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Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law well represented at Global Summit on Constitutionalism

The Global Summit on Constitutionalism took place from 16 to 18 March. Wim Voermans, Gert Jan Geertjes and Rowie Stolk, from the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law, travelled to Austin where the conference was organised by the School of Law of the University of Texas at Austin.

They enjoyed three days filled with an inspiring programme. Academics and professionals from all over the world gathered to exchange thoughts on their research, expertise, and insights in the field of constitutionalism.

Wim, Gert Jan and Rowie presented their research in various panels at the Summit. Wim presented his book, ‘The Story of Constitutions: Discovering the We in Us’ which will be published later this year by Cambridge University Press. In it, Wim emphasises the relevance of narrative for constitutional law. Gert Jan spoke on his research into conventions and other unwritten rules in constitutional law. In his presentation, ‘What’s in a Name? Comparing conventions, unwritten constitutional law and other forms of constitutionally relevant customs’, he set out the lines of his research agenda where he will build further on his PhD research, examining the meaning and interpretation of conventions and other rules of unwritten constitutional law in various justice systems. Rowie’s presentation dealt with the (absent) role of the Dutch Constitution in general interest actions. She addressed the implications for democracy and the rule of law of the constitutional prohibition of review in a legal system that offers interest groups very wide access to justice. How should the courts deal with appeals to international and European provisions in individual cases, and how can society and legislators remain involved in the development of fundamental rights in the Netherlands?

The Global Summit was a great success, partly due to the excellent organisation of Richard Albert, professor at the University of Texas, School of Law. He brought together people from all over the world and at various stages of their careers, enabling them to exchange thoughts and establish collaborations in the field of constitutionalism. It is not yet known when the next Summit will take place. Information will be provided on the website of the University of Texas at Austin, School of Law (https://law.utexas.edu/the-global-summit/). 

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