Deep Inequality and Constitutional Change

Friday, September 23, 2022 13:00to14:30
McGill University, Faculty of Law, Room 16

The Centre for Human Rights & legal Pluralism presents: a talk With Hoi Kong

About the talk 

How should a constitutional order respond to deep inequality?  In some constitutional orders, the pervasiveness of inequality is at the root of complex debates about equality rights, but does not pose an existential risk to the polity.   By contrast, in other polities, inequality is so pervasive that the existing constitutional order can no longer be considered legitimate.  In these circumstances, the task of fashioning a new order can give rise to complex issues of constitutional design.  Drawing on arguments that Ron Levy, Ian O’Flynn and I set out in Deliberative Peace Referendums (Oxford University Press, 2021), I will argue that the theory of deliberative constitutionalism provides guidance to constitutional designers and counsels resistance to populist impulses that arise when the very legitimacy of a constitutional order is questioned. 

About the speaker 

Professor Hoi Kong is the inaugural holder of The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, P.C., UBC Professorship in Constitutional Law, which he assumed in 2018.  He is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin’s Program on Comparative Constitutional Studies and a Peter Wall Scholar (2020-2021).  He researches and teaches in the areas of constitutional, administrative, municipal and comparative law, and constitutional and public law theory.   

Prior to joining the Allard School of Law, Professor Kong was an Assistant and then Associate Professor at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, where he served a term as Associate Dean (Academic).   He was previously an Assistant Professor of Law, cross-appointed with the School of Urban Planning at Queen’s University, and an Associate-in-Law at the Columbia Law School.  Professor Kong clerked for Justice L’Heureux-Dubé and Justice Deschamps at the Supreme Court of Canada. 

In-person. Masks not required; respect for others’ safety requested. Free and open to all

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