This paper posits that Adrian Vermeule’s concept of “common good constitutionalism” has little to do with the Aristotelean Thomistic tradition of constitutional theory. It has to do more with the modern constitutional theory with some integralism spin. While the concept of common good constitutionalism has its conceptual flaws, it can be a basis for the constitutional theory that is directed towards the common good. This paper proposes a concept of Thomist constitutionalism that goes back to the root of Thomas Aquinas theory of human dignity. Aquinas argued that the common good is a reality so central to the perfection of man and his dignity. Thus, the principal meaning of the common good, for Thomas Aquinas, is therefore not a collection of material goods to be distributed among many (an instrumental common good), but consists primarily in spiritual goods, a substantive common good, that is, in those goods which are perfective of the soul.
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!