In the 1998 Secession Reference, the Supreme Court of Canada opined that while a majority vote in favour of the independence of Québec would give rise to a duty to negotiate eventual separation, only the outcome of a negotiation, not the vote itself, could legitimate secession. Similar questions regarding the legitimacy of a unilateral declaration of independence in the aftermath of a vote in favour of secession surrounded last year’s independence referendum in Catalonia. There too, the vote alone seems to have been found insufficient to justify the creation of a new constitutional order, although it arguably undermined the legitimacy of the old one. These examples show that democracy―or at least majoritarianism―may well be a force with greater destructive than constructive potential, when it comes to constitutional legitimacy. It can call the legitimacy of an existing constitution into question, but something more is necessary for a new constitution to be legitimated.
Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 6-9, 2021. It will be held in a completely novel way as a fully online Conference: ICON•S Mundo.
The Call for Papers for ICON•S Mundo is available here. Submissions for papers and panels must be made by May 1, 2021.
Log into your ICON•S account and apply for ICON•S Mundo by submitting your proposal.Apply for ICON•S Mundo