Can we consider the pre-commitment argument appropriate for the defense of a constitutional theory?

The discourse of legal constitutionalism has put forward the pre-commitment argument to defend the constitutional rigidity of institutions and procedures as well as non-availability of rights.
In defending that position appears the re-commitment arguments that are related to the anthropological position that carries a pessimistic understanding of the nature of human beings maintains a strong presumption about individual and collective irrationality, which could lead to a pernicious majority.
However, against the logic of pre-commitment – the discourse of legal constitutionalism –, has emerged, some reasonable criticism from a normative political theory point of view, which present itself as an integral proposal, whose essential basis is the existence of reasonable disagreements and an anthropological understanding of the nature of human beings, which is opposed to the pessimistic conception.

Corruption, Democracy and Human Rights: The Venezuelan Case

Venezuela is one of the richest countries in natural resources in the world, one of the biggest in mines and the largest in proven reserves of hydrocarbons. Notwithstanding, it is paradoxically immersed in a terrible and complex humanitarian, political, economic and social crisis; maybe one of the worst worldwide.
This dramatic situation is the product of several factors, being one of the principal of them a massive, systematic and widespread corruption, which became a sort of “public policy”, with an almost total impunity, except for taking advantage of corruption prosecution (which in many cases just only reaches the imputation phase). This proposal, intends to analyze this unfortunate paradigmatic case, having in consideration not only the interaction and linkages between democracy and rule of law with corruption, but also the effects of this scourge against human rights, as well as its possible legal and judicial implications from this perspective.

How can be build a global constitutionalism without state, in the context of contemporary globalization? An inquiry

Globalization is considered to have made nation-states lose, or are losing their “sovereign” character in national and international politics, due to the emergence of administrative political entities that are disputing this political power such as large companies (multinationals) or private corporations. In this sense, ¿How can be building a theoretical possibility of a global constitutionalism in non-state legal scenarios, based on the construction of a proposal for a mandatory protection, within the framework of Globalization? This paper aims to reflect on the possibilities of building this theory, having in account the relationship between democracy and constitutionalism, in the context of no state legal scenarios, global chains of supply or production, and big private corporations.

Trust, Distrust and the Foreign Relations Law of the Weimar Republic

My contribution will start with shortly analysing continuity and change in the status of international law under the Weimar Constitution as compared to its forerunner, the ‘Bismarck Constitution’. In the main part of the paper, I will explore the tension between international law and mass democracy. Here, I will keep a focus on the special situation of a newly established order which seeks international trust and a widespread public distrust towards Versailles and international and foreign influences. International treaties of those days, in particular the Treaty of Versailles, and membership in international organisations such as the League of Nations and, in particular, the International Labor Organisation had significant implications for domestic economic and social orders. In that sense, international law, to an unknown extent, reigned into the domestic law of (democratic) states, creating unprecedented tensions between international negotiation processes and domestic audiences.

Constitutional Prospects, Constitutional Pathologies: Otto Kirchheimer’s Weimar Moments

For Otto Kirchheimer (1905-1965), Carl Schmitt’s favorite socialist doctoral student, the catastrophic failure of Weimar parliamentarianism was not only a moment of profound disillusionment, but also a moment of democratic realignment and recalibration. His early writings provide an astute observation and analysis of the Weimar Constitution’s rise and decline. In my paper, I shall revisit Kirchheimer’s long neglected Weimar writings and discuss the relevance of his work for present and future “Weimar moments“. I shall also take a closer look on 1968’s Kirchheimer-Renaissance in Germany, prompted by the 1965 German edition of his “Political Justice: The Use of Legal Procedures for Political Ends” (Princeton 1961), a book which inspired intense interest in Kirchheimer’s Weimar years in the ranks of the critical left, but also among more mainstream protagonists of legal academia and within political science.

Social-democratic approaches in Weimar constitutional theory: Between state theory and legal theory

The first part of this paper will analyze the social Rechtsstaat strategy, which was propounded during Weimar by Heller and Neumann. I will present their argument that a concept of social freedom could be reached through the Weimar parliamentary state and the Weimar constitution. The second part will demonstrate Neumann’s critique to his former strategy and to the overall stance of the Weimar SPD. Neumann’s critique could be seen in his works between 1933 and 1945. Moreover, I will delve into Kirchheimer’s critique to the Social Rechtsstaat strategy in his works during Weimar, in view also of the Weimar historical context. Through this juxtaposition, I will examine whether the Social Rechtsstaat strategy could provide with an efficient defence of the Weimar Constitution and of the Weimar Republic in view of the contradiction that was played out in Weimar between political democracy and capitalist economy.

The Polish Weimar Moments and the Constitutional Crisis

There are at least two potential Weimar Moments in Polish constitutional history. The constitution of 1921 faced the particular task of rebuilding a nation. For that purpose, it featured a strong parliamentary component. However, it lasted only for five years before constitutions with greater presidential powers replaced it. The 1990s brought the desire to regain independence and democracy while keeping and expanding social equality. Transformative constitution of the 1997. Sought international ascertainment in European integration. However, this desire, together with financial vulnerability, exposed it to the influence of neoliberal constitutionalism, leading to insoluble contradictions. The paper will analyse to what extent the current constitutional crisis in Poland has been framed by them.

To be confirmed

To be confirmed.
Please note: Prof Mollers has confirmed his interest in presenting a paper on this panel. The panel was put together quite quickly, and he has not managed to submit his paper title or abstract in time for deadline. He has asked that this panel be scheduled either on the Wednesday or the Thursday as he has to leave on the Thursday evening. He also points out that he is already on a panel.

Constitutionalism and protest. The case of protests of November 21 in Colombia

On November 21, 2019 (21N), a large national strike was called in Colombia for the measures that the government was going to take in terms of pensions, taxes and health in what was informally known as the “Duque package”. The government decided to issue a series of executive decrees that gave mayors the possibility of decreeing the curfew and using the ESMAD, which is the police responsible for dissolving the protests. During the protests, which lasted almost a month, there was the death of student Dylan Cruz with an unconventional police weapon, as well as arbitrary detentions, and mistreatment of protesters, especially students, who was denounced by the United Nations High Commissioner for Humans Rights in their Report for the Situation of human rights in Colombia in 2019. The paper will analyze the case of these protests within the framework of constitutional law and the right to protest.

The Weimar Model from the Italian Viewpoint

The presentation will address first, briefly, how Italian legal culture approached the Weimar Model over the 20s and 30s, focusing then on what substantive influence it has had on the Italian Constitution. The Ministry for the constituent, as a matter of fact, published in 1946 a series of documents called “Text and Constitutional Documents” and one of them was the Weimar Constitution. The debates of the constituent assembly therefore reveal the circulation of ideas and shed light on current constitutional developments.