Riga Graduate School of Law (RGSL) is happy to invite to an Erasmus public lecture “The role of comparative law in constitutional adjudication” by Dr Eszter Bodnár, assistant professor at the Faculty of Law of University Eötvös Loránd (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary on 15 May 2019, from 13:00 – 15:00 at RGSL premises on Strēlnieku 4 k-2.
Constitutional courts worldwide increasingly rely on comparative constitutional jurisprudence to both frame and articulate their own position on a given constitutional question. This phenomenon is referred to in the legal scholarship as ‘judicial dialogue,’ ‘judicial internationalization,’ ‘trans-judicialism,’ ‘judicial cosmopolitanism,’ ‘judicial globalization,’ or ‘judicial engagement with foreign law.’ The practice of constitutional courts shows significant differences: some of the courts are regularly citing foreign court decisions and comparing foreign constitutional and statutory texts in their judgments, others have citations in their judgments only sporadically, but there are proofs that they frequently consult comparative materials.
The lecture analyses the rationales behind these differences. It presents the possible forms and aims of the comparison, then enumerates the possible factors that may influence the use of comparative law in constitutional adjudication, including the attributes of the constitutional and political system of the given jurisdiction, the characteristics of the court, the type of the case, and the personality and background of judges. Finally, the lecture presents the two main critics against the comparative reasoning, the legitimacy and methodological problems, and provides counterarguments.
Eszter Bodnár has been an assistant professor at the Faculty of Law of University Eötvös Loránd (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary. She is also a faculty member in the Master of Electoral Policy and Administration program of Scuola Sant’Anna, Pisa. She was awarded the Premium excellency postdoctoral grant of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences for the years 2018-2021. She has been teaching and researching in Canada, Germany, France, the United States, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Italy, Romania, and Australia. She graduated as a lawyer and worked at the Hungarian Ministry of Justice, and in the Hungarian National Election Office. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in constitutional law at ELTE in 2013 with her thesis on the fundamental right attributes (published at HVG-Orac, 2014). Her research interest is in comparative constitutional law, international human rights, and European constitutional law. She is an inaugural co-chair of the ICON-S Central and Eastern European chapter.