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This one-day workshop examines the role of constitutional adjudication by European constitutional and highest courts and its legitimacy in light of institutional and ideological transformations of law associated with governance beyond the state.

Detail Summary
Date 20 November 2017
Time 00:00

This workshop is co-organized by the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance and ACCESS EUROPE

Download the draft programme (PDF, 7 pp)


These transformations are usually thought to empower courts at the expense of other branches of government; to entrench the vested interests of ruling elites, and to expose democratic institutions of the nation state to the forces of untamed globalization. Scholars who study these transformations are usually critical of it; they disapprove of (neo-)liberal politics, which emphasizes rights and the rule of law over politics, and are suspicious of various projects of ‘global’ or ‘cosmopolitan’ constitutionalism, which seek to imbue governance ‘beyond the state’ with constitutional values. The EU is the most advanced example of such a structure that has come under this sort of critique.

The aim of the workshop is to enquire how national constitutional and highest courts have responded to these pressures of globalisation and Europeanisation, and how the legitimacy of their action in that regard should be assessed. The workshop addresses in particular whether national constitutional and highest courts can possibly address the democratic discontents of governmental structures ‘beyond the state’ and more broadly, globalization. The workshop also takes stock of the unique position of constitutional courts, which has hitherto been rather neglected in academic research. Finally, the workshop considers the lessons that the institutionalization of constitutional adjudication in the nation-state offers for the role of courts in governance structures beyond the state.


  • Matej Avbelj, Graduate School for Government and European Studies in Kranj, Slovenia
  • Nik de Boer, ACCESS EUROPE / CSECL / ACELG (organizer)
  • Ana Bobić, University of Oxford & Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
  • Jan Komárek, University of Copenhagen
  • Christoph Krenn,  Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg
  • Christophe Majastre, CReSPo, Université Saint-Louis–Bruxelles
  • Jiří Přibáň, Cardiff University
  • Mattias Wendel, Humboldt University Berlin

Attendance and registration

Participation is by invitation only. Those interested in participating can contact Nik de Boer at indicating their interest. All participants are expected to have read the draft papers.

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