Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Introducing the 2023 ICONnect Columnists

David Landau, Florida State University College of Law

The editors of ICONnect are very pleased to announce our new slate of columnists for 2023: Teresa Violante, Esther Ang’awa,  João Vitor Cardoso, and Gautam Bhatia. We are certain that they will provide a diverse and fascinating set of voices for our readers, representing a range of regional and substantive areas of focus.

We would also like to give thanks and express appreciation for our outgoing 2022 columnists — Mariana Velasco-Rivera, Maartje De Visser, Shamshad Pasarlay, and Bryan Dennis G. Tiojanco. We are grateful to each of these scholars for agreeing to serve as columnists last year, and for adding so much useful content to the blog.

The format of the columns is the same as in prior years. The goal is to provide ICONnect with regular contributors who have a distinctive voice and unique perspective on public law. Columns, while scholarly in accordance with the tone of the blog and about the same length as a normal blog post, are a bit more “op-ed” in nature than standard posts. Each columnist will produce one column roughly every two months.

Although we expect that many of our readers already know their work, we append brief bios for each of our new columnists below. Please join us in welcoming them to ICONnect!

Teresa Violante is a PhD Candidate at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. She holds a graduate degree in law (University of Coimbra) and a European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratization (University of Padova), and lectures on fundamental rights and constitutional law (University Lusófona, Lisbon). In her PhD project, she investigates weak judicial review by European constitutional courts. She is also the Director of the Institute for the Global Rule of Law of the European Public Law Organization. 

Esther Ang’awa is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya with practice experience providing legal advisory and representation in public and private law matters, as well as advising State and non-State actors on law, constitutionalism and governance. Ang’awa is passionate about creating legal awareness in the society and pushing for public governance that is people-centred, participatory and transformative. She is currently a postgraduate scholar at the African Leadership Centre, King’s College London undertaking a Master of Science in Global Leadership and Peacebuilding.

João Vitor Cardoso was an ethnographer at the Chilean Constitutional Convention (2021-2022). He is a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Chile and holds a M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of São Paulo (FFLCH-USP). He studies sociological constitutionalism and constitutional politics with a special focus on Brazil and Chile. His research focuses on constitution-making, rights talk, and legal pluralism. He lectured courses on the judicialization of politics, fundamental rights, and access to justice at the LLM in Constitutional Law at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (Cogeae/PUC-SP) and was a Visiting Scholar at Florida State University (FSU) and at Paris Descartes University (Paris V).  His dissertation consists of a “constitutional ethnography” with the aim of unveiling the extent to which the constitution depends for its normative effectiveness as an institutional design on the very idea of an integrated society and on a constitutional identity commonly shared within a broad spectrum of political forces.

Gautam Bhatia is an Indian lawyer and legal scholar. He is the author of Offend, Shock, or Disturb: Freedom of Speech under the Indian Constitution and The Transformative Constitution. His work – including the constitutional law blog, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy– has been cited on several occasions by the Supreme Court of India. In 2022, he was one of eight amici curae whose submissions were admitted and considered by the Supreme Court of Kenya in its landmark BBI Judgment. He practices law in New Delhi. 


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