Themes

Building on the ‘law and politics’ theme of the first and second workshops - organized as part of the co-operation between the Law and Society Institute at the Humboldt University, Berlin and the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford - this third workshop explores new forms of judicial activism and shifts in regulatory politics as two distinct, sometimes interrelated dimensions of the ‘law-politics’ nexus.

The workshop addresses the themes of state restrictions on judicial independence as a new form of ‘reverse’ judicial activism, recent surges in judicial activism that seek to enforce socio-economic and environmental rights in advanced developing countries in response to perceived state regulatory failures, as well as activism among lower courts, rather than just constitutional courts seeking to curb the expansion of executive powers.

Comparative perspectives further help to think through these themes in the context of restrictions of judicial powers, for example in some Central and Eastern European countries, a rise in judicial activism in Brazil and India, and the historic interventions of the UK Supreme Court in the context of Brexit, as well as constitutional court interventions in a range of countries in the context of national security. Such changes in the exercise of judicial powers can have an impact on the executive, and potentially on how executives regulate.

Hence, this workshop addresses questions, such as: what are the consequences of new forms of judicial activism for the exercise of state regulatory powers? Who do activist courts speak to? Does judicial activism sideline reliance on the expertise of regulatory agencies? Can judicial activism promote innovation in regulatory strategies? How do regulators seek to assert distinct administrative rationalities? Do we see different answers to these questions in various jurisdictions?

Participation in this zoom workshop is free. For access to the zoom call link please register here with Toby Shevlane by the 1st of March 2021 at the latest.

See the programme and abstracts