The EUI Law Department will award the Mauro Cappelletti Prize for the Best Thesis in Comparative Law to Bosko Tripkovic, Ph.D. Tripkovic defended his thesis The metaethics of constitutional adjudication in 2015 under the supervision of Professor Dennis Patterson. His dissertation is forthcoming as a monograph by Oxford University Press, and in the autumn he will take up a Lecturer position at the Birmingham Law School in the UK. Tripkovic reflected on his choice of topic in reply to a question from EUI Life:
What inspired you to look at a philosophical question in law?
‘The moment we begin to think deeply about the presuppositions we intuitively employ, we start to ask philosophical questions: law is no different in this sense, and we can never fully understand it without philosophy. In fact, we are doing philosophy in law all the time, even without realizing it, and studying philosophy can help us do it in a more disciplined way.
The most profound connection between philosophy and law – the one that motivates my thesis – goes to the core of our human condition. Both law and philosophy claim to have an answer to the question of how we ought to live. In the thesis, I use philosophy to make sense of comparative legal practice, which – in my view – struggles with the very same ethical question that philosophy has tried to answer for millennia. The thesis uses philosophical insights to explain how the law may pursue this ethical quest with a greater degree of rigor and reflection.’
The Mauro Cappelletti Prize is awarded annually, and was established in honour of the late Mauro Cappelletti, internationally reknowned scholar of comparative law and one of the pioneering members of the EUI Law faculty. The prize is generously sponsored by EUI alumnus Robert Helm and his wife Mimi, and has been awarded annually since 2005.