Geneviève Viney was a prominent French law professor and jurist known for her specialization in the law of obligations. Throughout her illustrious career, she made significant contributions to legal scholarship, particularly in the field of civil law. This article provides an overview of her life, accomplishments, and notable works.

Early Life and Education

Geneviève Viney was born on July 6, 1937. Her intellectual journey began at a young age when she earned her baccalauréat at the age of 16, demonstrating her exceptional academic aptitude. She embarked on her legal studies in Paris, where she would lay the foundation for her future success.

In 1960, Geneviève Viney graduated from her legal studies, marking the start of her professional career in the legal field.

Academic Career

Viney’s academic pursuits and dedication to the field of law led her to the prestigious Court of Cassation in 1961, where she began her professional journey. Her passion for legal scholarship soon led her to publish her thesis, titled “Le déclin de la responsabilité individuelle,” in 1963. This groundbreaking work, completed under the guidance of René Rodière, was a significant contribution to legal literature and earned her the prestigious Prix Georges Ripert.

After completing her thesis, Geneviève Viney’s career in academia continued to flourish. She served as a lecturer at the University of Dijon from 1964 to 1967, sharing her expertise and knowledge with the next generation of legal minds.

Subsequently, Viney held teaching positions at esteemed institutions such as the University of Caen Normandy (1968-1972) and Paris-East Créteil University (1972-1973). However, it was her tenure as a professor of law of obligations at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University from 1974 to 2006 that solidified her reputation as a leading legal scholar in France.

During her time at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Geneviève Viney also assumed the role of director of the Centre de recherche en droit privé from 1998 to 2004. Her leadership contributed to the advancement of legal research in the field of private law.

In 2000, Viney co-authored “Le principe de précaution” alongside Philippe Kourilsky. This work, intended for the Prime Minister and published in the Documentation française, explored the principle of precaution, a critical legal and ethical concept.

Geneviève Viney’s dedication to legal education continued until her retirement in 2006 when she received the honor of becoming a professor emeritus.

Social Engagement

Throughout her life, Geneviève Viney was not only a distinguished legal scholar but also an active participant in legal and social discourse. On March 16, 2013, she joined a petition of 170 law professors across France, speaking out against the legal adoption of same-sex marriage in the country. This engagement highlighted her commitment to addressing significant legal and societal issues.

Passing and Legacy

Geneviève Viney’s contributions to the field of law were immeasurable. Her scholarly works, lectures, and dedication to legal education left an indelible mark on the legal community in France. On October 2, 2023, Geneviève Viney passed away at the age of 86, leaving behind a legacy of academic excellence and a profound impact on the study of civil law.

Notable Works

Geneviève Viney’s bibliography includes several influential publications, both personal and collaborative. Some of her notable works include:

  • “Le déclin de la responsabilité individuelle” (1965)
  • “Traité de droit civil: Les conditions de la responsabilité” (1982)
  • “Traité de droit civil: Les effets de la responsabilité” (1988)
  • “L’indemnisation des victimes d’accidents de la circulation” (1992)
  • “Traité de droit civil: Les effets de la responsabilité” (2001)
  • “La réparation du dommage corporel. Essai de comparaison des droits anglais et français” (1985)
  • “Le principe de précaution” (2000)
  • “Les sanctions de l’inexécution des obligations contractuelles” (2001)
  • “La responsabilité environnementale dans l’espace européen” (2006)


In recognition of her exceptional contributions to the legal field, Geneviève Viney was awarded the Knight of the Legion of Honour in 1999, a testament to her dedication and impact as a legal scholar and jurist.

Geneviève Viney’s life and work exemplify the pursuit of excellence in legal scholarship and the enduring influence one can have on the field of law. Her legacy continues to inspire future generations of legal minds to engage in rigorous academic research and contribute to the development of the law.