IACL World Congress: Workshop 20

This week, the blog is featuring 8 additional workshops suggested by delegates for the 10th IACL World Congress 2018 on “VIOLENT CONFLICTS, PEACE-BUILDING AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW”,  being held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 18-22 June 2018. Full details are on the congress website, in English and French, along with information on how to submit a paper. Papers may be in either French or English. Please circulate to colleagues interested in the subject. 

WORKSHOP #20 The Influence of Foreign and International Legal Sources on Post-Conflict and in-Conflict Constitutional Law


  • Tania Groppi tania.groppi@unisi.it
  • Gianluca Gentili g.gentili@sussex.ac.uk

The workshop represents the contribution of the Interest Group on “Cross-Judicial Fertilization. The Use of Foreign Precedents by Constitutional Judges” to the 2018 IACL World Conference on “Violent Conflicts, Peace-Building and Constitutional Law”. After exploring the use of foreign precedents in constitutional interpretation (Mexico 2010) and the use of foreign law in constitution-making and amending endeavors (Oslo 2014), on the occasion of the forthcoming 2018 World Congress the Group would like to focus more specifically on the role played by foreign legal sources in post-conflict and in-conflict conditions.

At least since the end of the Second World War, post-conflict and in-conflict environments have been especially receptive to external influences in constitution-making and -amending processes. This practice has developed further after 1989, also as a result of the more prominent role played by international actors in democratic transitions. At the same time, the circulation of case law has increased worldwide, as it is testified by the empirical researches carried out by the Group and by several dedicated studies and publications.

The purpose of the Workshop is to provide a comparative analysis of the role played by external influences in the constitution-making and interpretative endeavors that have characterized various post-conflict and in-conflict contexts, at different times and in different cultures. By way of example, Mexico after the revolution, post-war Germany, Italy, South Korea and Japan, Spain after Franco’s dictatorship, post-apartheid South Africa, Romania and Hungary after the fall of communism, Colombia after the peace agreement, Tunisia in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and also Israel as a country that is still facing an emergency situation, in addition to other interesting paper proposals. In their papers, participants to the Workshop will investigate several key questions: What could be the reason behind the imitation of foreign constitutions? Who are the key actors facilitating reception of foreign or international legal materials? Are they domestic or international actors? What are the main areas where constitutional borrowing takes place? Is imitation of foreign models decided freely or imposed (and, in this latter case, by whom and through which channels)? What role did foreign models and possibly actors play in the appeasement of the conflict? Do foreign or international legal materials play a role in the interpretation of post-conflict and in-conflict domestic constitutional law? If so, do these sources facilitate the appeasement of the conflict and the achievement of a balance between the various parties to the conflict?

These issues will be considered in relation to efforts made to settle violent conflicts, reconstruct a peaceful political dialogue, consolidate a democratic regime or lower progressively the intensity of the conflict. The main purpose of the Workshop, therefore, is to assess the contribution of the circulation of constitutional ideas to peace-building activities.