Belgrade Legal Theory Group organized its last event in the spring semester with prof. Boško Tripković (University of Birmingham) on the topic of constitutional identity.

Prof. Tripković first pointed out that he starts off with an assumption that there is such a thing as a constitutional identity and argues that there are constitutions without such an identity.

He asserted that a constitutional identity means having core values and normative commitments within a society, but only those that are not trivial, have wide acceptance, and derive from constitutional authority. The question of acceptance of core values mostly boils down to and is measured by their practical application. Such an identity must be composed of universal values that are necessary for a political authority in general (rule of law, checks and balances, and the protection of minorities), but could also have contingent cultural values depending on the particular community.

Prof. Tripković then proceeded by saying that there are many systems that have no thick constitutional identity in the aforementioned sense. For example, although the Serbian Constitution fulfills formal conditions, Serbia lacks the application of the rule of law, as well as the protection of minorities, therefore having no constitutional identity.

Following was the Q&A part of the event, with substantial interest from the audience.

The audience was focused on various aspects of the topic, but mostly on the boundaries of the concept of constitutional identity and its general usefulness, as well as its connection to the constitutional authority.

Prof. Tripković answered by claiming that it is always hard to establish a precise boundary for a concept and that there are different degrees of constitutional identity, as well as that constitutional identity could exist even without a formal constitution, such as in the case of the EU.

Ending the meeting, Marija Vlajković thanked everyone for an excellent discussion, as well as prof. Tripković for the interesting lecture.