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:
In anticipation of this fall’s federal election in Germany, this talk will explore the constitutional framework for Germany’s contemporary democracy and the wide service to which the German Federal Constitutional Court has put the “principle of democracy” (Demokratieprinzip). This includes relatively unsurprising issues involving the electoral system and the role played by political parties. But the principle of democracy has also come to serve as the chief barrier to Germany’s deeper integration into the European Union, recently calling into question Germany’s essential participation in the Euro-crisis bailouts. In all of this, what theory of democracy is the Constitutional Court promoting?
Russell Miller is a Professor of Law at Washington & Lee University School of Law where his research and teaching focuses on comparative law theory, including German law and legal culture. Along with Donald Kommers (Notre Dame University), he is the author of the third edition of the book The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (Duke Press 2012). He has published books, articles and commentary on comparative law, public international law, and constitutional law. He is the co-founder and co-Editor-in-Chief of the “German Law Journal.” Professor Miller has been a regular Research Guest at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg, Germany. From 1999-2001, he served as a judicial adviser to the German Constitutional Court in Karlrsruhe.