“EXPORTING DEMOCRACY: ABSOLUTES AND RELATIVES” Professor Jeffrey Jowell QC
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2010, 5:00 P.M. TULANE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL JOHN GIFFEN WEINMANN HALL • ROOM 110
Reception to follow in the Berkett Multipurpose Room
Professor Jowell was for several years Dean of the Faculty of Law, Head of the Law Department, and Vice Provost at University College London (UCL). He is also a practicing barrister at Blackstone Chambers. Professor Jowell is a leading authority on public law and has written widely in the areas of constitutional law, administrative law, and human rights protection. He has been appointed to several influential national and international commissions, including the Commission for Democracy Through Law of the Council of Europe (Venice Commission) and, in the United Kingdom, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, the Board of the Office of Rail Regulation, and the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on International Relations. Professor Jowell has held visiting professorships in a number of universities outside the UK, serves on the boards of various public bodies and legal journals, and has advised on constitutional and administrative law matters in a number of countries including South Africa, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia Herzegovina. He has recently been appointed Director of the Bingham Center for the Rule of Law, a prestigious think tank at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London.
In this year’s Eason-Weinmann Lecture, Professor Jowell will set out the situations in which constitutional renewal across the globe has taken place in the past two decades. This includes system changes and new constitutional settlements in South Africa, states founded after the demise of the former Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom. He will suggest three settings that prompt reform - convulsive change (‘never again’ constitutions as in South Africa), episodic change (a reaction to particular local events or circumstances as in Northern Ireland, Finland or Luxembourg) and incremental change (as in the United Kingdom). Professor Jowell will then focus on the role of the external advisor, drawing on his own experience in South Africa, Bosnia, the Caribbean, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Luxembourg. He will ask to what extent democratic standards are absolute or relative (i.e. depending on local conditions) and discuss the extent to which an advisor can and should act as a ‘pure’ constitutional expert or take on the role of a mediator.
The Eason-Weinmann Lecture is funded by the Eason Weinmann Center for International and Comparative Law, established in 1981 through the generosity of Virginia Eason Weinmann and John Giffen Weinmann, a distinguished Tulane Law School graduate (L’52). Ambassador Weinmann is the former Chair of Tulane’s Board of Administrators. Weinmann Hall, home to Tulane Law School, carries his name. The Center is co-directed by Professor Vernon Valentine Palmer and Professor Dr. Jörg Fedtke. It funds a host of visitors and other events in the area of foreign and comparative law each year.