Recent scholarship in constitutional law has raised doubts whether constitutional scholars can be political. A strong scepticism, supported by Komárek, argues for a strict professionalism that sustains that the role obligations of scholars override the norms of ordinary morality , whereas a moderate version, advocated by Khaitan, presents instrumental reasons against academic scholarship that is motivated by an external political goal. In response to strong scepticism, I argue for a ‘unified conception of moral responsibility’, in the sense of Postema, which aims to achieve an integration between ordinary and professional morality. In response to the weak version, I argue that an inquiry into a scholar’s motives is an illegitimate criterion to evaluate an academic work. Following Raz, I conclude that an interpretive approach to academic freedom should reject the idea of a ‘narrow morality’, which is based on a fundamental divide between one’s duties and ethical pursuits.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!