In this course, students will analyse constitutional matters such as government systems, judicial review, checks and balance arrangements, and human rights protection form a comparative perspective. We will first focus on fundamental constitutional values, such as individual freedom rights, and examine how these values are protected and promoted in different constitutional systems. By analysing constitutional texts, cases and further materials (for instance in the field of free speech, freedom of religion and non-discrimination) we will aim at better understanding different human rights concepts and concretisation mechanisms as well as common features of different legal systems and contexts. We will then turn to constitutional principles such as democracy, the rule of law, federalism and decentralisation and familiarize ourselves with different ways to organise public participation, to protect common interests and to set up a system of horizontal and vertical power sharing. In doing so, we will also try to better understand how different constitutional systems are affected by and react to increasing internationalisation of fragmentation of law and society. Throughout the course, we will discuss methodological matters of comparative law and improve our knowledge in the general theory of the state. The main focus of the course will be on the following constitutional systems: Germany, France, Switzerland, USA, India, South Africa and Ethiopia but we will also look at some new or fragile states and at some states in transition (Kosovo, South Soudan, and Nepal, etc.). Time permitting we will moreover discuss some new challenges to constitutional law such as migration, erosion of state power, and the impact of new technologies on constitutional matters.

Beginning of the course: Monday 19.02.2018, 09h15-12h00 and 14h15-17h00 18h00, Beauregard 1, conference room 1st floor