Comparative Constitutional Law
|Course code module||MREC0480-A|
|Study load (hours)||84|
|Language of instruction:||Dutch|
|Semester exam information:||exam in the 1st semester|
|Contract restriction information:|
- Competencies as a result of a successful completion of the Bachelor of Law programme, especially the Constitutional Law module.
- Sufficient general knowledge of Dutch, French, English and German.
2. Objectives (expected learning outcomes)
Broadening and deepening of knowledge, a good understanding of Constitutional Law in general and of the federal form of government in particular, by means of cross-border and comparative studies.
3. Course content
Federalism is popular! In Belgium an intense societal and political debate is taking place about the differing points of view on the structure of federal Belgium and more specifically about the relation between the federation and the “federated entities”. Germany has just finished the “Federalismus I Reform” and is preparing the second reform (reforms of the financial system). Rarely if ever, so much has been published about federalism .
After a short analysis as to whether or not it is useful to make a comparative study of federalism as a form of government, we will examine the following topics:
- Relevance, definition and principles of the federal form of government.
- Mechanisms of division of powers in federal states (exclusive, competing, general and additional competences). This will be analysed further on the basis of concrete examples of division of competences in major policy areas (foreign policy, immigration and integration, justice and safety, social and social security policy, economic, monetary and labour market policy, education and training policy, mobility policy…).
- Special characteristics of federal states (co-operative or competitive federalism; symmetrical or asymmetrical federalism, multi-layered federalism…).
- The federal institutions and the power of the constituent states to determine autonomously, in a constitution of their own, the election, composition and functioning of their own institutions and to regulate the relation between these institutions and the citizens.
- Involvement of constituent states in the event of changes in the federal Constitution or stipulations with regard to the division of powers.
- The division of fiscal competences, spending autonomy of constituent states and federal states and solidarity arrangements.
- The role and competence of Constitutional Courts in federal states.
We will conclude with an analysis of factors of success and failure in contemporary federations.
4. Teaching method
Direct contact: Lectures
Personal work: Paper - individual
5. Assessment method
Written assignment: With oral presentation
6. Compulsory reading – study material
To be distributed during the preliminary meeting at the beginning of the academic year.
7. Recommended reading - study material
Students can always contact the instructor by mail.
laatste aanpassing: last update: 05/01/2009 14:24 katia.detemmerman