23 March 2021
This seminar launched the new book Towering Judges: A Comparative Study of Constitutional Judges (Cambridge University Press, 2021). This volume, edited by Professor Rehan Abeyratne (CUHK LAW) and Professor Iddo Porat (College of Law and Business, Israel), examines the work of nineteen judges from fourteen jurisdictions, each of whom stood out among their fellow judges and had a significant impact on the trajectory of constitutional law within their home jurisdiction.
The editors introduced the main themes of the book, followed by remarks from contributors to the volume, including Rosalind Dixon (UNSW Law), Andrew Lynch (UNSW Law), Alon Harel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Mara Malagodi (CUHK LAW), and Ngoc Son Bui (CUHK LAW).
The discussion covered several topics including the concept of a towering judge; the background conditions that foster or deter the rise of towering judges; are towering judges, on balance, positive or detrimental for constitutional systems; how do towering judges differ from one jurisdiction to another; how do political and historical developments relate to this phenomenon; and how does all of this fit within global constitutionalism? The answers to these questions offer essential insights into how these judges were able to shine to an uncommon degree in a profession where individualism is not always looked on favourably.
Professor Christopher Robert moderated a lively and engaging discussion at the end of the programme.