Faculty Profile: Richard Albert
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Richard Albert is the William Stamps Farish Professor in Law, Professor of Government, and Director of Constitutional Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
He has published over 25 books on constitutional democracy, including “Constitutional Amendments: Making, Breaking, and Changing Constitutions” (Oxford University Press). A global thought leader on democratic development, he is Co-President of the International Society of Public Law and founding director of the International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism. Richard Albert holds law and political science degrees from Yale University, the University of Oxford and Harvard University and formerly served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
He is currently the only non-Jamaican serving on the 15-person Constitutional Reform Committee advising the Government of Jamaica on writing and enacting a new constitution for the country.
Professor Albert is Co-President of the International Society of Public Law, the world's largest and leading learned society for scholars in administrative, constitutional, and international law, as well cognate fields including economics, history, political science, and sociology.
An elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, he has served on the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law. He is or has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Sections on Comparative Law, Constitutional Law, Law and Religion, Law and South Asian Studies, and Scholarship in the Association of American Law Schools.
He is also founder and director of the International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to marshal knowledge and experience to build a world of opportunity, liberty, and dignity for all.
Professor Albert is co-editor of the Series in Comparative Constitutionalism at Oxford University Press, co-editor of the Series in Comparative Constitutional Change at Routledge, and co-editor of the Hart Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Constitutionalisms. He sits on the editorial boards of over 35 scholarly publications including the International Journal of Constitutional Law, Revista de Investigações Constitucionais, Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law, Romanian Journal of Comparative Law, Rivista of diritti comparati, Indian Constitutional Law Review, Journal of American Constitutional History, Revista Jurídica da Presidência, French Yearbook of Public Law, Federal Law Review, and the Caribbean Law Review.
Since 2014, he is Book Reviews Editor for the American Journal of Comparative Law, which awarded him the Hessel Yntema Prize for "the most outstanding article" on comparative law by a scholar under 40.
Professor Albert has organized over 100 international conferences, workshops, and symposia on subjects in public law, many of them for the benefit of early-career scholars in comparative law.
As founder and director of the International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism, he created the Global Summit in Constitutionalism, whose first edition featured 100+ panels, 400+ speakers, and 4000+ attendees.
As Chair of the Younger Comparativists Committee in the American Society of Comparative Law from 2011-15, he transformed the organization from a committee into a global network of scholars in public and private comparative law. He created the annual Global Conference in Comparative Law to bring together early-career scholars around the world. He also developed scholarship, teaching and mentorship programs to support early-career scholars. In addition, he created scholarship and teaching prizes to recognize early-career scholars in comparative law. In honor of his service as Chair, the YCC endowed the Richard Albert Scholarship Fund to support early-career scholars participating in the annual Global Conference in Comparative Law.
Community & Belonging Leadership
Professor Albert created the Academic Diversity Pledge, which commits all signatories to participating only in programs whose organizers demonstrate their commitment to diversity. The Pledge now has signatories from over 25 countries in the world, and the list continues to grow with the potential to be transformative in making the legal academy more diverse, more inclusive, and more equitable in the distribution of academic opportunities available to scholars and students in all areas of legal study.
He was appointed to Yale University’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, he has received the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Award from the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, he has been recognized on the list of the Top 50 under 50 Minority Law Professors in the United States, and he has twice won the Anthony P. Farley Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Professor Albert focuses his research on constitutionalism and constitutional amendment from comparative, doctrinal, historical, and theoretical perspectives. Many of his publications are available here.
He is the author of Constitutional Amendments: Making, Breaking, and Changing Constitutions, published by Oxford University Press in August 2019.
His scholarship has been translated into Bahasa, Chinese, French, Hungarian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. His ideas on constitutional reform have been published book-form in Spanish in Reforma y Desmembramiento Constitucional (Externado University Press 2021) and in Formas y función de la enmienda constitucional (Universidad Externado de Colombia 2017).
Professor Albert has co-edited several volumes on the study of constitutionalism, including The Foundations and Traditions of Constitutional Amendment (Hart 2017); Canada in the World: Comparative Perspectives on the Canadian Constitution (Cambridge University Press 2018); Cambio Constitucional Informal (Externado University Press 2016); The Oxford Handbook of Caribbean Constitutions (Oxford University Press 2020); An Unamendable Constitution? Unamendability in Constitutional Democracies (Springer 2018); The Canadian Constitution in Transition (University of Toronto Press 2019); The Law and Legitimacy of Imposed Constitutions (Routledge 2018); Quasi-Constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes: Forms, Functions and Applications (Routledge 2019); Constitutionalism Under Extreme Conditions: Law, Emergency, Exception (Springer 2020); Constitutional Change and Transformation in Latin America (Hart 2019); Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures ( Edward Elgar 2019); Founding Moments in Constitutionalism (Hart 2019); Revolutionary Constitutionalism: Law, Legitimacy, Power (Hart 2020); 2016 Global Review of Constitutional Law (2017); 2017 Global Review of Constitutional Law (2018); 2018 Global Review of Constitutional Law (2019); and 2019 Global Review of Constitutional Law (2020).
He is also a co-author of Canadian Constitutional Law, a leading textbook in Canadian public law now in its sixth edition.
Professor Albert has held the Canadian Bicentennial Visiting Professorship at Yale University, he has twice been appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Toronto, and he has held the inaugural Allan Rock Visiting Professorship at the University of Ottawa.
He has also held visiting professorships at Externado University of Colombia, Fundação Getulio Vargas FGV SP in Brazil, Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai in India, Reichman University in Israel, Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo in Ecuador, and Airlangga University in Indonesia.
Since 2018, he has been a Senior Fellow at the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College.
Professor Albert has advised governments, political parties, and international organizations on a broad ranger of constitutional matters including municipal powers, federal relations, and constitutional reform.