Presenter and Discussant, ICON-S Conference ‘Courts, Power, Public Law’, University of Copenhagen, 5-7 July 2017 (II)

Just two out of many panels, which made this yet another great conference. Proud to have been part of it for the fourth year in a row, after Florence, New York City and Berlin.

Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde’s Constitutional Thought in Comparative Perspective

Participants: Tine Stein, Mirjam Künkler Sabino Cassese, Kai Möller, Michaela Hailbronner, Alexander Somek

‘Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde (born 1930) is one of Germany’s foremost legal scholars and political thinkers. As a scholar of constitutional law, Böckenförde has been a major contributor to the conceptual framework of the modern state, and to political and ethical controversies from vexed questions about potential states of emergency to the ethics of genetic engineering. As a judge on Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court (1983 – 1996) and the author of the highest number of dissenting opinions in the court’s history, Böckenförde has significantly influenced the way law and politics are conceived of in Germany. This panel revisits Böckenförde’s work as a late beacon of the German statist tradition and probes its relevance amid contemporary debates about the constitutional implications of a globalized world order, where notions of a post-state, post-sovereign, and multi-level ordering, have taken center stage. Böckenförde is unique in that he confronts the basic concepts and conceptual presuppositions of the old Staatslehre with the challenges of an interdependent world. Focusing on his notions of the state and of the constitution, participants explore the timeliness of Böckenförde’s work and ask whether and to what extent it can serve as a basis for a European public law.’

Searching for the Constitutional Identity within EU: Beyond Courts’ Interpretation

Participants: Tímea Drinóczi, Giacomo Delledonne, Pietro Faraguna, Marco Bassini, Neliana Rodean

‘In the recent time identity of the constitutional order has become a challenged topic within the European space both in respect of its subjective sense of selfness of a member state vis-á-vis others and regarding the construction of a European Constitutional identity. The panel invites scholars to discuss the ambivalent meaning of constitutional identity focusing, firstly, on how European constitutional identity relates to the specific constitutional identities of European nation-states and the implications for the division of authority between the European and national levels within the EU. Secondly, the panel offers the opportunity to discover to what extend the constitutional identity became the explicit arena of disputes between Courts, and how its definition goes beyond their interpretation.’

See also:

Presenter and Discussant, ICON-S Conference ‘Courts, Power, Public Law’, University of Copenhagen, 5-7 July 2017

Participant, 2016 ICON∙S Conference on ‘Borders, Otherness and Public Law’

Paper presentation on ‘The Modern Challenges of Democracy’, New York University School of Law

Paper-presentation ‘Imaginations From the Other Side. Assessing the Juncture between Law, History and Sociology in the Study of State-Religion Interlocutions’

Press Release: ‘Twelve ILS seed money grants for frontier research at Leiden Law School’

Presenter and Discussant, ICON-S Conference ‘Courts, Power, Public Law’, University of Copenhagen, 5-7 July 2017

Looking forward to presenting next week on ‘The European Court of Human Rights’ “constitutional morality” in the religious domain’. The paper forms part of a panel on ‘Judicialisation of Human Rights Law and Policy: A Vehicle for Effective Protection of Fundamental Rights?’

The description of this panel reads as follows:

‘The panel introduces the Leiden Research Group ‘Effective Protection of Fundamental Rights in a Pluralist World’. Though judicialisation is in itself not a new phenomenon, in the context of today’s globalizing world and the increasing interaction between legal systems, judicialisation is taking on entirely new dimensions and is giving rise to new and complex issues. This is especially true in the field of fundamental rights. At first sight, this judicialisation in the area of human rights seems to be a positive development that furthers the effective protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the international regional and domestic level. However, judicialisation also raises a number of issues that need to be addressed, such as the democratic basis of law-making and separation of powers. Against this background, judicialisation as a means to further fundamental rights protection is very much in need of new and innovative research concerning its meaning workings and impact. Three elements merit particular attention during the panel: a.Conceptualization of judicialisation in the area of human rights; b.Judicialisation in relation to substantive areas of human rights; c.Potential and limitations of judicialisation for the effective protection of fundamental rights.’

My second paper presentation in Copenhagen is titled ‘In Defense of the Classical Liberal Conception Regarding Religious Freedom’, and will take place during a panel on ‘The Separation of Civil and Religious Powers’.

You can read the abstract of the paper here:

‘Leading U.S. scholar of constitutional interpretation Michael Paulsen has developed an interesting theory of religious freedom called ‘The Priority of God’. Paulsen distinguishes, first of all, a liberal conception of religious freedom, according to which it is widely assumed that religious truth exists in a society and the state is tolerant towards the various faith and other traditions. The U.S. however, has developed in the direction of a modern conception of religious freedom, which no longer recognises religious truth although the state remains tolerant. Moreover, still according to Paulsen, several European countries have adopted a postmodern conception of religious freedom. This conception does not just no longer recognise religious truth, but also implies a considerably less tolerant state as secularism becomes the established ‘religion’. This view paradoxically resembles the preliberal stance of religious intolerance out of the conviction that religious truth exists. In response to such developments and in light of the meeting’s general theme with special attention to the role of courts in achieving this, the proposed paper will make a case for the classical liberal position with respect to religious freedom. In light of the current religious diversity in society, this position still appears to be most conducive to safeguarding the position of religious minorities in public life in the increasingly secular, majoritarian contexts of Western liberal democracies.’

Finally, I will serve as discussant for Mathew John’s paper on ‘Framing Religion in Constitutional Power: A View from Indian Constitutional Law’ during the latter panel. Mathew John received his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2012. Since that year he has been working as an Associate Professor at the Jindal Global Law School Sonipat. Since January 2017 Ph.D. Mathew John is Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities ‘Law as Culture’.

For the full program of the ICON-S Conference, see: https://icon-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ICON-S-Conference-2017-Programme.pdf.

See also:

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: 2017 ICON∙S Conference on ‘Courts, Power, and Public Law’, Copenhagen, July 5-7;

Press Release: ‘Hans-Martien ten Napel has book published “Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human”’.