On Oct. 16, Washington and Lee law professor Russell Miller presented in Bonn, Germany at an international program on security and the law. He will join with German and international experts to discuss key challenges of effective legal protection in regards to cyber security.
Shortly after, on Oct. 18-19, Prof. Miller will return to host the First Annual Montpelier Roundtable on Comparative Constitutional Law. He will lead a number of comparative law scholars in a discussion on Superficial Convergence. Miller co-convened this inaugural session with University of Virginia colleagues Dick Howard and Mila Versteeg.
Washington and Lee law professor Russ Miller presents this week at a special event at the Geothe Institute in Chicago. The event, sponsored by the Goethe Institute of Chicago, the international law firm Goldberg Kohn, and the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association, is a round table discussion occurring just days before Germany’s federal election including scholars and diplomats on the legal framework for German democracy, the constitutional issues at stake in the election, and the politics and policies at the center of the political season.
Miller is author (with Donald Kommers) of the third edition of the book The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (Duke Press 2013). He is KoRSE Fellow at the University of Freiburg, a former Fulbright Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law (Heidelberg), and an alum of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program.
More information about the program is available at the event website.
Last month, we reported on Washington and Lee law professor Russell Miller and his KoRSE Fellowship at the University of Freiburg, where he is researching and collaborating with leading scholars on the issues of security and liberty who are based at the University of Freiburg’s Center for Civil Security as well as the program’s partners at Bucerius Law School (Hamburg), the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (Freiburg), and the German Federal Police Academy.
On July 10, Prof. Miller delivered a lecture at the University that was very well received and led to a full-page interview in Germany’s leading weekly news magazine ‘Der Spiegel’. The text of the interview is available online to those with a paid subscription. The lecture and interview are based on Prof. Miller’s 2008 book U.S. National Security, Intelligence and Democracy (Routledge Press). The book reflected on the 1970s Senate Select Committee that undertook an extensive investigation of U.S. national security activities. Known as the ”Church Committee” (for its Chair, Idaho Senator Frank Church), the Senate Select Committee’s reports remain one of the most detailed accountings of the American intelligence community and the reports served as the basis for reforms that now make-up the legal and oversight framework for American intelligence programs. An excerpt of Prof. Miller’s lecture, which appears as a Blog-post at the Verfassungsblog, is below:
…the intensely contemporary nature of my topic gives me pause for at least two reasons.
First, I am very well aware that news of American surveillance and espionage has stirred alarm and resentment throughout German society, sending shock waves all the way to the Kanzleramt. Personal and political relations between our countries are once again strained. With this in mind, I hope you will understand if I offer the following caveat for today’s lecture. As a simple law professor I am not in a position to speak for or defend the Obama Administration’s policies. I do have some personal and professional insight into the thinking of the President’s team, which I am happy to share with you, for whatever it is worth. And, as an American voter, I assure you that I take my democratic responsibility for the actions of my government very seriously. But these might be the limits of my ability to respond directly to and account for the developments of the last month.
Second, as a simple law professor, I must admit to having some anxiety about speaking today on a topic that can be described as “dramatic and fast-moving.” In many ways, these are the antinomies of good scholarship, which might be more properly described as “plodding and tedious.” There is a reason, I suppose, why professors play such an unimportant role in the canon of American action films. This concern requires me to offer yet another caveat for today’s lecture. I don’t intend to try to paint a full picture of the still-unfolding, frenetic developments of the last weeks. For now that is a task better left to the media, particularly the excellent journalists on both sides of the Atlantic who are doing important work in covering the story.
Prof. Miller will again address this topic at an invited lectured before the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe on July 18, hosted by the German Judicial Press Conference.
If, as they say, timing is everything, then W&L Law Professor Russell Miller has hit upon something very special with his recent receipt of a KoRSE Fellowship at the University of Freiburg in Germany. With the media still buzzing over the news of Edmund Snowden’s evasion of an American warrant after he leaked confidential documents that chronicle the American government’s extensive PRISM surveillance program and other secret surveillance activities, Miller has been invited to serve as a Fellow in the University of Freiburg’s “Network for the Law of Civil Security in Europe.” The fellowship will allow him to research and collaborate with leading scholars on the issues of security and liberty who are based at the University of Freiburg’s Center for Civil Security as well as the program’s partners at Bucerius Law School (Hamburg), the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (Freiburg), and the German Federal Police Academy.
Miller will be in residence in Freiburg on several occasions in the 2013/2014 academic year, beginning with a three-week stay in July, 2013. “I’m thrilled about the opportunity to work closely with dynamic scholars on these issues at one of Germany’s most impressive law faculties,” Miller said. He noted that the University of Frieburg is the academic home of two of the German Constitutional Court’s justices, including the Court’s President, Prof. Andreas Vosskuhle. “The KoRSE program is especially exciting,” Miller explained, ”because it deliberately seeks to embed discussions of this inherently transnational issue in a global research context.”
During his time in Freiburg Professor Miller will pursue several projects. First, he will deliver a lecture on July 10, drawing on his 2008 book U.S. National Security, Intelligence and Democracy (Routledge Press). The book reflected on the 1970s Senate Select Committee that undertook an extensive investigation of U.S. national security activities. Known as the ”Church Committee” (for its Chair, Idaho Senator Frank Church), the Senate Select Committee’s reports remain one of the most detailed accountings of the American intelligence community and the reports served as the basis for reforms that now make-up the legal and oversight framework for American intelligence programs. This, of course, is the very framework implicated by Snowden’s leaks and the PRISIM program. Miller’s lecture will detail, for a foreign audience unfamiliar with this important piece of American history, the background of the Church Committee while raising the broader questions of how a society best achieves the twin goals of providing security while ensuring liberty. Second, Prof. Miller will begin planning-in close collaboration with other researchers in Freiburg-for the fall 2013 “German Law in Context Program,” which will involve a number W&L law and undergraduate students in an intensive, interdisciplinary survey of Germany’s efforts to balance security and liberty in its unique struggle with extremism and threats to democracy. The German Law in Context Program is an annual seminar that enjoys the support of the German Law Journal, which Prof. Miller and a number of students edit at W&L. It is also one of the law school’s most visible collaborations with W&L’s undergraduate college, as faculty from the German/Russian Department, the History Department, and the Williams School’s Political Science Faculty contribute their expertise to events and programming in significant ways. Third, Prof. Miller will use his time in Freiburg to lay a research foundation for and to facilitate his in-person observations of the German Federal Constitutional Court’s imminent review of applications to ban a political party (the right-wing NPD). This is a once-in-a-generation procedure that implicates German history, society and politics in remarkable ways. In this effort, Prof. Miller will be building on the work that led to the recent publication of his book The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (Duke Press).
On June 3-4 Prof. Miller was in Lausanne, Switzerland to present the methodological portion of his research project “Germany’s Plural Legal Culture” at the annual meeting of the comparative law association Juris Diversitas. The two-day conference – hosted by the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law – featured paper presentations and commentary from comparative law scholars from around the world. The program’s website is:
A 1999/2000 alum of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program, Prof. Russell Miller was elected by the 450 members of the alumni association to serve as Co-President for the 2012-2013 term. That service concluded Friday and Saturday (May 30 / June 1) in Berlin with a two-day program organized by Miller (and his Co-President Emily Olman).
Responding to German President Gauck’s query “How is it that Germans and Americans have such a different understanding of freedom?” – the program had the title “Freedom in the Transatlantic Sphere” and featured a keynote address from Former German Constitutional Court Justice Dieter Grimm and two panels that pursued a transatlantic dialogue on “Freedom as Rights” and “Freedom as Social or Economic Liberty”. The program’s website is:
Washington and Lee law professor Russ Miller has published a piece titled ”Differencing Same-Sex Marriage” at the blog site for the Journal of International Constitutional Law (I-Connect).
In the piece, Miller explores recent efforts by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Constitution Court of Germany to deal with same-sex marriage. He notes that there is strong temptation for comparative law scholars to draw comparisons between the U.S. and Germany in these cases, but argues that that effort might be mistaken. He concludes the piece by saying:
If the Supreme Court ends up ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, the temptation for comparative constitutional lawyers to conclude that there is an emerging constitutional convergence in favor of the rights of homosexuals will be great. Whatever political—or even theoretical—position that functionalist comparative law conclusion serves, it would be only the most superficial comparative “reality.”
Here is the press release from the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies regarding today’s appearance by W&L Law Professor Russell Miller:
AICGS, the Goethe-Institut’s Mapping Democracy Series, the German Embassy-Cultural Division, and the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association are pleased to host Donald Kommers and Russell Miller, co-authors of The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (2012), for a panel discussion on “The Constitutional Framework for German Democracy.” The event will take place at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 11, 2013, at the Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St, NW.
This new edition, with its extensive treatment of the German law of democracy, comes at an appropriate time, shortly before Germany’s federal elections in the fall. In this discussion the authors will explore the constitutional facets of electoral processes in Germany as well as the broader notion of democracy in the Constitutional Court’s decisions. The book, an English-language commentary on German constitutional law, also features translations of more than 100 decisions of the German Federal Constitutional Court. In her foreword to the latest edition, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls the book “a masterful text.”
Prof. Donald Kommers is a Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science and Concurrent Professor of Law Emeritus at Notre Dame University Law School. He is the author of over 100 major articles and books and his next book, Germany’s Constitutional Odyssey, is expected to be published in early 2014. Prof. Kommers earned his B.A. in philosophy and English literature from the Catholic University of America and his advanced degrees (M.A. and Ph.D.) in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also studied law.
Prof. Russell Miller is a Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law. He has been a guest professor in Germany and a frequent Research Visitor at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg. He was a 2009/2010 Fulbright Senior Research Fellow to Germany. Alongside books in the fields of comparative law, international law, and U.S. constitutional law, Prof. Miller has published articles and commentary in the American Journal of International Law, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Indiana Law Journal, Journal of National Security Law, Journal of Comparative Law, and Washington & Lee Law Review. Prof. Miller graduated with a B.A. in English literature from Washington State University and his J.D. and M.A. in English literature from Duke University. He also received an LL.M. from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in 2002.
On Friday, March 22, W&L Professor Russell Miller gave a talk entitled “Germany vs. Europe: The Principle of Democracy in German Constitutional Law and the Struggle for European Integration.” The talk was followed by a roundtable discussion with Mila Versteeg (University of Virginia School of Law), and Gerard Alexander (Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at UVa). The talk was co-pponsored by the Department of German and the Center for German Studies at UVa. Here is a description of the lecture:
Professor Russell Miller Discusses His Book on the Constitutional Jurisprudence of Germany at Notre Dame
On March 1, 2013 Professor Russell Miller made a presentation at the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame. The event celebrated the publication of his new book “The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany” (Duke University Press 2012). The book was recognized alongside select publications engaging a broad spectrum of disciplines relevant to European affairs and culture, including: Vittorio Hoelse’s book “The Philosophical Dialogue”; Stepheh Fallon’s book “Paradise Regained – The Complete Shorter Poems by John Milton”; Semion Lyandres’ book “The Fall of Tsarism”; Luc Reydam’s book “International Prosecutors”; and Henry Weinfeld’s book “The Blank-Verse Tradition from Milton to Stevens”. The Nanovic Institute is a platform for more than 140 faculty members and scholars from over twenty-five departments at the University of Notre Dame. Prof. Miller’s co-author, Prof. Donald Kommers, is an emeritus member of the Notre Dame’s Political Science and Law faculties. In his remarks Prof. Miller raised questions about power of the German Constitutional Court and its legitimacy in contemporary Germany’s well-settled democracy.