About the conference

Constitutionalism faces significant challenges today. On the one hand, respect for rule of law and the independence of judiciaries is in decline. On the other hand, constitutional, supreme and human rights courts are increasingly called upon to address major societal challenges of our times, such as persistent inequalities and the climate crisis.

Bringing together supreme and constitutional court judges and scholars from around the world in Berlin, this international conference creates a unique space for in-depth conversations on how courts and judges do, can and should address these challenges.

Jointly hosted by the Hertie School's Centre for Fundamental Rights and the University of Münster, in cooperation with the Integrative Research Institute Law & Society (LSI) at Humboldt University, the conference is convened by Prof. Başak Çalı (Hertie School), Prof. Cathryn Costello (University College Dublin and Hertie School), and Prof. Nora Markard (University of Münster). The event honours the return of former Federal Constitutional Court Justice Prof. Susanne Baer to academia.

The conference will be held on two days:

Thursday, 8 February 2024 | Public event: Judging in a Constitutional Democracy

A distinguished panel of current and former apex court judges will discuss the challenges of judging in a constitutional democracy.

We are honoured to welcome Justice Daphne Barak-Erez, Supreme Court of Israel, Judge Ivana Jelić, European Court of Human Rights, Prof. Andreas Paulus, Former Justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court and Justice Daniela Salazar Marín, Constitutional Court of Ecuador, for a conversation chaired by Professors Başak Çalı (Hertie School) and Nora Markard (University of Münster).

The event will take place at the Humboldt University Berlin, Faculty of Life Sciences, Hörsaal 10, Invalidenstrasse 42 (view campus map).

Registration is required. Please register here.

See full programme | Learn more about the speakers


Friday, 9 February 2024 | Symposium: Current Challenges for Constitutional Law

The full-day symposium will start with a keynote lecture by Prof. Catharine A. MacKinnon (University of Michigan and Harvard University), followed by three roundtable conversations with judges and scholars addressing pressing constitutional challenges: persistent inequalities, democratic backsliding, and the climate crisis.

The symposium will take place at the Hertie School.

Registration for this event is closed.

The conference will be live-streamed. Livestream links can be found on this website.

See full programme | Learn more about the speakers





Supporting partners