The curriculum covers issues concerning the development and operation of constitutional government in its broader political, social, historical, regional and international context. The core curriculum centers on fundamental issues in comparative constitutional law related to constitution-making and constitutional design, constitutional government (horizontal and vertical separation of powers) and constitutional rights protection in leading, emerging and declining constitutional democracies around the world. The curriculum covers historic and current developments in all major legal systems.
As all programs at the Department of Legal Studies, the LL.M. program in Comparative Constitutional Law is also committed to research-based teaching. Areas of research and teaching by the full-time faculty cover subjects in transition to (and from) democracy and the rule of law, constitution-making in historical perspective and in on-going constitution-building processes, comparative constitutional adjudication, civil and political rights in established and emerging democracies, issues of equality and non-discrimination, socio-economic rights, biomedical law and reproductive rights, as well as European constitutionalism. Courses by our part-time (visiting) faculty build on this core and permit us to introduce courses on newly emerging constitutional developments as they arise. The program also benefits from close cooperation with other master programs of the Department via two optional thematic specializations on ‘global rule of law’ and ‘justice and equality.‘
Our highly qualified and diverse full-time and part-time (visiting) faculty prepares students to engage in comparative and inter-disciplinary analysis of complex constitutional problems. Courses enable students to explore constitutional issues across legal systems, to engage in advanced critical thinking and refine their arguments in oral interactions and group work. Classes are highly interactive, enabling students to benefit from the international composition of the student body; in-class discussions allow insight into contemporary constitutional developments as they evolve and enable critical engagement with these developments in a manner that is sensitive to the multi-cultural composition of our academic community at all times. Individual research skills are developed through comparative problem-driven papers written for various courses, as well as in the final thesis (in the Thesis Track) or capstone thesis (in the Capstone Track). Students are encouraged to address practical constitutional problems through comparative constitutional analysis, using a theoretical framework informed by inter-disciplinary insight. As a result, our graduates are able to respond to challenging constitutional and fundamental rights problems with advanced analytical skills, drawing on critical comparative constitutional analysis and seeking to offer practice-oriented and policy-relevant responses.