Judging Around the World

with Dame Sian Elias and Miguel Poiares Maduro

Mon, 09/26/2011
4:30 PM, McCormick Hall 101
Event Category: 
Panel Discussion

We are pleased to invite you to a panel discussion with Dame Sian Elias, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Zealand; Miguel Poiares Maduro, former Advocate General at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg; and moderated by Kim Lane Scheppele, LAPA Director.

The Right Honourable Dame Sian Elias is the 12th Chief Justice of New Zealand and the first woman to be appointed to that office.  She graduated from Auckland University with an LLB Honours Degree in 1970 and was admitted to the New Zealand Bar the same year. She studied at Stanford University, from which she graduated in 1972 with a Master's Degree in Law.  Following her return to New Zealand, Dame Sian worked first as a solicitor and then as a barrister in Auckland.  In 1984-1989 she was a member of the Law Commission working particularly on the reform of company law.  In 1988, Dame Sian was appointed a Queen's Counsel.  She appeared in a number of significant cases, including cases concerning the Treaty of Waitangi. She was awarded a Commemorative Medal in 1990 in recognition of services to the legal profession.  In 1995, Dame Sian was appointed Judge of the High Court in Auckland.  On 17 May 1999, she was appointed Chief Justice of New Zealand and was made a Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The Chief Justice was appointed a Privy Councillor in 1999 and first sat on the Privy Council in 2001.   When in 2003 the Supreme Court Act established a final Court of Appeal in New Zealand, the Chief Justice became the head of the new Supreme Court.  That court began sitting in July 2004.  When the Governor-General is unable to perform the functions of office or is absent from New Zealand, the Chief Justice is authorised and empowered to perform those functions as the Administrator of Government under the Letters Patent.

Former Advocate General at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (from 2003-2009), Miguel Poiares Maduro is the Director of the GGP and, since October 2009, he has held the Joint Chair in European Law  with the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and the Department of Law at the European University Institute (EUI). He is also the Co-director of the Academy of International Trade and Investment Law of Macau . In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Gulkbenkian Science Prize  for his outstanding work in the field of law. He has also been honoured by the President of the Portuguese Republic with the Order of Sant’Iago da Espada  for literary, scientific and artistic merit (2006). He has taught and teaches regularly at many institutions, including the College of Europe, Yale Law School, Universidade Católica de Lisboa, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, London School of Economics, Chicago Law School, Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales (Madrid) and Instituto Ortega y Gasset (Madrid). He was a Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar at Harvard Law School. He is a Doctor of Laws by the EUI and was the first winner of the “Rowe and Maw Prize”, and winner of the “Prize Obiettivo Europa” for the best Ph.D thesis at the EUI.  He is the author of “We the Court -The European Court of Justice and the European Economic Constitution” (Oxford Hart Publishing, 1998). Recent publications include “The past and Future of EU Law” (co-edited with Loic Azoulai, Oxford Hart Publishing, 2009) and “A Constituição Plural – Constitucionalismo e União Europeia” (Principia, Lisbon, 2006). Maduro is currently a Visiting Professor of Law and Gruber Global Constitutionalism Fellow at Yale Law School.

Kim Lane Scheppele is Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and in the University Center for Human Values, in addition to being Director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton. From 1994-1998, she lived in Budapest, where she was a researcher at the Hungarian Constitutional Court and inaugural director of the Program on Gender and Culture at Central European University. A specialist in comparative constitutional law, Scheppele's many publications about Hungary include articles in US and international law reviews as well as in the Hungarian journals Világosság and Kritika. A sample includes "Guardian of the Constitution: Constitutional Court Presidents and the Struggle for the Rule of Law in Post-Soviet Europe." (U of Pennsylvania Law Review), "A Realpolitik Defense of Social Rights" (U of Texas Law Review) and "Constitutional Negotiations: Political Contexts of Judicial Activism in Post-Soviet Europe" (International Sociology). Scheppele was a consultant to the constitutional drafting process in Hungary in 2005-2006 and has been the recipient of three grants from the (US) National Science Foundation for residential fieldwork in Hungary and (later) Russia. In both places, she examined the relationship between professional and popular constitutionalism.