Five Years of Verfassungsblogging

Maximilian Steinbeis Five years ago this blog first saw the light of day. Continue reading


Mon 21. July 23:25
Democracy versus Rule of Law? UK pushes for "democratic override" of ECtHR
Fri 18. July 16:39
"I am not Stiller!": Sexual Identity cannot be officially determined
Thu 17. July 09:29
Jihad and Citizenship: Assessing the Austrian amendment

Up for Debate

Living together in an infinite space of socialisation

Anna von Notz

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently decided, that we all have the right to live in a “space of socialisation which makes living together easier“. Thus stated by the ECtHR in the case of S.A.S. v. France whereby it found that the French „Burqa ban“ does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Imagine a space of socialisation with the “possibility of open interpersonal relationships“ – doesn’t that sound wonderful? It might do so at first sight. But on closer inspection, it suddenly becomes a space of full disclosure and rather terrifying, especially since it is entirely unclear where this space begins and where it ends. Continue reading


EU Commission President: Who and what did we actually vote for?

Christian Joerges

The obstacles further European integration is facing will only be overcome incrementally through continuous political disputes, as well as through processes of collective learning, which are then converted into institutional change. Simple formulas for “more Europe”, even when they are rooted in historical rationality and reason, will not be a sufficient substitute for such processes. Continue reading

 Focus  Prospects of Legal Scholarship

A Double Plea for International Opening and More Strongly Interlinked Multidisciplinarity

Stefan Grundmann

The German Council of Sciences and Humanities calls for an international opening and a legal science that is more strongly linked to its neighbouring disciplines. Both requests merit support – if they are considered as part of a development of the existing legal education, rather than a revolutionary request that overturns the current system in Germany. I. The Survey’s Main Theses Both of the central theses put forward by the German Council of Science and Humanities (henceforth Wissenschaftsrat) in a survey on ‘Perspectives of Jurisprudence in Germany’ apply to research and teaching alike: The Wissenschaftsrat starts from the finding that more

 Focus  Prospects of Legal Scholarship

A Commentary on Commentaries: The Wissenschaftsrat on Legal Commentaries and Beyond

Christian Djeffal

‘In the beginning was the word, the commentary followed swiftly…’ This wisecrack applies to many academic disciplines and it certainly applies to German legal academia. There are great many commentaries. As the Wissenschaftsrat very closely observed the practices of German legal academia, it also inquired into the genre of commentaries. What was there to say? Continue reading


Should academic lawyers blog?

Mark Elliott

As an academic lawyer who writes his own blog, as well as contributing occasionally to others, my answer to the question “Should academic lawyers blog?” is, perhaps unsurprisingly, “Yes”. However, I was recently prompted—by agreeing to talk about blogging at a conference on the teaching of public law held at City Law School earlier this week—to reflect more carefully on whether, and if so why, writing and contributing to blogs is something that academic lawyers should do. Continue reading


Slovenia: a de facto failed constitutional democracy

Matej Avbelj

Apparent abuse and instrumentalization of law, through the actions and omissions of the judiciary, to eliminate particular political opponents and to consolidate political, economic, legal-institutional and finally overall social power in the hands in which it has rested so far, that is the old-new post-communist elite – indeed, this is happening in a country which used to be known as the best disciple among the new Member States of the European Union. Continue reading


Why the Debate between Kumm and Armstrong is about the Wrong Question

András Jakab

We can achieve a parliamentary system under the current EU legal regime, if politicians in the European Parliament have the ambition to take the necessary steps. If that happens then it will only be an academic question whether it follows from the treaties as a legal duty or whether it is just political reality and non-legal constitutional convention which were merely allowed by the legal rules. Continue reading

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Bosnia and the problem of generalizable human rights gauges

2014-07-15 Bosnien
(c) Amanda Robinson, Flickr CC BY-BC-ND 2.0

For five years Bosnia has been digging its heels in, refusing to align its constitution to the demands of the ECHR and to grant non-bosniacs, -serbs and -croats the right to be elected to its second chamber of legislation. Now, the Strasbourg Court has once again declared this state of affairs unacceptable. But what if it would hold other constitutional systems, such as that of the European Union, up to the standard it applies in the Bosnian case? Continue reading

Burqa Ban: My Right to Be Left Alone is Your Tough Luck

2014-07-07 Trespassing
(c) Michael Dorausch, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

An often heard argument in the debate on the burqa ban decision by the ECtHR is that a minimum of "vivre ensemble" is a condition of all freedom and hence a legitimate balancing factor with the rights to privacy and religious freedom. This, though, is irreconcilable with the "right to be left alone". Continue reading

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