Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Special Announcement: I-CONnect Columnists for 2017

David Landau, Florida State University College of Law

The editors of I-CONnect are pleased to announce a new initiative – starting in January 2017, we will be featuring regular columnists. The idea of the columns is to provide the blog 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, will be a bit more “op-ed” in nature than standard posts.

We are excited to announce our inaugural group of columnists for the 2017 calendar year: Aslı Bâli, Menaka Guruswamy, Javier Couso, and Tom Gerald Daly. We are grateful to each of these outstanding scholars for agreeing to serve as a columnist, and believe that they will be a diverse and distinctive set of voices.

Each columnist will produce one column every two months, and therefore the blog will run a column once every two weeks. The initial schedule will be as follows, with the schedule then repeating in March and every other month thereafter:

First half of January: Tom Gerald Daly

Second half of January: Menaka Guruswamy

First half of February: Javier Couso

Second half of February: Aslı Bâli

Although we expect that many of our readers are already familiar with their work, we append brief bios for each of our new columnists below.

Please join us in welcoming them to I-CONnect!


Aslı Bâli is Director of the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law where she teaches in the International and Comparative Law Program. Recent work includes “Shifting into Reverse: Turkish Constitutionalism Under the AKP” (Theory & Event, 2016); “Constitutional Design Without Constitutional Moments: Lessons from Religiously Divided Societies” (Cornell International Law Journal 2016); and “The Wrong Kind of Intervention in Syria,” in The United Nations and the Arabs (Vijay Prashad and Karim Makdisi, eds., OUP 2016). She is also co-editor, with Hanna Lerner, of the forthcoming volume Constitution Writing, Religion and Democracy (CUP 2017). Bâli’s scholarship has also appeared in the American Journal of International Law UnboundInternational Journal of Constitutional LawUCLA Law ReviewYale Journal of International Law, Virginia Journal of International Law, and Studies in LawPolitics and Society. She currently serves as co-chair of the Advisory Committee for Human Rights Watch-Middle East.


Dr. Menaka Guruswamy practices law at the Supreme Court of India. She is presently a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin/Institute of Advanced Studies, Berlin. Among other work, she successfully represented a group of retired civil servants in a large constitutional case that sought reform of public administration and the bureaucracy in the country (TSR Subramanium and Ors v. Union of India and Ors), has successfully defended federal legislation that mandates that all private schools dmit disadvantaged children (the Right to Education Act), and litigated successfully against Salwa Judum—state sponsored vigilante groups in Chhattisgarh. She was appointed amicus curiae by the Supreme Court in a case concerning extra-judicial killings in Manipur. Her areas of legal practice include Criminal Law, Commercial Law and Constitutional Law. Previously, Dr. Guruswamy worked at the Office of the Attorney General of India. Aside from her private law practice, she has also represented the Union of India, and State of Delhi at the Supreme Court of India. She has also practiced law in New York, as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Dr. Guruswamy was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, a Gammon Fellow at Harvard Law School, and a gold medalist from the National Law School of India. She has law degrees from all three schools. Her doctorate from Oxford University is on Constitution-making in India, Pakistan, and Nepal. She has been Visiting Faculty at Yale Law School, Columbia Law School and New York University School of Law. Her most recent publications include essays on “Access to Justice- The Jurisprudence and Self Perception of the Supreme Court of India” (co-author), in Constitutionalism of the Global South (Daniel Bonilla, ed., CUP 2013) and “Crafting Constitutional Values: An Essay on the Supreme Court of India,” in An Inquiry into the Existence of Global Values (Dennis Davis et al., eds., Hart Publishing 2015). She is admitted to the Bar in New York and in Delhi.


Javier Couso is a Professor of Law and Social Sciences at Universidad Diego Portales (Chile). His work focuses on comparative law and courts, with a focus on the interplay between constitutionalism, the rule of law, and legal cultures in new democracies. He is the author of dozens of academic articles and books, including Constitutional Law in Chile (Wolters Kluwer 2011), and (with Alexandra Huneeus and Rachel Sieder as co-editors) Cultures of Legality: Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America (CUP 2010). Over the last decade, he has been a visiting professor at several academic institutions worldwide, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2006-2007); Leiden University (2012); Melbourne University (2012 & 2014); Bocconi University (2013); and the University of California-Berkeley (2016). Furthermore, he was the holder of the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity, at Utrecht University (2014-2016).

Prof. Couso is in the editorial board of a number of academic journals, such as the Journal of Law and Courts; Law and Policy; International Journal of Law in Context; Constitutional Court Review; and Griffith Law Review. Finally, he is currently an Associate Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, after having served on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Constitutional Law and in the Board of Trustees the Law and Society Association.


Dr. Tom Gerald Daly is Associate Director at the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law and a consultant on public law, human rights, and democracy-building. Currently overseeing a Council of Europe project on strengthening judicial ethics in Turkey, he has previously clerked for the Chief Justice of Ireland, has worked at the Global Justice Academy and Judicial Studies Institute, and as a consultant on various Council of Europe, European Union, International IDEA, and Irish government projects. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh and law degrees from the Honorable Society of King’s Inns and the European University Institute (EUI), Florence.

Tom’s research centers on the connections between law, democracy-building, and democratic decay, with a particular focus on the intersection between national, transnational, and international law and policy. Forthcoming publications include a monograph with Cambridge University Press (The Alchemists: Questioning Our Faith in Courts as Democracy-Builders), an introductory article on the subject of the book in Global Constitutionalism, and a co-edited collection with Palgrave MacMillan, titled Law and Policy in Latin America: Transforming Courts, Institutions, and Rights. His new research project concerns the role of public law in countering democratic decay worldwide. He has been an invited speaker at events in the US, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East, and has presented and lectured at a wide range of institutions worldwide. He tweets @DemocracyTalk.


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