Defence and publication

Selection of the examiners

The panel of thesis examiners is made up of the thesis supervisor and two other professors, with at least one from outside the Faculty. The examiners are appointed by the Council of Professors. In principle, the panel is chaired by the Dean, or a member of the Dean’s office (cf. art. 25 of the study regulations).

Acceptance and defence of the thesis

When the candidate considers the thesis completed, s/he must present a copy to the thesis supervisor, who, if it is judged acceptable, will invite the candidate to submit copies to the other examiners. Each then writes a report, to be given to the Dean in preparation for the defence. Once any revisions requested by the examiners have been made, the examiners inform the supervisor, who then invites the candidate to present a copy of the thesis to the secretariat. At the request of the supervisor, the Dean confirms the date of the defence.

The defence is public. It comprises a presentation by the candidate, an oral report by the examiners, and a discussion. At the end of the defence, the panel decides on whether a cum laude mention should be given, and approves the certificate.

The Doctor of Law diploma is conferred after the thesis is submitted following the guidelines in force, and bears the date on which the certificate was awarded.


After the thesis defence, the doctoral candidate, armed with the certificate, must submit the thesis to the Law Faculty Library, in order to receive the title of Doctor awarded by the University (cf. art. 1 of the University of Neuchâtel’s directives on the submission of theses).

When all the aforementioned requirements have been met, the Law Faculty Library issues the candidate with a receipt confirming the submission of the thesis (cf. art. 6 ibid.).

The candidate sends a copy of the thesis submission receipt to the Faculty secretariat. The candidate must provide three printed copies of the thesis, one signed by the Dean of the Faculty, as well as an electronic copy (cf. art. 2 ibid.).

By submitting the thesis, the candidate authorizes the University of Neuchâtel to publish it online, for an unlimited period. This can be waived by the Dean of the Faculty if notice is given by the supervisor (cf. art. 3 ibid.). This waiver is granted, for instance, when the commercial publication of the thesis has been agreed on in advance with a publishing house or a series editor.

The candidate separately provides the Library Service with a summary of the thesis, of no more than 4000 characters (including spaces), in a standard electronic format (cf. art. 4 ibid.) In terms of format, the thesis must follow the guidelines below.

The title page must contain:

  • the author’s first name(s) and surname;
  • the title of the thesis;
  • the names of the relevant faculties or institutes;
  • the first name(s) and surname of the supervisor;
  • the first name(s) and surname of each member of the examination panel;
  • the date of the defence;
  • before the summary, the keywords relating to the thesis subject (given in French and English), as chosen by the author. The electronic version is to be submitted in PDF format.

The text is also required in its original format (e.g. Word). The paper versions can be no larger than A4, and no smaller than A5 (cf. art. 5 ibid.).

The Law Faculty Library must issue the candidate with a receipt confirming the submission of the thesis when all the aforementioned requirements have been met (cf. art. 6 ibid.).

Doctoral students send a copy of the thesis submission receipt to the Faculty secretariat.