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Current Legal Problems: Lectures 2013-14

The Current Legal Problems (CLP) lecture series and annual volume was established over fifty five years ago at the Faculty of Laws, University College London and is recognised as a major reference point for legal scholarship.

The continuing strength of Current Legal Problems is its representation of a broad range of legal scholarship opinion, theory, methodology and subject matter but with an emphasis upon contemporary developments of law. A particularly important feature of the lecture series that forms the basis of the annual volume is the participation of members of the judiciary who chair the lectures in a convivial and academic environment.

The lectures are held at the Faculty of Law, Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1 from 6-7pm (except the Inaugural Lectures) and are accredited by the Bar Standards Board and Solicitors Regulation Authority for 1 CPD hour (unless noted below). They are public lectures and are free of charge.



Past Lectures 2013-14

Thursday 10 October 2013
The Implied Term of Honesty and Fair Dealing

Prof. Hugh Collins (LSE)
Chaired by The Rt Hon Lady Justice Arden DBE

About this lecture
The subject concerns the introduction of implied obligations with respect to the performance of contracts, particularly with respect to types of contracts that are sometimes described as relational contracts (such as agency, distributorship, and employment). This lecture, in particular, will consider the nature of these implied obligations and their relation to the idea of good faith, whether these obligations are terms implied in fact or in law, which in turn raises questions about the category of relational contracts itself.

About this speaker
Hugh Collins joined LSE in 1991 when he was appointed to the chair of English Law. He studied law at Oxford and Harvard. Previously he was a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford University. He has also visited and taught in several American law schools including a year as a Visiting Professor at Boston University, and extended periods of research at Harvard and the University of Virginia.

Professor Collins’ research interests lie in three main fields: employment law, contract and commercial law, and legal theory.  In the field of employment law, a current particular interest concerns the application of human rights principles to the workplace and the employment relation.  In relation to contract law, the development of European Community contract law has been a particular interest in recent years.  In a combination of legal theory and commercial law, another focus of research has been in the idea of networks as a hybrid form of business organisation that is insufficiently recognised and accommodated by the law

Thursday 24 October 2013
‘Frenzied Law Making’: Overcriminalisation by Numbers

Prof. James Chalmers (Glasgow)


About this lecture
The New Labour government was accused of frenzied law making, creating a criminal offence for every day spent in office. The current government, responding to these concerns, has introduced a “gateway” mechanism to halt the tide of criminalisation. New research suggests that the accusations levelled against the last government badly underestimated the reality: criminal offences were – and despite the gateway mechanism, are still – created at a far greater rate than one a day. But what does this actually mean, and what should we do about it?.

About this speaker
James Chalmers was appointed to the Regius Chair of Law in 2012, having previously taught at the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen. He is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen and the Tulane University of Louisiana, has taught on a visiting basis at the Universities of Baltimore, Cape Town and Maryland, and held a visiting research fellowship at Queen Mary, University of London in 2007.

His research is primarily in the area of criminal law, evidence and procedure, and he has broader interests in Scots law and the Scottish legal system, and the relationship between law and public health. This research has been supported by funding from a variety of sources, including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy and the Scottish Government. His published books include The New Law of Sexual Offences in Scotland (2010), Walker and Walker: The Law of Evidence in Scotland (3rd edition, 2009, with Margaret Ross), Legal Responses to HIV and AIDS (2008), Criminal Defences and Pleas in Bar of Trial (2006, with Fiona Leverick) and Trusts: Cases and Materials (2002). He has published over 80 book chapters and articles in a wide range of journals.

Professor Chalmers is currently Editor of the Edinburgh Law Review and assistant editor of Renton and Brown's Criminal Procedure. He is a member of the Criminal Courts Rules Council and the Criminal Law Committee of the Law Society of Scotland, and a trustee of HIV Scotland, Scotland’s national HIV policy charity. In 2011, he was named as one of the founding members of the Young Academy of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He has regularly provided professional training for practicing lawyers, judges, doctors and other healthcare professionals, as well as evidence to the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament on various occasions. In 2013, he gave evidence before a House of Lords committee considering the UK's 2014 decision on whether to opt out from European Union police and criminal justice measures.

Wednesday 14 November
Governing 'As If': The Provisional Settlement of Knowledge Controversies in the WTO

Prof. Andrew Lang (LSE)


About this lecture
This lecture explores the relationship between practices of knowledge production and legal decision-making in the field of international economic law. It explores the 'practices of objectivity' by which certain forms of economic knowledge - whether tacit or explicit, formal or informal - are certified, and become the accepted basis for governance through law. It draws on the work of Jasanoff and Riles to identify a mode of 'governing as if': a pragmatic mode of governance through knowledge, which can be read against late twentieth century controversies over the socially constructed nature of scientific knowledge. The analysis is developed through a study of the benchmark problem in the field of subsidies regulation, as well as other areas of WTO law.

About this speaker
Andrew Lang is a Reader in Law, at the LSE, teaching Public International Law, with a specialty in International Economic Law. He has a combined BA/LLB from the University of Sydney, and his PhD is from the University of Cambridge. From 2004-6, Dr Lang was a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. He is a co-founder, with Colin Picker, of the Society of International Economic Law. He sits on the Editorial Committee of the Modern Law Review, the Editorial Boards of the Journal of International Economic Law and the Law and Development Review, and is a Book Review Editor for the International and Comparative Law Quarterly. He has taught on Harvard's Institute for Global Law and Policy, the World Trade Institute's Masters of International Law and Economics (MILE) program, the University of Barcelona's IELPO course, as well as the IIEM Academy of International Trade Law in Macau. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Visiting Faculty at the University of Michigan, and an International Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. Dr Lang's current research is focussed on a number of themes around global economic governance, including the relationship between law and expert knowledge, international law and economics, and sociological approaches to the study of international economic law. He has a continuing research focus on the WTO’s SPS Agreement, including the particular issues raised under that agreement by Russia’s accession to the WTO. From September 2012-13, Dr Lang will be on leave as a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow, undertaking research on the constitutive role of international economic law in the production of transnational markets. In Spring 2013, he will be a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School.
Thursday 21 November 2013
Immigration Detention - The Ground Beneath Our Feet

Dr. Cathryn Costello (Oxford)


About this lecture
Both our common law constitution and human rights law treat liberty as a central value. Yet, immigration detention remains less constrained, both normatively and institutionally, than other forms of detention. International human rights bodies and courts, and indeed domestic courts, routinely review and indeed sometimes condemn detention of migrants. Yet, that jurisprudence has been subject to a convincing critique, for failing to properly scrutinise the necessity of immigration detention. Many scholars have thus pointed out the law's anomalously indulgent approach to immigration detention, compared with other forms of deprivation of liberty. Yet, powerful as this critique is, it sometimes fails to address prior questions concerning the political purposes and legal grounds of detention. By examining these grounds and purposes, both legitimate and illegitimate, the lecture will aim to elucidate the manner in which immigration law produces reasons to detain, and thwarts any test of necessity from effectively constraining the state's power to detain migrants. The diverse approaches of the UN Human Rights Committee, European Court of Human Rights and Court of Justice of the European Union will be contrasted. The likely impact of new EU norms on detention of asylum-seekers and pre-removal detention will also be explored.

About this speaker

Cathryn Costello is Andrew W. Mellon University Lectureship in International Human Rights and Refugee Law, at the Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford, with a fellowship at St Antony's College. From 2003-2013, she was Francis Reynolds Fellow & Tutor in EU & Public law at Worcester College, Oxford, during which time she also completed her DPhil studies on EU asylum and immigration law.  She has taught a range of public and EU law courses on the Oxford undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum.  She began her academic career in 1998 as Lecturer in European Law at the Law School, Trinity College Dublin, and from 2000-2003, she also held the position of Director of the Irish Centre for European Law.   She has been a Visiting Professor at the University of San Francisco and a visiting research fellow at NYU School of Law.  

Cathryn has published widely on many aspects of EU and human rights law, including asylum and refugee law, immigration, EU Citizenship and third country national family members, family reunification and immigration detention.  Her current research includes a monograph on EU immigration and asylum law due to be published in OUP’s Studies in European Law series, and an edited collection (with Professor Mark Freedland, St John's College) from the Migrants at Work Project, exploring intersections between immigration law and labour law.

She is also an Associate Director of the Oxford Human Rights Hub, which aims to bring together academics, practitioners, and policy-makers from across the globe to advance the understanding and protection of human rights and equality. 

Thursday 5 December 2013
Property's People

Prof. Lorna Fox O'Mahony (Essex)


About this lecture
Of all areas of law, it is property – particularly as it relates to housing and home – that affects people most consistently and directly. Yet, while people are intensely interested in property, property – broadly understood as the laws, doctrines and policies that govern the acquisition, accumulation, management and transfer of resources – does not appear to reciprocate. This lecture explores how the traditional methodologies of property law scholarship – centred on the status quo of established rights, obligations and duties, and invoking the ‘property values’ of certainty, autonomy, efficiency – marginalise the human ‘subjects’ of the property system. The lecture seeks to raise questions concerning the role of property law and property scholarship: is it to understand and make the best out of the available material; to achieve change in a progressive (or progressive but incremental) way; or to contribute to, or at least not to prevent, progress towards greater substantive equality between property’s ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’? In exploring these questions, the lecture reflects on the hidden politics of property discourse and its impact on the (in)visibility of the property outsider’s human experience within legal analyses, arguments and decision-making. Finally, this analysis is related to a series of ‘property problems’ in which ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ compete for ownership or access to resources, with the aims of considering an alternative approach to problem-based property scholarship that starts from the person rather than the law, and reflecting on the implications of this approach for normative arguments invoking ‘property’s values’.

About the speaker
Lorna Fox O’Mahony is Professor of Law at Essex Law School and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. Lorna’s research applies policy-oriented, socio-legal and theoretical analyses to a range of property issues. Recent projects have included the role of cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research into home meanings for creditor possession actions; feminist perspectives on the meaning of home; social and moral aspects of legal regulation of unlawful occupation; the role of the legal concept of home in analysing law’s responses to the use of home equity by elderly homeowners and other financial transactions affecting the owned home; and socio-legal perspectives on the exclusion of asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers from housing and home. Lorna’s work on the development of a legal concept of home is often cited as laying the foundations for new approaches to the idea of home in law, including giving content to rights to housing and home. Her first book, ‘Conceptualising Home: Theories, Laws and Policies’ (2006, Hart Publishing), which applies an inter-disciplinary socio-legal analysis to re-consider law’s response to disputes between secured creditors and the occupiers of domestic property in the contexts of repossession, foreclosure and bankruptcy, was awarded First Prize in the Society of Legal Scholars’ Birks Prizes for Outstanding Legal Scholarship (2007), and was short-listed for the Socio-Legal Studies Association Book Prize (2008).

Thursday 16 January 2014
In support of an English Contract Code

Prof. Andrew Tettenborn (Swansea)
Chair: Lord Justice Longmore


About this lecture
English contract law enjoys an enormous degree of rational strength, together with a practical and down-to-earth approach which is the envy of many civilian systems (and, of course, an attraction for business people for whom it exists). In doctrine and comprehensibility, however, its record is less impressive, as anyone will testify who has struggled to explain its workings in terms that make sense to a civilian audience. The aim of this lecture is to suggest that a codification of its rules from a purely English perspective would get rid of many of these difficulties, and would in addition avoid many of the problems inherent in proposals for a more or less pan-European codified contract law.

About the speaker
Professor Andrew Tettenborn joined Swansea Law School and the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law in 2010 having previously taught at the universities of Exeter (Bracton Professor of Law 1996-2010), Nottingham and Cambridge. Professor Tettenborn is a well-known scholar both in common law and continental jurisdictions. He has held visiting positions at Melbourne University, the University of Connecticut and at Case Law School, Cheveland, Ohio. He is author and co-author of books on torts, damages and maritime law, and of numerous articles and chapters on aspects of common law, commercial law and restitution.

Thursday 23 January 2014
Exploring Solutions to a Persistent Legal Problem: Conceptualising the Rights of Children in Detention
Prof. Kathryn Hollingsworth (Newcastle)

About this lecture
Children in detention are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, and their removal from the community and into the secure estate compounds the disadvantages that many of them have previously experienced.  Rights can therefore take on even greater significance for this group.  Over the past 15 years, children and their advocates have sought to use the law in an attempt to protect those rights and to bring about improvements in how children deprived of their liberty are treated.  But there are limits to what has been achieved and the proposed changes to legal aid, judicial review and the possible repeal of the Human Rights Act are likely to present even greater hurdles for the realisation of the rights of detained children.  This lecture will examine the developing law in this area and explore the extent to which the concepts of vulnerability and best interests have shaped the legal and human rights of children in custody.  It will then go on to consider whether other concepts – including home, care and responsibility – could be better used in order to understand and secure the rights of children deprived of their liberty.  

About the speaker
Kathryn Hollingsworth’s current research interests lie in the areas of children’s rights, youth justice and public law. She is particularly interested in the application of theories of responsibility and children’s rights to the area of youth justice, and the intersection of public law, children’s rights, criminal law theory, and youth justice.  She has published a number of articles in this area and is currently working on a book, to be published by Hart, entitled Children, Rights and Criminal Justice. Kathryn is on the management board of the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal and in that role is the theme champion for social justice and injustice.

Thursday 30 January 2014
Evolutionary Trajectories for Transnational Labour Law:
Trade in Goods to Trade in Services?

Prof. Tonia Novitz (Bristol)
Chair: Prof. Keith Ewing (King's College London)


About this lecture
Labour lawyers are familiar with what has been termed an ‘International Labour Code’, namely a collation of transnational norms established by institutions such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and European Union (EU). These norms reflect a political accommodation largely imposed by high income countries on others, which was closely related to the then dominant forms of trade, being concerned with the treatment of labour in the manufacture of goods.  It is now trade in ‘services’ rather than ‘goods’ which generates an estimated 70-80% of output (and employment) in the North. In the expansion of the EU services market, we have witnessed significant modification to otherwise applicable labour standards. Globally,  complex subcontracting mechanisms have led to re-labelling as ‘services’ what might have once been described as labour concerned with the manufacture of goods, so that the fundamental injunction (set out in the ILO Constitution) that ‘labour is not a commodity’ has been challenged. An open question remains the extent to which the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) can facilitate such changes and future challenges. This paper considers the opportunities that these cumulative variations in forms of trade offer to the South in terms of overcoming old (and new) patterns of dependency and underdevelopment, so that they may seek a fresh political accommodation. Given the significance of non-State actors, particularly corporate interests, such opportunities do seem limited. The analysis offered in the paper draws on Simon Deakin’s recent thinking on the use of evolutionary theory and systems theory when considering scope for adaptation and inheritance. In so doing, it highlights the potential for various alternative trajectories for transnational labour law.  

About the speaker
Tonia Novitz is Professor of Labour Law at the University of Bristol. She first studied law at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and qualified there as a Barrister and Solicitor, specialising in employment law and civil litigation. She then studied at Balliol College, Oxford, where she was awarded the BCL and completed her doctorate. She has been a visiting fellow at the International Institute for Labour Studies (Geneva), a Jean Monnet Fellow and a Marie Curie Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence) and a visiting professor at the University of Melbourne. She is a member of the editorial board of the UK Industrial Law Journal, with special responsibility for the Recent Legislation section.

Thursday 6 February 2014
Charitable Purposes and Activities

Prof. Jonathan Garton (Warwick)

About this lecture
When determining whether a civil society organisation has charitable status, the orthodox position has it that the activities carried on in pursuit of its purposes are not relevant, save in very limited circumstances.  This lecture will consider the extent to which this is correct, and whether the reluctance to consider the nature of the activities carried on by a potential charity should be revisited in light of the regulatory consequences of charitable status, outside of which the legal definition of charity has no real meaning.

About the speaker
Jonathan joined the School of Law as a Reader in 2011. He previously taught at the University of Leicester (2002-5), King's College London (2005-10) and, most recently, the University of Liverpool (2010-11), where he is now an honorary senior research fellow in the Charity Law and Policy Unit. He sits on the executive committee of the Socio-Legal Studies Association

Jonathan's research interests are in the law of charities and other nonprofits. His work focuses in particular on social, political and economic theories of organised civil society and their use as tools for evaluating legal rules. He is the author of three books: The Regulation of Organised Civil Society(Oxford, Hart, 2009), the charities volume of Halsbury's Laws of England (London, Lexis, 2010) and Public Benefit in Charity Law (Oxford, OUP, 2013). His current projects include a book on voluntary sector law and policy (with Charles Mitchell) and the sixth edition of Moffatt on Trusts Law (with Graham Moffatt, Rebecca Probert and Gerry Bean). In 2012-13 he was a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee, assisting its Inquiry into the Regulation of the Charitable Sector.

Thursday 13 February 2014
Mistaken Gifts after Pitt v Holt

Dr Birke Häcker (Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance)
Chair: The Rt Hon Lord Justice Lloyd


About this lecture
The recent Supreme Court decision in Pitt v Holt [2013] UKSC 26 has put into sharp focus a question which has vexed English lawyers for some time: when can a donor recover a gift mistakenly made? Their Lordships ruled that there had to be a ‘causative mistake of sufficient gravity’. In the light of this ruling, the lecture will explore and try to systematise the principal competing approaches towards the recovery of mistaken gifts and to assess their underlying assumptions. How can we distinguish between mistakes which are sufficiently serious and those that are not, and what are the implications of Pitt v Holt for the law of gifts more generally? It will be argued that a pure causative mistake test may in fact be preferable to the two-stage inquiry adopted by Pitt v Holt. Properly handled, such a test could accommodate many of the concerns that often drive the call for an additional criterion of ‘sufficient gravity’.

About the speaker
Birke Häcker is a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance, Munich, and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Her main research interests pertain to general private and business law, comparative law and legal history. Birke holds degrees in both English law (University of Oxford) and German law (University of Bonn) and has published extensively in different areas of private and comparative law, esp. on contract, unjust enrichment, property, and succession. Her Oxford doctorate entitled Consequences of Impaired Consent Transfers, which first appeared as a monograph in 2009 (Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen), is about to be republished (Hart Publishing, Oxford).

Thursday 27 February 2014
Comity among Authorities

Prof. Timothy Endicott (Oxford)

About this lecture
It is very commonly the case that one authority needs to take account of the decisions of another, in order to carry out its own responsibilities. This lecture aims to give a general explanation of the approach that authorities ought to take toward such judgments. The principle of comity is a central element in such a general explanation. It is the principle that the authority passing judgment (I will call it the 'second authority') ought to act in a way that respects the capacity of the other (the 'first authority') to carry out its own role. A duty of comity is not a duty to trust the first authority. It does not require the second authority to approve of the decisions of the first. It is a duty that arises not from the rights of the first authority, nor even from the first authority's success in carrying out its duties, but from the second authority's duty to those whom it serves.
Thursday 6 March 2014 - INAUGURAL LECTURE
Precarious Professionalism - Some evidence on Market, State and Lawyer Utopias

Prof. Richard Moorhead (UCL)


About this lecture
Since the era of Margaret Thatcher, and her much admired Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, the legal profession has found itself under increasing scrutiny and pressure.  Legal Aid and legal market reform began then but has been significantly accelerated by the creation of the Legal Services Board.   Professional power has decreased and the influence of the market increased.  State – or rather politician - hostility to lawyers and fiscal retrenchment has led to a reduction in legal aid and concerted attempts to weaken lawyer and court roles in the resolution of disputes.  Globalisation and the growth of large law firms has increased the extent to which law is seen as a business rather than a profession.  Market reform and the recession have shed a harsher light on the economics and ethics of large law firms. 

For many, the market and the State are combining to squeeze out professionalism.   The evidence, however, paints a much more complicated picture.   This lecture will outline that evidence, including some new evidence on the ethical consciousness of commercial lawyers.  It will argue that professionalism is precarious - demonstrably so - but also that the blame lies with markets, with the State, and with lawyers themselves.

About the speaker
Richard Moorhead took up the first Chair in Law and Professional Ethics at University College London, Faculty of Laws, in 2012. He is also the Director of the Centre for Ethics and Law. He work focuses on lawyers´ ethics, professional competence, the regulation of legal services and access to justice. Often employing empirical methods, he has conducted a wide range of studies, including for the Ministry of Justice, Legal Services Board, Civil Justice Council, and the Law Society.

He has been a member of the Civil Justice Council and the Lord Chancellor´s Advisory Committee on Legal Ethics, the Legal Services Consultative Panel. He has also served as Specialist Adviser to what is now the Justice Select Committee. He sits on the editorial board of the International Journal of the Legal profession and the advisory board of the Journal and Law and Society.

Thursday 13 March 2014
Overpaid Tax - Changing the Remedies Landscape

Monica Bhandari (UCL)


About this lecture
Where a taxpayer has overpaid tax it is now well established that, in principle, the tax can be recovered. However, the boundaries of this recovery are changing dramatically. Judgments from the European court of Justice in tax cases are demanding that remedies are given to taxpayers, even where the domestic system does not provide for them, or in a manner which is outside the domestic system. This lecture will consider the broader impact of these decisions. In particular what issues arise from the circumstances in which taxpayers with an issue at European law have a more powerful claim than those with a purely domestic issue? Where does this leave the domestic system of remedies in tax cases?

About the speaker
Monica Bhandari was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Taxation Law at UCL in 2012, having previously held a post at King’s College London. She is Chief Examiner of Taxation Principles and Policy for the University of London External LL.M and is involved in the University of London external LLB programme. Monica’s research interests are in tax law. In particular she is interested in its consideration in the context of unjust enrichment, European law, trusts and VAT.

Thursday 20 March 2014
Whither the margin of appreciation?

President Dean Spielman (ECHR)
Chaired by The Rt Hon The Lord Neuberger


About this lecture
The doctrine of the margin of appreciation may be regarded as being among the most prominent judge-made legal constructs in European human rights jurisprudence. It is an analytical tool that guides the European Court in its examination of the complaints raised under many, but not all, provisions of the Convention and its Protocols. It makes for a body of human rights law that accepts pluralism over uniformity, as long as the fundamental guarantees are effectively observed. Alongside its normative function, the doctrine pursues what may be termed a systemic objective. It devolves a large measure of responsibility for scrutinising the acts or omissions of national authorities to the national courts, placing them in their natural, primary role in the protection of human rights. It is therefore neither a gift nor a concession, but more an incentive to the domestic judge to conduct the necessary Convention review, realising in this way the principle of subsidiarity.
Protocol No. 15, adopted in May 2013 and currently in the process of ratification by the 47 Contracting Parties, will add to the Preamble of the Convention references to both the margin of appreciation and subsidiarity. What are the implications of this reform for the Strasbourg Court? And for national courts?

About the speaker
Dean Spielmann studied at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (United Kingdom). He became a member of the Luxembourg Bar in 1989. As a lawyer he worked in various fields, including administrative law, civil and criminal law and human rights law. He acted as Counsel in a number of cases before the Commission and Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He was also a member of the Bar Council and the Disciplinary and Administrative Council of the Legal Profession, as well as sitting on various committees of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE).

Thursday 27 March 2014
The dialogic model of constitutionalism and the system of checks and balances

Professor Roberto Gargarella (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina & Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at UCL)


About this lecture
Numerous countries in the world have, in one way or another, incorporated social and economic rights (SER) in their Constitutions. However, while these Constitutions look modern and rights-rich, they also look old and regressive concerning the organization of governmental power -particularly in what regards the organization of a system of checks and balances. As a consequence, a recurring problem affecting these Constitutions is the “mismatch” between their progressive, 21st century commitments concerning SER and the form of constitutional democracy inherited from the 18th century. In my presentation I will examine both the promise of the bill-of-rights sections of these renewed Constitutions and the frustrations generated by the organization-of-powers-sections of the same documents. In particular, I will show how a deliberative conception of democracy and a dialogic understanding of the system of checks and balances can help us make the promise of SER – the achievement of a just society - a reality.

About the speaker
Professor Roberto Gargarella is a distinguished Argentine lawyer and sociologist. He has doctoral degrees from Universidad de Buenos Aires (1991) and University of Chicago (1993). He also holds Master Degrees from the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO, 1990) and University of Chicago (LLM, 1992). Professor Gargarella pursued his post-doctoral studies at Balliol College, Oxford, under the supervision of Professor Joseph Raz (1994). In Oxford he also worked with Professor G.A. Cohen, following collaborative research with a group of ‘Analytical Marxists’, which he had begun in the United States, together with Professors Jon Elster and Adam Przeworski. Professor Gargarella has also been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim scholarship (2000), and a Fulbright scholarship (2010). He has taught at numerous universities, including the New School for Social Research, Columbia University, Bergen University, and Southwestern University. In recent years, Professor Gargarella has specialised in comparative American Constitutionalism and published a number of articles and books that will provide the foundations for his visit at UCL, including The Legal Foundation of Inequality: Constitutionalism in the Americas, 1776-1860(Cambridge University Press, 2010), and 200 Years of Latin American Constitutionalism(forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2013).
Thursday 8 May 2014
The Future of EU Social Policy

Professor Catherine Barnard (Cambridge)


About this lecture
If the critics are right, the EU social model is dead and that’s the end of it. Those on the right may well be dancing on its grave; those more sympathetic might mourn its passing. My view is more sanguine. In this lecture I shall argue that the European social model is facing unprecedented challenges: to its very raison d’être and to its future. However, I will suggest that these challenges, caused in part by the EU’s response to the crisis but more generally resulting from a growing hostility towards the European Union project as a whole, are not terminal and that there is a continued role for European social policy. The lecture will examine first, why EU social policy is facing such difficulties, second, the EU’s long-standing ability to regenerate and resurrect itself in different guises in the field of social policy, and third, it will make some suggestions as to the form EU social policy might take going forward.