Call for Papers–Global Symposium on Constitutional Amendment and Replacement in Latin America–University of Brasilia Law School, Brazil

University of Brasilia Law School

in collaboration with

Boston College Law School


Macquarie Law School

under the auspices of

The International Society of Public Law

invite submissions for

Symposium on Constitutional Amendment and Replacement in Latin America
University of Brasilia Law School
Brasilia, Brazil
September 29-30, 2016

The University of Brasilia Law School, Boston College Law School, Macquarie Law School, and the International Society of Public Law invite submissions for a two-day Symposium on constitutional amendment and replacement in Latin America, to be held on the campus of the University of Brasilia Law School on Thursday and Friday, September 29-30, 2016.

This Symposium is convened by Richard Albert (Boston College), Juliano Zaiden Benvindo (Brasilia) and Carlos Bernal (Macquarie).

Subject-Matter of Symposium

Latin American constitutions have endured both formal and informal changes with higher frequency than most if not all other regions of the world. Amendment, revision and replacement are ordinary events in the course of normal politics in Latin America, in contrast to the relative stability that characterizes many modern constitutions in North America and Western Europe. Indeed, nearly every Latin American constitution has been replaced or undergone a major constitutional amendment over the last three decades. This is often prompted by incumbents attempting to constitutionalize their program for governance, to confer upon themselves greater powers, to respond to judgments of the judicial branch, or more specifically to prolong their term in office.

This Symposium offers a space to discuss constitutional amendment and replacement in Latin America from comparative, doctrinal, empirical, historical, international, theoretical and other perspectives. It is also an opportunity to explore the richness and complexity of the vast topography of constitutional developments, experiments and perspectives in the region. Scholars will inquire into the forms, limits and justifications for amendment, revision and replacement of constitutions in Latin America and the distinctions among these categories of change. Scholars will also explore the evolution of constitutional identities in the region, how we should understand the people in the region as well as the implications of the forms constitutional change in Latin America for constitutionalism, democracy and human rights.

This Symposium will feature papers on all questions related to constitutional change—from interpretation to revolution—in Latin America with particular attention to new developments, experiments, dilemmas, failures, achievements and open questions.


Submissions are invited from scholars of all ranks, including doctoral students.


The convenors intend to publish the papers in an edited book or in a special issue of a law journal. An invitation to participate in this Symposium will be issued to a participant on the following conditions: (1) the participant agrees to submit an original, unpublished paper of 8,000 to 10,000 words consistent with submission guidelines issued by the symposium convenors; (2) the participant agrees to submit a pre-Symposium draft by Monday, August 15, 2016; and (3) the participant agrees to submit a full post-Symposium final draft by Monday, November 21, 2016.

Submission Instructions

Interested scholars should email an abstract no longer than 750 words by Monday, February 8, 2016 to on the understanding that the abstract will form the basis of the pre-symposium draft to be submitted by Monday, August 15, 2016. Scholars should identify their submission with the following subject line: “Brasilia—Abstract Submission—Amendment and Replacement.”


Successful applicants will be notified no later than Monday, March 7, 2016.


There is no cost to participate in this Symposium. Successful applicants are responsible for securing their own funding for travel, lodging and other incidental expenses. The University of Brasilia Law School will negotiate a special group rate for lodging, and will also provide meals and refreshments on the days of the Symposium.


Please direct inquiries in connection with this Symposium to:

Juliano Zaiden Benvindo
University of Brasilia Law School

Carlos Bernal
Macquarie Law School

Richard Albert
Boston College Law School

About the University of Brasilia Law School

Established in 1962 as a public foundation funded by the Federal Government in the recently inaugurated capital of Brazil, the University of Brasilia (UnB) is the utopia of the Brazilian anthropologist and educator Darcy Ribeiro. Since its inception, the University of Brasilia has been committed to producing state of the art scholarship, promoting citizenship for the transformation of Brazil, and building a national reputation for excellence in research, teaching, and extension.

The University of Brasilia Law School, one of the first schools of UnB, tops the national rankings in both undergraduate and graduate levels. Situated in the capital of Brazil, the Law School is well-known as a center for excellence in the field of public law and its scholars are active participants in national debates and hearings in all public institutions. The Law School has one of the strongest contingents of full-time professors devoted exclusively to research, teaching, and extension, which creates a special environment of mutual cooperation, academic production, and learning. It is also one of the few Law Schools in Brazil which provides, annually, a specific call for Master and Doctoral foreign applicants, transforming its graduate Program into one of the most internationalized in Brazil. For more, please visit the UnB Law School website:  

About the Macquarie Law School

When Macquarie Law School was established in 1972, it became the third oldest Law School in New South Wales, Australia. Since then, Macquarie Law School has made its mark in legal education: undertaking innovative research, fostering interdisciplinary approaches to the law, promoting social justice and enhancing understanding of fundamental legal rules and institutions.

Macquarie Law School is home to a number of innovative research centres that have set the standard for Universities across Australia. These include the Centre for Environmental Law—one of the first of its kind in Australia, which focuses on matters ranging from climate change, corporate social responsibility, to heritage, planning and local government law. Our Centre for Legal Governance brings together internationally-renowned scholars working in areas of law reform, social justice, international law and institutions, international trade law, and health law and bioethics.

Macquarie Law School’s researchers and academics are at the forefront of legal research and development; engaging with other researchers nationally and internationally, as well as with government, the profession, industry stakeholders, and community groups. These efforts directly benefit our students, permitting them insights into cutting-edge thinking throughout their studies and enhancing their abilities to think critically about the law’s interpretation and application.

About Boston College Law School

Founded in 1929, Boston College Law School offers broad course offerings and small class sizes that permit considerable personal interaction with faculty. The international and comparative law curriculum provides opportunities for in-class instruction, innovative and flexible study-abroad programs, and meaningful training in the field. Boston College Law School understands that globalization magnifies the scope and complexity of law and legal practice. The curriculum trains students for the needs of today, while giving them skills and perspectives that anticipate the needs of tomorrow. The program prepares leaders to pursue social justice not just nationally, but internationally as well. For more, please visit:

About The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S)

The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) was officially launched in June 2014 at an Inaugural Conference sponsored by the European University Institute and NYU School of Law in Florence, Italy. The conference featured a keynote address by Jeremy Waldron, plenary papers by Robert Keohane, Ruth Rubio Marin and Joseph H.H. Weiler, and hundreds of participants in concurrent panels on all subjects in public law.

Presided by Sabino Cassese, ICON·S emerged from the Editorial Board of I·CON—the International Journal of Constitutional Law. For several years now I·CON has been, both by choice and by the cartographic reality of the field, much more than a journal of comparative constitutional Law. I·CON has expanded its interests, range of authors, readers, Editorial Board members and, above all, issues covered to include not only discrete articles in fields such as Administrative Law, Global Constitutional Law, Global Administrative Law and the like, but also increasingly includes scholarship that reflects both legal reality and academic perception, and which in dealing with the challenges of public life and governance combines elements from all of the above with a good dosage of political theory and social science. Learned societies have often been founded to validate the emergence, autonomy, or breakaway of an intellectual endeavor. By contrast, international learned societies are often driven by the realization of intellectual cross-fertilization that can stem from disciplinary ecumenism. ICON·S is both.

The ICON·S Executive Committee includes Sujit Choudhry, Gráinne De Búrca, Ran Hirschl, Bing Bing Jia, Susanna Mancini, Phoebe Okowa, Michel Rosenfeld, Ruth Rubio Marin, Hélène Ruiz Fabri, Anne van Aaken, and Joseph H.H. Weiler. For more information, please visit:

About the Convenors

Richard Albert is an Associate Professor at Boston College Law School and, in 2015-16, a Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. His research focuses on constitutional amendment, both formal and informal, from comparative, historical and theoretical perspectives. Since December 2014, he has been Book Reviews Editor for the American Journal of Comparative Law, which awarded him the Hessel Yntema Prize in 2010 for “the most outstanding article” on comparative law by a scholar under the age of 40. He is also an elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, an elected member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law, a member of the Governing Council of the International Society of Public Law, and a founding co-editor of I-CONnect, the scholarly blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law. Prior to joining the faculty of Boston College Law School, Albert served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada and earned degrees at Yale, Harvard and Oxford

Juliano Zaiden Benvindo is Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Brasilia, where he works as the Head of the Graduate Program in Law (Master and PhD). His main areas of research are in the fields of comparative constitutional law, constitutional theory, constitutional politics, and constitutional history. He holds a Bachelor of Law (2003) and a Master in Legal Philosophy (2005) from the University of Brasilia, and a PhD in Public Law from the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany (2009). In 2013-2014, he worked as a postdoctoral visiting researcher at the Centre of European Law and Politics of the University of Bremen, Germany. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the University of Brasilia Law Journal (Revista Direito.UnB). He has published articles and books in Portuguese and English in distinguished journals, publishers, and academic blogs.

Carlos Bernal is an Associate Professor at Macquarie Law School (Sydney, Australia). He has research interests in the fields of constitutional comparative law, jurisprudence, and torts. He has published widely in all these fields in seven different languages. His qualifications include a LL.B. from the University Externado of Colombia (Bogota) (1996), a S.J.D. from the University of Salamanca (Spain) (2001) and a M.A. (2008) and a Ph.D. in Philosophy (2011) from the University of Florida (U.S.A). He has delivered guest lectures and presented papers in more than 20 countries.

Cross-post from I·CONnect,

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