Global Constitutionalism 2020: Seeking Safety, Knowledge, and Security in a Troubling Environment

Global Constitutionalism 2020: Seeking Safety, Knowledge, and Security in a Troubling Environment is now available as an e-book to download without charge. This volume is the ninth in the series of readings for Yale’s Global Constitutionalism Seminar, a part of the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women’s Rights. This year’s materials are edited by Judith Resnik.

The 2020 volume captures some of the complexities of these times. As the materials were underway, a global health crisis exploded, the fragility of the climate became increasingly vivid, and instances of racist state violence were recorded on video feeds that circled the world. These chapters analyze new and ongoing challenges in several domains—virtual, ecological, economic, and private—as courts are asked to grapple with deteriorating climates, gendered violence, new reproductive technologies, the viral spread of misinformation, and other courts’ decisions on complex issues. The questions that remain constant across these domains are whether constitutional norms apply to the conflicts among individuals, organizations, and the state, and whether and how judiciaries can respond and offer remedies.

Co-edited by Miguel Maduro and Robert Post, the Chapter Misinformation and Technology: Rights and Regulation Across Borders explores the question of whether the internet poses distinctive questions for constitutional courts when they are called upon to consider the regulation of the exchange of information. Women, Gendered Violence, and the Construction of the “Domestic,” co-edited by Susanne Baer, Marta Cartabia, and Judith Resnik, asks how constitutional law responds to violence targeted at individuals because of their identity. Questions of state obligations are also central in the Chapter Courts, Climate Change, and the Global Pact for the Environment, co-edited by Laurent Fabius, Daniel Esty, and Douglas Kysar, which explores courts’ responses to the injuries of climate change. Surrogacy, Autonomy, and Equality, co-edited by Daphne Barak-Erez, Douglas NeJaime, and Reva Siegel, considers how decisions about the regulation of reproduction through the involvement of third parties implicate constitutional guarantees and human rights. Two additional sets of materials responded to events of the first half of 2020. One segment, Functioning: Courts in the Pandemic, sketched some of the temporary, emergency orders issued by courts to enable their work to continue while many countries required shuttering public activities. Another segment, Multi-Layered Governance, Interaction Among Courts, and the Economy: The Exchanges Between the FCC and the ECJ, used differences between the German Federal Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice about measures taken by the European Central Bank to explore coordination and conflict among courts.

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