Book Symposium: Heller and the Two Faces of Sovereignty, 1.11.2019

News vom 23.09.2019

Hermann Heller’s monograph addresses the paradox of sovereignty, that is, how the sovereign can be both the highest authority and subject to law. Unlike Kelsen and Schmitt who seek to dissolve the paradox, this text sees the tensions that the paradox highlights as an essential part of a society ruled by law.
Sovereignty, in the sense of national sovereignty, is often perceived in liberal democracies today as being under threat, or at least “in transition,” as power devolves from nation states to international bodies. This threat to national sovereignty is at the same time considered a threat to a different idea of sovereignty, popular sovereignty—the sovereignty of “the people”—as important decisions seem increasingly to be made by institutions outside of a country’s political system or by elite-dominated institutions within.
Heller’s book was written in 1927 amidst the very similar tensions of the Weimar Republic. In an exploration of history, constitutional and political theory, and international law, it shows that democrats must defend a legal idea of sovereignty suitable for a pluralistic world. This half-day workshop at Freie Universität Berlin launches the first ever English translation of the book published by Oxford University Press in 2019 and assesses the text’s remaining great importance from the perspectives of legal theory, public law as well as international law.

Programme

9:30 Welcome

Prof. Dr. Ignacio Czeguhn, Dean of the Department of Law, Freie Universität Berlin

9:35 Introduction

Prof. Dr. Helmut Philipp Aust, Freie Universität Berlin

9:45 Schmitt versus Heller: Two different concepts of sovereignty

Prof. Dr. Anna-Bettina Kaiser, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

10:15 Heller & the resurgent State – implications for sovereignty modern

Prof. Campbell McLachlan, QC, Victoria University of Wellington

10:45 Coffee and Tea

11:00 Response by the Editor of the English Translation

Prof. Dr. David Dyzenhaus, University of Toronto

11:30 Discussion

12:30 Light Reception

For further details regarding date, place and registration please see the flyer.

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