* call for papers – "Secrecy, National Security, and the Vindication of Constitutional Law" (Milan, Italy, Dec. 1-2, 2011)
The International Association of Constitutional Law, Research Group on Constitutional Responses to Terrorism, has announced a very tempting call for papers, both in terms of subject-matter and location. Here are the details:
On behalf of the IACL Research Group on Constitutional Responses to Terrorism, we
hereby invite proposals in the form of abstracts for papers to be delivered at an international
conference on “Secrecy, National Security, and the Vindication of Constitutional Law” hosted by
Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, on December 1-2, 2011.
In virtually every nation, assertions of the need for secrecy on matters of counterterrorism
policy and practice have created tensions with efforts to ensure transparency, accountability and
procedural fairness. We are open to proposals that seek to bring comparative analysis to bear on
how best to mediate these tensions. Issues that authors might want to address could include, for
– the challenge of secrecy to democratic lawmaking on counterterrorism policy;
– the use of “secrecy” privileges to block litigation challenging allegedly illegal government
– the use of classified evidence against individuals or organizations to freeze their assets,
designate them as terrorist, or justify other restraints on their liberty;
– the use of “anonymous” witnesses who testify without revealing their identity;
– the closure of criminal trials and other proceedings to the public;
– and the adoption of secret coercive programs without transparent legal justification, such as
the US’s coercive interrogation practices or targeted killing program.
Scholars are invited to address in a comparative frame the ways that various constitutional
systems have sought to balance the tension between accountability, transparency, and fairness on
the one hand, and secrecy and security on the other.
The conference will last a day and a half and will also feature the participation of Lord
Justice Stephen Sedley (Court of Appeal of England and Wales) as well as professors Daphne
Barak-Erez (University of Tel Aviv), David Cole (Georgetown University), Kent Roach
(University of Toronto), Martin Scheinin (European University Institute) and Arianna Vedaschi
Abstract proposals for papers of max. 500 words should be emailed, along
with the author’s cv, to Federico.fabbrini by April 24, 2011. Once abstracts are accepted,
papers will be due November 1, 2011 to permit exchange of drafts prior to the conference.
Prof. David Cole, Georgetown University, Research Group Chair
Prof. Arianna Vedaschi, Bocconi University, Host
Federico Fabbrini, European University Institute, Research Group Coordinator