Seminar in Constitutional Design: Rights, Gender & States of Emergency

L684 is taught by S. Williams

This seminar will consider several topics in constitutional design. Readings will consist of scholarship and commentary, as well as cases and constitutions from a range of countries. This year, the course will focus on the following areas of law:

I. Rights -- the structure of individual rights, including positive rights and horizontal application of rights; a comparative look at some core fundamental rights, such as freedom of speech and religion; types of equality rights and the constitutional provisions that implement them.

II. Gender constitutional mechanisms for assuring political representation for women; gender mainstreaming ; conflicts between religious or cultural rights and gender equality; the incorporation of international law into constitutions and its use to promote gender equality.

III. States of Emergency the conditions under which the constitution authorizes actions or powers that would otherwise be unconstitutional; the concerns raised by such provisions and the limitations that can be used to cabin them.

The seminar will meet in one synchronous on-line session each week. Each student will write one long research paper on a topic of his or her choice related to the subjects of the course. There are no prerequisites for this course and students who have taken the other course on Constitutional Design are welcome to take this class, as there is little overlap in coverage.