This blog was born of a singular purpose but has much wider ambitions and, we hope, an even brighter future.
As the subtitle of the blog above suggests, its purpose is to serve as an online forum for scholars throughout North America to meet and discuss their perspectives on European law in its many dimensions. This includes not just a focus on the EU but also on other crucially important supranational bodies like the Council of Europe/ECtHR, EFTA, indeed even NATO and the OECD, to go a bit further afield. It also includes discussions of national legal systems in a classically comparative sense as well as theoretical discussions about transnational law generally. In short, the blog has a capacious focus that embraces a number of topics and perspectives, united solely by their ultimate anchor in ‘European law’ broadly defined.
Most importantly, as the ‘About’ information in the right margin suggests, the blog will also serve as an instrument for organizing and disseminating news about the (soon-to-be-established) Section on European Law of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). The driving force behind this effort was initially Julie Suk (Cardozo, visiting this year at Harvard). Julie is now serving as the chair of the Comparative Law Section of the AALS and was hoping to organize a program with the European Law Section, only to discover that there wasn’t one! So in her typically tireless, get-it-done style, she then set out to gather a group of colleagues, beginning with Gráinne de Búrca (NYU), to help get a new European Law Section off the ground. We are all deeply grateful for their efforts.
With Julie and Gráinne taking the organizational lead, we have now put together an executive committee, along with a slate of officers: yours truly (UConn) as chair, Francesca Bignami (GW) as chair-elect, Daniela Caruso (BU) as secretary, and Fernanda Nicola (American) as treasurer. As part of the process for establishing a new AALS section, we are also gathering signatures on a required petition. Many have already signed but if you are on the faculty at an AALS member school and have not done so, please contact Fernanda. In addition, through the efforts of Francesca Bignami, we will also hold an initial ‘open program’ at the AALS conference in New Orleans in January; details will follow in a subsequent post. The focus will be both substantive—a discussion of European privacy law—as well as organizational, to get the new section off the ground.
Finally, we have established this blog, in which I suppose I’ve been the prime mover. Any faculty member at an AALS member school who works in the area of European law is welcome (and encouraged!) to join as a contributor; please contact me if you are interested and I’ll get you signed up. Our hope is that europaeuslaw will not only become a forum to disseminate section news or announcements of events of interest to European law scholars; rather, it will also become a forum for substantive discussion and exchange. This will include initiatives like TEULA (Teaching European Law in America), building on an effort of Daniela Caruso and Gráinne de Búrca begun several years ago at a meeting at BU. And I hope the blog will also include original posts, links, or cross-posts from relevant discussions taking place elsewhere (e.g., at Europe-based blogs like EUtopialaw or the many others in the blog list in the right margin).
The blog form is very flexible and we hope that as many contributors as possible join us to make this the go-to forum in North America for discussion on matters relating to European law writ large. So please do consider joining us. In doing so, you will help to make this entire enterprise—the new AALS section and the new blog—something with a very bright future indeed.