March 28, 2022
 

The Leaflet

a spotlight on the ideas

that will shape the future of constitutionalism.

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From the Director's Desk
Fifty years ago in March 1972, the US Congress approved the Equal Rights Amendment. A half-century later, sex equality in the United States remains elusive, and the Equal Rights Amendment is mired in legal uncertainty. Worse still, the Supreme Court could ultimately strike down the amendment as unconstitutional
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The US is one of a few countries in the world that does not protect sex or gender equality in its constitutional text. Of course, no codified rule is ever self-enforcing. The implementation of equality rights requires both a machinery of law and an allied political culture. But written constitutional commitments ultimately do matter for the public values they express. Much better to write sex or gender equality into the constitution than to leave it out.
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In this edition of The Leaflet: a new paper, a video interview, an upcoming anniversary conference, and my mother's birthday!
Richard Albert
 
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Ann Applebaum on Authoritarianism, Ukraine, and Democracy
Earlier this month, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum spoke about Russia's attack on Ukraine, Vladimir Putin's motivations, and what the future holds for constitutionalism, liberal democracy, and the rule of law in the world. 
 
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The 2nd Annual International Review of Constitutional Reform
Coming Soon! 
Last year we published the first annual International Review of Constitutional Reform. The book has become an important resource for scholars, judges, and practitioners interested in monitoring trends and developments in constitutional change around the world. You can download last year's edition here for free
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We have a great team working with us on the second edition: Giulia Andrade, Elisa Boaventura, Bruno Cunha, Matheus Depieri, and Júlia Frade. The second edition will feature reports from over 70 jurisdictions: Afghanistan | Albania | Argentina | Australia | Austria | Bangladesh | Barbados | Bolivia | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Brazil | Canada | Cape Verde | Chile | Colombia | Democratic Republic of the Congo | Croatia | Cuba | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Ecuador | El Salvador | Eritrea | Finland | France | The Gambia | Georgia | Germany | Ghana | Greece | Guatemala | Hong Kong | Hungary | Iceland | India | Indonesia | Ireland | Israel | Italy | Japan | Jordan | Kazakhstan | Kenya | Kosovo | Kyrgyz Republic | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malawi | Malta | Mexico | New Zealand | Nigeria | Pakistan | Paraguay | Peru | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Russia | Rwanda | San Marino | Sierra Leone | Slovakia | Slovenia | South Korea | South Sudan | Spain |  Sudan | Switzerland | Taiwan | Thailand | Turkey | Ukraine | United Kingdom | United States | Venezuela | Vietnam | Zambia. 
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Meet a Subscriber to The Leaflet
Franciska Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin. Formerly a constitutional law professor at Yonsei Law School in South Korea, Professor Coleman's innovative research blends constitutional law with political theory and critical discourse analysis. Professor Coleman earned a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree from Harvard University. You can connect with her here!
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Can a Constitutional Amendment be Illegitimate?
In his new paper, Adem Abebe confronts a crucial question: must we regard as legitimate all constitutional amendments that are procedurally sound? Think of the problem in this way: imagine a constitution is amended in accordance with the procedural rules of amendment but the amendment itself distorts the competitive political balance in the polity. Is that an illegitimate constitutional amendment? Abebe argues that an important guarantor for legitimacy is the degree of cross-party approval for a constitutional change.
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40th Anniversary Conference
An Invitation
Forty years ago in April 1982, Canada “patriated” its Constitution, shedding an important vestige of UK control, entrenching fundamental rights and freedoms, and creating procedures for future constitutional reform. In the four decades since, Canada has lived profound social, political, legal, and institutional changes. 
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You are invited to our 40th anniversary conference to mark this historic moment. Register here for this free conference, co-sponsored by the Centre for Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta, the Constitutional Studies Program at the University of Texas at Austin, the Public Law Centre at the University of Ottawa, and the Centre d'analyze politique: constitution et fédéralisme at l'Université du Québec à Montréal.
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Spotlight on Early-Career Scholars: Part XXXVI
Let me introduce you to five early-career scholars around the world. Please get to know them, read their drafts, and invite them to join your conferences.
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Advanced Research Seminar in Constitutional Change
Registration Closes Wednesday
Join registrants from Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States in this new course. The first half of this eight-week course will consist of lectures and discussion on various aspects of constitutional change. The second half will be an opportunity to workshop a selected number of manuscripts written by registrants on any subject in constitutional change. 
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Happy 78th Birthday to My Mom!
After her divorce when I was 3 years old, my mother moved our family from my native Canada back to her hometown in Haiti. Some years later, my mother faced a difficult a choice. Should she play it safe: stay in Haiti, surrounded by loving and resilient people, though without hope for much else for her kids? Or should she take a big risk: leave the country in search of opportunity, alone, as a young single mom with little money and no guarantee of a better life for her children? My mother chose the second path. She brought us to Ottawa, on her own, with few contacts, and even fewer prospects. She found us schools and found herself work. We lived wherever we could, within her means: in her friend's spare bedroom, then above a gas station, and later in a retirement home. My mom taught us above all to be kind to others, as others had been to us. Today, my mother still lives in Ottawa. And she just turned 78 years old! Happy birthday to a brave woman to whom I owe everything.
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Richard Albert

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Richard Albert

Founder and Director

The mission of the International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism is to marshal knowledge and experience to build a world of opportunity, liberty, and dignity for all.

 
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