Concerned that constitutions are being put to the test in nearly every corner of world—and not just by the ever-present pressures of war—BC Law Professor Richard Albert (above, right, with Yaniv Roznai) helped to organize a “Constitutionalism Under Extreme Conditions” symposium in Israel in July.
The event, co-organized by Yaniv Roznai, a fellow at the Minerva Center at the University of Haifa where the gathering was held, was an opportunity to explore the conditions of constitutional failure and resilience in times of war, emergency, public health crises, and global/regional financial collapse.
“Think of the recent emergencies declared in France and Turkey, the elusive balance between national security and human rights in Israel and United States, public health crises in West Africa and Brazil, and the financial collapse in Greece,” said Albert. “These extreme conditions have pushed the limits of constitutionalism.”
The two-day program brought together scholars from more than a dozen countries to better understand what accounts for constitutional failure and resilience. The event featured a keynote address by Aharon Barak, the former president of the Supreme Court of Israel. The title of his address was “Human Rights in Times of Terror—A Judicial Point of View.”
The symposium was sponsored by the Minerva Center and the Israeli Association of Public Law, with the support of Boston College Law School. The organizing committee included Gad Barzilai, Eli Salzberger, Amnon Reichman, and Suzie Navot.
Albert specializes in constitutional law and comparative constitutional law. In 2010, he received the Hessel Yntema Prize, which is given annually to a scholar under the age of 40 to recognize “the most outstanding article” on comparative law. In 2013, he was named to the 50 under 50 list honoring the most influential minority law professors of 50 years of age or younger. He serves as Book Reviews Editor for the peer-reviewed American Journal of Comparative Law. Albert is a member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law, and the Governing Council of the International Society of Public Law. He is a Distinguished Academic Associate at the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff Law School, a Senior Research Fellow at the Council for Canadian Democracy, and a founding editor of I-CONnect, the new scholarly blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I-CON).