The Global Summit

January 1216, 2021

Plenary Speakers


Erin Delaney (USA), Keynote SpeakerDelaney, Erin

Professor of Law
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

More than Words: Constitutionalism Between Law and Politics

DAY 2 | January 13, 2021, 11:00am-12:30pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

The hope of written constitutionalism rests in its ability to constrain government and protect rights. In the face of democratic backsliding, executive overreach, and threats to the rule of law, is this hope overblown? Should we redouble our efforts to perfect written limitations, or are we chasing the impossible?


Jack M. Balkin (USA)Balkin, Jack

Professor of Law
Yale Law School

The Cycles of Constitutional Time

DAY 2 | January 13, 2021, 3:00pm-4:30pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

American constitutional development is structured by the rise and fall of political regimes, a long cycle of polarization, and episodes of constitutional rot and renewal. This Plenary Lecture will explain how American democracy got into its current problems, and where it goes from here.


Cora Chan (Hong Kong)Chan, Cora

Associate Professor of Law
University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law

Can Hong Kong Remain a Liberal Enclave Within China?

DAY 4 | January 15, 2021, 11:30am-1:00pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

In 2020, China enacted a security law for Hong Kong that casts doubt on the city’s liberal character. This Plenary Lecture will situate the law in the context of China’s security approach and the evolving geopolitical landscape, assesses its impact on Hong Kong’s freedoms and explores how the courts should adjudicate it.


Rosalind Dixon (Australia)

Professor of Law
University of New South Wales

Abusive Constitutional Borrowing (co-presenting with David Landau)

DAY 2 | January 13, 2021, 5:00pm-7:00pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

We live in the age of comparative constitutional law. But along with many benefits, this age has clear downsides: it provides a ready source of comparative justification for would-be authoritarians seeking to clothe themselves in the veneer of liberal democratic legitimacy. In this Plenary Lecture, Dixon and Landau explore this phenomenon, and their forthcoming book on this topic, of Abusive Constitutional Borrowing.


Berihun A. Gebeye (Ethiopia)Gebeye, Berihun

Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law
University of Göttingen

The Syncretic Origins and Features of African Constitutionalism

DAY 4 | January 15, 2021,  5:00pm-7:00pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

This Plenary Lecture will examine the constitutional changes and transformations in Africa since the late nineteenth century with the concomitant constitutional designs and practices to show the syncretic origins and features of African constitutionalism, which, in turn, help us see the constitutional experiences of African states more clearly.


Tom Ginsburg (USA)Ginsburg, Tom

Leo Spitz Professor of Law
University of Chicago

International Backstopping and Constitutional Democracy

DAY 1 | January 12, 2021, 9:00am-11:00am
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

International law is neutral as among regime types. But it has been overwhelmingly the product of liberal constitutional democracies in recent decades. What can international law do in an era of democratic backsliding? This Plenary Lecture will consider the promise and shortcomings of international backstopping against backsliding.


Dr. Menaka Guruswamy (India)Guruswamy, Menaka

Senior Counsel
Supreme Court of India

Constitutional Courts and the Pandemic: A “Virtual” Presence or Real Absence?

DAY 5 | January 16, 2021, 11:00am-12:30pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

The COVID-19 pandemic has witnessed a global phenomenon: the consolidation of executive power. How have constitutional courts, many of which are functioning “virtually,” responded to such consolidation of power? This Plenary Lecture will examine courts in Brazil, Hungary, India, Turkey, and the United States, amongst others.


Ran Hirschl (Canada)Hirschl, Ran

Professor of Political Science and Law
University of Toronto

Constitutional Studies for 2030

DAY 5 | January 16, 2021, 3:00pm-4:30pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

This Plenary Lecture will offer an ambitious vision for an integrative, inclusive,  and ever-more timely and relevant constitutional studies for a 2030 world.


David Landau (USA)

Mason Ladd Professor of Law
Florida State University College of Law

Abusive Constitutional Borrowing (co-presenting with Rosalind Dixon)

DAY 2 | January 13, 2021, 5:00pm-7:00pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

We live in the age of comparative constitutional law. But along with many benefits, this age has clear downsides: it provides a ready source of comparative justification for would-be authoritarians seeking to clothe themselves in the veneer of liberal democratic legitimacy. In this Plenary Lecture, Dixon and Landau explore this phenomenon, and their forthcoming book on this topic, of Abusive Constitutional Borrowing.


Eneida Desiree Salgado (Brazil)

Professor of Law
Federal University of Paraná, Brazil

The Judicial Branch as Political Regulator: Lessons from 2020

DAY 1 | January 12, 2021, 1:00pm-2:00pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

Americans, Brazilians, and Mexicans went to the polls in the midst of the 2020 pandemic. The judicial branch acted as an electoral watchdog and a political regulator in each context, with different outcomes. This Plenary Lecture will analyze the democratic limits of such judicial interventions.


Stephen Tierney (United Kingdom)

Professor of Constitutional Theory
University of Edinburgh

Unpopular Democracy: constitutional referendums in a cold climate 

DAY 3 | January 14, 2021, 1:00pm-3:00pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

The continuing prominence of the referendum as a vehicle for popular democracy can appear increasingly incongruous at a time when stronger representative institutions are presented as essential to the defence of constitutionalism itself. Taking the Brexit referendum as a principal case study Tierney reflects upon the tensions which direct democracy provokes within modern constitutions, in particular those characterised by territorial diversity.


Se-shauna Wheatle (Jamaica)

Wheatle, Se-shauna

Associate Professor of Law
Durham University

Creolizing Constitutional Law: Lessons from the Caribbean Court of Justice

DAY 3 | January 14, 2021, 11:30am-1:00pm
All are welcome | FREE REGISTRATION

This Plenary Lecture will argue that the Caribbean Court of Justice has been adopting a creolized approach to constitutional law in the region. Creolization fosters a creative blend of cultures and systems, which helps to mediate between the past and the future, as well as the local and the international.


All times are listed in Austin, Texas, USA Time (Central Standard Time, UTC−06:00)