National Identity and Supranational Integration


National Identity and Supranational Integration

Room 104, Level 1

Parkville campus

185 Pelham Street

Booking not required

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Melbourne Law School

How good is constitutional law in settling supranational conflicts? The ambiguous European experience offers insight into its strengths and limitations. While the EU has seen decades of peace and prosperity, it is afflicted also by concerns about loss of identity and bureaucratic domination. EU-critics have become remarkably successful and the Exit-option seems to be more real than ever. How and why has this happened? Many explanations are possible, of which this seminar focuses on one: the synergies of constitutional law.

There are many provisions in EU law that aim to delineate powers and ensure their smooth operation. They are built around the arresting concept of National Identity. The European bodies must respect it, says Article 4 Treaty-EU. Domestic courts have said the same for a long time, too. This strategy has not worked as well as it might, however. The aim of the seminar is both to explain the weakness of notions such as 'identity' and to suggest how to deploy them more effectively. Drawing on the European experience, I will also suggest some more general conclusions for managing the conflicts of a constitutional kind between multi-level courts.

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