JSI Seminar Series: Dr Carlos Bernal-Pulido

31 May 2012

The Evolution of Principle of Proportionality and the Paradox of Constitutional Rights

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Constitutions that guarantee constitutional rights necessarily create a paradox. They empower political authorities to limit constitutional rights. At the same time, they protect constitutional rights from limitations. Allegedly, the distinction between constitutional and unconstitutional limitations of constitutional rights provides a solution to this paradox. However, two questions arise: Under what conditions is a limitation of a constitutional right unconstitutional? And, who ought ultimately to decide whether limitations of constitutional rights are unconstitutional? The principle of proportionality is a legal standard used around the world with a twofold purpose: to assess whether limitations of constitutional rights are unconstitutional and to justify the ultimate power of constitutional and supreme courts to decide on the constitutionality of these infringements. Drawing from a comparative law analysis, this presentation aims to examine why the principle of proportionality has spread around the world as a standard for these purposes.

About the Speaker: Dr Carlos Bernal-Pulido

Dr Carlos Bernal-Pulido is a Senior Lecturer at Macquarie Law School. He has research interests in the fields of jurisprudence, comparative constitutional law and constitutional theory. He has published widely in all these fields in 7 different languages. His qualifications include a LLB from the Universidad Externado of Colombia (Bogota) (1996), a SJD from the University of Salamanca (Spain) (2001) and a MA (2008) and a PhD in Philosophy (2011) from the University of Florida (U.S.A).

Time: 6pm - 8pm

Location: Sydney Law School, Building F10, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Cost: Free - Registration Essential

Contact: Events Coordinator

Phone: 02 9351 0248

Email: 1623366c0e3f353c0c43053a170619023e5d22545a7b0826