In 2015, CGPL Colloquium series kicked of with a foundational question: Is there global public law? Richard Bellamy, Director of Max Weber Programme, European University Institute, Florence and Mattias Kumm of WZB Rule of Law Center, Berlin and of NYU Law School, New York, debated whether there is global public law and if so, in what form.
This year we hosted Professor Fiona de Londras of the University of Birmingham and Professor Cathryn Costello of Oxford University and turned our attention to Europe and global public law. We asked whether Europe is a friend or a foe of global public law?
Global public law, when understood as a set of public law standards with global reach, seems to first have taken root in Europe. Indeed, the European human rights system and the European Union are two cardinal examples of institutions of global public law. Yet, Europe has also been the home of long standing traditions of domestic constitutionalism well reflected in the principle of subsidiarity, which has been used both in the European Union and in European human rights law. Given the resilient coexistence of both domestic constitutionalism and global public law visions, is Europe a friend or a foe of global public law doctrinally or in practice? What sense are we to make both the globalization of public law and legal and political resistance to such globalization in Europe? Is the future of global public law in Europe fragmented, as reflected in the recent opinion of the European Court of Justice on the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights? Does the refugee crisis in Europe signal the end of the European public law project? What conceptual, theoretical and policy lessons can we draw from the journey of global public law in Europe for countries, such as Turkey, that are at its margins?