Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law and

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Rohan Alva, Jindal Global Law School

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in comparative public law. “Developments” may include a selection of links to news, high court decisions, new or recent scholarly books and articles, and blog posts from around the comparative public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Comparative Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Indian Supreme Court has called upon the Law Commission of India to deliberate over the necessity of enacting special legislation to streamline the process by which courts are able to assess ‘tortious liability’ of the government and its instrumentalities, as well as to outline the proper methodological approach for determining the quantum of monetary recompense that must be paid for the damage inflicted.
  2. The Slovakian Constitutional Court declined to entertain a petition, brought by some members of Parliament, which impugned certain changes made to the State Citizenship Act effectively denying Slovakians the right of holding dual citizenship.
  3. The Constitutional Court of South Africa denied granting relief to a resident of Cape Town who raised a challenge to her being evicted from her home, ruling that the process of eviction adopted by the City of Cape Town was legally compliant.
  4. Nine justices who were recently elevated to the Constitutional Court of Togo have been sworn into office. Each of the justices will serve for 7 years on the Court.
  5. The Judges Selection Committee nominated for appointment two new justices to the Supreme Court of Israel, one of whom is Menachem Mazuz, the former Attorney-General.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Amending Constitutional Amendment Rules, International Journal of Constitutional Law (forthcoming 2015) (arguing that formal amendment rules should be more difficult to amend than other constitutional provisions)
  2. Jacco Bomhoff, Balancing Constitutional Rights- The Origins and Meanings of Postwar Legal Discourse (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (offering a jurisprudential analysis of the meaning of ‘balancing constitutional rights’ and contrasting the varied approaches to such balancing)
  3. Mathias Siems, Comparative Law (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (presenting a critique of the standard forms of inquiries in comparative law as well of emerging methods of comparative analysis, and using illustrations from different disciplines to holistically analyse comparativism)
  4. P. de Vos, W. Freedman (eds.) South African Constitutional Law in Context (Oxford University Press, 2014) (an introductory analysis of the development of the Constitution of South Africa, in which the authors adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to assess the nature and state of constitutional progress)
  5. Scott Stephenson, The Supreme Court’s Renewed Interest in Autochthonous Constitutionalism, Public Law (forthcoming 2015) (evaluating a series of recent decisions which indicate the shifting inclination of the English Supreme Court in favour of retaining English constitutional principles and safeguarding them, rather than freely implementing EU legal doctrines)
  6. Yuichiro Shimizu and Sochi Naraoka, Shaping the Diet: Competing Architectural Designs for Japan’s Diet Building (Australian Political Studies Association, Sydney University, 2014) (examining the importance of architecture of legislative houses for democratic progress, and engaging in a historical analysis of the architectural design of the Japanese Diet as well as evaluating the contemporary design of the Diet and its similarities with its German counterpart)

In the News

  1. Ashraf Ghani has been declared winner of the presidential elections held recently in Afghanistan, ending months of speculation over the election results. In accordance with a ‘power-sharing agreement’ signed previously between the two presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah, the other presidential candidate, now reserves the right to nominate a ‘chief executive officer’ in the new president’s administration.
  2. A constitutional amendment backed by Senate members belonging to the Democratic Party, which sought to accord powers to the US Congress to regulate the role of money in elections, met with rejection in the Senate. The proposed amendment would have reversed a series of US Supreme Court decisions which have permitted for the unhindered flow of money in election campaigns.
  3. Elections were recently conducted in Fiji for electing members to the nation’s Parliament. Voreqe Bainimarama who leads the Fiji First Party and who had led the coup in 2006, claimed that his party has won the elections and that he will now serve as the democratically elected head of the government.
  4. The Catalonian Parliament has voted upon legislation which permits for a ‘non-binding consultation’ on the question of Catalonia separating from Spain. Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister of Spain, however, has opposed the holding of any consultation on Catalonia’s independence and declared that he will raise the question of the law’s tenability in the Constitutional Court. The consultation is being held to sense the mood of Catalonians on the question of independence.
  5. The Bangladeshi Parliament passed an amendment to the Constitution which now empowers Parliament to commence impeachment proceedings against the justices of the Bangladeshi Supreme Court. Prior to the amendment, the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice in consultation with a panel of judges would inquire into acts of judicial impropriety.

Elsewhere on the Web

  1. Meghan Campbell, Recognising Maternity Leave as a Human Rights Obligation, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  2. Amrita Nandy, Ticking outside the box, The Indian Express
  3. Stoyan Panov, The Tales of Two Transitional Constitutions, Jurist
  4. Sean Fine, Legal observers worry future of judicial appointments will be done in secret, The Globe and Mail
  5. Gautam Bhatia, Privacy, Self-Incrimination and Article 20(3)- I; Privacy Self-Incrimination and Article 20(3)- II: Kathi Kalu Oghad, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy

Call for Papers/Conferences

  1. Entries are invited by Projections for its issue on ‘Rethinking the Role of Law in Urban Planning: Policy and Development.’ Abstracts of papers are due by the 30th of October, 2014.
  2. A call for papers has been issued by the Commonwealth Legal Education Association for a conference on ‘Transnational Legal Education: Commonwealth Perspectives’ to be held at Glasgow Caledonian University on the 9th and 10th of April, 2015. Abstracts for the second round of selection are due by the 28th of November, 2014.
  3. Abstracts of papers are invited for an international conference on ‘Legal argumentation and the rule of law’ to be hosted at the Erasmus School of Law on the 26th of June, 2015. Abstracts are due by the 1st of October.
  4. The Centre of Legal and Institutional Translation Studies is hosting a conference on ‘Law, Translation and Culture’ from the 24th to the 27th of June, 2015. Abstracts are due by the 18th of October, 2014.
  5. Submissions are invited by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics for its conference on ‘Law, Religion, And American Health Care’ to be held on the 8th and 9th of May, 2015 at Harvard Law School. Abstracts must be sent in by the 1st of December, 2014.
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Published on September 22, 2014
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Video Interview: Colombian Constitutional Law Featuring Carlos Bernal

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

In this third installment of our new video interview series at I-CONnect, Carlos Bernal discusses Colombian constitutional law.

In the interview, we explore the new model of constitutional design evident in Colombia and other Latin American countries, as well as the role of the powerful Colombian Constitutional Court in enforcing socio-economic rights and policing the constitutionality of constitutional amendments.

Carlos Bernal is an Associate Professor at Macquarie Law School in Australia, where he teaches and writes about comparative constitutional law, jurisprudence and torts. His has published scholarly papers in several languages–including French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish–on the nature, structure and enforcement of constitutional rights, constitutional change, the philosophical underpinnings of tort law, and the connection between law and social ontology.

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Published on September 19, 2014
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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Foreign Law

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

Yesterday at Yale Law School, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer once again affirmed that foreign court judgments are relevant to the interpretation of the United States Constitution.

About a decade ago, Justice Breyer debated Justice Antonin Scalia on the constitutional relevance of foreign court decisions. In that debate, whose video and transcript is now available, Justice Scalia took the view that foreign law is largely irrelevant:

Now, my theory of what I do when I interpret the American Constitution is I try to understand what it meant, what was understood by the society to mean when it was adopted. And I don’t think it changes since then.

Now, obviously if you have that philosophy — which, by the way, used to be orthodoxy until about 60 years ago — every judge would tell you that’s what we do. If you have that philosophy, obviously foreign law is irrelevant with one exception: Old English law, because phrases like “due process,” the “right of confrontation” and things of that sort were all taken from English law. So the reality is I use foreign law more than anybody on the Court. But it’s all old English law.

All right, if you have that theory, you can understand why foreign law is irrelevant. So he will never convert me.

Justice Breyer expressed the contrary view, and repeated it yesterday. As reported by the Yale Daily News, “according to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the Constitution has five core values, and the key to preserving those values lies in being aware of what is going on in the rest of the world.”

Asked whether the U.S. Supreme Court should consider foreign law judgments when interpreting the United States Constitution, Justice Breyer responded that foreign judgments are relevant and that it does not undermine what makes the United States Constitution special to consider them. The Yale Daily News describes Justice Breyer’s answer in this way:

To Breyer, looking at what judges in other countries decide is useful — and this tactic, he said, does not strip America of its uniqueness. “The only way to preserve our American values, which are now widely shared, is to know more ­— not less — about what is going on abroad,” he remarked.

The debate on the relevance of foreign law continues.

Suggested Citation: Richard Albert, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Foreign Law, Sept. 19, 2014, available at:

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Published on September 19, 2014
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Video Interview: The New Egyptian Constitution Featuring Mohamed Arafa

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

In this second installment of our new video interview series at I-CONnect, Mohamed Arafa discusses the new Egyptian Constitution.

The interview touches on the entrenchment of human rights in the new Constitution, the designation of Islam as the official religion, as well as whether the military constitutes an unofficial “fourth branch” of government.

Mohamed Arafa teaches criminal law and criminal justice at Alexandria University (Egypt) and Islamic law at Indiana University (United States). He is a member of the Council on International Law and Politics, the Egyptian American Rule of Law Association and, among others, the Arab Society for Commercial and Maritime Law. His recent work concerns corruption and anti-bribery law, Islamic law, comparative criminal law, and Middle Eastern and Egyptian politics. His scholarship is available for download here.

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Published on September 17, 2014
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Call for I-CONnect Contributors

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

I-CONnect invites scholars of all ranks, including doctoral candidates, to become Contributors to this blog.

Contributors will be expected to submit one substantive post every other month on a timely subject of their choice concerning comparative public law. Each post will range between 750 to 1000 words, though a given post may be longer if necessary. All posts must pass editorial review before publication. Contributors will be expected to commit to I-CONnect for one year.

Interested scholars are invited to send an email to no later than October 1, 2014.

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Published on September 16, 2014
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What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Patrick Yingling, Reed Smith LLP

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in comparative public law. “Developments” may include a selection of links to news, high court decisions, new or recent scholarly books and articles, and blog posts from around the comparative public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Comparative Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. In the European Court of Human Rights, Privacy International has challenged the British government’s secret “Five Eyes” spy pact—which allegedly outlines UK security services’ collaboration with the US National Security Agency and other foreign intelligence agencies—arguing that the pact should be made transparent.
  2. The High Court of Australia defined the constitutional limits on immigration detention, holding that the government can lawfully detain someone only for certain purposes (i.e., to consider whether to let someone apply for a visa, to consider an application for a visa, or to remove someone) and that detention is only lawful if these purposes are being “pursued and carried into effect as soon as reasonably practicable.”
  3. The Indian Government has filed objections to the Supreme Court’s April ruling on transgender rights.
  4. The US Supreme Court listed gay marriage petitions from five states–Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin–for consideration at its September 29, 2014 private conference.
  5. The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a ban on gay conversion therapy in New Jersey.

New Scholarship

  1. Ran Hirschl, Comparative Matters: The Renaissance of Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press 2014) (examining the analytical foundations, historical origins and antecedents, epistemology, and methodologies of comparative constitutional law, and providing a roadmap for the development of the field; a must-read for all scholars of comparative public law)
  2. Ligia M. De Jesus, Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis of Domestic Laws and Relevant Jurisprudence Following the Adoption of the American Convention on Human Rights, ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 20, No. 36, 2014 (examining whether recent trends in legislation and jurisprudence favor recognition of abortion rights in Latin America and the Caribbean)
  3. Peter L. Lindseth, Reconciling Europe and National Parliaments: Reflections on Technocracy, Democracy, and Post-Crisis Integration, Amministrazione In Cammino: Parlamento, Note e Commenti, 2014 (arguing for caution in using the idea of Europeanization to describe the changes in national parliamentary responsibilities and procedures as a consequence of integration and asserting that there is a risk of understating the “legitimacy resources” possessed by national parliaments as the constitutional expression of self-government in the European system)
  4. Engy Abdelkader, Animal Protection Theory in U.S. and Islamic Law: A Comparative Analysis with a Human Rights Twist, UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law, 2015, Forthcoming (highlighting the compatibility of Islamic and Western ideals vis-à-vis a comparative analysis of animal protection principles and arguing that the Islamic legal duty to respect, protect, and care for nonhuman animals underscores the heightened legal duty to fellow human beings)
  5. Joseph Wright, James Honaker, and Barbara Geddes, The Latent Characteristics That Structure Autocratic Rule, APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper (using historical data on 30 features of autocracies to estimate the latent dimensions of autocratic rule)
  6. Suryapratim Roy, Privileging (some Forms of) Interdisciplinarity and Interpretation: Methods in Comparative Law, International Journal of Constitutional Law, Issue 3, 2014, Forthcoming (addressing how comparative law scholars should engage with other disciplines)

In the News

  1. Both houses of Trinidad and Tobago’s Parliament have approved constitutional reform, which now awaits assent from the country’s president, Anthony Carmona, before it becomes law.
  2. Tanzania’s Constituent Assembly process aimed at producing a new constitution has been postponed until after the country’s 2015 general election.
  3. Thousands have already cast their votes in Scotland’s independence referendum.
  4. President Cristina Fernandez signed into a law a bill authorizing payments on foreign-held bonds, circumventing a US court ruling that prohibited Argentina from paying bondholders until Argentina resolves its legal dispute with a group of New York hedge funds over unpaid debt from Argentina’s 2002 default.
  5. President Benigno Aquino III urged the Philippines Congress to enact a draft law that would create an autonomous Muslim region in the south of the country.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Claudia E. Haupt, Speaking Professionally, The Huffington Post
  2. Shawn Marie Boyne, Vatican Injustice, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  3. Sheriff Kumba Jobe, Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa, AfricLaw
  4. Lauren Carasik, Haiti’s Fragile Democracy, JURIST – Forum
  5. Graeme Reid, International Law and the Uncertainty of Rights of LGBT People, JURIST – Hotline

Calls for Papers / Conferences

  1. The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law invites submissions for its fourth annual conference, to be held on April 16-17, 2015, at Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, Florida.
  2. The American Society of Comparative Law and the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University invite submissions for the annual Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, March 6-7, 2015, at Princeton University.
  3. Boston College Law School and the International Association of Constitutional Law’s Research Group on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change invite submissions for a full-day workshop on comparative constitutional amendment, to be held on the campus of Boston College Law School on Friday, May 15, 2015.
  4. Editors of the Spanish Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 18 (2013-2014), have issued a call for papers on any topic in the field of public and private international law and international relations.
  5. LatCrit, Inc. and the Society of American Law Teachers invite interested participants to the Twelfth Annual Junior Faculty Development Workshop to be held at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas on October 9, 2014.
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Published on September 15, 2014
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Conference Announcement: Constitution-Making and Constitutional Design–Boston College Law School

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

Friends of I-CONnect are invited to attend a full-day symposium on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Design on Friday, October 31, here at Boston College Law School. Panelists will inquire into the period of transition between old and new constitutions, the mechanics of constitution-making and -breaking, the role that courts play in constitution-making and constitutional design, and non-constitutional influences on constitutional development. The full program appears below.

This symposium is generously funded by the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy. Joining me on the organizing committee are Gene Mazo (Wake Forest), Vanessa MacDonnell (Ottawa), Joel Colon-Rios (Victoria-Wellington), Will Partlett (Hong Kong) and Bart Szewczyk (Columbia).


Boston College Law School
Symposium on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Design
October 31, 2014

Richard Albert


Keynote Address: Ran Hirschl, University of Toronto

Panel I: The Period Between Old and New Constitutions

1. Joel Colon-Rios, Victoria University of Wellington
2. Oran Doyle, Trinity College Dublin
3. Kate Glover, McGill University
4. Mark Graber, University of Maryland
5. Rick Kay, University of Connecticut (Moderator)
6. Carissima Mathen, University of Ottawa
7. Ozan Varol, Lewis & Clark Law School

This panel will examine the extraordinary period of time in the life of a country when its citizens decide to abandon one constitutional order and adopt another. How should we understand the time frame before a new constitution-making process actually begins, when the state’s existing constitution may have been rejected but a new constitution is not yet in place? What principles and legal institutions should guide the exercise of political power during such periods, so as to maintain the maximum level of stability and promote the legitimacy of the emerging constitutional order? These are some of the questions that scholars interested in the transition between old and new constitutions must address.

They are questions about the nature and limits of constituent power, about the nature and risk of a break in the chain of legality, and about how constitutionalism should deal with a successful revolution. When examined from the perspective of constitutional design, questions like these move our attention away both from the constitutional text and the internal dynamics of the constitution-making process and force us to analyze and develop mechanisms and strategies to facilitate the birth of a new constitutional order. They also require us to consider the role of the institutions established under the old order (such as courts), as well as the role of principles recognized by the international community (such as fundamental human rights), in controlling the political power of would-be constitution-makers.

The papers presented in this panel will reflect on these and other questions through both theoretical and comparative analysis, and in so doing, they will seek to better understand and analyze the time period in which constitutional transitions occur.

Papers to be published in the peer-reviewed National Journal of Constitutional Law.

Panel II: Constitution-Making and -Breaking

1. Andrew Arato, The New School for Social Research
2. David Landau, Florida State University
3. Eugene Mazo, Wake Forest University
4. Mark Tushnet, Harvard University
5. Mila Versteeg, University of Virginia (Moderator)

This panel will probe the process of constitution-making, rather than the period of time in which it takes place. Scholars have yet to develop robust theories to explain the internal dynamics of the constitution-making process itself, including theories concerning who should write a new constitution, how constitutional framers should be selected, the ways in which they should deliberate, and how new constitutions are best ratified. The existing theories of the constitution-making process tend to be parsimonious and incomplete, and they also do not transfer well across different cultural and political settings. To the extent that the “constitutional moment” provides a useful heuristic device for thinking about constitutional-making, this panel will bring together several leading scholars to explain how the process of constitution-making should be carried out. How should we choose constitutional framers? Where do the ideas that framers have come from? And which factors most influence the provisions that these framers write? By examining the internal dynamics of the constitution-making process from both theoretical and comparative perspectives, this panel will seek to address these questions.

In focusing on these issues, the scholars on this panel will examine the internal mechanics of constitutional moments. As a sovereign state seeks to be governed by a new basic law or to abide by the rules of a new founding document, this panel will seek not only to illuminate the outcome of constitutional deliberations, but also to elaborate on how the process of constitution-making is carried out. The scholars on this panel will also discuss the ways in which old constitutions may be legally retired before they are replaced, and they will work to distinguish the process of constitution-making from the period in which it takes place. These two concepts have been conflated, though they are theoretically and conceptually distinct.

Papers to be published in the Wake Forest Law Review.

Panel III: The Role of Constitutional Courts in Constitutional Design

1. Mathilde Cohen, University of Connecticut
2. Kevin Cope, Georgetown University
3. Erin Delaney, Northwestern University
4. Ruti Teitel, New York Law School (Moderator)
5. William Partlett, Columbia University

This panel will consider the role of courts in constitution-making. Conventional wisdom holds that courts should play a highly limited role in a process of constitution-making. From a normative standpoint, constitution-making is viewed as a process of higher lawmaking, where “the people” should not be limited by courts in the expression of their “constituent power.” From a more pragmatic standpoint, however, constitution-making is viewed as a process involving highly politicized, non-judicial questions that courts cannot adequately solve. A number of legal doctrines reflect these rationales, including the constituent power doctrine in Latin America, the acts of sovereignty doctrine in the Middle East, and the political question doctrine in the United States. Yet comparative experience reveals that courts often intervene in highly contentious disputes when they engage in the constitution-making process. This panel will consider this involvement. Is it improper for courts to intervene in constitution-making? Do courts help improve the process of constitution-making by forcing compromise and consensus? If courts are indeed to play a productive role in constitution-making, how do we ensure that they do not become captured by a minority faction and undermine the popular will? Finally, how should courts actually confront powerful political forces?

The scholars on this panel will consider these and other questions from both theoretical and comparative perspectives. Drawing on a wide range of sources—including comparative experience and judicial doctrine—they will seek to expand our understanding of the complex relationship between judicial review and constitutional design.

Papers to be published in the Wake Forest Law Review.

Panel IV: Non-Constitutional Influences on Constitutional Law and Constitutional Design

1. Richard Albert, Boston College
2. Francesca Bignami, George Washington University
3. Mohammad Fadel, University of Toronto
4. Vanessa MacDonnell, University of Ottawa
5. Russell Miller, Washington & Lee University
6. Bart Szewczyk, Columbia University
7. Katharine Young, Boston College (Moderator)

This panel will examine the interaction between constitutional and non-constitutional sources of law and the institutions that interpret and apply them. The papers on this panel suggest that constitutional law and constitutional design may invariably be influenced by the conceptual underpinnings and methods of extra-constitutional mechanisms, and vice versa. Constitutional scholarship must therefore account for the sometimes complex relationship between these two bodies of law.

The scholars comprising this panel will focus on how international law, statutes, administrative law, Islamic law and the common law interact with domestic constitutional law. They will also examine the role of institutional actors—including international organizations and tribunals, administrative decision-makers, and legislators—in shaping and pushing the boundaries of domestic constitutional law.

Papers to be published in the peer-reviewed Osgoode Hall Law Journal.

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Published on September 14, 2014
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Video Interview: Developments in Irish Constitutional Law Featuring Eoin Carolan

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

In the first installment of our new video interview series at I-CONnect, Eoin Carolan discusses developments in Irish constitutional law.

The interview touches on recent referenda in Ireland, the relative ease of formal amendment under the Irish Constitution, the continuing debate on abortion, and the country’s experiment with a Constitutional Convention.

Eoin Carolan is a Senior Lecturer at University College Dublin, an expert in Irish public law, a graduate of the University of Cambridge and a former Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School. His recent work concerns the relationship between law and behavioral science in comparative, constitutional and privacy law. His scholarship is available for download here.

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Published on September 12, 2014
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There are Still Judges in Berlin: On the Proposal to Amend the Ecuadorian Constitution to Allow Indefinite Presidential Reelection

Carlos Bernal Pulido, Macquarie Law School

Es gibt noch Richter in Berlin!, There are still judges in Berlin! was the well-known acclamation of the humble miller, when he learned that the Prussian King Frederick II, the Great, had ordered the demolition of his mill obstructing the views of the new royal palace in Potsdam. The judges ruled in favor of the miller, commanding the King to rebuild the windmill and to pay appropriate compensation.

This familiar story gives hope to those in Latin America who trust in judges as a last resort to protect human rights and democracy from the excesses of hyper-presidentialism. With great courage, the Colombian Constitutional Court honored this trust in 2010, when, in Judgment C-141/2010, it declared unconstitutional the law calling for a referendum that, as the first step towards amending the 1991 Colombian Constitution, aimed to enable then President Alvaro Uribe to run for a third consecutive term.

Now it is the turn of the Constitutional Court of Ecuador. In the coming days, that Court must decide on the admissibility and, if so, the appropriate procedure for a proposal of constitutional amendment submitted to the Parliament by the Party “Alianza Pais,” the political movement of President Rafael Correa. The proposal seeks to amend Article 144 of the 2008 Constitution and to make it constitutionally possible to reelect a President several times. The current text of the Constitution allows for only one presidential reelection. The amendment would enable incumbent President Correa, who is now in his second term, to be a candidate in the next presidential election. Read the rest of this entry…

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Published on September 10, 2014
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Call for Papers–Workshop on Comparative Constitutional Amendment

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

Boston College Law School and the International Association of Constitutional Law’s Research Group on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change invite submissions for a full-day workshop on comparative constitutional amendment, to be held on the campus of Boston College Law School on Friday, May 15, 2015.

This workshop is convened by Xenophon Contiades (University of Peloponnese) and Richard Albert (Boston College).

Purpose of Workshop

The purpose of this workshop is to convene a group of scholars whose primary field of research is comparative constitutional amendment for a high-level discussion on enduring and emerging questions in the field. This full-day workshop will offer participants a balanced combination of rigorous scholarly discussion and more relaxed social interaction.

Structure of Workshop

This full-day workshop will feature seven (7) papers selected through this Call for Papers, with two (2) discussants assigned to each paper, for a total of twenty-one (21) participants. The day will begin at 9:00pm with welcome remarks over a continental breakfast. From 9:30am to 5:30pm, each of the seven (7) papers will be allocated one hour of time for group discussion. The two assigned discussants will critique the paper for 15 minutes each, followed by a 30 minute group discussion. The paper author will not present her/his paper but will have the opportunity to respond to questions. Lunch will be served from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. Dinner is scheduled for 6:00pm. Boston College Law School will sponsor all meals.


Submissions are invited from scholars of all ranks, including doctoral students, whose primary field of research is comparative constitutional amendment, both formal and informal. Special consideration may be given to scholars affiliated with the International Association of Constitutional Law’s Research Group on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change.

Submission Instructions

Interested scholars should email no more than one (1) paper by January 15, 2015 to the following address: There is neither a minimum nor a maximum length for papers but papers may not have been published by the time of the workshop. Preference will be given to papers that are still in development. Scholars should identify their submission with the following subject line: “IACL—Paper Submission—Comparative Constitutional Amendment Workshop.”

Scholars interested in serving as discussants may submit a brief statement of interest—no more than one paragraph is sufficient—along with a curriculum vitae to the same address by the same date. Prospective discussants should identify their submission with the following subject line: “IACL—Discussant—Comparative Constitutional Amendment Workshop.”

Notification and Participation Requirements

Successful applicants will be selected by a Workshop Selection Committee and notified no later than February 16, 2015.


There is no cost to participate in the workshop. Successful applicants are responsible for securing their own funding for travel, lodging and other incidental expenses. Boston College Law School will be pleased to sponsor all meals for participants.


Please direct inquiries in connection with this workshop to Professor Richard Albert (Boston College) by email at or telephone at 617-552-3930.

Workshop Selection Committee

Xenophon Contiades (Peloponnese)
Alkmene Fotiadou (Centre for European Constitutional Law)
Richard Albert (Boston College)

About Boston College Law School

Founded in 1929, Boston College Law School offers broad course offerings and small class sizes that permit considerable personal interaction with faculty. The international and comparative law curriculum provides opportunities for in-class instruction, innovative and flexible study-abroad programs, and meaningful training in the field. Boston College Law School understands that globalization magnifies the scope and complexity of law and legal practice. The curriculum trains students for the needs of today, while giving them skills and perspectives that anticipate the needs of tomorrow. The program prepares leaders to pursue social justice not just nationally, but internationally as well. For more, please visit:

About the IACL

The overriding objective of the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) is to provide a forum in which constitutionalists from all parts of the world can begin to understand each other’s systems, explain and reflect on their own, and engage in fruitful comparison, for a variety of purposes. The IACL Research Group for the study of constitution-making and constitutional change assembles constitutional scholars interested in the wide variety of issues stemming from constitutional design making throughout the world. The group aims to explore the procedures used for the enactment of new constitutions and for formal constitutional amendment, as well as the substantive content of constitutional change, and to address issues of constitutional design. For more, please visit:

About the Convenors

Xenophon Contiades is Professor of Public Law, Dean of the School for Social and Political Sciences of the University of Peloponnese and Managing Director of the Centre for European Constitutional Law – Themistokles and Dimitris Tsatsos Foundation. He is also the Convenor of the IACL Research Group on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change and a member of the Scientific Council of the Dimitris Tsatsos Institute for European Constitutional Sciences (Hagen-Germany). His recent publications include: Constitutions in the Global Financial Crisis: A Comparative Analysis (Ashgate, 2013) and Engineering Constitutional Change: A Comparative Perspective on Europe, Canada and the USA (Routledge, 2012).

Richard Albert is a constitutional law professor at Boston College Law School, where he received the 2013 and 2014 Anthony P. Farley Award for excellence in teaching. His research focuses on comparative constitutional amendment. He is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law, an elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, a member of the Governing Council of the International Society of Public Law, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Journal of Constitutional Law, a founding editor of I-CONnect, and a former law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada. He holds degrees from Yale, Oxford and Harvard.

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Published on September 9, 2014
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