1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Tronchet, François Denis

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TRONCHET, FRANCOIS DENIS (1726-1806), French jurist, was born in Paris on the 23rd of March 1726. He was an avocat at the parlemeht of Paris, and gained a great reputation in a consultative capacity. In 1789 he was elected deputy to the states-general. In the Constituent Assembly he made himself especially conspicuous by his efforts to obtain the rejection of the jurisdiction of the jury in civil cases. In the king's trial, he was chosen by Louis as counsel for the defence, and performed this difficult and dangerous task with high ability and courage. During the Directory he was deputy at the Council of the Ancients, where he unsuccessfully opposed the resolution that judges be nominated by the executive directory. Under the Consulate he was president of the tribunal of cassation, and collaborated in preparing the final scheme for the civil code. He had a marked influence on the code, and succeeded in introducing common law principles in spite of the opposition of his colleagues, who were deeply imbued with Roman law. He died on the 10th of March 1806, being the first senator of the empire to be buried in the Pantheon.

See Francois de Neufchateau, Discours sur Tronchet (Paris, undated); Coqueret, Essai sur Tronchet (Caen, 1867).