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Constitutional Limits to Security

4th Workshop on International Constitutional Law

Due to the great success of the 3rd Vienna Workshops on International Constitutional Law
the idea of the workshop is continued

on 16 – 17 May 2008

with the 4th Workshop on International Constitutional Law

which will take place at

Vienna University, Faculty of Law

Juridicum, Top floor

The 1st workshop offered a general approach on international constitutional law while the 2nd workshop dealt with the more specific topic of transitional constitutionalism. The 3rd workshop reflected perspectives and limits of democracy. The next workshop will deal with the constitutional dimension of security in times of counter-terrorism and transnational police cooperation

Security research poses a central challenge of today's and tomorrow's global and regional societies. What makes security research a major challenge for academics are its various aspects at different global, European and national levels. Similar observations can be made when it comes to the role of law for evolving network societies. 

The workshop elucidates the specific role of constitutional law in the debate on security. It starts from the perspective of International Constitutional Law (ICL), a comparative legal discipline especially concerned with constitutional relations at different levels of legal networks. Security measures meant to protect society as a whole will necessarily tend to restrict constitutional values like the guarantee of fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals. In a comparative perspective the project aims at analysing the impact of security politics on recent developments of international, European and national constitutional law. A core objective is to develop criteria how to limit and/or balance security within the constitutional design (and its network relations). 

The workshop is based on the methodological premises of International Constitutional Law (Constitutional Law as multi-level network), of the migration of constitutional ideas in the communicative network of International Constitutional Law and the consideration of cultural implications in International Constitutional Law. The change of security also implies a challenge to traditional core constitutional principles like democracy, human rights and the rule of law. As a consequence, the significance of the constitutional relations between security and central constitutional principles should be discussed.

Speakers, which have an academic background or work as practicioners in relevant fields, will one more time give short introductory statements (see Program); thereafter, participants and speakers shall elaborate legal and political problems of democracy in an open discussion. In preparation for the workshop, participants (students, lawyers and other practicioners) will receive reading materials containing useful background information on the relevant issues about four weeks in advance.


Dr. Konrad Lachmayer , Schottenbastei 10-16 (Juridicum), A-1010 Wien - Austria, eMail email