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Comparative studies, European Union, Events, Research

Conference: Comparative public law in Europe – Opportunities and Challenges


You are warmly invited to the conference “Comparative public law in Europe – Opportunities and Challenges”, organised at the British Academy (10-11 Carlton House Terrace, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5AH) on 24th March 2017 (from 8:45am to 17:30pm).

The conference is organised by the Essex School of Law and financially supported by a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (BARSEA).

Essex - BARSEA workshop

Essex – BARSEA workshop

As questions about the future of Europe continue to increase, this conference seeks to foster discussions about the contribution that comparative public law can offer to the current political and legal, constitutional, administrative and regulatory debates. In times when European countries are tempted to close themselves up, comparative public law offers tools and frameworks for countries to learn from each other’s systems, reflect on these lessons and adapt their own solutions built on an understanding of the specificities of each other.

There are, however, major questions regarding the ways in which comparative public law can be made operational: How do we, as researchers, engage with public bodies, lawyers, civil servants and judges to identify their needs for our expertise? How do we best cooperate with actors outside academia? How do we make our research relevant in the short and longer term? How can we build trust with actors outside academia so that collaboration can enrich each other’s work? If there are tremendous potentialities for collaboration, are there also limits to these? How do we best take them into account?

Members of the French Conseil d’Etat and of the Policy Department at the European Parliament and distinguished academics, including Professor Bell (Cambridge), Professor Birkinshaw (Hull), Professor Cane (Cambridge), Professor Hofmann (Luxembourg) and Professor Racca (Turin) have kindly agreed to join our discussions.

Objectives of this conference

  • Developing a comparative public law research agenda in Europe, taking into account the stimulating, though at times extremely uncertain times that the current European crises bring to the fore
  • Discussing the research methods that are most conducive to this comparative research agenda
  • Fostering multilateral discussions between academics at all stages of their careers, and especially early career academics, and legal practitioners, policy experts/policy makers from a diversity of professional horizons
  • Identifying and facilitating opportunities for further collaboration and cooperation among academics and legal practitioners, policy experts/policy makers from the United Kingdom and continental Europe
  • Sharing best practices on turning research projects based on engagement into academic publications


You will find a more detailed programme by clicking here.


This conference is free of charge, but reservation is essential by 10th March 2017 as the number of places is limited. Please follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/comparative-public-law-in-europe-opportunities-and-challenges-tickets-31150174009


Please do contact Dr Yseult Marique (ymarique@essex.ac.uk) if you have any questions.


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