Call for Papers: The European Social Charter Turns 60: Advancing Economic and Social Rights across Jurisdictions



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Universita di Torino

Call for Papers: 

The European Social Charter Turns 60: Advancing Economic and Social RIghts across Jurisdictions 


On October 18, 1961 the European Social Charter was signed in Turin, Italy. Sixty years after, the Department of Law of the University of Turin aims to bring together experts from different fields of legal scholarship (i.e. constitutional law, international law, EU law, labour law) to discuss and appraise the role played by the Charter system in advancing the protection of economic and social rights throughout Europe.

The organizers of this initiative, Lorenza Mola, Giovanni Boggero, Francesco Costamagna, have launched a call for papers to appear in a special issue of a peerreviewed law journal on this topic (publication expected mid-2022). Authors of some of the selected papers will be invited to speak at a Conference, to be held in October/November 2021.

Special Issue and Conference Theme

The European Social Charter overlaps and interacts with a number of national, supranational and international legal sources of protection of economic and social rights. Within this pluralist legal framework, the role of each instrument evolves from both a substantive and procedural perspective. On the one hand, economic and social rights protection in Europe occurs as a result of systemic interpretation, harmonization or integration of the substantive guarantees set out in national Constitutions, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and other treaties such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the ILO Conventions. On the other hand, such protection is enhanced through the concomitant activation and interplay of various enforcement mechanisms, namely domestic courts, supranational and international courts and treaty-bodies. It is only through a systemic and inter-sectoral framing that the effectiveness of the European Social Charter may be fruitfully assessed, both in theory and in practice; hence, the benefits expected from a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary analysis. 

Guidelines for Submission Authors are invited to submit draft original papers which are neither published nor accepted for publication when the Conference takes place. Draft papers should be about 5000-7000 words and submitted in English. In addition to the draft paper, each submission should contain, as a separate file, a short (one-page) author’s CV, including the author’s name and affiliation and contact details and a list of relevant publications. Please send submissions no later than August 2nd, 2021 as a Word document attachment to Authors of selected papers will be notified by August 23 rd, 2021. 

Some of the substantive or procedural issues to be covered by the papers thus include:

A. Rights’ content emerging in different jurisdictions, especially domestic ones, from the interaction between domestic and international legal sources (with reference to specific rights which have recently received attention, such as the freedom of association of military personnel, the protection of workers from unlawful dismissal, the right to equal pay or any of the rights most affected by the pandemic).

B. Principles and criteria addressing the potential conflict of different standards of economic and social rights protection (e.g. higher level of protection, presumption of equivalent protection, counterlimits doctrine, principle of systemic integration, margin of appreciation, etc.).

C.Availability of different judicial and non-judicial mechanisms at different levels, especially from the viewpoint of domestic legal orders, and criteria governing their relationship (subsidiarity, complementarity, or alternativity among procedures before constitutional courts, the ECSR, the ECtHR, the CESCR, etc.).

D.Implications on strategic litigation of economic and social rights stemming from the plurality of substantive sources and procedural guarantees, also from the perspective of accessibility and empowerment (examining whether social rights enforcement mostly benefits middle- or upper-class groups, leaving out the poor and, more generally, marginalised groups).

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