Matthias Klatt: Constitution-conform interpretation

25 March 2019 - 25 March 2019

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Mattias Klatt

Next week, we welcome back Prof. Dr. Matthias Klatt (University of Graz, Austria). Our guest in 2015, Klatt is a leading scholar on constitutional law and has authored a number of books both in English and German (such as his book The Constitutional Structure of Proportionality, Oxford University Press, 2012). He will join us again, this time for a lecture on constitution-conform interpretation.


Many legal systems contain an explicit or implicit obligation to interpret the law in accordance with the constitution. What this obligation means, however, in the practice of legal argumentation differs widely between various legal systems. This paper engages in comparative analysis and addresses the problem of how constitution-conform interpretation can be justified. It discusses three different lines of argument for the legal-theoretical basis of constitution-conform interpretation (the assumption of constitutionality, the unity of the legal system, and the principle favor legis) and analyses the merits of the three most important counter-arguments against constitution-conform interpretation (its purported missing legal basis, its missing interpretative character, and the competence problem). Overall, constitution-conform interpretation is defended as a valid and powerful legal argument.

Constitution-conform interpretation
University of Graz, Austria
March 25, 10 am
Largo de São Francisco, 95. Main building, first-floor auditorium.
Lecture, followed by Q&A