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School of Law

The Constitutional Value of Sunset Clauses: An historical and normative analysis

4 May 2017

Time: 5:00 - 7:00pm
Venue: Room 313, Law Building, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

The Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC) in the School of Law, Queen Mary University of London hosts this new book forum for Dr Antonios Kouroutakis (Madrid) new book, The Constitutional Value of Sunset Clauses: An historical and normative analysis (Routledge, 2016). The forum will begin with an introduction to the book by Dr Kouroutakis, and will be followed by short commentary.


Introduction and response by Dr Kouroutakis.

This event is organised and chaired by Dr Maria Ioannidou (Queen Mary).

About the Book

In recent years, sunset clauses have mostly been associated with emergency legislation introduced in the wake of terrorist attacks. However, as this book demonstrates, they have a long history and a substantial constitutional impact on the separation of powers and the rule of law. In addition, the constitutional value of such clauses is examined from certain neglected normative aspects pertaining to concepts such as deliberative and consensus democracy, parliamentary sovereignty and constitutional dialogue.

The work is an amalgam of three perspectives: the historical, the positive and the normative. All three are intertwined and each subsequent part builds upon the findings of the previous one. The historical perspective investigates the historical development of sunset clauses since the first Parliaments in England. The positive perspective examines the legal effect and the contemporary utility of sunset clauses. Finally, the normative perspective analyses their interaction with several models of separation of powers, and their influence on the dialogue between various institutions as it values their impact on the rule of law, formal and substantive.

The detailed examination of this topical subject will be a valuable resource for academics, researchers and policy makers.

About the author

Antonios Kouroutakis is a lawyer specialised in public law. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law, from Democritus University of Thrace (Greece), a Master of Laws (LL.M) from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Law School (USA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the University of Oxford (UK). He has also taught a variety of law courses and conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow at the City University of Hong Kong (China), at the Free University of Berlin (Germany) and at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece).

Antonios’s research interests lie mainly in the field of constitutional and administrative law. In particular, Antonios is interested in the concept of separation of powers, rule of law, emergency legislation, immigration law and climate change; he has published widely on these topics in international and peer reviewed journals. Antonios practiced law before the European and the Greek courts and authorities.


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.

How to book

This event is free but prior booking is required. Register online via Eventbrite.


For more information on this event, please email

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