MX003K The Twilight of Constitutionalism

Faculty of Law
Autumn 2017
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
doc. JUDr. David Kosař, Ph.D., LL.M., J. S. D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Zuzana Vikarská, MJur (lecturer)
JUDr. Ladislav Vyhnánek, Ph.D., LL.M. (lecturer)
doc. JUDr. PhDr. Robert Zbíral, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. JUDr. David Kosař, Ph.D., LL.M., J. S. D.
Judicial Studies Institute - Faculty of Law
Contact Person: Mgr. Věra Redrupová, B.A.
Supplier department: Judicial Studies Institute - Faculty of Law
Mon 25. 9. to Fri 22. 12. Tue 18:15–19:45 034
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is offered to students of any study field.
The capacity limit for the course is 50 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 39/50, only registered: 0/50, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/50
Course objectives
The course focuses on the main questions surrounding the emergence and existence of the modern constitutional state. It is designed as a multidisciplinary course, combining the points of view of constitutional law, political theory and history. The aim is to make the students acquainted with the main discussions concerning the modern constitutional state, including its legitimacy, sovereignty, democracy, the rule of law or fundamental rights. Even though it aims to “transfer existing knowledge”, the course will also show that most of the fundamental constitutional questions allow for more than one answer and that the search for the optimal constitution is still underway and will likely never be over.
  • 1. The concept of constitutionalism. Emergence of the constitutional state.
  • 2. Why should we be governed? Social contract and the problem of state legitimacy from Hobbes until today.
  • 3. No arbitrary power. Rule of law and Rechtstaat.
  • 4. We the people. Equality, democracy and popular sovereignty.
  • 5. Direct democracy and representative democracy.
  • 6. Separation of powers as a guarantee of liberty?
  • 7. Constitutional courts and the “new constitutionalism”.
  • 8. Fundamental rights I. The concept and its emergence.
  • 9. Fundamental rights vs. democracy. The anti-majoritarian difficulty.
  • 10. Fundamental rights in the 21st century. Case studies.
  • 11. The cross-section of all problems. Elections and voting rights.
  • 12. Peer-review constitutionalism. International and supranational organizations and their impact on traditional constitutional concepts.
Teaching methods
Lectures, guided discussion.
Assessment methods
In order to pass, a combination of in-class activity, one short reaction paper and the final essay is required.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2018, Autumn 2018, Spring 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2017, recent)
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