The Summer School provides an opportunity for an intensive training of professionals, directly involved, although in different roles, in dealing with such a scenario: namely, law clerks and legal assistants to Constitutional Courts as well as experienced researchers, Ph.D. candidates and graduate students.
The training proposed by the Summer School meets the need, widely shared both by the judicial and academic environments in the European context, of elaborating appropriate intellectual tools to cope with the new challenges resulting from the increasing interaction among national, supranational and international jurisdictions. The process of integration within the European Union is affecting the constitutional features of member states and the EU itself. The development of the European Convention for the safeguard of human rights and fundamental freedoms and of the case law by the European Court of Human rights have greatly grown in quantity and quality. The common constitutional traditions are to be seen as a starting point as well as the point of arrival of this process. Different perspectives on the same constitutional values require deep analysis, in order to improve the mutual understanding of a common core of European constitutional rules and, at the same time, to guarantee the safeguard of constitutional pluralism.
The contribution of the Summer School goes even further under a scientific perspective, only at considering how the comparative analysis of the techniques of constitutional adjudication may contribute to the academic debate as well as to the professional training of younger researchers and court officials in the field of comparative constitutional law. As a matter of fact, many scholars are investigating the theoretical foundations of comparative constitutional adjudication, which is acquiring more relevance in the European context. Different issues will be analysed both in a theoretical perspective and with reference to specific decisions and legal reasoning by individual Courts.
The Summer School has the goal of providing an innovative and original framework for a joint training of professionals with a different background, each group contributing to and at the same time profiting from participation in the Summer School. Experienced researchers are to contribute with their deeper and wider theoretical and systematic approach, Ph.D. candidates and graduate students are to contribute with some more specific expertise in their area of research, law clerks and legal assistants are to contribute with an emphasis on problem solving and concrete managing rules and case-law.
In particular, providing an opportunity for a joint intensive training of law clerks and legal assistants to Constitutional Courts seems to be an investment for developing a constitutional adjudication sensitive to European harmonisation in terms of both comparative jurisprudence and of international and supranational law effectiveness.
Establishing a network community for mutual teaching and learning from different national and professional experiences is the main ambition of Cocoa.
Each participant is expected (a) to select the judicial decisions of his/her jurisdiction dealing with the issues to be dealt with, (b) to distribute such materials in advance through the Summer School Secretariat, (c) to make an oral presentation of the relevant case(s) within his/her jurisdiction. This approach does require an active role of all participants and facilitates the interaction between the academic and the adjudicatory perspective.