'Human Dignity and Constitutional Crisis in Europe' in Florence, 15-17 June 2017.
Prof Catherine Dupré co-convened 'Human Dignity and Constitutional Crisis in Europe' conference in Florence.
The programme is available here.
The conference constructed a vision for a common European future. Discussion focussed on the potential of human dignity to provide a guide to navigate our way out of the current crisis of constitutionalism. Key-note speakers were Professor Dieter Grimm and Professor Andras Sajo.
Europe now finds itself facing a new set of crises. The refugee and economic crises, and the concurrent rise of populism and xenophobia, have ignited crises in constitutionalism, with an erosion of fundamental rights standards and the deconstruction of institutional arrangements designed to uphold those rights. A number of European states seem to be regressing from constitutional democracies based on the rule of law and the separation of powers into self-proclaimed illiberal regimes with authoritarian features. Discourse has largely centered on how this backsliding relates to the foundational values of democracy, liberalism, and the rule of law.
This conference reflected on the ways in which the current problems also touch upon human dignity at every level of the European constitutional order, and it evaluated the nature and impact of the current challenges in terms of the shared constitutional commitment to protect human dignity. Looking forward, with the aim of redeveloping a vision for a common European future, discussion focussed on the potential of human dignity to provide a guide to navigate our way out of the current crisis of constitutionalism. In doing so, we considered whether a renewed commitment to human dignity can, indeed, inspire a (partial) solution or whether, in light of its contested nature, it may in fact serve as a rhetorical device ostensibly to legitimise regressive policies and laws.
The conference convenors were:
- Professor Gábor Halmai, Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law, European University Institute
- Dr Panos Kapotas, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Portsmouth
- Dr Catherine Dupré, Associate Professor in Comparative Constitutional Law, Law School, University of Exeter
- Dr Daniel Bedford, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Portsmouth
The conference was sponsored by Portsmouth University and the EUI.
Find out more at: http://www.port.ac.uk/digdem2017
Date: 30 June 2017