Faculty Profile: Richard Albert
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Constitutional Amendments: Making, Breaking, and Changing Constitution is both a roadmap for navigating the intellectual universe of constitutional amendments and a blueprint for building and improving the rules of constitutional change. Drawing from dozens of constitutions in every region of the world, this book blends theory with practice to answer two all-important questions: what is an amendment and how should constitutional designers structure the procedures of constitutional change? Amendment rules open a window into the soul of a constitution, exposing its deepest vulnerabilities and revealing its greatest strengths. This book shows that no part of a constitution is more important than the procedures we use change it. The codification of amendment rules often at the end of the text proves that last is not always least.
Richard Albert, born and raised in Canada, is the William Stamps Farish Professor in Law and Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches courses in constitutional law, publishes books and articles on constitutional amendment and constitutional change, and creates opportunities for scholars to collaborate in the study of public law. He holds law and political science degrees from Yale University, the University of Oxford and Harvard University.
Professor Albert focuses his research on 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, a monograph published by Oxford University Press in August 2019.
His scholarship has been translated into Chinese, French, Hungarian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. A collection of his essays was recently published in Spanish in Formas y función de la enmienda constitucional (Universidad Externado de Colombia 2017), in which he asks the following question: how should constitutional designers structure the rules of constitutional change?
Professor Albert has co-edited several volumes on the study of constitutionalism, including (1) The Foundations and Traditions of Constitutional Amendment (Hart 2017); (2) Canada in the World: Comparative Perspectives on the Canadian Constitution (Cambridge University Press 2017); (3) Cambio Constitucional Informal (Externado University Press 2016); (4) The Oxford Handbook of Caribbean Constitutions (forthcoming Oxford University Press 2020); (5) The Canadian Constitution in Transition (University of Toronto Press 2019); (6) The Law and Legitimacy of Imposed Constitutions (Routledge 2018); (7) Quasi-Constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes: Forms, Functions, Applications (Routledge 2019); (8) An Unamendable Constitution? Unamendability in Constitutional Democracies (Springer 2018); (9) Constitutionalism Under Extreme Conditions: Law, Emergency, Exception (forthcoming Springer 2020); (10) Constitutional Change and Transformation in Latin America (Hart 2019); (11) Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures (Edward Elgar 2019); (12) Founding Moments in Constitutional States (Hart 2019); (13) Revolutionary Constitutionalism (forthcoming Hart 2020); and (14) The Limits and Legitimacy of Referendums (forthcoming Oxford 2021).
He is also a co-author of Canadian Constitutional Law, a leading textbook in Canadian public law now in its fifth edition.
He is co-editor of the new Series in Comparative Constitutionalism at Oxford University Press, co-editor of the Series in Comparative Constitutional Change at Routledge, co-editor of the Hart Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Constitutionalisms, and he sits on the editorial boards of several journals 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, Legal Desire International Journal on Law and the International Journal of Comparative Legal Research.
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. He is also founding co-editor of I-CONnect, the scholarly research blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law.
Professor Albert has organized over 50 international conferences, symposia and roundtables on subjects in public law, many of them for the benefit of younger scholars in comparative law. 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, now in its 7th year, having been held first at George Washington University and most recently at Koc University in Istanbul and McGill University in Canada. As Chair, he developed scholarship, teaching and mentorship programs to support younger scholars. He also created scholarship and teaching prizes to recognize younger scholars in comparative law. In honor of his service as Chair, the YCC endowed the Richard Albert Scholarship Fund to support younger scholars participating in the annual Global Conference in Comparative Law.
Richard Albert sits on the Governing Council of the International Society of Public Law, holds an elected membership in the International Academy of Comparative Law, and 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.
As Chair of the AALS Section on Law & Religion in 2016, he created the annual Harold Berman Award for Excellence in Scholarship.
And as Chair of the AALS Section in Comparative Law in 2019, he created the annual Mark Tushnet Prize in Comparative Law, to recognize excellence by an untenured scholar.
He has twice won the Anthony P. Farley Award for Excellence in Teaching and he has been recognized as one of the top 50 under 50 Minority Law Professors in the United States.
He has held visiting professorships at Yale University, the University of Toronto, Externado University of Colombia, and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Brescia in Italy. He is a Fellow at the Center for Jurisprudence and Constitutional Studies at Kabarak University in Kenya and a Distinguished Academic Associate at the Centre for Law & Religion at Cardiff Law School. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College.
Professor Albert has been invited to advise governments and international organizations on constitutional amendment and reform in democratic and democratizing countries.