March 12, 2010
Professor Adrian Vermeule ‘93 recently published “Intermittent Institutions” as part of the Harvard Law School Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers series.
Vermeule draws a distinction between “standing institutions”—institutions such as the United Nations or the British Parliament, which have a continuous existence—and “intermittent institutions” – such as the Electoral College, the Roman dictatorship, special prosecutors and ad hoc congressional panels—which have a discontinuous existence. The article also distinguishes intermittent institutions that exist periodically according to a set schedule from those that exist episodically and come into being at unpredictable intervals. Vermeule describes the costs and benefits of intermittent institutions, both periodic and episodic, and focuses on how these institutions can inform our understanding of the temporal dimension of institutional design.
This paper was published on January 25, 2010. The John H. Watson, Jr. Professor of Law at HLS, Vermeule joined the HLS faculty in 2006 and was appointed to his current position in 2008. His most recent book is Law and the Limits of Reason (Oxford 2009). His research interests include administrative law, constitutional law and theory, legislation, and national security law.