Comparative Public Law

4 ECTS / 24h / English

This seminar will examine the theory and practice of federalism and constitutional rights. In the first part, devoted to federalism, our main focus will be on the EU, the United States, and Canada, with additional materials drawn from other jurisdictions as needed. The theoretical principles and practical lessons drawn from the materials will have broad application. The seminar will begin with a case study of two prominent high court decisions enforcing the enumeration of powers in federal systems. We will then step back to examine the theoretical foundations of federalism. After gaining a better theoretical understanding of the purposes of centralization and decentralization in federal systems, we will return to case law. By examining federalism disputes in the areas of environmental law, morality and health legislation, abortion, as well as educational and welfare benefits, we will gain a deeper under-standing of federalism itself and of the role of the judiciary in helping to preserve this principle within any given federation. The rights oriented part of the seminar on comparative public law focuses on the basic conceptual, structural and institutional questions related to modern human and constitutional rights practice and its connection to democracy. Examples will be drawn primarily from European and US contexts.


Mattias Kumm is the holder of the Inge Rennert Professor of Law Chair at NYU School of Law as well as holding a Professorship on “Rule of Law in the age of…