Europe's Constitutional Mosaic

Seminar Series

Europe's Constitutional Mosaic

Europe's Constitutional Mosaic was a series of five seminars organised by Neil Walker, Stephen Tierney and Jo Shaw in the Edinburgh Law School. The programme was supported by the James Madison Trust and funded by a British Academy small grant for research. It was closely linked to other projects within the Europa Institute and the Centre for Law and Society.

The seminars sought to explore the complex constitutional arrangements of the European space as an interconnected mosaic. There has been much recent debate concerning the constitutional future of Europe, focusing almost exclusively upon the EU in the context of the (failed) Constitutional Treaty and subsequently the Treaty of Lisbon. The premise was that this focus, while important, offers only a partial vision of the complex constitutional terrain of contemporary Europe.

In addition, it explored other threads of normative authority within and across states, embracing internal challenges to state-level constitutional regimes; the growing jurisprudential assertiveness of the Council of Europe regime (in particular through the ECHR); as well as Europe’s ever thicker relations with broader international institutions, in particular the United Nations. Together, these create increasingly dense networks of constitutional authority within the European space. This fluid and multi-dimensional dynamic is difficult to classify, and indeed may seem in many ways impenetrable, but that makes the academic challenge all the more important and pressing. Without this fuller picture, it becomes impossible to understand the legal context of Europe today or the prospects of ongoing changes.

The seminars took place on Friday afternoons during the 2008/2009 academic year at the University of Edinburgh. The focus was on the discussion of pre-circulated papers. The papers discussed at the seminars were brought together as a collective volume edited by the organisers, published as Europe's Constitutional Mosaic (Hart, 2011).


Seminar 1 – 10 October 2008

The EU and the Member States: The Evolving Relationship in the Context of the Broader Constitutional Mosaic

Speakers
Monica Claes (University of Tilburg)
Post, Past, Beyond and Back

Julio Baguero Cruz (Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies)
An Area of Darkness: Three Conceptions of the Relationship between EU Law and State Constitutional Law

Chair
Jo Shaw (University of Edinburgh)

Discussants
Cormac Mac Amhlaigh (University of Edinburgh)
Neil Walker (University of Edinburgh)


Seminar 2 – 23 January 2009

The Council of Europe: Building Models of Good Governance/Democratisation

Speakers
Gwen Sasse (University of Oxford)
Jo Shaw (University of Edinburgh)

Chair
Neil Walker (University of Edinburgh)

Discussants
Christina Boswell (University of Edinburgh)
Stephen Tierney (University of Edinburgh)


Seminar 3 – 20 February 2009

The European Convention on Human Rights: Extending the Substantive Reach of the Convention and the Court

Speakers
Andrew Williams (University of Warwick)
Sionaidh Douglas-Scott (University of Oxford)

Chair
Claudio Michelon (University of Edinburgh)

Discussants
Daniel Augenstein (University of Edinburgh)
Elaine Webster (University of Strathyclyde)


Seminar 4 – 3 April 2009

Substate Nations Regions: The Intensification of Constitutional Claims Below the State

Speakers
Ferran Requejo (Universitat Pompeu Fabre)
Hans Lindahl (University of Tilburg)

Chair
Drew Scott (University of Edinburgh)

Discussants
Ailsa Henderson (University of Edinburgh)
Chris Himsworth (University of Edinburgh)


Seminar 5 – 24 April 2009

Looking Outwards: Europe's Constitutional Mosaic Within a Global Constitutional Order

Speakers
Jan Klabbers (University of Helsinki)
Anne Peters (University of Basel)

Chair
Stephen Tierney (University of Edinburgh)

Discussants
Neil Walker (University of Edinburgh)
Gavin Anderson (University of Glasgow)