The initiative to create an International Society of Public Law emerged from the Editorial Board of I·CON – the International Journal of Constitutional Law. For several years now I·CON has been, both by choice and by the cartographic reality of the field, much more than a journal of comparative constitutional Law. I·CON has expanded its interests, range of authors, readers, Editorial Board members and, above all, issues covered to include not only discrete articles in fields such as Administrative Law, Global Constitutional Law, Global Administrative Law and the like, but also increasingly includes scholarship that reflects both legal reality and academic perception, and which in dealing with the challenges of public life and governance combines elements from all of the above with a good dosage of political theory and social science.
True, in our classrooms we still teach separately “con. law” and “ad. law” and “int. law” – with some justification: they retain their reality and heuristically, one has to start somewhere. But in litigation and jurisprudence, in law making, and in academic reflection, the boundaries among these disciplines and the borders between the national and the transnational – and even global – have become porous, indeed so porous that at times one is really dealing with an AltNeuland of public law.
Learned societies have often been founded to validate the emergence, autonomy, or breakaway of an intellectual endeavor. By contrast, international learned societies are often driven by the realization of intellectual cross-fertilization that can stem from disciplinary ecumenism. ICON·S is both! We believe there is a compelling case for the establishment of an International Society of Public Law predicated on these sensibilities – a new breakaway field, the content of which respects traditional categories yet rejects excessive division of intellectual labor that no longer mirrors reality.
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