Københavns Universitet
Uafhængig af ledelsen


The Legitimacy of Legal Reason in Europe: Postwar Transformations

Forelæsning — Inaugural lecture on the occasion of Jan Komárek’s commencement of employment as Professor in European law.


Date & Time:

Alf Ross Auditorium, 3rd floor, room 9A-3-01, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Hosted by:
Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen



How do lawyers know that a legal argument is “sound”? And how do such views inform our perception of the judicial function as exercised in post-war Europe? In this lecture I want to take stock of several strands of my previous research, concerning on the one hand, legal reasoning and judicial legitimacy, and on the other hand the role of law in European integration. First, I will explain how the concept of legitimacy can be fruitfully used in the debates about courts and European integration, and why we may want to avoid illusions of scientific objectivity, involved in the Weberian paradigm. Second, I will introduce the concept of “semantic struggles” and show what kind of struggles legal scholars have undertaken in the debates concerning adjudication in post-war Europe. It relates closely to the concept of “constitutional imagination”, something I would like to explore in my future research. Why does it matter whether we call the European Court of Justice “a constitutional court of Europe” and what kind of constitutionalism has the Court been promoting since 1962? Finally, shall we change the way we talk about European law and the Court in the era of never-ending crisis and challenges facing the EU?

Time: 6 June 2018, 14:00 – 15:00 followed by a reception

Place: Alf Ross Auditorium, 3rd floor, room 9A-3-01, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Programme and registration