I have noticed that many French diplomas contain the mention "Pour en jouir avec les droits et prérogatives qui y sont attachés", which can be translated into "[The diploma is conferred upon Mr. X and gives the Y level] to be enjoyed with all rights and privileges pertaining thereto."

What does "to be enjoyed with all rights and privileges pertaining thereto" mean on a French diploma? I.e., what are those rights and privileges? For example, if someone obtained the Baccalaureate diploma, what rights and privileges does that give?

I'm not sure whether it refers to some legal consequences, academic consequences, or something else, so that's why I don't post on Law.SE.


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  • 1
    I think "enjoyed" is an old-fashioned English translation of this.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 2:36
  • 1
    The last of you examples is clearly the best.
    – Cape Code
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 8:15

2 Answers 2


That phrase is clearly not France-specific, as @ff524 mentioned. In order to add to and further illustrate the nice answer by @vonbrand, I will share the following paper, which discusses Roman origins and Medieval expressions of the relevant phase(s): http://www.jstor.org/stable/1844716.

In addition to some comments and answers for the above-mentioned most likely duplicate question, I would add that modern practical meaning of this phrase significantly depends on graduate's field of study and institution they graduated from.

In regard to the field of study, rights and privileges might include (beyond the implied rights and privileges to say that one graduated with specific degree from a particular institution, to wear the institution's regalia, to be referred to as a Dr. [for Ph.D. graduates], etc.): to be able to practice in specific regulated fields, such as medicine and law (upon satisfying additional conditions, such as attending medical residency or passing specific state's bar examination, correspondingly).

In regard to the institution, some rights and privileges include to participate in alumni activities, to retain institution's e-mail address, to get discounts on various products and services as well as on attending individual classes and, even, enrolling into certain degree programs at one's alma mater.

  • In most modern setups, the privilege we are after is being able to be hired at high-profile jobs requiring the degree. This is not limited to medical and law practice.
    – svavil
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 9:09
  • 4
    @svavil: The reason I emphasized regulated fields, like medicine, law and education, is because, unlike in many other fields, degree requirements are really mandatory in the the former. Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 10:17

That the holder is entitled to all rights and prerogatives pertaining to the degree. At the very least, the right to call yourself <whatever the degree may be>.

This is probably a leftover from the misty past, where holding a degree could allow you to use certain clothing, attend some ceremonies, the right to vote in certain matters, be ... European societies before the French Revolution were incredibly hierarchically structured. And much of the traditions (togas, berets for graduation, even many of the degrees) have their origins in the Middle Ages. Universities are touted as places in which new ground is broken, authorities questioned without mercy, and on the other hand we follow traditions that haven't made sense for more than two centuries (and were questionable long before).

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