Constitutional Transitions Clinic and Colloquium (for J.D.s)
|LW.12144 / LW.12145 / LW.12263
Professor Sujit Choudhry
Professor Katy Glenn Bass
Open to 2L and 3L students
Maximum of 9 JD students
Year-long course for J.D.s (See Semester-long clinics for LL.M. info)
The Constitutional Transitions Clinic and Colloquium is sponsored by the Center for Constitutional Transitions (Constitutional Transitions) at the NYU School of Law. Constitutional Transitions, launched in March 2012, will be the world’s leading academic center that supports constitutional transitions through agenda-setting research, and will train the next generation of constitutional practitioners in this area. The Constitutional Transitions Clinic and Colloquium is a joint project of Constitutional Transitions and the Cairo office of International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide, with 27 member states. International IDEA’s mission is to support sustainable democratic change by providing comparative knowledge, assisting in democratic reform, and influencing policies and politics.
The clinic and colloquium will blend clinical education and the generation of research of direct and immediate use to constitutional processes currently underway in the Middle East and North Africa. The overall goal is to provide support to constitutional processes in response to local needs, by laying down a comparative research foundation for domestic constitutional choice on those issues where comparative experience is thought to be helpful and relevant. Students will build important skills (policy analysis, contextualization of advice, presentation and advocacy) in a way that is sensitive to the volatile political context of constitutional transitions in the Middle East, in a culturally sensitive manner.
Students will work under the direct supervision of Sujit Choudhry and a Fellow, and will be divided into three teams, each tasked with the production of a research report on an issue of central importance to constitutional transitions in the Middle East and North Africa, where there is a need for comparative, in-depth research to provide a comparative research foundation for domestic constitutional choice. These questions will be identified by International IDEA. Potential topics include security sector oversight, anti-corruption frameworks, and sectarianism. Research will include the constitutional status quo for a limited number of constitutional frameworks in the Middle East and North Africa, including the reasons for their historical development, as well as the constitutional experiences of other transitional democracies such as South Africa, as well as those in Eastern and Central Europe and Latin America, and successful post-colonial experiences (e.g. India). In addition, there will be regular, sustained student contact with the Cairo office of International IDEA.
During the fall semester, in lieu of a traditional clinical seminar, students will attend a colloquium on authoritarianism. The colloquium is co-convened by Prof. Sujit Choudhry and Prof. Mattias Kumm. Leading experts from North America, Europe and the Middle East will present works-in-progress focusing on countries transitioning out of authoritarian regimes, as well as those sliding back into authoritarianism. Works presented will focus on countries in the Middle East-North Africa region, Eastern and Central Europe, and other regions.
Qualifications for Applicants
JD students are expected to have previously taken U.S. Constitutional Law, or to take it concurrently with the clinic.
Students should submit an application, resume and transcript on-line via CAMS. Jennifer Canose will contact you to schedule an interview with Sujit Choudhry. If you have questions, please direct them to Katy Glenn Bass.
Interested students may want to contact current Clinic students, including:
* 10 credits includes 4 clinical (fieldwork) credits and 2 colloquium credits in the Fall semester and 2 clinical (fieldwork) credits and 2 seminar credits in the Spring semester.