‘Laughter, law and society’ - IDETCOM symposium
from December 3, 2015 to December 4, 2015

Manufacture des Tabacs
Amphi MI V - Isaac
21 allée de Brienne - Toulouse
Laughter is an individual act, a private right; and, it is also a social act. The law and the State do not remain ignorant of this reality. Yet, comprehensive research on laughter is rare.



There have, of course, been many works analysing the subject in a piecemeal way but none have taken a holistic view of how the law considers laughter and its manifestations. This national symposium takes a general look at the place of laughter in society and public law. It seeks to answer a series of questions firstly by reviewing the situation then by outlining perspectives to better ascertain the legal framework of laughter and the fate of this form of expression held by public law. Four areas will be studied:

- Area 1: The definition of ‘laughter’ raises considerable conceptual issues. Humour, comedy, entertainment, mockery, satire, ridicule, etc. do they all belong to a very generic category of laughter? What meaning and place does the term have in legal parlance?
- Area 2: The relationship between laughter and power seems complicated. The legal treatment of laughter from this point of view seems to be based on the reconciliation of power and freedoms and reveals the contemporary tensions that affect the rule of law. Public law also has a role in establishing a framework for laughter through the principal forms of governmental intervention.
- Area 3: Does the legal framework for laughter vary according to the type and medium of its collective manifestations (law relating to cinema, publications, audiovisuals, Internet, etc.)?
- Area 4: A comparative law perspective should be made considering that laughter, being a phenomenon common to all cultures, is probably handled differently in one country’s law to the next.

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