l'Association Internationale de Droit Constitutionnel || The International Association of Constitutional Law

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The aim of the research group (RG) is to investigate the manifold impact of science and technological progress on constitutional law, in particular on the central concept of the rule of law.

Rapidly advancing scientific and technological development is of crucial importance for overcoming the modern challenges facing mankind. It is both a help and a danger. The law must promote this development and at the same time establish adequate safeguards against the potential threats to human beings, their dignity and freedom, and to the foundations of the democratic state order. The aim of the RG is therefore to examine and evaluate the positive and negative impacts of new technologies on the rule of law, i.e. their facilitating and complicating role on the indispensable elements of the rule of law, such as judicial independence, quality of the legislation, and the protection of the rights and freedoms.

This topic should be studied and discussed from a comparative perspective and in an inter- and supranational context.

More in detail:

(1) The research is initially directed towards the relationship of science and technology to law in general and to constitutional law in particular. The aim is to examine whether and to what extent technological progress influences and changes legal thinking and legal culture.

(2) Furthermore, the focus of the research is on the relationship between the rule of law and scientific and technological progress.

It will be examined in detail whether and to what extent the state is constitutionally obliged to guarantee freedom of research and science on the one hand but on the other hand also to prevent or at least minimize potential dangers. This raises the question of how the obligation to promote is to be implemented in detail, whether it also exists in the interests of future generations, and whether it can be derived from fundamental rights or other constitutional norms, e.g. from the right to health, from the right to environmental protection, from the right to a minimum subsistence level, from the social state principle and so on.

(3) Concerning the dangers that new technologies can entail, it is an extremely important issue whether there is evidence of a constitutional obligation to protect against these dangers. The constitutional requirements for predicting and assessing the risks of technological development must be clarified in detail. It must also be examined what constitutional requirements exist for risk research and what remedial measures the state is obliged to take if damage occurs. It should also be clarified to what extent a residual risk can be tolerated by the legal system.

(4) It should also be investigated whether permission to develop new technologies (genetic engineering or modification of food crops) can only be granted by parliamentary act and not also by administrative decision. In this context, it is important to determine the extent to which the legislator must define the conditions and limits of technological development. The question arises as to whether the general formulation "in accordance with the state of the art in science and technology" is sufficient as a legal requirement for authorization or whether differentiated assessment and control measures must be undertaken to accompany development.

(5) Another important research issue is whether the constitutional guarantee of human dignity requires the state to prevent the development of certain technologies (e.g. in the field of genetic engineering). There is also the important question of whether privacy rights can prevent the development of certain technologies during their research or their actual application. Furthermore, it must be asked whether the constitutional principle of equality requires the further development of technologies so that (legal and de facto) inequality can be reduced or even eliminated nationally and internationally.

(6) The fundamental constitutional values of human dignity, freedom (including democracy as political freedom and self-determination), equality, and the rule of law are functionally interdependent. The connection between technology and the rule of law also affects these fundamental constitutional values. Their relationship to each other therefore requires particular clarification.

(7) The influence of inter- and supranational law is of great importance in all these issues. It is therefore essential to research their technology-relevant rules and principles as well as those of other legal systems and to examine their influence on our technological development.

Planned activities

 Common conferences/seminars in person:

Online Seminars

Publications – Establishment of an international book series on the topic

Preparation of a collective work on basic questions of the topic

Repertoire of selected technique-related constitutional jurisprudence of various countries

Chairs and members of the Group

Prof. Dr. Rainer Arnold, University of Regensburg/Germany

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Prof. Dr. Luca Mezzetti, University of Bologna/Italy

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Other members

  • Ayushi Agarwal, University of Oxford, Former Jindal Global University, India
  • Patricia Fernandez de Andreani, Universidad Nacional de Comahue, Argentina
  • Denise Aouad, Univ. de São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
  • Naiara Arriola Echaniz, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid
  • Francisco Balaguer, Universidad de Granada, Spain
  • Christoph Brochhausen, University of Mannheim
  • Alexander Bröstl, Safarik University Kosice, Slovakia, former Judge at the Constitutional Court
  • Valentina Colcelli, University of Perugia, Senior Researcher CNR, Italy
  • Javier Cremades, President of the World Law Association, Madrid
  • Mathieu Disant, Université Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne)
  • Akiko Ejima, Meiji University, Tokyo
  • Selin Esen, University of Ankara
  • Miroslaw Granat, Cardinal Stanislaw Wyszyński University in Warsaw. former Judge at the Constitutional Court
  • Cristina Hermida del Llano, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid
  • Katerina Iliadou, University of Athens, Greece,
  • César Landa Arroyo, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Universidad, Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, former President of the Constitutional Court
  • James May, Widener University, Delaware Law School, USA
  • Viktor Muraviov, Taras Shevchenko University Kiev,Ukraine
  • Natalia Mushak, Aviation University Kiev,Ukraine
  • Insoo Park, Yeungnam University, South Korea
  • Vasco Pereira da Silva, State University Lisbon, Portugal
  • Arevik Petrosyan, University of Yerewan, Armenia, Former Judge at the Constitutional Court
  • Sinisa Rodin, Judge at the ECJ, Luxemburg
  • Ania Rytel-Warzocha, University of Gdansk, Poland
  • Rodica Secrieriu, Kishinau/Moldova, Former First Assistant-Judge and Secretary General of the Constitutional Court
  • Maria Filomena D. Singh, Associate Judge Supreme Court of the Philippines
  • Alexandru Tanase, former President of the Constitutional Court of Moldova
  • Arta Vorpsi, University of Tirana, Albania
  • Jirí Zemánek, Judge at the Constitutional Court, Brno/Praha, Czech Republic