This just in from Professor Richard Albert:
Symposium on Founding Moments in Constitutionalism
Yale Law School, April 15-16, 2016
Founding moments are landmark events that break ties with the ancien regime and lay the foundation for the establishment of modern states. Founding moments shape national law, influence surrounding countries, establish future power structures and legitimize certain political institutions within the country. But what exactly is a founding moment? When do we know the “founding” process is over and when do we know it is ongoing? Is it possible to have a founding moment without a new constitution? It is not always easy to identify and define founding moments. The establishment of a new constitutional identity is almost never encompassed in one event—and may span decades in the form of anti-colonial movements, revolutions, civil wars, legitimation crises, power struggles and consolidation processes.
Founding moments sometimes endow certain elements in society—such as revolutionary parties or political leaders—with political legitimacy. A key line of inquiry therefore concerns the relationship between founding moments and “founding figures,” and the extent to which the future of a nation should be guided by the intentions of those who orchestrated these founding moments.