2021/ 2022

Simon Drugda

Mobility Phase: Lund University | via iuris

Merchant of Venice: The Nature and Determinants of Effective Transnational Constitutional Advice-Giving

Photo: Joanna Scheffel

Simon Drugda is a PhD Candidate in Law at the University of Copenhagen, where he works on a comparative project about the judicial reputation of constitutional and supreme courts. Simon holds degrees from universities in Slovakia, Japan and the UK. He spent a semester studying in Norway at the University of Bergen and won a Japanese government scholarship as the only Master/PhD researcher in Slovakia for 2015. Simon is a co-editor of the Global Review project and an Academic Associate at I·CONnect, the blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law. He is a member of several academic networks, including the Jean Monet Network “BRIDGE” on the future of the European Union and the NOS-HS-funded network “CONNOR 2030: Constitutionalism in the Nordics” on current constitutional challenges – digitalization, climate change and migration. His research interests are constitutional change, constitution-making, judicial speech, judicial studies, and other related topics in comparative constitutional law.

Merchant of Venice: The Nature and Determinants of Effective Transnational Constitutional Advice-Giving

A written constitution is a knowledge product. It may be drafted nationally or with advice from external actors. The need for external input in constitution-making is a function of the complexity of the requisite knowledge and access cost. The access cost will be higher if the required knowledge is in short supply or altogether lacking in the jurisdiction. In such a case, the state may get access to the knowledge necessary for drafting a successful constitution, at a lower cost, from transnational constitutional advisers. This project is a case study of one such adviser, the Venice Commission – a body that operates in a niche area of international relations by offering assistance to new states in constitution-making. The project examines the nature of the advisory power of the Commission as well as the quantum of material it produces to understand the determinants of its effectivity. The project focuses particularly on the reputational dynamic underpinning compliance with the Commission's advice, which is non-binding, explaining the advice-giving in terms of transaction cost theory, and understanding the audience the Commission caters to. With the proliferation of its amicus brief, the Commission not only influences the behaviour of amending actors and lawmakers but also judges.