Main Researcher: Dr Giovanna Tieghi

The project deals with the persistent dilemma between law and life (US Justice O.W. Holmes) in contemporary democracies: specifically, focusing on the Law and Justice field, the aim is to investigate the role of contemporary Justices of High Courts worldwide, evaluating the way they can shape democracies. Using a comparative perspective and methodology, the project questions the updated relevance of the 'service tool' through the analysis of the Justices' attitudes, activities, and choices in using the Law to serve the People.

The above-mentioned dilemma has faced a significant turning point through the growing phenomenon defined as "the alchemy of culture and law" (SA Justice A. Sachs), which sets the scene for contemporary constitutional justice and its civic educational mission in a globalized society.

The core issue of the ongoing global process is related to the challenge that the Courts decide to deal with, in a deliberate manner, once aware of their crucial mission to continuously work to reinforce an effective ideal of Justice in the people's minds. In their renewed roles - due to the recent crisis of constitutionalism - they are required to be at least compliant with the pressing aim "to bridge the gap between the law and society" (Former Israelian Chief Justice A. Barak). That goal brings into question the role of the Justices themselves: how to contribute to a proper social perception of their decision to impact civil society How to effectively shape new forms of States with the Constitution as a point of reference (Former Italian Chief Justice L. Paladin)? How to invest in sharing "the lighter side of life at the (Supreme) Court" (Former US Justice R. B. Ginsburg) or in leading towards encouraged collegiality (Australian Chief Justice S. Kiefel).

The various attempts for a historical re-definition of their roles are becoming a significant issue of a broader constitutional debate in comparative law, above all thanks to the leading Justices of worldwide jurisdictions and their legacy on the 'constitutional sentiment'. They have outlined a new era that requires serious consideration: primarily, for its implication on the broader idea of constitutional justice itself. Additionally, for the intersection of activities and approaches Justices have adopted to effectively "speak" to the people inside and outside the Courts. Focusing on the last scenario, updated paths of scientific investigation, both on the relationship between language and law (CLIL) and, on contributions of interdisciplinarity as a method of comparative law, seem to have acquired a remarkable meaning not only from the Plain Language perspective but, rather, as an effective means of revitalization of the lifeblood of modern democracies.

On October 5, 2023, Dr. Tieghi visited Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law in Philadelphia, PA (USA), to present this research project to the law faculty. This project aims for this workshop to be the first of several.


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