Sujit Choudhry is the I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law and former Dean of Berkeley Law. He joined Berkeley Law in July 2014. He is an internationally recognized authority on comparative constitutional law and comparative constitutional development. His research addresses basic methodological questions in comparative constitutional law; constitutional design as a tool to manage the transition from violent conflict to peaceful democratic politics, especially in ethnically divided societies; and constitutional design in the context of transitions from authoritarian to democratic rule. He has published over ninety articles, book chapters, working papers and reports. His edited collections include The Migration of Constitutional Ideas (Cambridge, 2006), Constitutional Design for Divided Societies: Integration or Accommodation (Oxford, 2008), The Oxford Handbook of Indian Constitutional Law (Oxford, forthcoming) and Constitution Making (Edward Elgar, forthcoming). Choudhry is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society of Public Law (ICON•S), the Board of Editors of the International Journal of Constitutional Law (ICON), the Editorial Board of the Constitutional Court Review (South Africa), and the Editorial Advisory Board for the Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law.
As Berkeley Law dean, Professor Choudhry developed a strategic agenda built around the pillars of Access, Innovation, Service, and Globalization. He launched a series of specific initiatives to implement this agenda, including the Access for All fundraising campaign for need-based financial aid and the Berkeley Law Opportunity Scholarship for first generation college students to reaffirm Berkeley Law’s commitment to social mobility; the Berkeley IP Lab, the Environmental Law Clinic and Startup@BerkeleyLaw to provide multi-disciplinary, experiential education opportunities for Berkeley Law students that leverage the unique opportunities afforded by UC Berkeley and our proximity to Silicon Valley; and the enhancement of Public Interest Fellowships and Bridge Fellowships to enable Berkeley Law graduates to pursue careers in public interest and public service lawyering. He also struck the Experiential Education Taskforce, the Globalization Taskforce, and the Equity and Inclusion Working Group, to chart a series of strategic initiatives for Berkeley Law in these areas.
Professor Choudhry is the Founding Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions. The Center for Constitutional Transitions is the world’s first university-based center that generates and mobilizes knowledge in support of constitution building. The Center for Constitutional Transitions assembles and leads international networks of experts to complete thematic research projects that offer evidence-based policy options to practitioners. It partners with a global network of multilateral organizations, think tanks, NGOs, and universities, based in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Delhi, the Hague, Ottawa, London, New York, Tunis, and Zaragoza. Through the Center for Constitutional Transitions, Dean Choudhry is currently co-leading two global collaborative research projects: Dealing with Territorial Cleavages in Constitutional Transitions and Security Sector Reform and Constitutional Transitions in Emerging Democracies, which will yield a series of research and policy outputs to be published by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and Oxford University Press in 2016.
Professor Choudhry is a member of the United Nations Mediation Roster, has been a consultant to the World Bank Institute at the World Bank, and has worked as a foreign constitutional expert in support of constitutional transitions in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia. In Canada, Dean Choudhry was a member of the Governing Toronto Advisory Panel, which proposed major reforms to the structure of municipal government in Toronto, and sat on the Board of Directors of Legal Aid Ontario, one of the largest publicly funded legal assistance programs in the world.
Prior to coming to Berkeley Law, Professor Choudhry was Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law at the NYU School of Law, and Scholl Chair at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. In 2010, he was one of four Canadians to receive the Trudeau Fellowship, the Canadian equivalent of the MacArthur awards. Professor Choudhry holds law degrees from Oxford, Toronto, and Harvard, was a Rhodes Scholar, and served as law clerk to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada.