UCL Institute for Human Rights


UCL CLP: The dialogic model of constitutionalism and the system of checks and balances

27 March 2014, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni


UCL Faculty of Laws


Bentham House

Roberto Gargarella

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 this presentation Roberto Gargarella 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, he 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.


  • Professor Roberto Gargarella, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina, and Visiting Levrerhulme Trust Professor, UCL