AUSTIN, Texas—The School of Law at The University of Texas at Austin will host a major symposium on sovereignty, co-convened by UT Law Professor Sanford Levinson and Professor Francesco Francioni of the European University in Florence, April 13-16.
Lawyers and political scientists from around the United States, Scotland and Italy will join university scholars in assessing the importance of “sovereignty” as a way of understanding an increasingly complex and interdependent world.
Sir Neil MacCormick will deliver a public lecture at the symposium, “Is European Democracy Possible? Reflections on the Proposed European Constitution” at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 13, in the Law School’s Eidman Courtroom. A reception will follow his lecture in the Jamail Pavilion outside the courtroom.
MacCormick is well known in the academic world as a distinguished member of the University of Edinburgh faculty of law. He formerly held a chair at Oxford University and he is the author of many books on law and jurisprudence. He is also a long-time member of the Scottish Nationalist Party and represented Scotland in the European Parliament, where he was an adviser to those charged with drafting a new constitution for the European Union.
The draft constitution is being voted upon by the separate European countries, the first one of which, Spain, endorsed the treaty. A second major vote will occur next month in France. As with the much earlier United States Constitution, the draft European constitution raises profound questions about the relationship between the constituent states and the new central governing structure being created. As in the much earlier debates over ratifying the U.S. Constitution, opponents of the European constitution charge it will ultimately lead to the withering away of the now “sovereign” European states.
Genuine political movements in Europe and the United States increasingly concern themselves with the merits or demerits of sovereignty in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. MacCormick is able to analyze these controversies from the perspectives of both a world-class legal academic and a participant in the ongoing political debates within Great Britain and the wider European continent.
Panels on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will consider the ramification of sovereignty in many different contexts. Anyone interested in receiving a copy of the entire schedule should e-mail Mary Hendryx, Levinson’s administrative assistant, at email@example.com.
For more information contact: Laura Castro, School of Law, 512-232-1229, or Professor Sanford Levinson, School of Law, 512-232-1351.