Constitutional Interpretation: The Multiplicity of Actors

Date and Time: 10th of January, 12:00-13:00

Place: Bergen Global, Jektevikksbaken 31

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Who interprets the constitution? On both sides of the Atlantic a multiplicity of constitutional actors outside the courts participate in the elaboration of constitutional principles.

In this lunch seminar, Professor Akis Psygkas from the University of Bristol will present his article “The Hydraulics of Constitutional Claims: Multiplicity of Actors in Constitutional Interpretation”. The article maps out these constitutional actors using as a case study the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. In all four country cases, there are common functional demands for democratic involvement in shaping constitutional meaning. When social movements are shut out of one forum, the actors channel their constitutional claims through different institutional avenues.

Esmeralda Colombo (Faculty of Law, University of Bergen) will reflect on Akis’ presentation and open the discussion.

Athanasios (Akis) Psygkas is Senior Lecturer in Public Law and Politics at the University of Bristol in the UK. His research interests include comparative public law, law of democracy, regulation and governance. His latest book, “From the ‘Democratic Deficit’ to a ‘Democratic Surplus’: Constructing Administrative Democracy in Europe” (Oxford University Press, 2017), examines the impact of European Union law on the adoption of participatory regulatory processes at the member-state level. Akis received J.S.D. and LL.M. degrees from Yale Law School, where he was a Fulbright scholar. He has held visiting positions at the University of Toronto, the European University Institute, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po), and Yale Law School. He has received a British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Award and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

The event is free and open for all! Coffee, tea and buns will be served.