The use of legal tools to entrench autocracies, including repurposing national security laws to consolidate power in weak democracies through “dark law,” has become increasingly common in the 21st century. Recent examples of entrenchment include Vietnam’s crackdown on Facebook organizing through its Cybersecurity Law, Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, and the Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s decisions restricting abortion access. Using Professor Tom Ginsburg’s latest book, Democracies and International Law, as a starting point, the 2022 Chicago Journal of International Law Symposium will consider examples of legal engineering intended to subvert democracy, the role of international institutions and/or multinational corporations in combating entrenchment, and the efficacy of potential solutions to entrenchment.

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Thank you to Kirkland & Ellis LLP for sponsoring this event.