domenica 31 luglio 2011

Guest Blogger: Marco Goldoni on "The Gifts of Synthesis: Integration and Constitutionalization"

The Gifts of Synthesis: Integration and Constitutionalization

Review of: Agustin Menéndez, Erik John Fossum, The Constitution’s Gift. A Constitutional Theory for a Democratic European Union. (Lanham, ML, Rowman & Littlefield 2011) 303 p., ISBN 978-0-74255311-8.

Even though it cannot yet be compared to its American counterpart for quantity and quality, European constitutional theory is rapidly flourishing and it has almost developed into a genre with its own jargon and categories. This important book can be hailed as one of the most elaborated fruits of the season of European constitutional self-reflection. Given the much contested nature of the European Union as a political entity, constitutionalists have had to struggle in order to capture it and to explain its constitutional value. By not succumbing to the intoxicating rhetoric of the ‘sui generis’ polity, the authors engage with European constitutional history and theory with a view of clarifying what is the nature of the European polity, how to explain certain constitutional riddles like the supremacy principle and how to put forward principles in order to assess the legitimacy of this constitutional order. Overall, it is an extremely useful operation both for constitutional and European lawyers. The presupposition underlying  the approach advocated in this book is the idea that the traditional categories of modern constitutionalism still represent the main toolbox to tackle with European constitutional problems. In this way, the contribution made by this book has a double nature: it entails both a general effort at explaining the European constitution and it also sets normative standards to be used as a yardstick against which judging the legitimacy of the European constitutional polity.

sabato 30 luglio 2011

Seminario de Investigadores del Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales

El seminario de investigadores constituye el núcleo y el punto de encuentro de la actividad de los investigadores posdoctorales García Pelayo del CEPC. En la actualidad el programa cuenta con quince investigadores procedentes de instituciones académicas españolas, europeas y norteamericanas, que desarrollan sus trabajos en el campo de la sociología, ciencia política y derecho público.

giovedì 28 luglio 2011

Guest Blogger: Filippo Fontanelli on Arbitration as a form of International Justice

Why arbitration is a form of international justice
(and why it is desirable that off-side calls are not reviewed by ordinary judges)
            Vox Populi, vox dei?
In the Great Hall of Justice, a large painting hangs over the entrance through which Judges of the International Court of Justice make their way to the bench. Two jurisconsults, standing on a rock platform, are depicted in the midst of a debate before an arbiter, whereas a woman stands below the rock. Two knights in armor, presumably convened with some animus pugnandi, are showed parting ways, after the providential intervention of the woman, a personification of Peace itself.
This 1914 painting by Albert Besnard is commonly known under the title “Peace by justice” as, in fact, it shows how the resolution of a dispute through legal arguments prevented it from turning into a violent conflict, fought with swords.

Iran Electoral Archive (Scuola Superiore S.Anna)

From the website:

The Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna has been involved in activities related to election assistance and monitoring, human rights, development, and post-conflict rehabilitation for several years. In this framework, an International Research Laboratory on Conflict, Development and Global Politics has been recently inaugurated with the aim of promoting research in the fields of conflict prevention and management, human rights, election related issues, post-war reconstruction and sustainable development.
The Scuola has an active engagement with the monitoring of national and local elections, as demonstrated by the Baladiyahs Governance Monitoring Project in Algeria and the Technical Assistance Programme for the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq: all these activities aim to promote a better understanding of the political and technical aspects related to the elections in various parts of the world.

In this framework, the Iran Electoral Archive (IEAr) has been launched by the Scuola as a concrete answer to the scarcity of available information and to the controversial debate growing around the Iran electoral process.
The IEAr is a comprehensive source of information including laws, high quality documents, and academic articles on Iranian Elections. The key objective of the IEAr is to provide a large variety of stakeholders with a comprehensive and impartial look at the Iranian electoral process.
The IEAr pursues its objectives inspired by the principles of impartiality and independence. For these reasons, all the documents included in the Archive have been selected by a team of highly qualified and independent researchers within and outside the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna with an interest in Iran and electoral processes and has been approved by an independent external body.
In the case you find that the documents included in the Archive do not respect these principles and the plurality of points of view involved in the Iranian election process, please let us know your suggestions and claims by contacting us at the
The IEAr is structured around thirteen interlinked topics. Each section is comprised of relevant documents which provide a detailed analysis of current electoral practices in Iran.

lunedì 25 luglio 2011

Alemanno on "Governing Disasters - The Challenges of Emergency Risk Regulation"

Emergency crises have always tested our ability to organise and swiftly execute a coordinated response. Both natural and unnatural disasters pose new questions to which previous experience provides only limited answers. These challenges are arguably greater than ever, in a more globalised world confronted by a truly transnational hazard.This is the first volume that addresses the complexities of the volcanic ash cloud that overshadowed Europe in April 2011, but has subsequently struck again in Australia, Chile and Europe. It does so from a multidisciplinary perspective, drawing upon research from economics, law, sociology and other fields, as well as volcanology and leading expertise in jet engineering. Whilst our knowledge base is wide-ranging, there is a common focus on the practical lessons of the ash cloud crisis both for subsequent eruptions and for emergency risk regulation more generally.
Among many other insights Governing Risks explains why it was that industry and regulators were largely unprepared for a phenomenon about which we were not scientifically ignorant. It concludes that the toolbox of risk regulation should not be expected to provide ready-made solutions but applied flexibly, creatively and with some humility.
 This unique and timely resource will be useful to policymakers, scholars, officials of international organizations, research institutions and consumer groups who want to acquire or further develop their capacities for risk regulation. For teaching purposes it is ideal for courses on risk regulation, disaster law and policy, and crisis management or as a supplement in courses on environmental law, transport law, space law or land use.

Bagwell and Mavroidis on "Preferential Trade Agreements"


This volume assembles a stellar group of scholars and experts to examine preferential trade agreements (PTAs), a topic that has time and again attracted the interest of analysts. It presents a discussion of the evolving economic analysis regarding PTAs and the various dysfunctions that continually place them among the priority items for (re)negotiation by the WTO. The book explores recent empirical research that casts doubt on the old 'trade diversion' school and debates why the WTO should deal with PTAs and if PTAs belong under the mandate of the WTO as we now know it.

sabato 23 luglio 2011

Schwöbel on "Global Constitutionalism in International Legal Perspective"


The question of whether a global constitution exists or is emerging, and if so, what form it takes, is one of the most intriguing and controversial topics of recent international theory. This book examines public international law contributions to the debate, specifically taking a step back to enquire about the underlying assumptions that inform this debate. While contemporary contributors declare the idea of global constitutionalism to be global, this book reveals and interrogates the underlying liberal democratic themes that define prevailing approaches, thus calling universality into question. Drawing on critical theories within and without the international legal discipline, this book suggests a reconceptualisation of global constitutionalism in terms of what is named ‘organic global constitutionalism’. The book thus addresses significant shortcomings and illuminates necessary reorientations to a field that is currently still in the crucial phase of formation.

More info:

STALS Newsletter

Dear friends and colleagues,
we are pleased to announce the contents of this STALS newsletter.
Please find enclosed the links of a new STALS Research Paper and three new book
L.Pierdominici - Constitutional Adjudication and the 'Dimensions' of Judicial Activism. Legal and Institutional Heuristics 
G. Martinico - The impact of "regional blindness" on the Italian Regional
S. Cassese, Lo Stato fascista, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010,
Reviewer: D. Ragazzoni 
G. de Vergottini, Oltre il dialogo tra le Corti, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010,
Reviewer: G. Martinico 
F. Casolari, L'incorporazione del diritto internazionale nell'ordinamento dell'Unione
europea Milano, Giuffrè, 2008
Reviewer: G. Martinico 
Finally, you can find here some events that will take place at the the Scuola
S.Anna in the next months
September 23-24, 2011
Scuola Superiore "S.Anna", Pisa
IV STALS Annual Workshop
How "Constitutional" Is Transnational Law? 
All the best from Pisa,
the Editors

venerdì 22 luglio 2011

"Domestic Law Goes Global Legal Traditions and International Courts"

  • "Domestic Law Goes Global Legal Traditions and International Courts" Sara McLaughlin Mitchell- Emilia Justyna Powell, University of Alabama, CUP, 2011

International courts have proliferated in the international system, with over one hundred judicial or quasi-judicial bodies in existence today. This book develops a rational legal design theory of international adjudication in order to explain the variation in state support for international courts. Initial negotiators of new courts, 'originators', design international courts in ways that are politically and legally optimal. States joining existing international courts, 'joiners', look to the legal rules and procedures to assess the courts' ability to be capable, fair and unbiased. The authors demonstrate that the characteristics of civil law, common law, and Islamic law influence states' acceptance of the jurisdiction of international courts, the durability of states' commitments to international courts, and the design of states' commitments to the courts. Furthermore, states strike cooperative agreements most effectively in the shadow of an international court that operates according to familiar legal principles and rules.

Alemanno on "The 'State of the Art' of the EU debate on the Precautionary Principle"


Gowan represents the latest and most significant judgment of the European Court of Justice dealing with the controversial precautionary principle. This judgment epitomises the EU’s current struggle in reconciling a flexible, precautionary-oriented regulatory approach with a rational, evidence-based decision-making in the emerging area of EU risk regulation. This comment focuses on three issues: the judicial review of science-based measures; the precautionary principle as a risk manager tool; and, the review ability of precautionary action. It illustrates how, by failing to counterweight the broadening of EU discretionary powers stemming from the invocation of precaution with an effective judicial scrutiny, the Court seems ready to surrender its function of gatekeeper of precautionary action. It concludes that to save the original normative choice in elevating the precautionary principle into a general principle of EU law, EU courts must ensure that reliance on this principle be accompanied by a predictable heightened scrutiny aimed at counterbalancing the broadening of discretionary powers inherent in precautionary action.

Anderson and Murphy on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

From the abstract: "The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights has been incorporated into European constitutional law ten years after it was adopted by the EU institutions. In that time the Charter developed from a ‘solemn proclamation’ to a persuasive authority before the European Courts and now a binding Charter for the EU. It has been referred to in the case-law of both the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. However, the Charter’s history and future are the subject of political contest and academic debate. Along with the accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, it is likely to provide much scope for debate in coming years. This paper assesses the Charter’s development from a proposal to increase EU legitimacy to its current status as the Union’s own Bill of Rights. It examines the rights protected by the Charter, their sources and how they may be interpreted in light of the ‘Explanations’ in the Official Journal. The case-law of the European Courts on the Charter is catalogued and analysed to determine the Charter’s likely value in human rights litigation. Finally, the chapter analyses the application of the Charter across the EU and considers its implications in the Member States that have limited its effect. Three related themes are woven throughout the analysis: the conflicting motivations of the Member States and the EU institutions, the potential for broadening and strengthening human rights protection in the EU and the Charter’s relationship with the European Convention on Human Rights".

Full text available at:

giovedì 21 luglio 2011

[GLJ] German Law Journal: Global Administrative Law auf deutsch? - Bosnia and War Crimes - Multilingualism - Law School Curriculum Design - Mazower's UN History - Strauss' Living Constitution‏

Call for Applications: The vices and virtues of international constitutionalism

European University Institute, PhD Training School

A three-day doctoral training school shall be held at the European University Institute, Florence, on October 20-22, 2011, in context of COST Action 1003.
The topic of this training school will be “the vices and virtues of international constitutionalism”, and submissions are invited from PhD students working in areas related to this topic who are interested in debating the topic with fellow PhD students and with internationally recognised experts in the field of interntional constitutionalism. .

Pierdominici on "Constitutional adjudication and the 'dimensions' of judicial activism. Legal and institutional heuristics"

The dominant approach to constitutional law, and even more so to constitutional theory, has historically been judicial review-centered. Constitutional scholarship has often seemed “strong on positions and weak on analysis”, based on “foundationalist”/organic theories of judicial review, trying to justify or to reject the practice in toto and dictating its parameters.

Itzcovich on "Closer to the citizens? European constitutional processes, communication policy and publicity "

This essay proposes that the emergence and failure of the debate on the EU constitutional reform depends, amongst other things, on the rise of what it calls ‘publicity’ as public policy and governance function: the public management of communication aimed at creating public sphere, improving political communication, participation and trust, building consensus and legitimacy for a governance agency.

Call for papers on methodological nationalism and cosmopolitanism in social sciences. Deadline October 31th 2011

Federalist author from Lionel Robbins to Ludwig Dehio, Emery Reves and Mario Albertini have been forerunners in criticizing the nationalist bias of their disciplines. Ulrich Beck provided a theoretical vision of this problem, developing the concept of methodological nationalism, which, unfortunately, is still mainstream in social sciences. Beck and other sociologists are developing a methodological cosmopolitanism to deal with a partially, but increasingly, globalised world. Perspectives on Federalism would like to contribute to this debate in all academic disciplines of the social sciences. N. 1 of 2012 will thus be devoted to this issue.

The Lisbon Treaty: A Legal and Political Analysis, by J.-C. Piris (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, ISBN 9780521142342); xxii+426pp

Dopo il successo ottenuto con il volume “The Constitution for Europe”, uscito nel 2007, Jean Claude Piris ha recentemente pubblicato un altro libro dal titolo “The Lisbon Treaty. A legal and political analysis”, uscito con lo stesso editore del primo: Cambridge University Press. Piris è stato per molti anni il Direttore generale del Servizio giuridico del Consiglio dell’Unione europea (dal 1988 al 2010).
Il libro si divide in nove capitoli più un’introduzione. Alla fine del volume sono state anche incluse alcune tavole che riassumono le principali innovazioni introdotte dal Trattato di Lisbona.

E. D’Alterio, La funzione di regolazione delle corti nello spazio amministrativo globale, Giuffrè, Milano, 2010

Nella spaventosa (solo per la mole, per carità!) letteratura dedicata alla funzione del giudice nella dimensione postnazionale (come la chiamerebbe Nico Krisch), una menzione particolare merita il volume di Elisa D´Alterio “La funzione di regolazione delle corti nello spazio amministrativo globale” (Giuffré, Milano, 2010).
Si tratta di un libro dalla lettura gradevole e ricchissimo di spunti, anche per la vastità dei temi toccati, temi che, generalmente, trovano “sede” in iper-specialistici studi di diritto internazionale o europeo e che raramente vengono trattati insieme come avviene in questo lavoro.
Il libro si propone di studiare il ruolo regolatore che i giudici svolgono nell´arena globale, uno “spazio giuridico” (per utilizzare le parole di Cassese, Lo spazio giuridico globale, Laterza, Roma-Barci, 2003) che conosce forme di governance senza government (p. 3).

Il passato e il futuro del diritto europeo: a proposito di un recente volume

Lawyers anthropomorphise courts”, con questo notevole incipit si apre un recente volume curato dall’ex Avvocato Generale Miguel Maduro e da Loic Azoulai e intitolato “The Past anf Future of EU Law” (Hart, 2010). Si tratta di un libro che riunisce tutti i più grandi studiosi e pratici del diritto comunitario (e UE) – con l’eccezione di Weiler, Dehousse e Hjalte Rasmussen –, chiamati a commentare, in brevissimi interventi (4-5 pagine in media), i grands arrêts della Corte di giustizia: da Van Gend en Loos a Bosman, passando per Costa/Enel, Francovich, ERTA, Internationale Handelsgesellschaft, Les Verts, Martinez Sala e tante altre.

Federalismo e comparazione negli “Studi europei”: a proposito del libro di R.Schütze, "From Dual to Cooperative Federalism. The Changing Structure of European Law"

Uno dei volumi più interessanti pubblicati da Oxford University Press in questi anni è il libro di Robert Schütze intitolato “From Dual to Cooperative Federalism. The Changing Structure of European Law”.
Il volume è caratterizzato da un forte spirito polemico verso quella dottrina che fa derivare dalla specialità europea la “non-comparabilità” dell’Unione europea con altre esperienze costituzionali (l’argomento secondo l’UE sarebbe una polity sui generis).
Come l’autore scrive nell’Introduzione al volume (“Coming to Constitutional Terms”), al fine di concettualizzare la natura “ibrida” del diritto europeo (non riconducibile alle esperienze statali né a quelle delle organizzazioni internazionali), il pensiero giuridico europeo “invented a new world- ‘supranationalism’- and proudly announced the European Union to be sui generis... The sui generis idea is not a theory. It is an anti-theory, as it refuses to search for commonalities; yet, theory must search for what is generic… however, this conceptualization simply can no longer explain the social and legal reality inside Europe” (pag. 3). Partendo da queste considerazioni, Schütze decide di usare l’aggettivo “federale” per descrivere l’avventura europea al fine di compararla “with another Union: the United States of America” (pag. 4).

Marta Simoncini, La regolazione del rischio e il sistema degli standard. Elementi per una teoria dell'azione amministrativa attraverso i casi del terrorismo e dell'ambiente, Editoriale Scientifica, Napoli, 2010

Negli ultimi anni la prospettiva della regolamentazione del rischio ha cominciato a trovare spazio anche in Europa, dopo avere fatto proseliti negli Stati Uniti a partire dagli anni settanta.
Gli studi giuridici non hanno rappresentato un’eccezione a questo trend, come testimonia anche la recente nascita di una rivista come lo European Journal of Risk Regulation.
Il libro di Marta Simoncini può essere ascritto a questa nuova tendenza. L’Autrice ricostruisce nella prospettiva del rischio la regolamentazione di due specifici settori- l’ambiente e la sicurezza antiterrorismo- indagando le soluzioni offerte da alcuni ordinamenti giuridici in materia di gestione amministrativa dei rischi catastrofici.

How "Constitutional" Is Transnational Law? Scuola Superiore S.Anna, September 23-24 2011

(September 23-24 2011)


     September 23
(Venue: sala CdA Palazzo Toscanelli, via S.Cecilia n.3, Pisa)

Opening Remarks

Filippo Fontanelli and Giuseppe Martinico (STALS Editors)


Keynote speech

Gianluigi Palombella (University of Parma)
The Public's dual core structure and the prospect of  supranational (de) coupling


Transnational law, Globalization and constitutionalism: conceptual and normative queries

Chair: Filippo Fontanelli (Scuola Superiore S.Anna, Pisa)
Matej Avbelj (Graduate School of Government and European Studies, Kranj)
       Pluralism as a link between the legal orders

         Giuseppe Martinico (Centro de Estudios Politicos y Constitucionales, Madrid; Centre for Studies on Federalism, Turin)
               A constitutional approach to the development debate?

Discussant Marko Novak (European Faculty of Law, Nova Gorica)

La Convención UNESCO sobre diversidad cultural y la OMC: ¿ conflicto o complementariedad?

El 20 de octubre de 2005 la Conferencia General de la UNESCO adoptó la Convención sobre la protección y promoción de la diversidad de las expresiones culturales, que entró en vigor el 18 de marzo de 2007. Es claro desde el principio que un convenio internacional que intenta, inter alia, proteger las culturas incluso en contra de los intereses económicos y comerciales irá a enfrentarse con la institución cuyo papel es precisamente el de asegurar tales intereses, o sea la Organización Mundial del Comercio, creada en 1994 tras la Ronda Uruguay y cuyo texto fundamental es el Acuerdo de Marrakech, el Acuerdo General sobre aranceles aduaneros y comercio (AGAAC, más conocido por su acrónimo inglés, GATT) y los otros textos anexos.