Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Call for Papers–Symposium on Quasi-Constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes–Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

The New Zealand Centre for Public Law
at Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law

in partnership with

The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S)


Boston College Law School

invite submissions for

Symposium on Quasi-Constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes
Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law
Thursday & Friday, May 19-20, 2016

The New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty Law, Boston College Law School, and The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) invite submissions for a two-day symposium on quasi-constitutionality and constitutional statutes, to be held on the Pipitea campus of Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law (Old Government Buildings) on Thursday & Friday, May 19-20, 2016.

This symposium is convened by Joel Colón-Ríos (Victoria University of Wellington) and Richard Albert (Boston College).

Subject-Matter of Symposium

It is now uncontroversial to state that, even in countries with a master-text constitution, what counts as fundamental law cannot be reduced to a single canonical document. Constitutional conventions, international obligations, and constitutional jurisprudence are frequently, and indeed correctly, considered part of a country’s constitution. Increasingly, judges and scholars alike attribute to “ordinary” laws what may be identified as a quasi-constitutional status. Reference is commonly made to superstatutes, to statutes with constitutional significance, and even to “constitutional” statutes. This symposium will convene scholars engaged in the comparative study of quasi-constitutionality. Subjects of inquiry may include quasi-entrenchment, quasi-constitutional rights, transitions to and from quasi-constitutional status or any issue examining the conceptual space between ordinary law and formal constitutionality.

Structure of Symposium

This two-day symposium will feature ten (10) papers selected through this Call for Papers, with one (1) discussant assigned to each paper, for a total of twenty (20) participants. Five papers will be presented and discussed on each day, with each paper allocated one hour of time for group discussion. Each day will feature a keynote luncheon speaker and will conclude early enough with time for rest and relaxation.


Submissions are invited from scholars of all ranks, including doctoral students.


The convenors intend to publish the papers in an edited book with each paper as a separate chapter. Discussants may also be invited to submit stand-alone papers to the edited book. An invitation to participate in this symposium will be issued to a participant on the following conditions: (1) the participant agrees to submit an original, unpublished paper between 8,000 words and 10,000 words consistent with submission guidelines issued by the symposium convenors; (2) the participant agrees to submit a full pre-symposium draft by April 15, 2016; and (3) the participant agrees to submit a full post-symposium final draft by August 1, 2016.

Submission Instructions

Interested scholars should email an abstract by October 1, 2015 to on the understanding that the abstract will form the basis of the full pre-symposium draft to be submitted by April 15, 2016. Scholars should identify their submission with the following subject line: “New Zealand—Abstract Submission—Quasi-Constitutionality.”


Successful applicants will be notified no later than November 1, 2015.


There is no cost to participate in this symposium. Successful applicants are responsible for securing their own funding for travel, lodging and other incidental expenses. The New Zealand Centre for Public Law will negotiate a special group rate for lodging. Lunch will be provided.


Please direct inquiries in connection with this workshop to the convenors:

Joel Colón-Ríos
Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law

Richard Albert
Boston College Law School

Please circulate this Call for Papers widely.

About the New Zealand Centre for Public Law

The NZ Centre for Public Law was established in the Faculty of Law at Victoria University of Wellington in 1996 by the Victoria University Council, with the funding assistance of the Victoria University Foundation. The objectives of the Centre are: (1) to stimulate awareness and interest in public law issues; (2) to provide a forum for the discussion of those issues; and (3) foster and promote research of these issues. The Centre is a liaison point for the Law Faculty’s external relationships on public law issues and in conjunction with other related parts of the wider Victoria University community. Its activities revolve around hosting conferences, seminars and other events to debate and influence the public law issues of most current topical concern. The aim is to add to the public debates on these issues by making accessible the key facts and different perspectives on the issues; and by providing fora for engaging with and sparking dialogue with key decision-makers as well as learned commentators. The NZ Centre for Public Law engages with politicians, public servants, the judiciary, the legal profession, academics, distinguished international visitors, and everyone else who wishes to help shape the current issues of our democracy. For more, please visit

About The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S)

The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) was officially launched in June 2014 at an Inaugural Conference sponsored by the European University Institute and NYU School of Law in Florence, Italy. The conference featured a keynote address by Jeremy Waldron, plenary papers by Robert Keohane, Ruth Rubio Marin and Joseph H.H. Weiler, and hundreds of participants in concurrent panels on all subjects in public law.

Presided by Sabino Cassese, ICON·S emerged from the Editorial Board of I·CON—the International Journal of Constitutional Law. For several years now I·CON has been, both by choice and by the cartographic reality of the field, much more than a journal of comparative constitutional Law. I·CON has expanded its interests, range of authors, readers, Editorial Board members and, above all, issues covered to include not only discrete articles in fields such as Administrative Law, Global Constitutional Law, Global Administrative Law and the like, but also increasingly includes scholarship that reflects both legal reality and academic perception, and which in dealing with the challenges of public life and governance combines elements from all of the above with a good dosage of political theory and social science. Learned societies have often been founded to validate the emergence, autonomy, or breakaway of an intellectual endeavor. By contrast, international learned societies are often driven by the realization of intellectual cross-fertilization that can stem from disciplinary ecumenism. ICON·S is both.

The ICON·S Executive Committee includes Sujit Choudhry, Gráinne De Búrca, Ran Hirschl, Bing Bing Jia, Susanna Mancini, Phoebe Okowa, Michel Rosenfeld, Ruth Rubio Marin, Hélène Ruiz Fabri, Anne van Aaken, and Joseph H.H. Weiler. For more information, please visit:

About Boston College Law School

Founded in 1929, Boston College Law School offers broad course offerings and small class sizes that permit considerable personal interaction with faculty. The international and comparative law curriculum provides opportunities for in-class instruction, innovative and flexible study-abroad programs, and meaningful training in the field. Boston College Law School understands that globalization magnifies the scope and complexity of law and legal practice. The curriculum trains students for the needs of today, while giving them skills and perspectives that anticipate the needs of tomorrow. The program prepares leaders to pursue social justice not just nationally, but internationally as well. For more, please visit:

About the Convenors

Joel Colón-Ríos is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington. His research explores the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy from a theoretical and comparative perspective. His papers have been published in leading international journals and explore topics such as different institutionalizations of judicial review of legislation, the theoretical basis of the doctrine of unconstitutional constitutional amendments, and the juridical implications of the theory of constituent power. His current book project, Constituent Power and the Law, looks at the ways in which judges, government officials, jurists, and citizens from various jurisdictions have made use, and use, the theory of constituent power to justify or challenge the legal validity of different exercises of political power.

Richard Albert is an Associate Professor at Boston College Law School and, in 2015-16, a Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. A specialist in comparative public law with a focus on formal and informal constitutional amendment, he has since December 2014 been Book Reviews Editor for the American Journal of Comparative Law, which awarded him the Hessel Yntema Prize in 2010 for “the most outstanding article” on comparative law by a scholar under the age of 40. He is also an elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, an elected member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law, a member of the Governing Council of the International Society of Public Law, and a founding co-editor of I-CONnect, the new scholarly blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law. Prior to joining the faculty of Boston College Law School, Albert served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada. Educated at Yale, Harvard and Oxford, he is currently engaged as a consultant on constitutional reform in Europe and the Caribbean.


One response to “Call for Papers–Symposium on Quasi-Constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes–Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand”

  1. […] The full Call for Papers may be read here. […]

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