Call for Papers: Symposium on Constitutionalism Under Extreme Conditions [18 July, Israel]: Submit by March 1

The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions in collaboration with Boston College Law School under the auspices of ISRAELI Association of Public Law invite submissions for Symposium on Constitutionalism under Extreme Conditions, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel, Monday, 18 July 2016, 9:00 am – 6:30 pm.

The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa and Boston College Law School invite submissions for a full-day international Symposium on Constitutionalism Under Extreme Conditions, to be held in Haifa, Israel at the Faculty of Law, University of Haifa on Monday, 18 July 2016, under the auspices of The Israeli Association of Public Law (IAPL).

The Keynote speech at this event will be delivered by Justice Dorit Beinisch, President of the Supreme Court of Israel (ret.) and President of the IAPL.

This Symposium is convened by Prof. Richard Albert (Boston College) and Dr. Yaniv Roznai (Minerva Center for RLuEC).

Subject-Matter of Symposium

Constitutions are often made, broken or changed under extreme conditions, whether war, secession, emergency or another extraordinary circumstance.

Over the past 40 years alone, more than 200 constitutions have been introduced in this way and the number rises dramatically when we consider constitutional changes, both successful and failed, under extreme conditions.

Constitutional change during times of crisis raises a number of concerns.

Fear or uncertainty may compel decisions on a compressed schedule without sufficient attention to fundamental freedoms, leading to the expansion of executive powers or even the suspension of democracy as it is has been practiced.

The separation of powers often fails to fulfill its purpose under these circumstances, as legislatures and even courts “rally around the flag” and in so doing may fail to exercise their constitutional functions.

Yet constitutions are intended to be stable and to survive during times of crisis.

They are often designed expressly to accommodate or respond to unforeseen circumstances, whether the crisis lasts for short or long periods of time. Constitutions authorize resort to emergency powers and in some cases to a temporary “constitutional dictatorship” as the regime seeks to restore the status quo ante emergency.

How are we to understand the role of constitutions during times of crisis?

Do different kinds of crises call for different solutions?

Can constitutions even shape the conduct of political actors during such extreme conditions?

Papers are welcomed on any subject of constitutionalism under extreme conditions from comparative, doctrinal, historical, philosophical, sociological and theoretical perspectives.

A non-exhaustive list of possible subjects includes

· The resilience of constitutions to internal/external shocks

· Constitutional states of exception

· Abusive constitutionalism under extreme conditions

· Constitutional design for war, siege and emergency

· Designing, constraining and exercising extraordinary powers

· Judicial review during emergencies

· Constitutional rights protection under extreme conditions

· Constitution-making/amending under extreme conditions

· Sunset/sunrise/temporary constitutional provisions

· Constitutional responses to financial crisis

Purpose of Symposium

The purpose of this Symposium is to convene a group of scholars for a high-level discussion on enduring and emerging questions on constitutionalism and emergencies.

This full-day Symposium will offer participants a balanced combination of rigorous scholarly discussion and more relaxed social interaction.

Structure of Symposium

This full-day Symposium will feature seven papers selected through this Call for Papers, with one discussant assigned to each paper, for a total of fourteen participants.

The day will begin at 9:00 am with welcoming remarks over a continental breakfast.

Each of the seven papers will be allocated one hour of time for group discussion.

The assigned discussant will critique the paper for up to 15 minutes, followed by a 45 minute group discussion.

The paper author will not present her/his paper but will have the opportunity to respond to questions over the course of the hour devoted to her/his paper.

Lunch will be served from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.

The Keynote address is scheduled for 5:30 pm.

Dinner will follow at 6:30 pm.


The convenors intend to publish the papers in an edited book or as a special issue of a law journal.

Discussants may also be invited to submit stand-alone papers.


Submissions are invited from scholars of all ranks, including doctoral students.

Submission Instructions

Interested scholars should email an abstract of 750 words along with curriculum vitae by February 1, 2016 to the following address:

Abstracts should reflect papers that will not have been published by the time of the Symposium, nor submitted elsewhere for consideration for publication. Scholars should identify their submission with the following subject line: “Minerva Center—Constitutionalism Under Extreme Conditions Symposium.”

Notification and Participation Requirements

Successful applicants will be selected by a Symposium Organizing Committee and notified no later than March 1, 2015.


An invitation to participate in this Symposium will be issued to a participant on the following conditions:

1. The participant agrees to submit an original, unpublished paper between 8,000 words and 12,000 words consistent with submission guidelines issued by the Symposium convenors.

2. The participant agrees to submit a full pre-symposium draft by June 20, 2016.

3. The participant agrees to submit a full post-symposium final draft by November 1, 2016.


There is no cost to participate in the Symposium. Successful applicants are responsible for securing their own funding for travel and other incidental expenses.

The Minerva Center is pleased to offer two nights of accommodation and all meals for participants.


in your inbox

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Courses by law firms, Click here