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UCD Sutherland School of Law 16th Irish European Law Forum: Changing Sovereignty in Europe

The UCD Sutherland School of Law 16th Irish European Law Forum:  Changing Sovereignty in Europe

December 5 and 6 2013

The Irish European Law Forum is an annual one day conference run by the UCD Sutherland School of Law on a different theme each year. As part of the Department of the Taoiseach's Communicating Europe Initiative, the Forum was run by the UCD Constitutional Studies Group to mark the 40th anniversary of accession of Ireland to the EU with a view to exploring the nature of sovereignty as a key concept shared between Constitutional, EU and Public International Law as well as the related disciplines of politics and international relations. 

There were several firsts associated with the event this year.  This was the first time the Forum benefitted from the support of the Department of the Taoiseach’s office, the UCD Constitutional Studies Group.  It was also the first time it was associated with the Royal Irish Academy which facilitated the public lecture entitled 'Sovereignty, the Nation-State, and Integration History' given the night before the conference by Professor Peter Lindseth, Olimpiad S. Ioffe Professor of International and Comparative Law and Director, International Programs, University of Connecticut School of Law and chaired by The Hon. Ms. Justice Mary Laffoy, Supreme Court, Ireland. The conference was also the first ever to be held in the new UCD Sutherland School of Law which had opened the previous week.

The aims of this conference are: 

  • To disaggregate the notion of sovereignty in a considered way, given the extent to which the term is found in public debate on the relationship between Member States and the EU
  • To explore sovereignty through a variety of lens: Constitutional law, EU Law, International Law, Political Theory and Political Economy.

The themes are:

  • The Nature of  Sovereignty

How have the ways we conceive of sovereignty nationally and within the EU, and between the Member States and the EU, changed.

  • The Challenge of Sovereignty in Times of Crisis

How has the economic crisis affected the boundaries of state sovereignty; how the relationship between the EU and the state has shifted; reflections on prominent cases such as the Pringle case.

  • The Future of Sovereignty

What will be the nature of sovereignty in twenty years time?  Using a futuristic lens the aim is to draw on experiences thus far, to highlight what the unexpected changes, why change has happened and to identify externalities that may further change our understanding of sovereignty in the future.

Papers were chosen on the basis of an international call for papers with speakers coming from the Slovenia, Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands, the UK (Scotland and England).  The Forum was particularly pleased to host papers from Irish diaspora, Dr. Elaine Fahey (University of Amsterdam) and Dr. Cormac MacAmhlaigh (Edinburgh University).

Several of the papers and the public lecture will be published in the UCD SSRN working paper series in March 2014.

 

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