10-12 December 2020, Melbourne Australia
2020 will be a key milestone for those focused on the health of constitutional democracy worldwide. It will mark the tenth anniversary of the election of the Fidesz government in Hungary, which has laid down a template for the active dismantling of democratic governance through incremental and sophisticated use of law and policy. Since 2010, the number of liberal democracies worldwide whose health, or even endurance, is now in doubt has grown exponentially.
Some states have closely followed the Hungarian script: Poland, under Law and Justice Party rule since 2015, has travelled toward constitutional breakdown and after the elections in October 2019 saw the rule of that party consolidated. In other states we see incremental deterioration of the democratic system that follows a less clear ‘masterplan’ but which remains highly troubling, from the USA, to India under the BJP (in power since 2014 and having won re-election in May 2019), to Brazil, where diffuse decay of the democratic system culminated in the election of the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in October 2018.
In the contemporary world, globalization processes blur economic, social, cultural and other “state boundaries”. Apart from major advantages, they also bring about some global disadvantages, including the necessity to preserve cultural diversity as common heritage of mankind. On the national state level, the need to partly “re-establish” disappearing boundaries is inter alia mediated by introducing the notion of “constitutional identity”.
Constitutional identity is closely related to ethnic, religious, cultural, historical and political identity, but at the same time differs from them. In defining this phenomenon, many questions arise: should constitutional identity be future-oriented? What aspects of collective identity can underlie constitutional identity? What is the relationship between constitutional identity and national identity? What are the models of constitutional identity?
The International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL-AIDC) is pleased to announce its inaugural Junior Scholars Forum to be held at the National University of Singapore on 2-3 July 2020, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law’s Centre for Asian Legal Studies and Melbourne Law School’s Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies. The Forum aims to provide junior constitutional law scholars with a platform (a) to develop their scholarship and interest in constitutional law, (b) to connect with other junior scholars from around the world, in particular bridging the gap between scholars located in the ‘Global North’ and ‘Global South’, and (c) to receive feedback on their research and writing from distinguished scholars in the field.