Autopoietic Constitutional Courts

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 11:57
Location: Hörsaal 17 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Ralf ROGOWSKI, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
The paper proposes that constitutional courts can be analysed as autopoietic social systems. It uses Niklas Luhmann's ideas on autopoietic organisations for an analysis of autonomy and self-reproduction of advanced constitutional courts. It looks at three areas in particular in demonstrating how this theory is capable of developing a new understanding of the operative complexity within constitutional courts: (1) procedural mechanisms of docket control and agenda setting; (2) self-reference through self-citation as the core of self-reproduction in decision-making; and (3) reflexive processes in addressing their own impact through the adoption of a consequentialist jurisdiction. a key thesis of the paper is that the more secure constitutional courts can operate as autopoietic organisations, the more influential they become in legal and judicial as well as political communications.