UCL Global


The rise of constitutional identity review in Europe: a critical assessment

12 September 2019–13 September 2019, 5:30 pm–4:00 pm

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UCL Laws

Organisers: Dr Silvia Suteu (UCL) and Dr Cristina Fasone (LUISS Rome)

This event is co-organised by UCL Laws and LUISS Rome and is sponsored by UCL’s Rome Cities partnerships Programme.


This two-day research conference will bring together legal scholars, practitioners and constitutional court judges to discuss the rise of constitutional identity review in Europe.

This development, most visible in the aftermath of the 2008 Euro-crisis and of the rise of populism in Europe, has thus far not received systematic, cross-country attention.

The conference seeks to remedy this by including panels exploring the theoretical roots of the concept and critically assessing doctrines of judicial interpretation invoking constitutional identity, whether in response to domestic or supranational forces.

The conference will bring together judges, practitioners and scholars based in the UK, Italy and elsewhere in Europe to debate questions such as:

  • What, if any, is the added explanatory value of the concept of constitutional identity?
  • Was the rise of constitutional identity review a doctrinal necessity in the face of supranational forces or a doctrinal misstep?
  • Is constitutional identity review constitutional nationalism by another name?
  • Does the simultaneous rise in unconstitutional constitutional amendment doctrines, whereby courts invalidate constitutional amendments on substantive grounds, necessitate constitutional identity review?
  • How much is the rise of constitutional identity review about protecting democracy and how much about enhancing judicial power?
  • Is constitutional identity review especially prone to abuse?

By engaging with scholars and practitioners well-versed in the European jurisdictions where constitutional identity review has been developed, as well as with judges having themselves embraced or rejected the doctrine, the event aims to shed much-needed light on the workings of this novel jurisprudential tool.

Find out more about the programme on the UCL Laws event page