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2016 Morris Lecturer Vittoria Barsotti, Chaired Professor of Comparative Law and Ph.D. Program Director, University of Florence School of Law, speaks on "'Relationality': New Colors for the European Model of Constitutional Justice."

Relationality is slowly becoming a new and positive feature of the continental European model of constitutional adjudication. This does not necessarily entail giving up national constitutional identity. A relational attitude, while favoring dialogue and cooperation, can also serve to defend national values and to help Constitutional Courts remain central within their own legal order. This, for example, is the case of the Italian Constitutional Court whose “style” has been defined as deeply “relational.” After a long period of resistance, the Italian system is now open and direct with other European judicial bodies. This openness is not focused on an unreasoned importation of judicial solutions from outside. It is rather a two-way relationship among peers, a dialogue that triggers constructive convergence but also leaves room for difference and distinctiveness.

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