Expert Conference on Constitutional Law: The Chilean Experience

American University Washington College of Law Hosts Thought Leaders in Constitutional Processes

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Conference on Chilean constitutional law group photo
Some of the participants of the conference included from left to right: Marta Treviño, Diego Valadés, Domingo Lovera, Verónica Undurraga, Claudio Grossman, Javier García (Monitor), Carlos Ayala, Viviana Krsticevic, Máximo Pavez, Katherine Martorell, and Joseph Thompson

In a two-day symposium, the American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) played host to an expert conference on Constitutional Law, delving into the intricacies of the Chilean experience. The event took place on Monday, January 22nd, and Tuesday, January 23rd, drawing together a distinguished group of scholars with extensive expertise in international, national, and comparative norms relevant to constitutional processes.

The event was organized by Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus Claudio Grossman, a member of the International Law Commission – UN. Notably, Professor Grossman served as the former Vice President of the Technical Committee on Admissibility, a quasi-constitutional court overseeing compliance with 12 principles in Chile's last constitutional process.

The conference covered a wide array of constitutional topics, including the concept of the Rule of Law and a Social and Democratic State in Comparative Law, the Rights of Women (e.g., international treaties, jurisprudence, reproductive rights), international norms applicable to indigenous populations, political structure and representation, environmental law in a comparative and international setting, and the regulation of emergencies, among others.

Key participants in the conference included:

  • Dr. Diego Valadés Ríos, director of the Interamerican Institute of Constitutional Law, Mexico.
  • Professor Daniela Kravetz from the University of Calgary, Canada, and an International Legal Consultant.
  • Professor Javier García Roca, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, and president emeritus of the Spanish Association of Constitutional Lawyers.
  • Viviana Krsticevic, executive director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and Adjunct Professor of AUWCL.
  • Dr. Carlos Ayala, vice president of the International Commission of Jurists, adjunct professor of AUWCL, and professor at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Venezuela.
  • José Thompson Jimenez, executive secretary of the Inter-American Institute on Human Rights (IDH) and professor at the Law School of the University of Costa Rica.
  • Marta Treviño Leyva, assistant director of the Kovler Project Against Torture and Impact Litigation, AUWCL, Mexico.
  • Professor Veronica Undurraga, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, and former president of the Commission of Experts appointed by the Chilean Congress.
  • Professor Maximo Pavez, Catholic University of Chile, and member of the Commission of Experts.
  • Katherine Martorell, LLM of Catholic University of Chile, former undersecretary of Crime Prevention in Chile, and member of the Commission of Experts.
  • Professor Domingo Lovera, Universidad Diego Portales, and member of the Commission of Experts.
Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus Claudio Grossman
Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus Claudio Grossman

The rich exchange of ideas and experiences emphasized the significance of a holistic approach to constitutional discussions, fostering a connection between domestic and international perspectives.

The papers presented by the esteemed scholars at the conference will be published by the prestigious Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), further contributing to the academic discourse on constitutional law.

~Story by Marta Treviño Leyva.