Global Experiences in Constitution Writing: Latin America in Comparative Perspective

Tue, 03/04/2008
4:30-6 PM, Bowl 1, Robertson Hall
Event Category: 
Panel Discussion

The Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) and The Bobst Center for Peace & Justice is pleased to present a panel discussion on "Global Experiences in Constitution Writing: Latin America in Comparative Perspective." The panelists will be Andres Torrez Villa-Gomez, Professor at Universidad Católica Boliviana and Executive Director of the National Constituent Assembly and Autonomy Council, Bolivia; and Ruben Ignacio Zamora Rivas, Professor of Political Science at National University of El Salvador and Adviser at the Somali Democratization Program. The moderator will be Yash Pal Ghai, of the Constitution Advisory Support Unit of the United Nations Development Program in Nepal.

Andres Torrez Villa-Gomez has been national advisor for Club of Madrid and served as Executive Director of the National Constituent and Autonomy Council of Bolivia, as well as on various commissions and study groups on issues such as Democracy building process, Democratic Governance in Bolivia, Constitutional Design, Inclusion, Minority Rights and Autonomy, and Corporate Social Responsibility. He is Professor of Strategic Management in Government, Public Policy, and Constitutional Design at Maestrías para el Desarrollo, a Graduate Program at the Bolivian Catholic University - UCB. He is also an associate professor of Public management and Political Science at CIDES-UMSA, a graduate program at the largest Bolivian Public University, Universidad Mayor de San Andres. He has finished his Doctorate Thesis and is waiting for a formal dissertation at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He has a Masters degree on Constitutional Law from the Centro de Altos Estudios Constitucionales de España, a second Masters on International Diplomacy in Madrid Spain, and obtained his bachelors degree on Economics at Texas State University.

Ruben Ignacio Zamora Rivas is one of the most prominent leaders on the democratic left in El Salvador, and is perhaps most well-known for his presidential candidacy in El Salvador's 1994 elections. He is a professor of political science at the National University of El Salvador and also holds a post at the Central American University as well as at the San Carlos University in Guatemala. He holds a law degree from the University of El Salvador and a degree in government and politics from Essex University, England. Ruben Zamora also worked on the Peace and Justice National Commission in El Salvador at the end of the civil war, and founded the Social Christian Popular Movement Party (MPSC) in the early 1980s. In the early 1990s he served as vice-president of the Salvadoran Parliament and founded the National Commission for Peace (COPAZ). While a Tinker Visiting Professor at Stanford University, he taught a course on government and politics in Central America. He is the Founder and General Secretary of the Democratic Convergence (CD) (1990-2001); and the United Democratic Center (CDU) since 2002.

Yash Pal Ghai is Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia. He is also Head of the Constitution Advisory Support Unit, UNDP in Nepal. He served as chairman of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission from 2000 to 2004, when he returned to the University of Hong Kong, where he was the Sir Y.K. Pao Professor of Public Law. Professor Ghai has taught, researched and published on constitutional law, law and development, ethnicity, human rights, and sociology of law; and has been a legal and constitutional adviser to various UN bodies, the East African Community, and states including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tanzania, Cambodia, Kenya, Afghanistan and Iraq. In July 2005, he was made a fellow of the British Academy. In November 2005, the Secretary General of the UN appointed him as his special representative for human rights in Cambodia. Professor Ghai has published extensively on constitutional law, as well as on law in many developing countries, especially in Africa and the Pacific. His books include The Political Economy of Law: A Third World Reader (with Luckhan and Snyder), Hong Kong's New Constitutional Order: The Resumption of Chinese Sovereignty and Basic Law, and Autonomy and Ethnicity: Negotiating Competing Claims in Multi-Ethnic States. Professor Ghai earned BA (1961), MA (1990) and DCL (1992) degrees from Oxford University. He was called to the English bar from Middle Temple in 1962, and received an LLM from Harvard University in 1963.