MX003K The Twilight of Constitutionalism

Faculty of Law
Spring 2022
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Taught in person.
doc. JUDr. David Kosař, Ph.D., LL.M., J. S. D. (lecturer)
JUDr. Zuzana Vikarská, MJur, MPhil, Ph.D. (lecturer)
JUDr. Ladislav Vyhnánek, Ph.D., LL.M. (lecturer)
doc. JUDr. PhDr. Robert Zbíral, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
JUDr. Ladislav Vyhnánek, Ph.D., LL.M.
Judicial Studies Institute - Faculty of Law
Contact Person: Mgr. Věra Redrupová, B.A.
Supplier department: Judicial Studies Institute - Faculty of Law
Mon 21. 2. to Fri 20. 5. Wed 18:00–19:40 133
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: 41/50, 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.
Learning outcomes
The student will:
- know and understand the kbasice problems of modern constitutional law and political theory;
- be able to write an analytical essay/reaction paper concerning constitutional theoretical issues;
- identify and analyze the roots and background of modern constitutional law;
  • 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.
    recommended literature
  • SOMEK, Alexander. The cosmopolitan constitution. First edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. xii, 291. ISBN 9780198797944. info
    not specified
  • Mandatory readings are always included in a pdf form in the electronic syllabus (approx. 20 pages per class/240 pages per semester).
Teaching methods
Lectures, guided discussion, student reaction papers are discussed in the corresponding class. Students are expected to prepare for classes (mandatory readings, approx. 40 pages per class, are uploaded in the electronic syllabus as pdf files).
Assessment methods
In order to pass, a combination of in-class activity and four short (aaprox. 2 pages each) reaction papers are required. The reaction papers are then discussed in the corresponding class.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2023.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2022, recent)
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