Lunch seminar with Aysel Kucuksu

Bridging the gap between the ideal in global justice theories on migration and the non-ideal in the European Court of Justice’s practice on migration: an impasse?


More often than not, political philosophers that espouse theories of global justice engage with the big question of what duties we owe to each other from a very abstract, ideal, point of view. They try to delineate our responsibilities to one another and treat the parameters of these obligations in different scales, ranging from the nation state to the global order, and in different domains, ranging from climate change to migration. Simultaneously, judicial actors occupy themselves with questions of justice from the much more practical, non-ideal, position, where they aim to perform as justly as possible in the imperfect scenario of applying non-ideal laws to non-ideal circumstances. In an effort to bring political philosophy and judicial practice closer to each other, this work applies theories from within the global justice treatment of migration to the migration jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice. At first glance, the common ground between the two seems to prematurely end where it started, with the modest terminological overlap in ‘justice’ and ‘migration’. Yet, deeper engagement with both domains shines a light on how non-legal disciplines such as political philosophy can offer valuable insight for engaging with judicial decision-making in an innovative way. Therefore, upon extrapolating the main theoretical categories that political philosophers have espoused within global justice theories on migration, this work applies them to the Court’s complete migration jurisprudence. It thereby aims to offer an original way of taxonomizing the case-law of the European Court of Justice and argues that albeit immediately bridging the gap between the two disciplines might seem like an impasse, narrowing it is a genuine possibility.

All interested are welcome to attend. Registration is not necessary.