PRESENTATION OF THE LABORATORY
The LARJE (Economic and Legal Research Laboratory) is the principal New Caledonian research centre concentrating on insular law and the insular human, economic and social environment. The progressive emancipation process in the country puts legal research into a new institutional context and raises specific questions for economic analysis in terms of the viability of activities, such as the measurement of inequality.
The human issue is of fundamental importance in New Caledonia, in the light of the history of the arrival of its populations and the instability of its successive changes in status. The equality of different types of civil status, the legal connection with the land, the adaptation of Labour Law to Oceanian society, the entanglement of legal norms and jurisdiction, the question of New Caledonian Constitutional Law, the issue of citizenship as well as the status of the indigenous people, make up directions for research which are specific to New Caledonia. It is also time to assess the situation of the Matignon (1988) and Noumea (1998) Agreements. The perspective is to measure the rebalancing, which is the essential criterion for the assessment of public action.
The road to sustainable development necessitates ensuring the integration of all of the communities into the system of economic exchange, in order to guarantee the distribution of the advantages of both growth and income from mining. Because of the existence of big mining projects, the issues of mining, nickel, protection of maritime and terrestrial biodiversity as well as town planning and building law are strongly favoured.
The other field of analysis suggested concerns the economic relationship between New Caledonia and Metropolitan France. The question of financial transfers through the study of public finance and the tax system is essential. The emancipation provided for in the Noumea Agreement poses the question of the local resources which New Caledonia will have to generate. The study of fiscal and monetary reform ensues from this questioning.
The team intends to favour both fundamental and applied research, on the economic and legal aspects of local politics related to human and industrial activities in New Caledonia. In this perspective the members of the team favour international openings through collaboration with English speaking universities in the area, regional institutions (AUF, SPC, PROE) or institutions which finance research (CNRT [French National Centre for Technological Research], GOPS [South Pacific Observatory]).
The Larje has published a series of Working-Papers (Les Cahiers du LARJE), and regularly organizes seminars and national and international events (Symposiumon New Caledonian Constitutional Law, symposium on the transfer of normative power in civil and commercial law, and recently, a symposium on the natural and cultural heritage of New Caledonia). The web site (http://larje.univ-nc.nc) is a very rich source of information. By using key words, it offers free access to the results of research, as well as public debates in New Caledonia and French Overseas Territories and Administrative Areas.
Henceforth the Larje constitutes an indispensable centre of reflection in public debate and its work fully participates in the analysis and understanding of the institutional evolution of the country, the issues for its human and economic development and the necessity to reduce inequalities to guarantee social and political stability.