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International symposium on: Precursors to International Constitutionalism

The Goettingen Journal of International Law (GoJIL) in cooperation with the Institute of International and European Law, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, and the Minerva Center for Human Rights, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is pleased to announce its international symposium on

Precursors to International Constitutionalism: The Development of the German Constitutional Approach to International Law

March 9-10 2012, Paulinerkirche, Göttingen, Germany

International constitutionalism is in the focus of contemporary international legal debate and practice, as evidenced by the recent Kadi-Jurisprudence of the European Courts and the burgeoning literature that employs constitutional as well as fragmentation terms with respect to modern international law – dealing with the pluralistic structure of modern international law, post-national law and constitutional pluralism. This seemingly new discourse is all-pervasive, with implications in international politics, law, trade and human rights.

However, this project maintains that this is not an entirely new discourse. Its precursors can be found in what could be considered to be a “German” constitutional approach towards International Public Law (Völkerrecht) that has been characterized by a strong constitutional understanding for centuries. While the roots of the discussion can be traced back to the Eighteenth Century, this has especially been the case in the Twentieth Century, as discernable in German and Austrian teachings, from the scholarship of Albert Verdross (with his 1926 ‘Verfassung der Völkerrechtsgemeinschaft’) to Bardo Fassbender’s contemporary analysis of the UN Charter as an international constitution.

The cooperation between the Minerva Center for Human Rights, Hebrew University Jerusalem, the Institute of International and European Law, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and the Goettingen Journal of International Law (GoJIL) investigates the historical development and gradual crystallization of a “German” constitutional approach in both theoretical and practical aspects. The project also fosters the current debate on modern international law with regard to constitutionalization and fragmentation trends. European constitutional thinking with respect to international law will play a role as well as current ideas of international constitutionalization in international organizations and tribunals, mainly the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Justice and the WTO.

Further information are available on

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