Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives
International conference sponsored by:
University of Illinois College of Law
Department of Law, University of Bologna
Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (Johns Hopkins
SAIS European University – University of Bologna)
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Paper proposals are invited for the fifth Illinois-Bologna conference
Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives. The conference takes place in
Bologna at the Department of Law, University of Bologna
The keynote speaker of the conference is the former Minister of Justice, Professor Mirosław Granat
Decision of the Polish Constitutional Court.
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The spread of constitutional government around the world has been accompanied
deep interest in comparative aspects of state law. Scientists have
cataloged the various features of national constitutions and explored how
different constitutional systems resolve common legal questions. This is how the judges faced it
with legal issues have looked for guidance in the decisions of the constitutional courts
from other nationalities. Although comparative constitutional law is thus good
in an established field, less attention has been paid to comparative dimensions so far
on the history of the constitution. This international conference series aims to address this
deficit, giving impetus to the study and analysis of the history of the constitution since
comparative perspectives. This is a forum for presentation and discussion
current research on issues of constitutional history that cross national borders.
It also brings together scholars who are currently working on the Constitution
history of individual jurisdictions—assuming that conversations between them
these researchers make it possible to share methodology and also point to fresh areas
research that can cross national borders.
In 2023, the conference will focus on landmarks.
Significant decisions are fundamental decisions that not only resolve a
specific case, setting a key precedent, introducing an important legal principle or concept, or
significantly influence the trajectory of the law. The kind of decisions that have usually been made
Supreme Courts and Constitutional Courts are found all over the world.
For example, Marbury v. Madison (1803) and Brown v. Board of Education
(1954) in the United States; Reference to Secession of Quebec (1998) in Canada;
Décision Liberté d’association (1971) in France; the Lüth judgment made in (1958).
Germany; and S v Makwanyane and Another (1995) in South Africa.
Significant court decisions in constitutional cases raise numerous questions
benefit from comparative analysis. How do landmark decisions become landmarks?
What is their history? What determines their trajectory? What effect does it have
these leading cases publish the domestic level? When, how and to what extent
important judgments have an impact on other jurisdictions? Make important decisions
take on a different meaning when traveling abroad? Who decides whether the case
qualifies as a landmark? Do some jurisdictions produce more significant decisions
than others? How easy is it to challenge, overturn, or overturn an important decision?
Can a decision be landmark if it is widely seen as wrong? What is the role
judgments outside the court, in the political sphere and in society
We invite papers that address these and related questions about landmarks
judgments in constitutional cases and can serve as a basis for discussion
among researchers interested in studying landmarks from a comparative perspective.
Papers focusing on a single jurisdiction and even a single case are welcome
are documents that examine important decisions from several jurisdictions.
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Researchers interested in presenting a paper at the conference should first email the title
and a summary of the proposed work with a CV to Professor Jason Mazzone at
Mazzonej[@]illinois.edu. There is no word limit for suggestions, but suggestions are enabled
a range of 500-1000 words is typical. Proposals received by April 1, 2023 will
get priority. Proposals submitted after this date will be considered subject to space availability
For those whose abstracts are accepted, drafts are requested for distribution
to other participants three weeks before the conference.
In accordance with the usual peer review requirements, the conference papers are
published as one volume by Brill. Authors who accept an invitation to present
the conference paper must agree to have the paper included in the volume to be published.
Learn more about length and format requirements
final versions of papers are given to the authors.
Conference participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation
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Jason Mazzone Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law and Director, Program in
Constitutional Theory, History and Law, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
to Justin O. FrosinAssociate Professor of Comparative Public Law, Bocconi
University; Director of the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development
Francesco BiagiAssociate Professor of Comparative Public Law, University of
Bologna Department of Law; Researcher at the Constitution Center
Studies and democratic development
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