Adrian Vermeule's: The System of the Constitution - A Critical Discussion
Friday, January 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM (GMT)
London, United Kingdom
UCL's Institute for Global Law / IUS Commune Lecture Series presents
Adrian Vermeule's The System of the Constitution:
A Critical Discussion
on Friday 13 January 2012, from 2.30 - 6pm
Professor Adrian Vermuele
(Harvard Law School)
(Fellow and Tutor in law, Trinity College, Oxford)
(Professor of Legal Philosophy, Fellow of Balliol College and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford)
(Senior Lecturer, University College London)
(Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, London School of Economics)
(Reader in Law, London School of Economics)
Professor Adrian Vemeule (Harvard Law School) is one of most interesting and dynamic scholars of public law and constitutional theory now writing in the United States. His work combines deep and broad knowledge of legal and political theory, decision theory and organizational behavior, as well as careful attention to legal doctrine and the plethora of empirical studies on judging within the American system. His earlier work Judging Under Uncertainty (2006), Law and the Limits of Reason (2008), and The Executive Unbound (2011) present formidable challenges to the received wisdom about the role of appellate judges in constitutional democracies. Professor Vermeule is a notable advocate of judicial restraint.
In The System of the Constitution (OUP, 2011) Vermeule presents a systems-analysis of constitutional orders, arguing that constitutional orders are ‘aggregates within aggregates, systems nested within systems.’ Legal and political theorists often fail to account for this structure, and make invalid inferences from what might be true of part of the system, to what is true of its whole (the fallacy of composition), or, by contrast, they assume that what is true of the whole must also be true of all or some of its parts (the fallacy of division)." Vermeule takes us deep into systems theory, offering a concrete and readable account of it and showing what difference it makes to our understanding of constitutionalism in any complex society. He explores the general theory of second-best, applying it to constitutions, and brings the book's insights to bear on process of legal interpretation undertaken by judges. Notably, he argues that theorists have overlooked the dynamic mutual adjustments that occur between selection of constitutional actors (e.g. judges) and the interpretive doctrines they are meant to apply.
For this event, five notable scholars of constitutional or political theory will examine Professor Vermeule’s book in critical detail, and Vermeule will respond before the floor opens for discussion. The first panel will convene from 2:30-4:00, and the second from 4:30-6:00, and guests are invited to attend either or both.
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