DEBATE

All Debates on Verfassungsblog

Verfassungsblog hosts online symposia on topical events and developments in legislation and jurisdiction and puts cutting-edge scholarship up for discussion. Our aim is to create a lively and multi-faceted constitutionalist public sphere in Europe and beyond. Since 2011 high-profile issues of public interest in constitutional law and politics have been at the center of controversial debates on Verfassungsblog on a regular basis, including the constitutional decline in EU member states like Hungary, the regional separatism in Scotland and Catalonia, European constitutional courts and their fraught relationships et.al.

July 2024
7 contributions

Unwritten Constitutional Norms

Unwritten Constitutional Rules are those elements of the constitution that are not fully contained in its text. Even though – or maybe precisely because – they are unwritten, they serve important functions within the constitutional system. This blog symposium examines the phenomenon of Unwritten Constitutionalism from a comparative perspective with contributions from Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom, three jurisdictions in which unwritten constitutional rules play very different roles

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7 contributions

Media Freedom and Pluralism

What is ‘media’ in a digitalized society where boundaries between news, commercial and social content are increasingly blurred? How can we safeguard media pluralism against powerful state actors as well as powerful tech companies? This Symposium will explore these and other pressing questions concerning the state of the media.

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9 contributions

Friedfertige Proteste im Schmerzgriff der Polizei

Wie sind polizeiliche Schmerzgriffe, die Beamte bei friedlichen Versammlungen einsetzen, rechtlich zu beurteilen? Obwohl solche Grifftechniken extreme Schmerzen verursachen, wenden Polizeikräfte diese in einigen Bundesländern fast schon routinemäßig an. Diese Debatte leuchtet den Rechtsrahmen von Schmerzgriffen aus straf- und verfassungsrechtlicher Perspektive aus.

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May 2024
14 contributions

Unboxing the New EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

There is much to unpack in the now final text of the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. In partnership with the German Institute for Human Rights, this blog symposium discusses the Directive’s scope on human and environmental rights, its extraterritorial reach, the role of National Human Rights Institutions, accompanying measures for corporations, and delves into critical issues such as access to justice for rightsholders, administrative oversight, and the underlying neo-colonial context of the law-making process.

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June 2024
9 contributions

The ITLOS Advisory Opinion on Climate Change

On May 21, 2024, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) delivered a long-awaited Advisory Opinion on climate change and international law. This joint blog symposium with the Sabin Center’s Climate Law Blog delves into specific aspects of the ITLOS opinion and situates it in the wider context of climate and environmental litigation.

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April 2024
17 contributions

The Transformation of European Climate Litigation

In a transformative moment for European and global climate litigation, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled for the first time in its history that inadequate climate mitigation measures violate human rights. The implications are far-reaching, both in Europe and beyond. This joint blog debate with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law assesses the Court’s climate judgments from April 9 and discusses the implications for climate protection and climate litigation.

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13 contributions

Indian Constitutionalism in the Last Decade

Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has governed India for the past 10 years. During this time, many aspects of India’s democracy and constitutional system have come under attack. Whether it’s freedom of speech, religious freedom, or federalism: Indian constitutionalism has changed. This blog symposium explores these changes and assesses the state of constitutionalism in India.

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March 2024
16 contributions

Das Parteiverbot in Deutschland und Europa

Die bundesweiten Demonstrationen in Reaktion auf das Potsdamer “Remigrationstreffen” haben die Debatte über ein Verbot der AfD neu entfacht. Welchen rechtlichen und politischen Hürden begegnet ein solcher Schritt, auch in Anbetracht wirksamer Selbstviktimisierungsstrategien der AfD? Wie gehen andere Länder mit vergleichbaren Bedrohungen für die Demokratie um? In einem Blog-Symposium des Instituts für Deutsches und Internationales Parteienrecht und Parteienforschung (PRUF) und der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Demokratie (SW&D) in Kooperation mit dem Thüringen-Projekt versammeln wir Beiträge, die das Parteiverbot grundlegend und aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven analysieren.

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April 2024
11 contributions

The World Health System After the Pandemic: Towards Equity and Decolonization?

The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the cracks in the global health system, exposing stark inequalities in access to life-saving vaccines. While the wealthier nations hoarded doses, millions in the Global South remained unprotected. What could a fair and decolonized global health system look like? This blog debate brings scholars from various disciplines together to assess current reform processes of the world health system and the role that law plays in it.

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March 2024
14 contributions

Controversies over Methods in EU Law

Methodological issues pervade contemporary debates in EU law. The multiple crises that the European Union is experiencing are leading EU law scholars to question their classical conception of EU law – a law of integration – and their relationship to the European institutions. The blog posts collected in this symposium provide an overview of these ongoing methodological controversies. The current state of EU law can be seen as an exemplary site for reflection on legal methodology and, more generally, on the restructuring moments of a disciplinary field. This opens new perspectives for the challenges EU law – and its scholarship – face in the 21st century, from fundamental rights to external pressures.

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February 2024
12 contributions

Rethinking the Law and Politics of Migration

2023 has seen an uptick in migratory flows and a concomitant escalation of restrictionist governmental approaches to migration control. Newly introduced measures increasingly violate even long-established human rights norms and/or the rule of law, while also failing to provide real solutions to the challenges that (im)migration governance poses. Language of crisis, necessity, emergency and deterrence have been pervasive, combined with an increasingly nativist and exclusionary nationalist discourse within even established liberal democracies. Legal commentary has mostly remained reactive, leaving little space for discussion of what an alternative legal and political approach to migration governance might look like. In this symposium, scholars of migration law take stock of the current framework, its policies and normative assumptions and discuss where to go from here.

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10 contributions

From the DMCA to the DSA—A Transatlantic Dialogue on Online Platform Regulation and Copyright

On 17 February 2024, the Digital Services Act (DSA) became fully applicable in Europe. The DSA takes a novel regulatory approach to intermediaries by imposing not only liability rules for the (user) content they host and moderate, but also separate due diligence obligations for the provider’s own role and conduct in the design and functioning of their services. This new approach fundamentally reshapes the regulation and liability of platforms in Europe, and promises to have a significant impact in other jurisdictions, like the US, where there are persistent calls for legislative interventions to reign in the power of Big Tech. This symposium brings together a group of renowned European and American scholars to conduct an academic transatlantic dialogue on the potential benefits and risks of the EU’s new approach.

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7 contributions

Outstanding Women of International, European and Constitutional Law

The project “Outstanding Women of International, European and Constitutional Law“ is an initiative of students and young scholars of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hamburg, inspired by an eponymous seminar held by Verena Kahl (Ass. iur., M.A.) and Prof. Dr. Markus Kotzur, LL.M. (Duke Univ.) in 2021. The aim of the project is to make distinguished women and their important contributions to the development of the national and international legal order visible and better known.

Since 2022, a pocket calendar consisting of twelve short portraits of outstanding women in the fields of International, European and Constitutional Law has been published annually to showcase women and their achievements as well as challenges they encountered throughout the course of their careers. Each calendar aims to feature women of different times and various backgrounds, following an intersectional approach.

In 2024, the project started a collaboration with the Verfassungsblog to publish detailed monthly portraits of the women presented in the calendar. For more information, please visit the project’s UHH website or follow us on social media (@outstanding_women_jura_uhh on Instagram and @OW_Jura_UHH on X).

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8 contributions

The Legal Tools of Authoritarianism: The Russian Constitution at 30

The Russian Constitution has just turned 30 years old. But do law, constitution, and courts still play a role in a deeply authoritarian and aggressive regime? What has gone wrong in the history of Russian constitutionalism? These questions are not only of domestic relevance: For Soviet dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, peace went hand in hand with human rights and progress. This blog debate, in collaboration with the German Sakharov Society, is seeking answers and sheds light on the legal tools of Russian authoritarianism.

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January 2024
12 contributions

Regieren ohne zu regieren: Autoritärer Populismus und parlamentarische Obstruktion

Das Thüringen-Projekt fragt: Was wäre, wenn? Das wahrscheinlichste Szenario autoritär-populistischer Machtausübung in Thüringen und generell in Deutschland ist nicht eine Regierungsbeteiligung. Wenn eine Fraktion über ein Drittel der Landtagsmandate erhält, kann sie aus der Position der Minderheit heraus die Arbeitsfähigkeit von Parlament und Regierung effektiv stören. Auch unterhalb einer solchen Sperrminorität ist parlamentarische Obstruktion möglich. Aber wozu sind parlamentarische Minderheitenrechte da, wenn nicht dazu, der Mehrheit im Weg zu sein?

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December 2023
14 contributions

Ausgebremst: Die Haushaltsentscheidung des BVerfG und die Zukunft der Finanzverfassung

Mit dem Grundgesetz unvereinbar und nichtig: Das Urteil des Bundesverfassungsgerichts zum Zweiten Nachtragshaushaltsgesetz 2021 hat nicht nur den Staatshaushalt, sondern auch die Regierung in eine Krise gestürzt. Die aufgeworfenen Fragen sind groß. Es geht um Notsituationen und wie man sie bewältigt, um parlamentarische Gestaltungsräume und deren Einengung – und nicht zuletzt auch darum, ob die Schuldenbremse in Zeiten multipler Krisen noch eine zeitgemäße Regelung des Grundgesetzes ist.

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October 2023
9 contributions

Regulierung der Sexarbeit in Deutschland – 6 Jahre Prostituiertenschutzgesetz

Deutschland hat sich mit Erlass des Prostitutionsgesetzes für eine Legalisierung der Sexarbeit entschieden. Im Jahr 2017 trat das Prostituiertenschutzgesetz in Kraft, das eine differenzierte gewerberechtliche Herangehensweise zur Regulierung der Sexarbeit mit verschiedenen Anmelde-, Genehmigungs- und Hinwirkenspflichten verfolgt. Reguliert wird die Sexarbeit in Deutschland zudem durch zahlreiche weitere gesetzliche Regelungen wie beispielsweise das Strafrecht, das Baurecht oder das Arbeitsrecht. Das Symposium „Regulierung der Sexarbeit in Deutschland – 6 Jahre Prostituiertenschutzgesetz“ beleuchtet aus einer intradisziplinären Perspektive verschiedene Aspekte der rechtlichen Regulierung der Sexarbeit und zieht damit gleichzeitig eine Zwischenbilanz zum Prostituiertenschutzgesetz.