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ILS PhD Workshop with Prof. Gareth Davies

You are warmly invited to attend the inaugural ILS PhD Workshop on 18 January 2018. The workshop will feature two interaction between legal systems themed lectures, and presentations by the six ILS PhD candidates on their research to date.

The event commences at 10.30 hrs in KOG A.051 with a lecture by PhD researcher Aristi Volou from the University of Leicester on 'A conceptual framework on the interaction of legal orders in the area of human rights’. Aristi discusses a typology she has developed on the interaction of legal orders in the area of human rights by distinguishing interactions on the basis of form and level, degree, type, function and effect.

This is followed by short presentations on their research topics by the six ILS PhD researchers, working in the ILS research focus areas Maritime Security and SOLID. After the presentations, an interactive feedback session will take place.

The day will conclude with the annual public ILS Lecture. Prof. Gareth Davies from VU University will present “Conflicts between apex courts: questions of hierarchy or questions of meaning?”. The lecture will start at 17.30 hrs, but you are welcome to join for coffee or tea from 16.45 hrs in KOG A.051. The abstract of the lecture can be found below.

We hope to see you on the 18th of January! It is not necessary to register. For more information please contact our ILS student assistant, Daila Gigengack.

Public Lecture by Prof. Gareth Davies - Conflicts between apex courts: questions of hierarchy or questions of meaning?

Although they get along most of the time, the ECJ and national supreme courts often disagree on the ultimate hierarchy between national constitutions and EU law. Yet why do we even need to think about this question? There is no inherent conflict between the two bodies of law. Disagreements about what should be done in any given case need not be seen as choice-of-law issues, but can rather be seen as differences regarding the interpretation of shared texts. EU law and national constitutions can peacefully co-exist, provided that the meaning of each is something that can be discussed and disagreed about. Concretely: the opinions of the ECJ on what EU law says cannot be the only ones that count, and perhaps should not bind national courts at all. 

Looking at the EU-constitution relationship in terms of meaning rather than hierarchy has lots of advantages: it replaces a rather empty contest for primacy with a potentially constructive dialogue about the meaning of a distinctly ambiguous contract, bringing national supreme courts into the fold of EU law, instead of pushing them out. It harnesses the judicial resources and local responsiveness of national courts. It also fits somewhat better with the core principles of the EU, from conferral to subsidiarity. Perhaps most important of all, the top-down model of integration seems to have run its course for the moment, and is in a legitimacy crisis. Without a way to integrate the local quirks and peculiarities of national law and policy EU law threatens to create pressures that will grow until they, and perhaps the EU, explode.

Schedule

Lectures take place in KOG A.051

10.30 – 11.30: Welcome +  Lecture by Arista Volou from the University of Leicester - A conceptual framework on the interaction of legal orders in the area of human rights.

11.30 – 13.00: ILS PhD Presentations by Merinda Stewart, Kristof Gombeer, Thea Coventry, Daniel Carter, Anke van der Hoeven and Clare Fenwick. 

13.00 – 14.15: Lunch at the KOG restaurant. 

17.30 – 18.30 (walk in from 16.45): Lecture by Prof. Gareth Davies from VU University - Conflicts between apex courts: questions of hierarchy or questions of meaning?