Julian Scholtes has been awarded this year's Mauro Cappelletti Prize for the Best EUI Thesis in Comparative and European Law for his dissertation The Abuse of Constitutional Identity: Illiberal constitutional discourse and European constitutional pluralism. Scholtes defended his thesis at the EUI on 21 January 2022, under the supervision of Professor Gábor Halmai.
The thesis discusses the use and abuse of 'constitutional identity' in EU Member States. To that end, it defines constitutional identity, develops a typology of abuse of constitutional identity, and discusses how far ideal types can be used to understand the actions of countries such as Hungary and Poland. The thesis is highly original in the way it both develops and applies concepts and methods of comparative constitutional legal thinking, marking it as an outstanding piece of research.
Upon receiving the prize, Scholtes shared feeling grateful to the EUI Law Department for the award and honoured to have received this kind of recognition for his academic work. "I would like to thank my supervisor, Professor Gábor Halmai, to whom I am indebted for his sustained advice, encouragement, and support throughout writing the thesis, and the German Academic Exchange Service for funding my PhD project", added Scholtes.
Mauro Cappelletti, whose name is honoured by this prize, was a great scholar of Comparative Law and a Professor of Law at the EUI, at the University of Florence, and at Stanford University. In 1995, Robert Helm, an alumnus of the EUI and a former student of the late Professor Cappelletti, together with his wife Mimie Helm, generously decided to finance the annual award of a prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis at the EUI in the field of Comparative Law.
The prize is awarded annually and was conferred for the first time in 2005. The previous winners of the prize are listed here.