Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Call for Papers: ICON-S Conference 2024


The Future of Public Law: Resilience, Sustainability, and Artificial Intelligence

We look forward to welcoming you for our 2024 ICON•S Annual Conference. The conference will feature panels in all areas of public law, and all members of ICON•S are invited to make their submissions in their areas of interest. The plenary program will focus on the main conference’s theme, explained below.

The conference will take place in Madrid, Spain, at IE University, on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of July 2024. In order to make the most out of this exciting event, the conference will be fully in-person.

We are pleased to partner with IE University Law School and continue our tradition of holding a diverse and global event gathering scholars, practitioners, and judges from all over the world to discuss the research of our ICON•S members. 

Conference Theme

All ICON•S members can submit their individual abstracts and propose fully formed panels on any theme that is relevant for public law (including constitutional law, administrative law and international law). 

The plenary program at the 2024 ICON•S Annual Conference will focus on “The Future of Public Law: Resilience, Sustainability, and Artificial Intelligence.” The conference seeks to foster reflection and discussion on the different transformations that public law is going through as a result of the major societal challenges of our time: the quest for sustainability, the AI revolution and, more generally, the need for resilience in a world of exponential change. Public law is central to the global effort to fight climate change and to ensure that human activities are conducted in a manner that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Thus, thinking about the future of public law requires asking questions about its role in achieving a balanced approach to economic growth, environmental preservation, and social equity. The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence also raises profound legal, ethical and societal questions. Many of these questions are connected to the role that public law is called to play in a AI-driven world and, in particular, in addressing issues such as the implications of AI for fundamental rights, algorithmic accountability and transparency in decision-making, the role of AI in law enforcement and the judiciary, and the need for global cooperation in this field. Finally, in a world of constant and exponential change, it is apposite to reflect on the resilience of public law. This calls for a more general discussion on the capacity of constitutions, state structures and regulatory regimes to anticipate, mitigate and adapt to unforeseen crises and challenges, including political crises, socio-economic disruptions, health emergencies, and environmental calamities. 

On their own, each of these issues raises a broad range of questions regarding the future of constitutional law, administrative law and international law. Besides addressing these questions, the goal of the conference is to explore their multifaceted connections. For example, we are interested in the potential of AI and the digital economy in mitigating environmental hazards, its risks for electoral campaigns, the use of massive datasets to achieve and evaluate more data-driven solutions, and promoting renewable energy optimization. The challenge of sustainability, in the context of the global warming threat, is pushing us to identify how we can solve collective action problems that we see in the international sphere and how there may be a connection between democracy and accountability with the policies that different regimes adopt. Public law scholars, practitioners and judges are not (and should not) stay out of these debates. Besides the common judicialization risks and regional perspectives coming from Europe and Latin America, the possibility of approaching these issues from a human rights perspective and the economics and feasibility of achieving acceptable outcomes presents a windy and bumpy road we are yet to understand fully. Without exploring the legal and political frameworks, the AI-driven solutions to these problems and the new associated risks, the impact that these features might have on issues such as data privacy, transparency, international relations, and fourth branch institutions—to name a few—we tend to believe that the contemporary legal and political communities are unprepared for advancing the road in a successful and widely acceptable way. 

The conference theme also invites deliberating on a variety of other topics and approaches that are of ongoing and widespread interest in public law, including but not limited to questions of legal pluralism, global warming, the frameworks of renewable energies, freedom of speech, electoral regulations, privacy, the right to health, democratic theory, the rule of law, and alternative approaches to rights protection, among others.


The backbone of the Annual Conference continues to be the concurrent panel sessions. These will take place across all three days of the Conference and will be composed of submissions selected through this Call.

Submissions may, but need not necessarily, relate to the overarching Conference theme. Four types of submission are possible: individual, fully formed panels, book roundtables, and interest groups. You do not need to submit written papers. Submissions will generally include a title and an abstract of up to 250 words. You do not need to submit written papers. We encourage the submission of fully-formed panels and book roundtables.

Please note that each participant can present a paper in a maximum of two panels (whether sole-authored or co-authored) and, subject to scheduling requirements, may participate – as a panel chair, discussant, or interest group convenor – in no more than two additional panels. If you are available, we will also ask you to please volunteer to chair a panel.

We invite potential participants to refer to the ICON•S Mission Statement when choosing a topic or approach for their paper(s) or panel(s).

How and When to Submit?

The submission window will close at 11:59pm UCT on February 11, 2024. No submissions will be allowed after that date. Notification for acceptance of individual submissions will be provided by February 15, 2024. Please note that in order to access the submission page, you must be logged into your ICON•S account and have an active ICON•S membership.



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