Constitutional Transitions Clinic visits Tunisia to confer with president

L to R: Shingira Masanzu (LL.M. '13), Cenobar Parker (LL.M. '13), and Marzieh Tofighi Darian (LL.M. '13).Since last September, the J.D. and LL.M. student researchers in NYU Law’s 2012-13 Constitutional Transitions Clinic have been working under the supervision of Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law Sujit Choudhry and clinic co-director Katy Glenn Bass to prepare research reports on topics relevant to constitutional drafting and reform processes unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa. From April 7 to 11, the clinic’s students and faculty traveled to Tunis to present their research at the University of Tunis and engage with Tunisian political actors, with support from the clinic’s client, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).

Choudhry pronounced the trip a success. “Our students did an extremely good job in presenting their work to an expert Tunisian audience, and received valuable feedback that will enable them to sharpen their reports,” he said. “Our high-level meetings are a testament to the importance of our project with International IDEA to support constitutional transitions in the region.”Click here to read a firsthand account of the Constitutional Transitions Clinic's trip to Tunisia

The students were equally enthusiastic. “How many people can say they were able to ask the president of Tunisia for his reflections on the revolution and the constitutional transition in general?” said Cenobar Parker (LL.M. ’13). “I am incredibly grateful that the president took time to meet with us, not only to give us his perspective on the present conditions in Tunisia, but to entertain our questions regarding the revolution and answer them candidly.” Morgan Miller ’13 also expressed her appreciation for that high-level contact, as well as the chance to interact and debate with law students from a different legal culture.

“It is one thing to continue to research these issues from New York from an academic perspective,” said Alex Kerchner ’14, “and entirely another to meet with Tunisians who clearly had a large stake in the ultimate resolution of these issues, and who posed pointed and directed inquiries because they believe the answers will greatly affect their lives moving forward.”

Watch the video of Sujit Choudhry's statement following the clinic's presidential audience (1 min):

Posted on April 22, 2013