Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Last Call–Call for Papers–Workshop on Unamendable Constitutional Provisions–Koc University, Istanbul

Koç University Law School

in collaboration with

Boston College Law School

under the auspices of

The International Society of Public Law

invite submissions for

Workshop on Unamendable Constitutional Provisions
Koç University Law School
Istanbul, Turkey
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Koç University Law School, Boston College Law School and the International Society of Public Law invite submissions for a full-day workshop on unamendable constitutional provisions, to be held on the campus of Koç University Law School in Istanbul on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

This workshop is convened by Bertil Emrah Oder (Dean, Koç University Law School) and Richard Albert (Boston College).

Subject-Matter of Workshop

Modern constitutions today commonly entrench at least one unamendable constitutional provision. An unamendable provision is impervious to the formal amendment rules that authorize alterations to the constitutional text. The Afghan Constitution (2004), for example, makes Islamic Republicanism unamendable, as does the Tunisian Constitution (2014). The Brazilian Constitution (1988) and German Basic Law (1949) both make federalism unamendable. Under the Portuguese Constitution (1976), political pluralism is unamendable, and the same is true of secularism in the Turkish Constitution (1982).

Are unamendable constitutional provisions undemocratic or do they reflect a deep respect for the true democratic foundations of constitutionalism? What are the functions, limits, uses and abuses of such provisions in modern constitutions? What are the optimal conditions under which they achieve the intent of their designers? What circumstances frustrate their intended purposes?  This workshop invites abstracts for papers examining any issue related to unamendability, including both formal and informal forms.


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


The convenors intend to publish the papers in an edited book or in a special issue of a law journal. An invitation to participate in this workshop will be issued to a participant on the following conditions: (1) the participant agrees to submit an original, unpublished paper between 9,000 words and 12,000 words consistent with submission guidelines issued by the workshop convenors; (2) the participant agrees to submit a pre-workshop draft by May 15, 2015; and (3) the participant agrees to submit a full post-workshop final draft by August 15, 2015.

Submission Instructions

Interested scholars should email an abstract by March 15, 2015 to on the understanding that the abstract will form the basis of the pre-workshop draft to be submitted by May 15, 2015. Scholars should identify their submission with the following subject line: “Koç University—Abstract Submission—Unamendability.”


Successful applicants will be notified no later than March 31, 2015.


There is no cost to participate in this workshop. Successful applicants are responsible for securing their own funding for travel, lodging and other incidental expenses. Koç University Law School will negotiate a special group rate for lodging, and will also provide refreshments and dinner on the day of the workshop.


Please direct inquiries in connection with this workshop to Richard Albert (Boston College) by email at or telephone at 617-552-3930.

About Koç University Law School

Koç University was founded in 1993 as a non-profit private university in Istanbul, Turkey. Its beautiful campus sprawls over a sixty-two acre estate that succeeds in balancing accessibility to all of Istanbul with retreat from the distractions of city life. The product of a meticulous, integrated design, Koç University’s sixty buildings–academic and administrative–include laboratories, libraries, dormitories, faculty residences, social venues, a health center and sports facilities.

Koç University Law School aims to nurture creative and sophisticated lawyers with its content-rich courses in public law, private law, and its core program, which enables students to excel in a variety of disciplines. The law school program responds adeptly to meet Turkey’s need for lawyers who possess both professional language competency and an international perspective. More than 30% of the total courses offered with international content are lectured in English, thus international career opportunities may be possible for all students. The law school also provides a high level of proficiency in national law topics with its courses lectured in Turkish. Law school students have the opportunity to meet professional lawyers in regular seminars for their academic and career development. Further, exchange programs in partnership with outstanding universities around the world and international internship opportunities are designed to support international experiences for students. The law school also works to instill professional ethic values in its graduates thus enabling them to work in all fields of law–public or private–without exception. 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 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 the Convenors

Bertil Emrah Oder is Dean and Professor of Constitutional law at Koç University Law School. She is an expert in comparative constitutional law, European Union law and international human rights law. Dean Oder holds memberships in the International Association of Constitutional Law, the International Society of Public Law, the Constitution Builders Network, the German Turkish Colloquium for Public Law, the International Law Association ILI-Istanbul, and is a founding member of the Association for Research and Application of Constitutional Law. She has served as consultant of UN Women and published two monographs: Constitution and Constitutionalism in the European Union (Anahtar Publishing: 2004) and Methods of Interpretation in Constitutional Adjudication (Beta Publishing: 2010). She has also published two textbooks: Cases & Materials on Constitutional Law for Active Learning (Beta Publishing: 2001) (co-authored) and Constitutional Law in Practice (Beta Publishing: 2008 and 2013) (co-authored). And she has published dozens of articles, editorials and book chapters on various subjects in public law. Fluent in English, German and Turkish, Dean Oder holds degrees from the University of Istanbul, Marmara University (Turkey), and the University of Cologne (Germany).

Richard Albert is a constitutional law professor at Boston College Law School, where he received the 2013 and 2014 Anthony P. Farley Award for excellence in teaching. His research focuses on comparative constitutional amendment, with recent papers on the subject appearing in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Comparative Law (twice), the International Journal of Constitutional Law (twice) and the McGill Law Journal. He is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law, an elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, a member of the Governing Council of the International Society of Public Law, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Journal of Constitutional Law, a founding editor of I-CONnect, and a former law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada. He holds degrees from Yale, Oxford and Harvard.


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