Contesting austerity through reform? Constitutional amendment demands and social rights in post-crisis Greece and Ireland

From constitutional litigation to constitutional amendment, crises have the potential of forging new stories for social rights constitutionalism. Scholarship has documented the impact of the 2008 economic crisis and the sovereign debt crisis in Europe on social rights constitutionalism, mostly focusing on informal constitutional change emerging from constitutional review of austerity measures. However, in the years that followed the crisis, two bailout states, Greece and Ireland, witnessed a development of projects of formal constitutional change involving social rights. The presentation explores potential links and interactions between these projects of constitutional reform with the crisis legislation and case-law. I ague that, even though it could be easily assumed that there is an obvious link between constitutional social rights demands and the constitutional experience of the sovereign debt crisis and austerity, the discussed developments paint a more complex picture.