Tuesday 28 June – Thursday 30 June, 2011
The W G Hart Legal Workshop 2011 will explore the multi-faceted concept of sovereignty. In a pivotal study ‘Questioning Sovereignty’, Professor Neil MacCormick (in whose memory the workshop is dedicated) argued that in the face of regional and international developments former understandings of state and nation and of sovereignty were increasingly outdated. At a supranational level this idea has already raised the spectre of a new legal order based on a European ‘super state’ with the potential further to transcend traditional views of sovereignty and the sovereign state. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom for example, established constitutional doctrine in the form of Parliamentary Sovereignty has also now to be considered against the backdrop of the Human Rights Act, the devolution of power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the creation of a Supreme Court. Equally however, comparative constitutional discourse confirms the continuing appeal of the concept of sovereignty and its great capacity for reinvention, whether this is in the context of a powerful pull of ideas about local identity (plurinational democracies) or the determinedly globalising guise of international organisations. Focused both on the internal and external aspects, the workshop will aim to consider these various dimensions of sovereignty, examined from a legal, theoretical, political and historical perspective. More information here.