Role of Constitutions

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Image by Arno Mikkor

The concluding conference of the 5-year, European Research Council (ERC) funded research project ‘The Role of National Constitutions in European and Global Governance’ was held on 26-27 November 2018 at The Goodenough College in London.

The presentations were given by leading scholars of constitutional law, who have written the project’s 29 national reports which were published in June 2019 as a two-volume, open access book National Constitutions in European and Global Governance: Democracy, Rights, the Rule of Law: National Reports, by T.M.C. Asser Press and Springer. The e-book is available at The national reports will be accompanied by a comparative study.

The presentations at the conference were arranged in the following panels:

  • Europe’s political, post-totalitarian and other constitutional cultures: The bills of rights, approaches to constitutional review, EU amendments
  • The Data Retention Directive in national and EU courts
  • Constitutional adjudication regarding the European Arrest Warrant
  • Euro crisis, democracy and social rights
  • Constitutional issues in the context of global governance
  • Broader themes regarding EU, national and comparative constitutionalism and the future direction of travel

A keynote speech was given by Prof. Cesare Pinelli, Professor of Constitutional Law at the Rome Sapienza University, on the basis of his research on the post-totalitarian constitutional tradition in Europe. Presentations from judges included contributions by Advocate General Gerard Hogan from the European Court of Justice and formerly judge at the Court of Appeal of Ireland, Advocate General Evgeni Tanchev from the European Court of Justice and formerly Vice-President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, and Stanisław Biernat, former Vice-President of the Polish Constitutional Court.

Other speakers included:

  • Alison L. Young, Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Robinson College
  • Patrick Birkinshaw, Emeritus Professor of Public Law and Director of the Institute of European Public Law, University of Hull
  • Valsamis Mitsilegas, Professor of European Criminal Law, Queen Mary University of London
  • Monica Claes, Professor of European and Comparative Constitutional Law, Maastricht University
  • Patricia Popelier, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Antwerp
  • Helle Krunke, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Copenhagen, and Vice-President of the International Association of Constitutional Law
  • Xenophon Contiades, Professor of Public Law, Panteion University, Athens, and Managing Director of the Centre for European Constitutional Law, Athens
  • Jörg Gerkrath, Professor of European Law, University of Luxembourg
  • Tuomas Ojanen, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Helsinki
  • Janne Salminen, Professor of Public Law, University of Turku
  • Joakim Nergelius, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Örebro
  • Konrad Lachmayer, Professor for Public Law, European Law and Foundations of Law, Sigmund Freud University in Vienna
  • Giuseppe Martinico, Associate Professor in Comparative Public Law, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa
  • Barbara Guastaferro, Tenured Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Naples ‘Federico II’
  • Samo Bardutzky, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Bogdan Iancu, Associate Professor in Comparative Constitutional Law and Constitutional Theory, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Political Science
  • Francisco Pereira Coutinho, Professor of Constitutional Law, Lisbon Nova Law School
  • Constantinos Kombos, Associate Professor of Public Law, University of Cyprus
  • Stéphanie Laulhé Shaelou, Professor of European Law and Reform, University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus
  • Márton Varju, Senior Research Fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary
  • Nóra Chronowski, Associate Professor of Constitutional Law, National University of Public Service, Budapest, and Researcher, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Joan Solares Mullor, Lecturer of Constitutional Law, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona
  • Madis Ernits, Judge, Tartu Appeals Court and Visiting Lecturer in Constitutional Law, University of Tartu
  • Carri Ginter, Associate Professor of European Law, University of Tartu
  • Martin Belov, Associate Professor in Constitutional Law, ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’ University of Sofia
  • Catherine Van De Heyning, Professor of Fundamental Rights, University of Antwerp
  • Raffaela Kunz, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg


The full list of speakers and programme are available here

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The photos of the conference were taken by Andreea Tufescu.

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