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Review Essay - Constitutional Legitimacy: Thoughts on Tobias Herbst's „Legitimation durch Verfassunggebung“

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2019

Abstract

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Type
Legal Culture
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by German Law Journal GbR 

References

1 See Stephan Hobe, Bedingungen, Verfahren und Chancen europäischer Verfassungsgebung: Zur Arbeit des Europäischen Konvents, in Europarecht 1 (2003), Dieter H. Scheuing, Zur Europäisierung des deutschen Verfassungsrechts, in Kreuzer, Karl F., eds., Die Europäisierung der mitgliedstaatlichen Rechtsordnungen in der Europäischen Union 87 (1997); Ulrich Haltern, Internationales Verfassungsrecht? Anmerkungen zu einer Kopernikanischen Wende, in 128 Archiv des öffentlichen Rechts 511 (2003).Google Scholar

2 The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has been calling the EEC Treaty a “constitutional” document since years, as in Opinion 1/91: „the EEC Treaty, albeit concluded in the form of an international agreement, none the less constitutes the constitutional charter of a Community based on the rule of law“, see ECJ 14 December 1991, Opinion 1/91, (1991) ECR I-6079: European Economic Area; similar ECJ 23 April 1986, Case 294/83, (1986) ECR 1339, at nr. 23: Parti écologiste “Les Verts” v. European Parliament.Google Scholar

3 See Bardo Fassbender, The United Nations Charter as Constitution of the International Community, 36 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 529 (1998).Google Scholar

4 See Ingolf Pernice, Multilevel Constitutionalism and the Treaty of Amsterdam: European Constitution-Making Revised?, 36 Common Market Law Review 703 (1999); Ingolf Pernice, Der Europäische Verfassungsverbund auf dem Wege der Konsolidierung, 48 Jahrbuch des öffentlichen Rechts 217(JöR) 2000; Udo Di Fabio, Eine europäische Charta, Auf dem Weg zur Unionsverfassung, Juristenzeitung (JZ) 2000, 73; Markus Kotzur. Die Europäische Verfassung – Theoriebildung, Inhalte und Legitimationsfragen, in 163 Speyerer Arbeitshefte 123, 127 (2003); or the German critical article from Dieter Grimm, Braucht Europa eine Verfassung? JZ 581 (1995); Haltern (note 2) criticizes the “global constitutionalism” because of the different symbolic und esthetic functions of constitutions and international treaties, p. 556. Or see for the international debate Weiler, J.H.H., A Constitution for Europe? Some hard Choices, in 40 Journal of Common Market Studies 563 (2002); J.H.H. Weiler, The Reformation of European Constitutionalism, in Kreuzer, Karl F., eds., Die Europäisierung der mitgliedstaatlichen Rechtsordnungen in der Europäischen Union 7 (1997) and Jan Klabbers, Päivi Leino, Death by Constitution? The Draft Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe, 4 German Law Journal 1293 (2003).Google Scholar

5 For further details see the homepage of the World Trade Organization under http://www.wto.org. Most of the WTO agreements are the result of the Uruguay Round negotiations (1986 – 1994), signed at the Marrakesh ministerial meeting in April 1994. There are about 60 agreements and decisions totalling 550 pages, see the WTO legal texts under http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/legal_e.htm.Google Scholar

6 For further information and the convention text see the website of the Council of Europe under http://conventions.coe.int.Google Scholar

7 The draft treaty establishing a constitution for Europe can be ordered and downloaded from the website of the European Convention: http://european-convention.eu.int.Google Scholar

8 See the final document: CONV 850/03.Google Scholar

9 See European Council, Presidency Conclusions – Thessaloniki, 19 and 20 June 2003, available at http://ue.eu.int/pressData/en/ec/76279.pdf.Google Scholar

10 See press release of the European Council, available at http://ue.eu.int/pressData/en/misc/78397.pdf.Google Scholar

11 See especially the “editorial and legal adjustment by the Working Party of IGC Legal Experts” to the draft treaty from 25 Nov. 2003, document CIG 50/05, available at http://ue.eu.int/igcpdf/en/03/cg00/cg00050.en03.pdf.Google Scholar

12 Herbst, , p. 19.Google Scholar

13 Schmitt, Carl, Verfassungslehre (1928).Google Scholar

14 Id at 87.Google Scholar

15 Id at 23.Google Scholar

16 Id at 91.Google Scholar

17 e.g. the U. S. Constitution begins with these words.Google Scholar

18 See Randy E. Barnett, Constitutional Legitimacy, 103 Columbia Law Review 111, 12 (2003), who shows that the concept of “we the people” is a fiction, Id at 118, 32.Google Scholar

19 See Herbst, 88.Google Scholar

20 See Eric Thompson, Popular sovereignty and the French constituent assembly 1789-91 100 (1952).Google Scholar

21 See especially the main works “Qu'est-ce que le tiers état?“ (What is the Third Estate?) and the “Préliminaire de la constitution“ (Introduction to the Constitution): What is the Third Estate? / Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes. Transl. by Blondel, M. and ed., with historical notes, by S. E. Finer (1964).Google Scholar

22 Stern, Klaus, Das Staatsrecht der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Band I in, Grundbegriffe und Grundlagen des Staatsrechts, Strukturprinzipien der Verfassung 146(2nd ed., 1984).Google Scholar

23 See Herbst, , 103, 19.Google Scholar

24 For the general distinction between rules and principles see Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously 24 (1977).Google Scholar

25 See Herbst, , 104.Google Scholar

26 See Herbst, 106.Google Scholar

27 See Herbst, 284.Google Scholar

28 See Herbst, 110.Google Scholar

29 Barnett supra at note 19,122 analyses the question whether younger generations are bound by the constitutional consent of their forefathers.Google Scholar

30 See Herbst, 217, who refers mainly to Angela Augustin, Das Volk der Europäischen Union (2000); to the question of the European Identity see Armin von Bogdandy, Europäische Verfassung und europäische Identität, in JZ 2004, pp. 53.Google Scholar

31 To the question of homogeneity and basic consensus, see Anne Peters, European Democracy after the 2003 Convention, 41 CML Rev. 37, 73 (2004).Google Scholar

32 Herbst quotes Jürgen Habermas, Braucht Europa eine Verfassung? Eine Bemerkung zu Dieter Grimm, in Die Einbindung des Anderen, 191 (1999), here, see Herbst 223, fn. 782. Besides that he does not correspond to a winder debate and the critics to Habermas.Google Scholar

33 See Herbst, , 225, Herbst admits that an enclosing examination to the question of a European people and its homogeneity cannot be reached in his assessment, see Id. at 226.Google Scholar

34 See Herbst, , 154.Google Scholar

35 See Herbst, , 247.Google Scholar

36 Just see Weiler, , supra at note 5, 563, 79 or Klabbers, supra at note 5), 1293, who predict that a European Constitution in the form of the draft treaty leads to “the end of European integration”, see Id. at 1305.Google Scholar

37 To the normative perception of a constitution in general, see Peter Häberle, Verfassungslehre als Kulturwissenschaft 620 (2nd ed., 1998); Ingolf Pernice, Die Europäische Verfassung, in Tradition und Weltoffenheit des Rechts, in Hans-Joachim Cremer, eds Festschrift für Helmut Steinberger 1319 (2002). Even Sieyès uses a normative perception of a constitution, as described by Merkel, Karlheinz, Die Verfassungsgebende Gewalt des Volkes, Grundlagen und Dogmatik des Artikels 146 GG 206 (1996).Google Scholar

38 See Herbst, , 169.Google Scholar

39 To the expression “postnational” see Habermas, Jürgen, Die Postnationale Konstellation, Politische Essays 65 (1998).Google Scholar

40 See Pernice supra at note 5, 217.Google Scholar

41 See Herbst, , 178.Google Scholar

42 See Art. IV-3 para. 1 of the draft treaty.Google Scholar

43 See HERBST's summary, 291.Google Scholar

44 The ratification of the constitutional treaty will be done with the method of Art. 48 Union Treaty. Following changes act upon Art. IV-7 of the draft treaty.Google Scholar

45 See Art. I-20 to Art. I-23 of the draft treaty.Google Scholar

46 This is now emphasized in Art. I-1 of the draft treaty.Google Scholar

47 Herbst would deny this thought because of its “originator based” point of view.Google Scholar

48 See Kotzur supra at note 5, 138, who calls the idea of an “unbound” pouvoir constituant as a single homogeneous people a “myth“,Google Scholar

49 See Schliesky, Utz, Souveränität und Legitimität, 254 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 1 Nov. 2003, 7.Google Scholar

50 With sovereignty understood as the highest source of legitimacy, the individual stays the normative point of origin, see Hobe supra at note 2, 8.Google Scholar

51 Herbst does not cover or analyze the international debate about sovereignty and constitutional pluralism. Just see Neil Walker, Late Sovereignty in the European Union, in N. Walker (ed.) Sovereignty in Transition 3 (2003).Google Scholar

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Review Essay - Constitutional Legitimacy: Thoughts on Tobias Herbst's „Legitimation durch Verfassunggebung“
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