ARC Laureate Program on
Balancing Diversity and Social Cohesion in Democratic Constitutions
Balancing Diversity and Social Cohesion in Democratic Constitutions aims to address the need to reconcile the tensions between the pursuit of diversity and the promotion of social cohesion. This critical problem becomes increasingly urgent as nations grapple with the challenges of highly diverse multi-cultural societies.
Professor Adrienne Stone, Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow, will assemble a new interdisciplinary research team comprising leading scholars in law, world-class early career researchers, and innovative practitioners to enhance the capacity of comparative constitutional law, and enhance their skillset.
The team of researchers shall draw on the experience of constitutionalism throughout the world to investigate how Constitutions, in their design and in their application, can unify while nurturing the diversity appropriate for a complex, modern society. Markers for the project are to understand how best to balance the pursuit of diversity and social cohesion in constitutional democracies, to provide guidance to established and emerging constitutional orders, and to develop the methodological foundations of comparative constitutional law. Results from the project are intended to help governments, judiciaries and the public to resolve intense controversies over ideals.
The Laureate Program will include opportunities for collaboration, debate and information sharing through conferences, round tables and visiting fellowships. The Laureate Visiting Fellowships in Comparative Constitutional is supported by the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Fellowship Scheme and funded by the Australian Research Council, annually from 2016 – 2021.
ARC Laureate Fellow
Professor Adrienne Stone
Adrienne Stone holds a Chair at Melbourne Law School where she is also a Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow, a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Director of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies. She researches in the areas of constitutional law and constitutional theory and holds an Australia Laureate Fellowship (2017-2021).
She has published widely in international journals including in theVienna Journal on International Constitutional Law; International Journal of Constitutional Law, Constitutional Commentary, the Toronto Law Journal and in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. With Cheryl Saunders AO she is editor of the Oxford Handbook on the Australian Constitution and with Frederick Schauer, she is editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Freedom of Speech.
She is the President of the International Association of Constitutional Law and is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and Australian Academy of Law. Through the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies she is extensively engaged with government and non-governmental organisations on constitutional questions including freedom of speech, constitutional recognition of Indigenous Peoples, and bills of rights.
She has held visiting positions in the United States, Canada and France. She delivered papers and lectures by invitation at many universities in Australia, North America, Europe and Asia.
Dr Erika Arban
Dr. Erika Arban is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law. Her research interests include comparative federalism, comparative constitutional law and legal research methodology. She also lectures in Comparative Federalism at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). Erika is co-editor of the Blog of the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) and she is the co-convenor of the new IACL research group New Frontiers of Federalism. Erika received her PhD at the University of Ottawa (Canada), where her doctoral thesis “Italian Regionalism and the Federal Challenge” was awarded the Governor General Gold Medal for the best thesis in the Humanities. She also holds a LLM from the University of Arizona (USA) and a Bachelor in Law from the University of Trieste (Italy). Before joining the Melbourne Law School, Erika was a lecturer (part-time) at the University of Ottawa.
Dr Dinesha Samararatne
Dr. Dinesha Samararatne is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law. Her recent research work has been in relation to public participation in constitution-making, judicial enforcement of economic and social rights, judicial interpretation of fundamental rights, the influence of Indian public law in the development of public law in Sri Lanka and access to justice. During her Postdoctoral Fellowship Dinesha will focus on constitution-making in post-war contexts. For the period of the Fellowship, Dinesha is on sabbatical leave from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka where she has been serving as a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Public & International Law at the Faculty of Law. At the University of Colombo, Dinesha has been teaching Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law. Dinesha is a LLB graduate from the University of Colombo and an Attorney-at-Law. She read for her Master’s degree as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School, MA, USA and she completed her doctoral studies at the University of Colombo. Dinesha has previously been affiliated with the Laureate Program as a Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellow (April – May 2018)
Senior Research Associate
Dr Stijn Smet
Stijn Smet is Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law at Hasselt University and Senior Research Associate to the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law at Melbourne Law School. Stijn holds a PhD in Law from Ghent University. Prior to joining Hasselt University, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Melbourne Law School (March 2017 – August 2018) and at Ghent University (October 2014 – February 2017). At Hasselt University, Stijn teaches Constitutional Law, Public Law, Legal Protection against the Government, and Law and Power (the first three in Dutch). His primary research expertise is in comparative constitutional law, with a focus on religious freedom, and in human rights law, a focus on conflicts of rights. Stijn is particularly interested in the role of tolerance in law, both generally and in relation to religious freedom specifically. He is the author of Resolving Conflicts between Human Rights: The Judge’s Dilemma (Routledge, 2017 (hardcover) and 2018 (paperback)) and co-editor of When Human Rights Clash at the European Court of Human Rights: Conflict or Harmony? (OUP, 2017). Stijn has published among others in Human Rights Law Review, American University International Law Review, Journal of Media Law and Religion & Human Rights. His work has been cited by the European Court of Human Rights (in separate opinions).
Mr Darshan Datar
Darshan Datar is a doctoral candidate with the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law. He holds two LL.M degrees from the Central European University, Budapest in Comparative Constitutional Law (2015-16) and the European University Institute (2017-18). His research is focused on the concept of religion followed by constitutional courts. His other research interests include theoretical accounts of secularism and constitutionalism.
Ms Toerien van Wyk
Toerien van Wyk is a doctoral candidate in the ARC Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law. Her interests are in comparative constitutional law, human rights and information law. Before joining the project, she was the Co-Director of the South African History Archive, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting struggles for justice through the use of access to information laws and archival practice. Toerien holds a Master of Laws: Human Rights Law degree (LLM) (cum laude) and a Higher Diploma in International Taxation from the University of Johannesburg as well as a Baccalaureus Legum degree (LLB) from the University of South Africa. Toerien has experienced working in many facets of human rights law and has previously been employed as a legal consultant, a human rights researcher, and a law lecturer. Her research is in comparative constitutional law, with a focus on the protection and promotion of information flow. Her doctoral research explores international and African communally-centered understandings of access to information and freedom of expression. It considers how the flow of information, particularly between the state and residents of the state, ought to be given constitutional protection.
Gabrielle Dalsasso is the Program Manager for the Laureate Fellowship in Comparative Constitutional Law. Prior to joining Melbourne Law School, she has held senior administrative positions in corporate and not-for-profit organisations.
Supported by the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Fellowship Scheme
Funded by the Australian Research Council
2016 – 2021
The Laureate Visiting Fellowships in Constitutional Law offers outstanding female doctoral and female early career researchers the opportunity to participate in an intensive mentoring program relative to the Laureate Program with Professor Adrienne Stone, ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow, for up to two months; and includes involvement in events, workshops, and conferences.
Funding of up to $3000 is available for Laureate Visiting Fellows in Comparative Constitutional Law, towards the costs of travel to, and accommodation in, Melbourne. The amount will be allocated on a case by case basis. As such, applicants should consider the cost implication before applying, as there may be out-of-pocket expenses not covered by the Fellowship. Visiting fellows from outside Australia are responsible for obtaining and funding any necessary visas.
The Laureate Visiting Fellowships in Comparative Constitutional is supported by the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Fellowship Scheme and funded by the Australian Research Council, annually from 2016 – 2021.
To contact the Laureate Program in Constitutional Law
please refer to the options below
Laureate Program in Constitutional Law
Melbourne Law School
University of Melbourne
Parkville VIC 3010
Call for Papers - Young Scholars Forum
Melbourne Institute of Comparative Constitutional Law
9 - 11 December 2019
Melbourne Law School
The Melbourne Institute of Comparative Constitutional Law (MICCL) is an initiative of the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law, which is the program funded by the Australian Research Council for 2017-2022 which will convene annually in Melbourne for five years. The Laureate Program is based at Melbourne Law School which is also home to a large group of comparative constitutional law scholars working at the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies and ConTransNet.
The MICCL is a gathering of approximately 20-30 scholars, including junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and leading international senior scholars. Its aim is to develop the study of comparative constitutional law through exchange between leaders and emerging scholars in the field.
The MICCL meets over three days. The first two days involve seminars from leading scholars in the field of comparative constitutional law and experts on particular legal systems. The final day will be devoted to a workshop of the papers by junior scholars in the field. Papers on all aspects of comparative constitutional law, broadly conceived, are eligible.
Applications are invited from scholars in full-time post-doctoral fellowships or from entry level academics (i.e. academics who have held a full-time academic appointment for no more than 5 years) to attend the MICCL, and who wish to submit a paper for discussion on the final day. In cases of exceptional need, a bursary may be considered to assist successful candidates for travel-related and/or accommodation expenses, with payment made as a reimbursement after the event.
To apply, submit the following:
- Cover letter (can be the body of the email).
- Curriculum vitae that includes details of your current appointment or post-doctoral fellowship.
- One-page description of your proposed paper
- If applying for a bursary, explain in no more than 500 words why you need financial assistance, and how it may aid your academic aspirations.
- In the cover letter (which can be the body of the email), specifically detail if you are a full-time post-doctoral fellow or if you are an entry level academic. If the latter, advise how long you have held the position. Also include your title, full name (underline your last name) and contact details (email, phone, skype).
- On each page of the application, include your title, full name (underline your last name), contact details (email, phone and skype), and number the pages consecutively.
- Title a new page each for your Curriculum Vitae, Proposed Paper and Bursary Request (if applicable).
- Submit the information in a single Word or PDF document.
Email your applications to email@example.com by 11 August 2019 (AEST).
Successful applications will be required to attend all three days of the MICCL and to submit a paper of 10,000 – 12,000 words for discussion on the final day. Further, the paper must not have been published. Papers must be submitted by 3 November 2019.
Important dates - Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
Application Submission Due: 11 August 2019
Application Outcome Notification: 11 September 2019
If Accepted, Paper Due: 3 November 2019
MICCL Dates: 9 – 11 December 2019