The Constitution Transformation Network brings together researchers and practitioners to explore the phenomenon of constitutional transformation.Find out more
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ConTransNet produces a quarterly newsletter providing updates on the activities of our members, as well as reflections on constitutional transformation issues generally.Newsletter
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Knowledge Exchange with the Sri Lanka JudiciaryNews
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Constitution Making (LAWS70269)Melbourne Law Masters
- Cheryl Saunders
Laureate Professor Emeritus
- Will Partlett
- Anna Dziedzic
Research Fellow and PhD Candidate
- Tom Gerald Daly
- Farrah Ahmed
- Hilary Charlesworth
- Michael Crommelin
Zelman Cowan Professor
- Jürgen Kurtz
Professor and Director
- Tarun Khaitan
Associate Professor and Future Fellow
- Tim Lindsey
Professor and Director
- Pip Nicholson
Professor and Dean
- Bruce Oswald
- Adrienne Stone
Professor and Laureate Fellow
- Carlos Arturo
Cheryl Saunders is a Laureate Professor Emeritus at Melbourne Law School and co-convenor of the Constitution Transformation Network. She works in the fields of comparative constitutional law and comparative public law more generally. She is a President Emeritus of the International Association of Constitutional Law and a former President of the International Association for Centres of Federal Studies. She is a senior technical advisor to the Constitution Building Program of International IDEA and a former Board Member of International IDEA.
Cheryl’s work in the field is characterised by two assumptions. The first is that comparative constitutional law should be as global as possible in its reach, in both theory and practice. The second is the importance of context in comparative constitutional law, including recognition and appreciation of difference, despite the realities of globalisation. Both inform her involvement in the activities of the Constitution Transformation Network. She participates in networks of constitutional scholars and practitioners throughout the world. She has written widely on aspects of comparative constitutional law, with a particular focus on constitution transformation in Asia and the Pacific. She has had practical involvement in constitution making and change in Asia, the Pacific, Africa and the middle east as an advisor with comparative expertise and an appreciation of how that can effectively be shared.
Current projects in which Cheryl is engaged that relate to the work of Constitution Transformation Network include an examination of the processes of constitutional transition in the face of territorial cleavages (with International IDEA, Center for Constitutional Transitions); an examination of the appropriate use of external advice in constitution building processes (with International IDEA, IACL, Venice Commission); and the concept of a constitution in an age of transnational practice (for Center on Globalization, Law and Society, UCI).
William Partlett is an Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School and a co-convenor of the Constitution Transformation Network. Before coming to Melbourne in 2015, William was an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of Chinese University Hong Kong, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer at Columbia University Law School, and a Fellow at The Brookings Institution. William holds a JD from Stanford Law School as well as a DPhil in Soviet History and MPhil in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Oxford (where he was a Clarendon Scholar). He also holds an honours bachelor degree in International Affairs and Public Policy from Princeton University and speaks Russian.
William’s research broadly focuses on the role of history and institutions in constitution-making. Drawing on his background in Russian history, he is particularly interested in exploring the distinctive institutional legacies of the Russian constitutional tradition and their persistence in both post-Soviet and post-socialist constitution-making.
Anna Dziedzic is a Research Fellow and PhD Candidate at Melbourne Law School and a co-convenor of the Constitution Transformation Network.
Anna’s research engages with the field of comparative constitutional law with a special focus on the constitutional systems of the Pacific. She has written on aspects of constitution-making, federalism, institutions of government and the interaction between constitutional provisions and gender issues. Her PhD thesis examines the practice of appointing foreign judges to domestic courts in the Pacific and the effect of this practice on judicial institutions and constitutional jurisprudence in the region.
Anna has practical experience in governance, law reform and constitution-making in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. She previously worked as a legal policy adviser in the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Law Reform Commission. She has also worked with government agencies, international organisations and NGOs in the Pacific region on a range of law reform projects. She holds an MA in Human Rights from University College London and first class honours degrees in Arts and Law from the Australian National University.
Tom Gerald Daly
Tom is a Fellow of Melbourne Law School, Associate Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law at Edinburgh Law School, and a consultant on public law, human rights, and democracy-building. He previously clerked for the Chief Justice of Ireland. He has worked on a variety of development projects worldwide at Edinburgh University’s Global Justice Academy, and as a consultant on Council of Europe, European Union, International IDEA, and Irish government projects, most recently managing a major Council of Europe project on ‘Strengthening Judicial Ethics in Turkey’.
Tom’s research focuses on the connections between law, policy and democratic governance, with a particular focus on young democracies and fragile democracies. His recent publications include an article on courts as ‘democracy-builders’ in Global Constitutionalism, a co-edited collection, Law and Policy in Latin America: Transforming Courts, Institutions, and Rights (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017), and a policy report on ‘The Judiciary and Constitutional Transitions’ (International IDEA and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO)). His book, The Alchemists: Questioning Our Faith in Courts as Democracy-Builders, will be published in October 2017 by Cambridge University Press.
His current research project concerns democratic decay worldwide and the use of public law as a remedial tool. He is a columnist for the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I-Connect) blog, focusing on the theme of democratic decay. He also tweets on public law, democracy building and democratic decay @DemocracyTalk.
Farrah Ahmed is an Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School and Associate Director (India) of the Asian Law Centre.
Prior to joining Melbourne Law School in July 2012, she was a Lecturer in Law at the Queen's College, University of Oxford. Her research spans public law, legal theory and family law. Her recent work on constitutional statutes, the doctrine of legitimate expectations, the duty to give reasons, social rights adjudication and religious tribunals has been published by the Cambridge Law Journal, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Public Law and Child and Family Law Quarterly. Her book Religious Freedom under the Personal Law System was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. Her blog posts can be found on the UK Constitutional Law blog. Farrah is currently a Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Discovery grant studying religious dispute resolution processes.
Her educational history includes an LLB from the University of Delhi, and a Bachelor of Civil Law, an MPhil in law and a DPhil in law from the University of Oxford.
Hilary Charlesworth is a Melbourne Laureate Professor at Melbourne Law School. She is also a Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University. Her research includes the structure of the international legal system, peacebuilding, human rights law and international humanitarian law and international legal theory, particularly feminist approaches to international law. Hilary received the American Society of International Law’s award for creative legal scholarship for her book, co-authored with Christine Chinkin, The Boundaries of International Law. She was also awarded, with Christine Chinkin, the American Society of International Law’s Goler T. Butcher award for ‘outstanding contributions to the development or effective realization of international human rights law’.
Hilary has been a visiting professor at various institutions including Harvard Law School, New York University Global Law School, UCLA, Paris I and the London School of Economics. She is a member of the Executive Council of the Asian Society of International Law and a past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law. Hilary was appointed by the Australian government in 2015 to a second term as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. She is an associate member of the Institut de Droit International and served as judge ad hoc in the International Court of Justice in the Whaling in the Antarctic Case (2011-2014). In 2016 Hilary was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.
Michael Crommelin is the Zelman Cowan Professor of Law at Melbourne Law School. He has published extensively in the fields of energy and resources law, constitutional law and comparative law. In 2009, Michael was made an officer of the Order of Australia for service to the law and to legal education, particularly as a tertiary educator and through the development of mining and petroleum law in Australia.
Michael holds a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Queensland and an LLM and PhD from the University of British Columbia. He has held visiting appointments at a number of universities, including the University of Oslo, the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary and Georgetown University. In addition, Michael has served as President of AMPLA (the Australian Mineral and Petroleum Law Association) and as a member of the Council of the Section on Energy and Resources Law of the International Bar Association.
Jürgen Kurtz has been appointed Professor of International Economic Law at the European Union Institute (EUI) from 1 January 2018 for a 5 year term. He is on leave from the University of Melbourne Law School where he has taught since 2003. Jürgen researches and teaches in the various strands of international economic law including the jurisprudence of the World Trade Organization and that of investor-state arbitral tribunals. He has a particular research interest in the impact of treaty-based disciplines on regulatory autonomy and development strategies. Jürgen's most recent book is The WTO and International Investment Law: Converging Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
Jurgen’s most recent project on Asian approaches to international economic law explores the distinctiveness of Asian engagement with international economic law. In collaboration with Sungjoon Cho (Chicago-Kent College of Law), Jurgen is researching the pluralistic and idiographic form of legalization in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its potential to build legitimacy through both alignment (with constitutional norms of ASEAN’s member states) and resistance (to imposed forms of economic liberalization by external (developed) states).
Jürgen has held research fellowships at the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law Justice at New York University Law School (as an Emile Noel Fellow), at the University of Michigan Law School (as Grotius Fellow), the Academy of International Law in The Hague and the European University Institute (as Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow) in Florence. He is also a Director of Study at the Academy of International Trade and Investment Law based in Macau and Shenzhen and organized by the Institute of European Studies. Jürgen has acted as a party-nominated arbitrator in ICSID proceedings and as expert consultant to the World Bank, the European Union, the ASEAN Secretariat, UNDP and UNCTAD.
Tarun Khaitan an Associate Professor and Future Fellow at Melbourne Law School, and an Associate Professor and Hackney Fellow at Wadham College, Oxford. He is currently working on a project on the resilience of democratic constitutions, with a focus on South Asia. He is an expert on Indian and British constitutional law and institutions. His research interests include constitutional theory, discrimination law and legal philosophy.
Tim Lindsey is one of Australia’s leading experts on Indonesian law. He is Malcolm Smith Professor of Asian Law, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at the Melbourne Law School. Tim has won national and university teaching awards, and was an ARC Federation Fellow from 2006 to 2011. His publications include Indonesia: Law and Society; Islam, Law and the State in Southeast Asia (three volumes); The Indonesian Constitution; Drugs Law and Practice in Southeast Asia; Religion, Law and Intolerance in Indonesia; and Strangers Next Door: Indonesia and Australia in the Asian Century. He is a founder and an executive editor of The Australian Journal of Asian Law.
Pip Nicholson is Dean of Melbourne Law School. Prior to becoming dean, Pip was the Director of the Asian Law Centre, the Centre's Associate Director (Vietnam) and Director of the Comparative Legal Studies Program at Melbourne Law School. Pip’s research interests include dispute resolution, comparative legal studies, law and reform in Asia, and law and society in Asia. She is an internationally recognised expert in courts and legal reform (particularly within socialist states). She has consulted widely on these issues and regularly advises on court reform in Vietnam. Pip has degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Melbourne, a Masters in Public Policy from ANU and a doctorate from the University of Melbourne. Her most recent book is John Gillespie and Pip Nicholson (eds), Law and Development and the Global Discourses of Legal Transfers (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Bruce Oswald has been interested in peacebuilding for more than two decades. His interest in this area of law and practice stems from his deployment to Rwanda in 1994 as the legal officer for the first Australian contingent serving with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR II). His more recent experiences serving as a military officer with the Counter-Insurgency Training Centre in Afghanistan in 2010 further developed his interest in better understanding how societies (national and local) transition from being in conflict to building institutions that encourage the peaceful settlement of disputes. His research considers the interface between peacebuilding and constitutional transformation, including the recognition of civil defence groups in interim constitutions and constitution making processes; the implications of pluralist legal systems for constitution building and law-making in the context of peacebuilding.
Adrienne Stone holds a Chair at Melbourne Law School where she is also an ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, Director, Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies.
Adrienne researches in the areas of constitutional law and constitutional theory with particular attention to freedom of expression. Her Laureate Fellowship on the theme 'Balancing Diversity and Social Cohesion in Democratic Constitutions' investigates how Constitutions, in their design and in their application, can unify while nurturing the diversity appropriate for a complex, modern society. She has published widely in international journals including in the International Journal of Constitutional Law, the Toronto Law Journal and in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies.
Adrienne is the First Vice President of the International Association of Constitutional Law; Vice President of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law and is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. Through the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies she is extensively engaged with government and non-governmental organisations.
She has taught at law schools in Australia, the United States and Canada and delivered papers and lectures by invitation at numerous universities in Australia, North America, Europe and China. In 2011, she was a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Centre in Washington DC.
Carlos Arturo Villagrán Sandoval
Carlos Arturo is a PhD Candidate at Melbourne Law School. His doctoral thesis considers Comparative Regional Integration with particular emphasis on Central-America.
Before commencing his PhD, Carlos Arturo was Human Rights Adviser and State Council for the Guatemalan Government within the Project of Historical Memory and Human Rights for Peace of the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP). He is currently a member of the Latin American Society of International Law Interest Group on the ‘New Relationship between International and Domestic Law’.
Carlos Arturo has a particular interest in Comparative Regionalism and the interaction between International Law and Constitutional Law, particularly within a regional Latin-American human rights context.
Charmaine Rodrigues has more than 15 years development experience with a focus on political governance. She was the Global Constitutional Assistance Specialist at UNDP, where she managed the constitutional support portfolio for the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (2012-14) and subsequently the Bureau for Programme and Policy Support (2014-15). During that time she developed the UNDP Guidance Note on Constitution-Making Assistance and provided technical advice and programming support on constitutional issues to the Country Offices and Regional Bureaux covering Somalia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Libya, Yemen, Burundi, Burkina Faso and Fiji, including on gender issues.
Charmaine was also the UNDP Pacific Regional Democratic Institutions & Accountability Specialist (2007-12) in Suva, Fiji Islands, where she was responsible for UNDP's regional support to parliamentary development, women's political participation and anti-corruption programming. Prior to that, Charmaine was Right to Information Programme Manager (2003-6) at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in New Delhi, India and a Programme Officr at the Australian Agency for International Development (2001-3). She is an alumni of Melbourne Law School, graduating with an BA/LLB(Hons) in 1997 and has a Master of Socal Science (International Development) from RMIT University.
Aftab Hussain has a Master of International Relations from the University of Melbourne, as well as a Bachelor and Master of Electrical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan. His interests lie in exploring the intersection of strategic interests and energy security in South Asia and the Middle East.
Aftab has more than 12 years project management and administration experience both in the energy and higher education sectors. Aftab has been providing professional services at the University of Melbourne for over two years. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Director (Technical) of Energy Projects at the National Transmission and Despatch Company, Pakistan, where he managed and executed the contracts with Independent Power Producers and other international stakeholders.
ConTransNet members produce research on comparative, country-specific and thematic issues in order to contribute to a better conceptual and practical understanding of constitutional transformation.
The constitutional dimensions of peacebuilding.
The process and substance of new constitutions.
International and Domestic Interfaces
How do changing interfaces between international and domestic influences affect constitutions?
How regionalism and integration affect constitutional transformation.
Dynamics of Implementation
How are constitutions implemented, interpreted and changed over time?
The annual Melbourne Forum on Constitution Building is organised jointly by the Constitution Transformation Network and International IDEA. Each Forum brings together practitioners and scholars from across Asia and the Pacific to share their experiences on a specific topic related to constitutional transformation.
2018 Melbourne Forum
Theme: To be determined
2017 Melbourne Forum
Theme: From Big Bang to Incrementalism: Choices and Challenges in Constitution Building
2016 Melbourne Forum
Theme: Constitution Building in States with Territorially Based Society Conflict
7 May 2018News
8 May 2018News
CTN Workshops at World Congress of Constitutional LawEvent
11 April 2018News
9 April 2018News
24 April 2018News
24 April 2018News
By Cheryl Saunders & Michael Henry YusingcoNews
20 March 2018News
5-7 March 2018News
by Dr William PartlettNews
26-27 February 2018News
By Cheryl Saunders, CTN Co-ConvenorNews
2-4 February 2018News
8-12 January 2018News
18 December 2017News
3-4 December 2017News
15-17 November 2017News
14 November 2017News
9-11 November 2017News
16 November 2017News
2 May 2016News
22 August 2017News
23 May 2017News
27 March 2017News
5 December 2016News
28 November 2016News
Melbourne Law Masters 12-18 October 2016News
ConTransNet awarded grant to examine peacebuilding and constitutional implementationNews
Constitution Making (LAWS70269)Event