IACL World Congress Workshop: "Post-Soviet Constitutionalism and Peace Building"

21 June 2018

The 10th World Congress of the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) was held from 18 to 22 June 2018 in Seoul, Korea. The theme of the World Congress was "Violent Conflicts, Peace-Building and Constitutional Law". The World Congress was hosted and co-organised by the Korean Association of the IACL in collaboration with the Executive Committee of the IACL.

William Partlett, co-convenor of the Constitution Transformation Network (CTN), and Sergey A. Belov, a Russian academic, convened a workshop at the IACL World Congress on "Post-Soviet Constitutionalism and Peace Building". The workshop was motivated by the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Soviet legal and constitutional systems in the 1917 Russian Revolution. The focus of the workshop was to evaluate the continuing legacy of Soviet constitutionalism for post-Soviet constitutionalism as well as constitutionalism more globally.

The workshop included a range of panelists from around the world. In the first hour, Cheryl Saunders (Melbourne Law School & Co-Convenor of CTN) and Alexandra Troitskaya (Moscow State University) led a discussion on methodology by presenting papers.  Participants discussed the importance of expanding the comparative constitutional law canon to the post-Soviet region.  They also discussed the importance of understanding these constitutions in their context.

In the second hour, papers were presented by Alexei Trochev (Nazarbaev State University, Kazakhstan), Jane Henderson (Dickson Poon School of Law, Kings College, London), and Ewa Poplaska (Poland).  These papers discussed the nature of the Russian constitutional court as well as the nature of subnational constituitonalism in the Russian Federation.

In the final hour, Sergei Belov (St Petersburg State Law School) and William Partlett (Melbourne Law School) presented papers that discussed both the continuing legacies of the values and ideas contained in Soviet constitutions as well as the different approaches to constitutionalism in the former Soviet republics. A wide-ranging discussion of these issues followed, leading to a range of insights that will inform ongoing work in this area.