Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Video Interview: “Constitutional Sunsets and Experimental Legislation” featuring Sofia Ranchordás

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

In this latest installment of our new video interview series at I-CONnect, I interview Sofia Ranchordás on her new book on Constitutional Sunsets and Experimental Legislation: A Comparative Perspective, published by Edward Elgar.

Here is the publisher’s abstract for the book:

This innovative book explores the nature and function of ‘sunset clauses’ and experimental legislation, or temporary legislation that expires after a determined period of time, allowing legislators to test out new rules and regulations within a set time frame and on a small-scale basis. Sofia Ranchordás presents a thorough analysis of sunset clauses and experimental legislation from a comparative perspective, and offers a clear legal framework for their implementation.

The author begins with a comprehensive history of sunset clauses and experimental legislation, along with a clear explanation of their characteristics and potential uses. She then analyzes the relationship between these legislative instruments and a number of fundamental legal principles, including legal certainty, equal treatment, proportionality and separation of powers. This thorough exploration of sunset clauses and experimental regulations places them within a broader legal context and makes a compelling case for their increased use.

In the interview, we discuss the challenge of making laws in a time of change. Ranchordás introduces us to what she refers to as “dynamic instruments” that help ensure that law keeps up with the times, namely sunset clauses and experimental legislation. Ranchordás engages in a rich comparative inquiry into these dynamic instruments with specific reference to the Germany, the United States and the Netherlands.

Sofia Ranchordás is an Assistant Professor at Tilburg Law School and currently a Resident Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ranchordás focuses her research in legislation and regulation, law and innovation, constitutional and administrative law, and fundamental principles of law. In addition to her monograph, she is co-editor of a forthcoming edited volume on “The Judge and the Proportionate Use of Discretion” and has published papers in several journals including the Statute Law Review, Theory and Practice of Legislation, and Tijdschrift voor Wetgeving. Ranchordás is a graduate of Portuguese Catholic University, Utrecht University, Tilburg University and the University of Antwerp.

The full interview runs 17 minutes, and is available here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *