ICON•S Italian Chapter- Activities report for 2019-2020

ICON•S IT Second Annual Conference (Florence, November 22-23, 2019)

The Second Annual Conference of the Italian Chapter of ICON·S was held in Florence on November 22-23, 2019 and focused on the theme of “New technologies and the future of public law”. The event was organized in cooperation with the University of Florence, which hosted the conference, and with support from IRPA (Istituto di Ricerche sulla Pubblica Amministrazione), the European University Institute, Fondazione CR Firenze, the Ministry of Culture, and the Municipality of Florence. The Annual conference Scientific committee included Marta Cartabia (now President of the Italian Constitutional Court), Lorenzo Casini, Erik Longo, Giulio Napolitano, Andrea Simoncini and Diletta Tega. The Organizing Committee was comprised of: Sara Benvenuti, Andrea Catani, Edoardo Caterina, Enza Cirone, Elia Cremona, Caterina Di Costanzo, Federico Falorni, Marcella Ferri, Andrea Gatti, Luca Giacomelli, Matteo Giannelli, Renato Ibrido, Nicole Lazzerini, Erik Longo, Michele Magi, Stefano Malpassi, Giulia Mannucci, Costanza Masciotta, Diego Mauri, Jacopo Mazzuri, Giuseppe Mobilio, Teresa Oriani, Federico Orso, Valentina Pagnanelli, Paola Pannia, Monica Parodi, Ippolito Piazza, Serena Stacca.

The conference had an extremely positive outcome, both in terms of turnout and of quality of the debates. It attracted scholars from most Italian universities and research institutes, embracing all branches of public law, and welcomed the active involvement of several practitioners and non-legal scholars. It saw a rich participation of ICON·S members, including the association’s co-president, Lorenzo Casini, the honorary president, Sabino Cassese, and all the Italian members of the General Council (Marta Cartabia, Marco D’Alberti, Mariolina Eliantonio, Giulio Napolitano, Andrea Simoncini, Diletta Tega, Luisa Torchia).

Overall, it featured:
• 700 participants;
• 108 universities, both Italian and foreign;
• 2 plenary sessions;
• 111 parallel panels, with more than 587 papers presented, by both senior and junior scholars.

The first plenary session focused on the interaction between technology and education, with the participation of Gaetano Manfredi (Napoli Federico II, CRUI, now Italian Minister of University and Research), Giorgio Resta (Università Roma 3), Joseph H.H. Weiler (New York University). The second plenary session discussed the future of democracy in a digital society, with the participation of Daniela Caruso (Boston University), Madeleine De Cock Buning (University of Utrecht, EUI), Silvio Micali (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recipient of the Turing Award), and Renaud Dehousse (EUI).
The parallel panels dealt with a wide range of topics, among which the impact of digital technologies (such as AI, big data, blockchain) on decision-making, participation and rights protection; the implications of developments in neurosciences for the key public-law categories of liberty, responsibility, duty, right; the challenges presented by genomics and genetic editing to concepts such as person and dignity. Paper presentations were followed by stimulating discussions between the panellists and the audience.

The conference programme is available here: http://www.iconsfirenze2019.it/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Programma-definitivo-ICON-S-Firenze-22-23-novembre_.pdf