[PAST EVENT] Rethinking Constitutions when Democracy Is under Siege: A Global Perspective

September 13, 2019
9am - 4:30pm
Law School, Room 124
613 S Henry St
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Open to the public

The Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and the Reves Center for International Studies will host a symposium titled "Rethinking Constitutions when Democracy Is under Siege: A Global Perspective" on Friday, September 13.

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Around the world, populist movements are on the rise. Debate and dissent are more bitter than ever. Are these trends indicative of thriving democratic processes – or something more troubling?  During this symposium, constitutional experts from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the United States will discuss whether events in global regions are distinct or related, and what the role of constitutions and international organizations should be when democracy appears to be under siege.


Opening Remarks: Christie S. Warren
Professor of the Practice of International and Comparative Law and Director, Center for Comparative Legal Studies & Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Former Senior Expert in Constitutional Issues, United Nations Department of Political Affairs Mediation Support Unit Standby Team

9:30 – 10:30
Sanford Levinson: Our Dysfunctional Constitution           
W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, University  of Texas Law School

10:30 – 11:30
Marian Ahumada: Democracy under Suspicion: A View from Spain
Professor of Constitutional Law, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Former Director General for Legal Coordination, Ministry of the Presidency of Spain. Former Deputy Director, Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies

11:30 – 12:30
Louis Aucoin: Transplants Gone Wrong: Constitutional Challenges in West Africa
Professor of Practice, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (retired); former Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Rule of Law, United Nations Mission in Liberia; United Nations constitutional expert.

12:30 – 1:30    Lunch

1:30 – 2:30
Zachary Elkins: How Powerful is the President? A Latin American Perspective
Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin. Co-Director, Comparative Constitutions Project

2:30 – 3:30
David Law: Hong Kong and Constitutional Inertia in Asia
Sir Y.K. Pao Chair in Public Law, The University of Hong Kong. Chancellor’s Professor, University of California Irvine School of Law

3:30 – 4:30
Augusto Lopez-Claros: The Role of Global Institutions When Democracy is under Siege   
Former Director, World Bank Global Indicators Group; former Chief Economist and Director of the Global Competitiveness Program, World Economic Forum