Read the latest methodological explanations and project design of CONREASON in MTA Law Working Papers.
German Law Journal Special Issue on constitutional reasoning (edited by Jakab and Dyevre)
Dyevre on European integration and national courts in EuConst.
Read Arthur Dyevre's latest posts on I-CONnect, Verfassungsblog and MWP blog.
Itzcovich on the margin of appreciation doctrine and the Lautsi case.
CONREASON: Constitutional Reasoning in a Comparative Perspective
Courts are reason-giving institutions and argumentation plays a central role in constitutional adjudication. Yet a cursory look at just a handful of constitutional systems suggests important differences, as well as commonalities, in the practices of constitutional judges, whether in matters of form, style, language, or other. Over time, too, constitutional reasoning may seem to exhibit both elements of change and elements of continuity. In what measure is this really the case? What is common to constitutional reasoning everywhere? Is the trend one of growing convergence (standardisation of constitutional reasoning?) or, on the contrary, one of increasing fragmentation? To what extent is the language of judicial opinions responsive to the political and social context in which constitutional courts operate? And how does it affect the behaviour of public and private litigants interacting with the courts? Funded by a grant from the VolkswagenStiftung and housed by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany, and by the Institute for Legal Studies of the Centre for Social Sciences at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, the CONREASON Project endeavours to answer these central questions of comparative constitutional scholarship by applying and developing a new set of tools and research methods.
Theoretical efforts include the development of comprehensive typologies of constitutional arguments, but the Project also addresses judicial argumentation as a form of political communication, seeking to theorize how the rhetorical strategies deployed by constitutional judges differ from those employed by other public decision-makers. This theory-building effort serves as basis for the Project's three-track data-collection strategy: