Under the direction of Professor Gonzalo Villalta Puig of The University of Hull, the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) convenes a Research Group for the promotion of Constitutional Studies of Free Trade and Political Economy. This Research Group assembles an international panel of scholars with comparative functionalist and analytical approaches to the study of Economic Constitutional Law.

Research Agenda

The agenda and activities of the Research Group address the constitutional political economy of free trade with a particular interest in the constitutional law of economic integration. Members define free trade in terms of its integrationist function and test that definition against the economic constitution of non-unitary market jurisdictions. In that process, members research the constitutionalisation of free trade by constitutional courts in non-unitary market jurisdictions: federal and quasi-federal, regional and cross-regional, international and supranational, including preferential trade areas, free trade areas, customs unions, common markets and other economic unions under the domain of different preferential trade agreements and economic integration agreements.

In federations and other non-unitary jurisdictions, the principle of free trade allows the integration of regional or component markets into federal or common markets towards national or supranational construction. Unlike unitary jurisdictions, non-unitary jurisdictions rely on a constitutional freedom of movement of goods and services among their constituent states as the functional basis of their respective economic unions. The internal markets and external markets of non-unitary jurisdictions rely then on constitutional norms. The difficulty is that these constitutional norms are subject to judicial interpretation. That interpretation may not always facilitate trade. It may impede it. Thus, the freedom of trade within customs territories depends on a process of constitutionalisation by constitutional courts.

The work of the Research Group acknowledges that the free trade jurisprudence of supranational and international market jurisdictions is significant to the constitutional development of the political economy of domestic non-unitary market jurisdictions as the free trade jurisprudence of domestic non-unitary market jurisdictions is significant to the constitutional development of the political economy of supranational and international market jurisdictions.

The thesis that harmonises the findings and conclusions of the various projects of the Research Group is a liberal commitment against discrimination in market access on the premise that the freedom of trade implement a scheme of political economy to integrate separate market jurisdictions for the greater equity of all market actors. The work of the Research Group seeks to promote equality of market opportunity for consumers and traders through freedom from regulatory discrimination.

Research Programme

The Research Group promotes comparative and analytical studies of the constitutional regime of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the only international jurisdiction in the area of trade and commerce, the European Union (EU), United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Central American Integration System (SICA), Andean Community, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and other supranational single markets and economic and monetary unions, and the constitutions of the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Nigeria, Malaysia, and other non-unitary markets.

Membership of the Research Group gives scholars the opportunity to undertake analytical and comparative research projects on Economic Constitutional Law and develop the discipline at a global level through the exchange and transfer of their collective expertise. Work is collaborative and collegial.

Members come from multiple, representative non-unitary market jurisdictions: federal, con-federal, quasi-federal, supranational, and international. The Research Group welcomes constitutional and public law scholars everywhere with a research interest in Economic Constitutional Law, International Economic Law, Trade and Commercial Law, and (Comparative) Federalism and Federal Political Systems and inter-disciplinary interests in Political Science and Economics. In that respect, the Research Group endeavours to work closely with the Society of International Economic Law, the International Academy of Comparative Law, the International Law Association and the International Association of Centers for Federal Studies as well as the Forum of Federations.

The Research Group functions within the framework of the IACL but autonomously of the IACL in accordance with its own rules and timetables. It endeavours to assemble on the celebration of every IACL World Congress and regularly in the meantime but otherwise maintains a permanent online dialogue as it develops new research projects: workshops, collections, surveys.

The Research Group is open to further members.

Current Research Projects

The Research Group is presently scoping a comparative study on the interpretation of free trade by constitutional courts in model non-unitary market jurisdictions and calls for working papers. While the choice of jurisdiction is open, proposals must aim to examine aspects of the reception of International Trade Law by constitutional courts and, more widely, the role of constitutional courts in the constitutionalisation of free trade in federal and supranational jurisdictions. Working papers should not be longer than 10,000 words (including references) and follow the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) (https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxlaw/oscola_4th_edn_hart_2012.pdf). Abstracts and expressions of interest for a prospective research workshop and edited collection should be sent to the Research Group Convenor, Professor Gonzalo Villalta Puig (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for consideration.

A further current project is a forthcoming research monograph for Routledge on the economic constitution of Hong Kong. Under the title, The Freest Market in the World: The Constitutional Logic of Economic Liberty in Hong Kong, Research Group members – Professor Gonzalo Villalta Puig of The University of Hull and Dr Eric C Ip of The University of Kong – are conducting a study into the juridical origins, development, application and interpretation of economic liberty as a constitutional principle of China’s Hong Kong. The project has the support of a General  Research  Fund  award  from  the  Research  Grants  Council – University  Grants  Committee (Chief Executive of the Special Administrative Region of Hong  Kong).

Also forthcoming is a book project for Springer, World Trade and Local Public Interest: Trade Liberalization and National Regulatory Sovereignty, under the editorship of Professor Csongor István Nagy of the University of Szeged. The collection is a project of the Federal Markets ‘Momentum’ Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences led too by Professor Nagy and will include contributions by members of the Research Group.

Research Group Convenor

Prof Gonzalo Villalta Puig
Professor of Law and The University of Hull Chair in the Law of Economic Integration
The University of Hull
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Research Group Members

World Trade Organization (Customs Unions and Free Trade Areas)

Dr James Mathis
Associate Professor, Department of Public International Law and European Law
Research Fellow, Amsterdam Centre for International Law
University of Amsterdam

Prof Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann
Emeritus Professor of International and European Law
European University Institute

Dr Denise Prévost
Associate Professor of International Economic Law
Maastricht University

Prof Peter Van den Bossche
Director of Studies, World Trade Institute
Professor of International Economic Law
University of Bern

European Union

Prof Piet Eeckhout
Dean, UCL Faculty of Laws
Professor of EU Law
Academic Director, European Institute
University College London

Professor Csongor István Nagy
Head, Department of Private International Law
Professor of Law
University of Szeged

Prof Joseph HH Weiler
University Professor
Joseph Straus Professor of Law
European Union Jean Monnet Chaired Professor
Co-Director, Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law and Justice
New York University

United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement

Dr Jorge Alberto Witker Velásquez
Investigador Titular
Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Andean Community

Mr Humberto Zúñiga Schroder
Andean Community

United States of America

Prof Dan T Coenen
Harmon W Caldwell Chair in Constitutional Law
University of Georgia

Prof Brannon P Denning
Associate Dean, Cumberland School of Law
Starnes Professor of Law
Samford University

Prof Norman R Williams
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Law
Ken and Claudia Peterson Professor of Law
Director of the Center for Constitutional Government
Willamette University

Commonwealth of Australia

Prof Gonzalo Villalta Puig
Professor of Law and The University of Hull Chair in the Law of Economic Integration
The University of Hull

Dominion of Canada

Prof Armand de Mestral CM
Professor Emeritus
Jean Monnet Chair in the Law of International Economic Integration
McGill University

Republic of India

Prof Mahendra Pal Singh
Research Professor of Law, Jindal Global Law School
Visiting Professor, National Law University Delhi

Kingdom of Spain

Dr Tomás de la Quadra-Salcedo Janini
Profesor Titular
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Kingdom of Belgium

Prof Dominik Hanf
Visiting Professor of European Law
College of Europe

Argentine Republic

Prof Daniel A Sabsay
Profesor Titular de Derecho Constitucional
Universidad de Buenos Aires

United Mexican States

Dr José María Serna de la Garza
Investigador Titular
Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Federative Republic of Brazil

Prof Elival da Silva Ramos
Professor Titular
Departamento de Direito do Estado
Universidade de São Paulo

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Prof Edward Oyelowo Oyewo
Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law
University of Lagos

Malaysia

Prof Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi
Emeritus Professor of Law
University of Malaya

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China

Dr Eric C Ip
Associate Professor of Law
The University of Hong Kong

Contact

  • Prof Gonzalo Villalta Puig
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.