “translation” (Callon 1980, 1986) of a legal knowledge – the rule of law – from EU to non-EU countries. Building on Bourdieu and Latour’s work, this research innovates by conducting a holistic examination of the exportation of the EU conception of the rule of law by replacing it in its social context. It mobilizes socio-legal empirical methods, such as participant observation stays and semi-structured interviews, with the objective of documenting the exportation process of the EU conception of the rule of law to non-EU countries. Ultimately, this research contributes to the literature by unpacking the role played by EU lawyers, notably by assessing their habitus, and the socialization instruments in the exportation process; it also provides an original account of it in the form of an original legal ethnography.

Research questions

How do human actors and non-human factors influence the process of exporting the EU conception of the rule of law to non-EU countries?
Guillaume François Larouche is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Fellow within the Horizon Europe GEM-DIAMOND project (Globalisation, Europe, and Multilateralism - Democratic Institutions, the rise of Alternative Models and mounting Normative Dissensus). He is currently pursuing a triple PhD degree in European Law at iCourts, the Centre of Excellence for International Courts at the University of Copenhagen under the supervision of Prof. Mikael Rask Madsen, in International Studies at the École supérieure d’études internationales de l’Université Laval (ESEI) under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Frédéric Morin, and in Legal Sciences at the Faculty of Law of Université Libre de Bruxelles under the supervision of Prof. Chloé Brière.

An affiliated PhD researcher with the Canada Research Chair in International Political Economy at Université Laval, Guillaume François holds a Master of Laws (LLM) with Concentration in International Trade and Foreign Investment from the University of Ottawa (for which he received the mention “Excellent”), a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Université Laval, and an advanced certificate in French and European Law from Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas.

In addition to his doctoral research, he is currently working on an article preliminary entitled “The Division of Labour Between International Investment Agreements and Treaties for the Avoidance of Double Taxation: An Empirical Comparison” with Prof. Wolfgang Alschner of the University of Ottawa. He presented previous research results on the international norm against corruption as a candidate for jus cogens at the Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference in Scotland (UK) and on the potential adaptation of the WTO legal paradigm on “like” products to include environmental considerations at the 5th Annual McGill Law Graduate Conference in Montreal (Canada).

He is a member of the Barreau du Québec since January 2020 and practices public law at Langlois Lawyer LLP in Montreal.

Besides his research interests and law practice, Guillaume François is interested in history, French literature, travel, outdoor activities, and sports (swimming, running, cycling, yoga, and cross-country skiing).
Academic Conferences

Larouche, Guillaume François. 2022. “International Economic Law and Peremptory Norms. The Norm Against Corruption, a Manifestation of a (Quasi) Jus Cogens?”, presented at the Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference 2022, Edinburgh, 16 June 2022 [unpublished].

Larouche, Guillaume François. 2022. “Adapting the WTO Legal Paradigm on ‘Like’ Products to Include Environmental Considerations: Towards a Green World Trade Organization”, presented at the 15th Annual McGill Law Graduate Conference, Montréal, 5 May 2022 [unpublished].

Forthcoming Publications

Alschner, Wolfgang, and Guillaume François Larouche, “The Division of Labour Between International Investment Agreements and Treaties for the Avoidance of Double Taxation: An Empirical Comparison.” [forthcoming].