• Prof. Daniel Halberstam, Eric Stein Collegiate Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
  • Mr. Michel Petite, Clifford Chance (former Director-General of the Legal Service of the European Commission)


  • Dr. Jan Komárek, Assistant Professor in EU Law, London School of Economics and Political Science

Abstract (Daniel Halberstam):

Opinion 2/13 of the Court of Justice of the European Union (striking down the Draft Agreement on accession to the European Convention on Human Rights) has evoked general “outrage.”  Scholars have derided the opinion as “unsubstantiated,” purely “self-interested,” and “playground politics.”

Professor Halberstam disagrees with the widespread negative assessment of Opinion 2/13. Based on his theory of “plural constitutionalism,” Halberstam will reconstruct the Opinion’s objections to show why the Court’s concerns are mostly warranted.  That same perspective will point to why accession to the ECHR is not only important for human rights, but also vital to save the European Union.  Based on these insights, Halberstam will suggest the way forward by identifying the changes that must be, and can be, made to allow accession to proceed.  Finally, Halberstam will argue that Opinion 2/13 is only the latest decision in a line of cases confirming plural constitutionalism as a viable theory and interpretive method of European Union law.

Further see: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2567591

About the speakers:

Daniel Halberstam is the Eric Stein Collegiate Professor of Law and Director of European Legal Studies at the University of Michigan, and Professor of Law at the College of Europe, Bruges.  A graduate of Columbia and Yale, he worked in the U.S. Dept. of Justice, at the U.S. Supreme Court, and at the European Court of Justice before joining the law faculty in Ann Arbor in 1999.

Michel Petite specialises in European Commission policies, community law and competition law. He has worked as legal adviser to three Commission Presidents: Jacques Delors, Romano Prodi, (as head of cabinet), and Jose Manuel Barroso.  Throughout his time at the Commission he was heavily involved in competition (setting up the "merger" Regulation; director of "State aids"), internal market matters and taxation. He participated in all the institutional reforms (Treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, Lisbon).

Jan Komárek is a lecturer at London School of Economics and Political Science in its European Institute and Department of Law. Jan studied law at Charles University in Prague (Mgr. 2001, JUDr. 2002), Stockholm University (LL.M. 2004) and University of Oxford (M.St. 2007, D. Phil. 2011). He worked with the Czech Government Agent before the European Court of Justice at the Ministry of Foreign Affaires, Department of EC Law (2004-2006) and was a legal secretary to the President of the Czech Constitutional Court (2009-2010).