Abat Ninet article in International Journal of Constitutional Law (ICON) – University of Copenhagen

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18 July 2016

Abat Ninet article in International Journal of Constitutional Law (ICON)

At the Centre for Comparative and European Constitutional Studies, Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law, Antoni Abat Ninet, has published a new article, ‘Distinctive identity claims in federal systems: Judicial policing of subnational variance’ in the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I·CON).

The article, co-authored with James A. Gardner, the Interim Dean, and Bridget and Thomas Black SUNY Distinguished Professor at Buffalo Law School, State University of New York (SUNY), follows presentations given at Hebrew University, Lewis and Clark Law School, SUNY Buffalo Law School, the University of Copenhagen, the World Congress of the International Association of Constitutional Law in Oslo, and the European Academy, Institute for Studies in Federalism and Regionalism in Bolzano, Italy.

The article states that i is characteristic of federal states that the scope of subnational power and autonomy are subjects of frequent dispute, and that disagreements over the reach of national and subnational power may be contested in a wide and diverse array of settings. Subnational units determined to challenge nationally imposed limits on their power typically have at their disposal many tools with which to press against formal boundaries. Federal systems, moreover, frequently display a surprising degree of tolerance for subnational obstruction, disobedience, and other behaviours intended to expand subnational authority and influence, even over national objection. This tolerance, however, has limits. In this article, the authors examine a set of rulings by national constitutional courts invalidating formalised claims by subnational units to a distinctive subnational identity. The emphatically negative reactions of these courts suggest that the legal formalization of distinctive identity claims is perceived by courts to pose an unusually acute threat to the state.

The article appears as, Antoni Abat i Ninet, and James A. Gardner. ‘Distinctive Identity Claims in Federal Systems: Judicial Policing of Subnational Variance’. International Journal of Constitutional Law, Volume 14, no. 2, 2016, pp. 378–410.

You can access the article here, and read more about Professor Antoni Abat Ninet’s research at the Centre for Comparative and European Constitutional Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, here.