Tilburg Rule of Law Workshop- Tilburg University, The Netherlands

Bridging idealism and realism in constitutionalism and Rule of Law

Constitutionalism and Rule of Law cannot always easily be distinguished, since the Rule of Law is many times believed to be encompassing constitutionalism, judicial review, separation of powers, as well as a variety of governance structures. One way of looking at this, is that on the national level constitutions are mostly understood to be a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for a polity to be governed by the Rule of Law and constitutionalism. On the supra- or international level (e.g., the European Union, World Bank), where constitutions are absent or have a different shape, it are usually Rule of Law discourse and measures that are taken up to implement the values that are deemed necessary to establish a just political order.

In this workshop, following Jonathan Wolff’s claim that “ideal thinkers who want to have some impact on reality should pay more attention to issues of transition” , we aim to explore the viewpoint that the best normative theory conceives the ideal and the real as mutually regulating each other, and to apply this to the tension between realism and idealism in public law, though the angle of Rule of Law promotion and constitutions.


Participation: Interested scholars and practitioners are welcome, but place are limited and registration is required. Please contact frw.per.secretariaat@uvt.nl

Detailed concept note and agenda: available for download here