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July 4 @ 18:30 - 20:00 Wroclaw (CEST)

Institute of Romance Studies

plac Nankiera 4
50–140 Wrocław

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The new fourth branch. A way forward for constitutional democracy?

In recent years, there has been a global trend departing from a rigid conception of the separation of powers, with the emergence of a vast array of independent bodies complementing the trias politica. These bodies, whose minimum common denominator is their lack of democratic legitimacy, are becoming so frequent in constitutional landscapes that some authors are referring to them as a fourth branch. At the same time, however, the plurality of terms used to refer to these bodies attests to the variety of functions they carry out as the vagueness of the categories reflects the difficulties in elaborating clear-cut definitions. Against this backdrop, this panel aims to reflect on the nature and role of independent authorities, reflecting on the rationales behind their establishment, and identifying the conditions under which these authorities may contribute to enriching the institutional set up of constitutional democracy, providing a renewed instrument to guaranteeing the rule of law.

Chair(s): Giammaria MIlani