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 and more.

You can read more about our blog symposia as well as the associated costs here. If you have an idea for a blog symposium – and, ideally, the funding – please don’t hesitate to get in touch via symposium@verfassungsblog.de.

February 2024
11 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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9 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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1 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.

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11 contributions

Poland's Rule of Law On The Ballot

On 15 October, Poland will have one of the most contentious and consequential parliamentary elections in the country’s history. The free but not likely unfair vote is mired with controversies regarding the ruling party’s abuse of state institutions and state-owned assets to tilt the electoral field in its favour. Even if the opposition prevails and a pro-European government emerges, fixing the rule of law damaged by eight years of erosion will be daunting. Democracy Reporting International, working under the re:constitution programme, and Verfassungsblog present a symposium exploring the various legal aspects of the vote itself and the uncertain future of the rule of law in the country.

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September 2023
16 contributions

Parlamentsentscheidungen in eigener Sache

Wie ist es verfassungsrechtlich und politikwissenschaftlich zu analysieren und zu bewerten, wenn das Parlament “in eigener Sache” entscheidet? Welche Bedeutung haben solche Konstellationen für die Stabilität und Funktionsfähigkeit der Demokratie? Welche Mechanismen können den Konflikt entschärfen? Können aus der Verfassung bestimmte prozedurale Pflichten oder aber die Notwendigkeit der Einschaltung unabhängiger Akteure abgeleitet werden? Diesen Fragen will sich ein Blogsymposium des Instituts für Deutsches und Internationales Parteienrecht und Parteienforschung (PRUF) und der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Demokratie (SW&D) aus rechts- wie politikwissenschaftlicher Sicht widmen.

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July 2023
6 contributions

Final Call for Digital Workers Rights in the EU

Digital labour platforms like Glovo, Uber, or Helpling try to disrupt labour laws all over the world. Since the EU Commission put forward a proposal for a Directive on improving working conditions in platform work in December 2021, all eyes are on the EU. The trilogue negotiations starting over the summer will hopefully end up making true some of the promises of protection and transnational harmonisation. This symposium explains what is at stake for platform workers, which digital platforms could be covered and what the proposed presumption of employment would bring. Further, the symposium looks into ways of effectively addressing platforms as undertakings in EU labour law in the future, at issues of social security for platform workers, as well as at the future of data protection in the context of algorithmic management.

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June 2023
11 contributions

Nachhaltigkeit in Zeiten planetarer Krisen

Klimawandel, Artensterben und Umweltverschmutzung von globalem Ausmaß bedrohen die Existenz von uns Menschen und unserer Mitwelt. Eine zügige Transformation zu einer nachhaltigen Gesellschaft ist das Gebot der Stunde. Welche Beiträge kann das Recht in diesem Transformationsprozess leisten? Begleitend zur 2. Jahrestagung des Forums Junges Nachhaltigkeitsrecht bringt diese Debatte ausgewählte Diskurs- und Lösungsansätze aus dem Forum zusammen.

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9 contributions

Shifting Paradigms of European Media Regulation

Media freedom is vital for a democratic rule of law. It is essential to protect human rights and safeguard participation in the public sphere. However, regulating it is challenging, as proven by the extensive debates concerning the recent proposal for a European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) by the European Commission. The proposal marks a cornerstone of European Media Regulation. Yet, it is far from being the only piece of regulation affecting journalists and media outlets. The symposium takes the EMFA as a starting point to look at how media is regulated, its implications and how other European regulatory initiatives are affecting media freedom, such as the repercussions of GDPR, DSA or the upcoming Anti-SLAPP Directive. The Symposium has been curated by Viktoria Kraetzig and Neus Vidal Martí, Fellow and Alumna of the programme re:constitution – Exchange and Analysis on Democracy and the Rule of Law in Europe.

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22 contributions

Kleben und Haften: Ziviler Ungehorsam in der Klimakrise

Die Auseinandersetzung um die Legalität und Legitimität der Aktionen der Letzten Generation hat sich dramatisch zugespitzt. Mit den Ermittlungen wegen der Bildung einer „kriminellen Vereinigung“ fährt der Staat schwere strafprozessuale Geschütze auf – und stellt damit ganz grundlegende Fragen in den Raum: Welchen Platz hat ziviler Ungehorsam im demokratischen Verfassungsstaat? Wo liegen die Grenzen zwischen regulärem Strafverfahren und unzulässiger Kriminalisierung? Und welche Rolle spielt das Klimaschutzgebot des Grundgesetzes in alledem?

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May 2023
13 contributions

Radical Reforms: Bringing Fairness to Social Media Contracts

The social media landscape is changing. The ‘public forum’ is now filled with citizens selling products, promoting services, charging for subscriptions, and sometimes seeking attention in ways which may not be socially desirable. We ask: How can a space that is becoming increasingly commercialised, monetised, and is a source of income for many nevertheless be fair? Departing from this foundational question, this symposium pursues many more granular ones, each anchored in whether and how the rights of users in social media spaces can be strengthened vis-à-vis dominant platforms via social media contracts.

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11 contributions

The Future of the European Security Architecture: A Debate Series

This debate series is dedicated to Ligue des Droits Humains – a case in which the CJEU decided on the fate of the Directive on the use of passenger name record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (in short: PNR Directive). The PNR Directive is one of the first major EU-wide examples of predictive policing – thus not just interesting in itself. Today, the EU security architecture relies on the extensive use of personal data, collected in large-scale, supranational databases, which are rendered interoperable and searchable through modern and potentially self-learning technologies. The CJEU’s ruling interrogates the emergence and gradual consolidation of this new security architecture in Europe.

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March 2023
16 contributions

50 Years On: Ireland and the UK In and Out of the EU

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Ireland and the UK’s accession to the now European Union, and three years since the UK withdrew from it. This symposium reflects on the constitutional evolution brought about by EU membership and Brexit. Following nearly fifty years of convergence and integration, commentators interrogate the meaning and nature of EU membership in a current and former member state, reflecting on common questions including sovereignty, constitutional identity, and the protection of rights.

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February 2023