Top Scholars Discuss Political Constitutionalism in Comparative Perspectives at STL
On Sunday December 2, 2018, a fascinating roundtable on political constitutionalism was held at STL. It brought together distinguished academics in a conversation comparing the development of Chinese political constitutionalism with its American counterpart and distilling lessons learned from each experience. Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and Gao Quanxi, KoGuan Chair Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University KoGuan School of Law were the two main speakers. The roundtable was welcomed by STL Dean Philip McConnaughay and moderated by Professor Thomas Yunlong Man.
Professor Gao Quanxi began by noting the significance of discussing constitutionalism in Shenzhen, as this year marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up. The point is further accentuated as reform is the new driving force of the constitution and the main impetus for constitutional reform has come from southern China, where Shenzhen is located as one of the region’s most important and creative cities. Pertaining to his views on Chinese political constitutionalism, he emphasized the importance of driving force. China’s constitution is at a vital reformative phase that is worthy of further exploration to enable a richer discussion of the Chinese constitution’s future trajectory.
Dean Erwin Chemerinsky then shared his views on American constitutionalism. In his view, a constitution in any country is determined to a large extent by the historical needs of said country. Nonetheless, all constitutions share a common goal of trying to preserve the rule of law. He discussed various features of the US constitution that he believes to likely be relevant to any discussion about constitutions.
The event was highly rewarding for all attendees as it created a unique opportunity for STL faculty and students to directly engage leading experts in the field of political constitutionalism.