Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Special Announcement: ICONnect Columnists for 2021

David Landau, Florida State University College of Law

The editors of ICONnect are very pleased to announce our new slate of columnists for 2021: Mara Malagodi, Berihun Adugna Gebeye, Armi Bayot, and Juliano Zaiden Benvindo. As always, we are confident 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 2020 columnists — Sofia Ranchordas, Alexander Hudson, Yvonne Tew, and Andrea Scoseria Katz. We are grateful to each of these wonderful scholars for agreeing to serve as columnists last year, and we think you will agree that they added an extraordinary amount to the blog.

The format of the columns is the same as in previous 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 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!

Dr Mara Malagodi is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She joined CUHK LAW in August 2019. Dr. Malagodi is a comparative constitutional lawyer and socio-legal scholar with a linguistically-informed specialism in South Asian law and politics (in particular Nepal, India, and Pakistan), human rights law, gender and law, legal history, and law and film. Dr Malagodi is the author of the monograph Constitutional Nationalism and Legal Exclusion in Nepal (Oxford University Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in the International Journal of Constitutional Law, the Journal of Law and Society, the Federal Law Review, and numerous other journals and edited collections. She is a non-practicing barrister in England and Wales, and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. 

Dr. Malagodi holds her Doctorate (2009), MA in South Asia Area Studies, and BA (Hons) in Nepali & Politics from the University of London (SOAS). She completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) at the City Law School, obtained her Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) from the then College of Law and her BA in International Relations & Diplomacy from the University of Trieste. Dr. Malagodi is a scholar of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, which called her to the Bar of England and Wales in 2016 and awarded her the Quatercentenary Scholarship and Blackstone Entrance Exhibition to support her professional legal training. In 2014 Dr. Malagodi was selected for the UCL Documentary Film Summer School at the Escuela de Cine y TV in Cuba where she co-directed the short documentary film ‘Walking through Havana’ (2014). Her film won the award for Best Short Doc at the 2015 Raindance Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Student Doc at the 2015 Sheffield International Documentary Festival and for Best Short Doc at the 2015 Shuffle Film Festival. 

Before joining CUHK, Dr. Malagodi was a Senior Lecturer at the City Law School, University of London (2015-2019), a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science (2012-2015,) and a Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2008-2012). She is on the expert roster of iProbono and ROLE UK, has worked as an external consultant for various United Nations agencies, and has been teaching at the Diplomatic Academy of the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

Berihun Adugna Gebeye is Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. He teaches and researches in the areas of constitutional theory, law and politics; the law and politics of human rights; and international law and development with a focus on Africa. He is the author of a forthcoming book on African constitutionalism with Oxford University Press. His publications have appeared in several peer-reviewed journals including Global Constitutionalism, VRÜ/World Comparative Law, Vienna Journal of International Constitutional Law, Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law, Canadian Journal of African Studies, Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, Human Rights Review, and a monograph on Media Law in Ethiopia with Kluwer Law International. Previously, Berihun has been a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Göttingen; a Visiting Professor at Central European University; a Visiting Scholar at the Columbia Law School, Center for Socio-Legal Studies of the University of Oxford and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity; a Global Teaching Fellow at the University of Yangon and a Lecturer at Jigjiga University Law School. He received his S.J.D/Ph.D and LL.M from Central European University, LL.M from Addis Ababa University, and LL.B from Haramaya University. Berihun has received several awards and fellowships including the prestigious fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Armi Bayot is a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Law candidate at the University of Oxford, where she is undertaking research on intrastate peace agreements as negotiated settlements. She was legal counsel to the government peace panel in talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) from 2010-2016, where she was deeply involved in the drafting and negotiation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). From 2010 to 2017, she was an Associate Solicitor at the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) of the Republic of the Philippines, where her fields of practice include indigenous peoples’ rights law, administrative law, family law, and criminal appeals.  She then worked at the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR), first serving as Division Chief of the Center for Crisis, Conflict, and Humanitarian Protection and later as the Deputy Coordinator of the National Task Force Against Extrajudicial Killings. She was also the founding Head of the CHR’s Analysis Unit. She obtained her Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree (with Distinction) from King’s College London as a Chevening scholar. She was awarded the Dickson Poon School of Law Prize in Transnational Law in 2015, and she was the sole winner of the Georg Schwarzenberger Prize in 2016. 

Juliano Zaiden Benvindo is an Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Brasília (UnB), Head of the Center for Comparative Constitutional Studies at UnB, and a Research Fellow of the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). He holds a Ph.D. in Public Law from Humboldt University of Berlin and UnB (2009), and Master in Legal Philosopy from UnB (2005). He is an Alexander von Humbodt/CAPES Senior Fellow at the Max-Planck for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany (2019, with a new research period scheduled for 2022), and was a DAAD/CAPES Post-Doctoral Visiting Fellow at the Center of European Law and Politics of the University of Bremen, Germany (2013-2014). His scholarship has mostly focused on interconnections between comparative constitutional law and comparative politics and development, with a focus on Latin America, as well as on constitutional theory. He is the author of the book s Rule of Law in Brazil  (Hart, forthcoming 2021), On the Limits of Constitutional Adjudication: Deconstructing Balancing and Judicial Activism (Springer, 2010,) and Legal Rationality and Normative Validity: From Metaphysics to Democratic Reflection(Argvmentvm, 2008, in Portuguese), and co-editor, with Richard Albert and Carlos Bernal, of the book Constitutional Change and Transformation in Latin America (Hart, 2019). His scholarship has also appeared in several distinguished journals and edited books. He has been a regular contributor to I-CONNect since 2014.


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