Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

ICON Volume 19, Issue 3: Editorial

Editorial: I•CON in Spanish—I•CON en Español; Brexit, the Irish Protocol and the “Versailles Effect”; Cancelling Carl Schmitt?; Changes in the masthead; In this issue

I•CON in Spanish—I•CON en Español

I•CON has no “nationality.” It is unlike, say, the Ruritanian Journal of Public Law. It attempts to cater for an international readership and, although we regularly publish articles with a focus on this or that jurisdiction, one of our selection criteria, even for such articles, is that they will be of interest to readers with no particular interest in the local jurisdiction because they offer, for instance, an important theoretical contribution. We are, of course, not alone in that type of orientation and aspiration.

The same is true for ICON•S. It, too, has no “nationality” (though we encourage and support the ICON•S national and/or regional chapters). But the very fact that it is an English-language publication—which has a powerful rationale, being the most widely used second language—the domination of English in both I•CON and ICON•S is not without important symbolic and practical significance.

The Santiago ICON•S meeting in 2019 was a turning point in the life of the Society. The Council of ICON•S took the bold decision that, given the huge importance of Spanish, a language spoken in no less than twenty countries, the Santiago meeting would be bilingual: English and Spanish. Most of the reactions we received from both Hispanohablante members and others was that this was a very positive development, both symbolic and practical. It enabled a far wider participation and many of our members who speak Spanish were exposed to impressive scholarship which would not otherwise be part of the ICON•S program.

Given the prominence of Spanish as the primary language in such a large number of jurisdictions, we have taken two initiatives, for now on an experimental basis, which attempt to consolidate the Santiago meeting experience.

Our blog ICONnect now has a thriving, autonomously managed sister blog, IberICONnect (, which publishes in Spanish and Portuguese. Since its inception in October 2020, the blog is turning out to be, not surprisingly, an important voice in public law scholarship.

And, starting this year, I•CON will be publishing five, rather than four, issues a year, one of them entirely in Spanish (with English abstracts), with Marcela Prieto and Sergio Verdugo acting as Editors. The first issue is already in the pipeline and includes scholarship from the Spanish-speaking world in two continents. We are grateful to Oxford University Press for their willingness to join in this experiment (also a first for them).

The experiment will run for at least three years, after which we will decide whether to make this a permanent feature of I•CON. And to those who are wondering, yes, we will at that point consider extending this initiative to one or two other languages that have a similar jurisdictional ubiquity, French being, naturally enough, a prime candidate.

GdeB and JHHW

Brexit, the Irish Protocol and the “Versailles Effect”

[Professor Weiler’s editorial on Brexit has already been published at ICONnect at the following link.]

Cancelling Carl Schmitt?

[Professor Weiler’s editorial on Cancelling Carl Schmitt has already been published at ICONnect at the following link.]

Changes in the masthead

A number of changes are taking place in our editorial team, with three of our dedicated team members stepping down. 

Michaela Hailbronner joined I•CON as the Book Review Editor in 2016 and has masterfully managed this section of the journal, curating reviews and essays on a broad range of topics, whilst maintaining geographic, gender and language balances. At the same time, she has introduced innovative approaches to book reviewing, including review symposia and roundtables. Michaela will continue her contribution to the journal as a member of our Advisory Board. We warmly welcome Chien-Chih Lin as our new Book Review Editor.

Sergio Verdugo has served I•CON as Associate Editor since 2016 and Marcela Prieto Rudolphy joined the team as Associate Editor in 2018. They have each carried out their duties with an untiring sense of commitment and dedication. With their astute academic judgement, creative ideas, thoughtfulness and efficiency, Marcela and Sergio’s contribution has been invaluable for the smooth running of the journal. Marcela has recently been appointed as Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law, and Sergio, an Associate Professor of Law at the Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile, serves as Secretary General of ICON•S. Fortunately for I•CON, both Sergio and Marcela will stay on board as co-Editors in Chief of the Spanish issue of the journal and as members of the Advisory Board. We warmly welcome Elisabetta Morlino, Stefano Osella and Dana Schmalz, who have joined the team as Associate Editors.

GdeB and JHHW

In this issue

We open this issue with the fourth I•CON Foreword article, authored by Karen Alter, who explores the tensions between multilateralism in international law and global capitalism, drawing on perspectives from international relations, global history, and decolonization, and reflecting also on the possible future of an Asian-based capitalism.

Our Articles section begins with an article co-authored by Mauricio Guim, Michael Gilbert, and Michael Weisbuch, which surveys, analyzes, and theorizes about forced waiting periods for constitutional amendments as an entrenchment mechanism. This is followed by an article by Soledad Bertelsen, who argues that a margin of appreciation doctrine in the Inter-American human rights system can be defended by reference to the subsidiary principle. Next, Martijn van den Brink criticizes the existing European institutional balance for favoring the legitimacy of the Court of Justice of the European Union over the EU legislature. Finally, Rafael Macia Briedis uses the example of the Venezuelan constitutional crisis to explore the idea of a “self-negating constitutionalism,” by which the Constitution recognizes a superior institutional power situated even above the constitution itself.

This issue features a symposium on constitutional experiments in Latin America, organized by Joel Colón-Ríos and Sergio Verdugo. The symposium opens with an introduction by Joel Colón-Ríos and is followed by an article by Johanna Frölich. She explores the amendment mechanism of Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution and claims that more flexible amendment procedures may better promote stability in specific scenarios. Andrea Scoseria Katz then explores Uruguay’s 1918 Constitution to argue that it attempted to use mechanisms of direct democracy as a political entrenchment instrument. The next article, authored by Vicente Benítez-Rojas, tracks the Colombian unconstitutional constitutional amendment doctrine to the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence engaging with an actio popularis, which was introduced initially in 1910. Thereafter, Mariana Velasco-Rivera seeks to explain how the Mexican Constitution’s amendment procedure, which is similar to the American Article V procedure, has not prevented the approval of more than 700 constitutional amendments. Sergio Verdugo then uses the 1925 Chilean Constitution to illustrate how specific constitutional review mechanisms can fail even in competitive democracies. Finally, Karina Denari Gomes de Mattos examines how the Brazilian prosecutorial agency has engaged with consumer and environmental regulations, and has potentially competed against civil society associations that are engaging in legal mobilization.

Our ICON Debate! section features two debates. First, Maxime St.-Hilaire responds to the article by David McGrogan on audit culture in international human rights law, which won the 2019 I•CON Best Paper Prize. St.-Hilaire criticizes the Foucauldian approach used by McGrogan in his article. David McGrogan has responded with a Letter to the Editors, also published in this issue. The second debate discusses the article by Yun-chien Chang and Xin Dai, who criticize the use of the proportionality principle. The section includes replies by Anne Peters, and Francisco Urbina and Cristóbal Caviedes.

In addition to our book reviews, the Review Essay in this issue by Alvin Y.H. Cheung provides a critical review of two recent publications on the rule of law in Hong Kong: China’s National Security: Endangering Hong Kong’s Rule of Law? and The Changing Legal Orders in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

GdeB and JHHW


2 responses to “ICON Volume 19, Issue 3: Editorial”

  1. Advocate Narender Singh Avatar

    “Advocate Narender Singh advocate for Supreme Court of India for many years and He is dedicately focused on the result-oriented case approach. The team he is working with possessed with highly qualified advocates and other legal authorities. With us, you can simply get the best criminal and civil lawyer for the Supreme Court of India to resolve your even complex matters easily and favorably. The whole team is determined to provide you the best solutions for all sorts of jurisdictional cases using the best of their experience. Our major motive is to provide the best solutions and services for all the cases bothered by individuals, personal groups, business partners, industries, start-up, and settled commercial groups, MNCs, etc.

  2. plumbers in alexandria Avatar

    Will add this to my notes, thanks

Leave a Reply

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