New Consortium in Comparative Constitutionalism kicks off partnership with Tushnet talk

Building on the success of the Comparative Constitutional Democracy Colloquium over the last two years, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s International and Comparative Law Program has established a new Consortium in Comparative Constitutionalism with the University of Milan School of Law in Italy and Simon Reichmann Law School in Israel. 

The consortium will arrange faculty and student visits and exchanges among the three law schools over the next three years, including joint participation in Maryland Carey Law’s spring Comparative Constitutional Democracy Colloquium, fall Constitutional Law Schmooze, and a summer workshop.  

“The University of Milan School of Law and Simon Reichmann Law School in Israel have become two of the leading centers for comparative constitutional studies across the globe,” said Professor Peter Danchin, associate dean for research and faculty development, and one of the consortium’s organizers. “This collaboration further cements Maryland Carey Law’s growing reputation for exciting work on the challenges facing all constitutional democracies.” 

To celebrate the new consortium, the spring colloquium will begin in January with a presentation by renowned Harvard Law professor emeritus Mark Tushnet, who is Maryland Carey Law’s 2022 spring Regents Lecturer. In that role, Tushnet will also present a legal theory workshop and an open lecture for the Maryland Carey Law community Wednesday, January 19. Tushnet, a preeminent scholar who served as a clerk for Thurgood Marshall, specializes in constitutional law and theory, including comparative constitutional law.  

Maryland Carey Law’s other consortium organizer is Professor Mark Graber, a long-time collaborator and co-editor with Tushnet on the 2020 book Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? (also with Professor Sanford Levinson, University of Texas at Austin School of Law). “With the publication of books on fourth branch institutions, populism and democracy, and the Hughes Court,” said Graber, “Professor Tushnet has demonstrated a range and depth of constitutional interests equaled by no other scholar in the world.” 

The colloquium follows throughout the spring with presentations by: 

  • Antonia Barragia, Assistant Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Milan, Department of National and Supranational Public Law 
  • Margit Cohn, Associate Professor and Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem 
  • Yaniv Rosnai, Associate Professor at the Harry Radzyner Law School, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Reichman University and Co-Chair of the Israeli Section of the International Society of Public Law (ICON-S) 
  • Phoebe Okowa, Professor of Public International Law and Director of Graduate Studies at Queen Mary University of London 
  • Maxwell O. Chibundu, Professor of Law, Maryland Carey Law 
  • Dilek Kurban, Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow, European University Institute, Law Department, Florence 

Danchin and Graber’s Comparative Constitutional Democracy Colloquium launched in 2020 and offers advanced law students the opportunity to engage as equals in a workshop setting with top constitutional scholars from around the world. Now, with the inclusion of the consortium schools, the experience, said Danchin, “will be deeply enriched by expanded international perspectives and expertise.” 

Another consortium activity, the Constitutional Law Schmooze has a much longer history, established by Tushnet in the 1980s at Georgetown and moving permanently to Maryland Carey Law under Graber’s direction in 2003. Through the years, the Schmooze has gained recognition globally for bringing together leading scholars in the legal academy, political science, and political development.  

“The Consortium in Comparative Constitutionalism is a tremendous opportunity for us to collaborate with international experts to address some of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Maryland Carey Law Dean Donald Tobin, “and to develop the next generation of leaders who will dedicate their careers to protecting our democratic institutions.” 


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