From Parchment to Practice
ABF Book Reception
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
About the Book
From Parchment to Practice explores the set of problems that arise when a new constitution has been adopted. All new constitutions must manage a balance or tension between two forces: aspirations for social and political transformation on the one hand and demands for preservation of old interests and institutions on the other. The period following the initial adoption of a new constitution, is the conceptual, temporal, and institutional bridge between the past and future. It is the moment when the transformative and the preservative forces in constitutional design can come into the sharpest conflict. Through a series of case studies, this volume analyzes the variable nature of these type of conflicts - and the diverse means through which they are mediated, whether successfully or not.
About the Authors
Tom Ginsburg is an ABF Research Professor and the Leo Spitz Professor of International Law at the University of Chicago, where he also holds an appointment in the Political Science Department. He holds B.A., J.D., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. He currently co-directs the Comparative Constitutions Project, an NSF-funded data set cataloging the world’s constitutions since 1789. His recent book, How to Save a Constitutional Democracy, was written with Aziz Z. Huq, and his earlier books include Judicial Review in New Democracies (2003), which won the C. Herman Pritchett Award from the American Political Science Association; The Endurance of National Constitutions (2009), which also won a best book prize from APSA; and Judicial Reputation (2015). He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo, Kyushu University, Seoul National University, the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Trento.
Aziz Z. Huq is the Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Huq’s teaching and research interests include constitutional law, criminal procedure, federal courts, and legislation. His scholarship concerns the interaction of constitutional design with individual rights and liberties. Before joining the Law School faculty, Professor Huq worked as Associate Counsel and then Director of the Liberty and National Security Project of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, litigating cases in both the US Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court. He was also a Senior Consultant Analyst for the International Crisis Group, researching constitutional design and implementation in Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka. He clerked for Judge Robert D. Sack of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is also a 1996 summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a 2001 graduate of Columbia Law School.