Lecture “Back to the Future: The Temporality of Constitutional Law”

Conference: Model Institutions for a Sustainable Future:
a comparative constitutional law perspective
April 24-26. 2014, Budapest

Panel: Constitutional democracies: principles and challenges

Constitutional law is usually conceptualized as fundamental law of a state, which shall last for a certain period of time and is not as easy amendable as ordinary statutes. Constitutional law claims that the consensus of society which is established at a certain period of time shall build a foundation for this society until a qualified majority will change these constitutional values in the future. Constitutional law is conceptualized as a tool to shape the future. In other words, constitutional law is always a heritage of the past, which future generations have to deal with. The integration of sustainability and the dimension of future generations in constitutional law enable a more coherent concept of constitutional law. The consideration of the future balances the burden of constitutional past. This approach changes the concept of constitutional values like democracy, rule of law and human rights.

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