International Conference at UH Examines “Constitutionalism under Extreme Conditions”

Aharon Barak, former President of the Supreme Court of Israel, delivered the keynote speech, Human Rights in Times of Terror – A Judicial Point of View, at an International Symposium on “Constitutionalism under Extreme Conditions” hosted by the University of Haifa in July.


Symposium organizers Dr. Yaniv Roznai, left, of the University of Haifa and Boston College Law Professor Richard Albert.

Concerned that constitutions are being put to the test in nearly every corner of world—and not just by the ever-present pressures of war—the unique two-day Symposium was co-convened by Dr. Yaniv Roznai of the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law Under Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa and Boston College Law Professor Richard Albert.

The organizers cited the recent emergencies declared in France and Turkey, the balance between national security and human rights in such countries as Israel and United States, near financial collapse in countries like Greece, and public health crises in West Africa and Brazil, as extreme conditions that have pushed the limits of constitutionalism.

The event was an opportunity to explore the conditions of constitutional failure and resilience in times of war, emergency, public health crises, and global/regional financial collapse.  It brought together scholars from more than a dozen countries to better understand what accounts for constitutional failure and resilience.

The symposium was sponsored by the Minerva Center and the Israeli Association of Public Law, with the support of Boston College Law School. The organizing committee included Gad Barzilai, Eli Salzberger, Amnon Reichman, and Suzie Navot.

Dr. Roznai is a post-doctoral fellow at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, under the auspices of the Faculty of Law and the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. He holds a PhD in Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science and in 2013, he was a visiting student research collaborator at the Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University.  In 2014, Dr. Roznai was awarded the thesis prize of the European Group of Public Law, which is awarded on an annual basis to the best doctoral public law thesis characterized by its European dimension.

The organizing committee of the Symposium included University of Haifa Faculty of Law professors Gad Barzilai, Eli Salzberger and Amnon Reichman.

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