Europe. The New Legal Realism
Prof. Hjalte Rasmussen, who has been associated with the Center for European Constitutionalization since its establishment, has held the professorship in EU Law and International Law at the University of Copenhagen since 1993. His reputation, however, reaches far beyond the borders of Denmark. Indeed, he has achieved wide international recognition that transcends his national identity. Many of the positions he has held - including that of visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges and chairman of several EU studies associations - attest to his singular standing amongst the community of European legal scholars in Europe and throughout the world. It is fair to say that Hjalte Rasmussen has irreversibly changed the way we think about EU law. From the early 1980s, he explored a whole new universe of legal thought, leaving behind what Martin Shapiro famously described, almost 30 years ago, as "constitutional law without politics, the written constitution as a sacred text, the professional commentary as legal truth, the case law as the inevitable working out of the correct implications of the constitutional text, and the constitutional court as the disembodied voice of right reason and constitutional teleology." (Southern California Law Review 53 [1979-80], 537, 538). His dissociation from this picture, above all, is Rasmussen's stupendous and lasting legacy. Rasmussen never stated his points uncritically or without creating controversy. He has always lived by George Bernard Shaw's dictum: "A man never tells you anything until you contradict him!" In December 2010, Hjalte Rasmussen will turn 70. His colleagues and friends will mark the occasion with this festschrift, which includes contributors from all over the world. The book is a tribute to Rasmussen's many years of academic achievements in developing the theory and practice of European integration, and it is written in just that spirit, celebrating a deeply courageous, independent, humorous, and humane scholar.
Publication Date: 12/6/2010