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Comment décrire ce qu'on ne voit pas ? Le devoir d'hésitation des juges de proximité au travail

Abstract : How to describe work when much of it cannot be observed? This study of the activities of magistrates in a "natural" situation used an ethnological approach to observe cases from registration to hearings. Special difficulties cropped up during one phase: how to observe the deliberation when the judges, after having heard the parties during the contradictory phase of a penal procedure, adjourn and, among themselves, debate the case, weighing the pros and cons, before delivering a decision? The literature usually considers this "duty to hesitate" as an essential phase. But the judges in this survey sat alone on the court. Hesitations and turnarounds might occur; but doubts, inevitably an essential part of their work, arose during a phase of deliberation with oneself that left little empirically observable evidence and did not necessarily leave memories that these judges could easily bring up. How, then, to describe the "duty of hesitation" when it evaporates as we try to observe it in actual fact? This survey's strategy for responding to this situation is presented.
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Jean-Marc Weller. Comment décrire ce qu'on ne voit pas ? Le devoir d'hésitation des juges de proximité au travail. Sociologie du Travail, Elsevier Masson, 2011, 53 (3), pp.349-368. ⟨hal-00652611⟩

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