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Albert Organizes Premier Scholarly Event for Comparative Law

2014 news archive


Newton, MA— Over 100 scholars from over twenty different countries gathered in Portland, Oregon last week for the third annual Younger Comparativists Committee (“YCC”) Global Conference, an event created by Boston College Law School Professor Richard Albert. Albert has served as the Chair of the YCC in the American Society of Comparative Law (“ASCL”) since his appointment in 2011.

“As Chair, Professor Albert spearheaded the creation of an annual global conference, which has become the premier event for younger comparative law scholars from all over the world,” said Professor Ozan Varol of Lewis & Clark Law School, a member of the YCC Board and host for this year's YCC Global Conference. “Younger comparative law scholars owe a huge debt of gratitude to Professor Albert for his vision, leadership, and the tremendous amount of time and energy he spends to keep younger comparative law scholars connected and engaged with the larger comparative law community.”

The YCC’s annual global conference invites younger scholars -- defined as scholars with fewer than ten years of teaching experience on a law faculty -- to participate in the conference by submitting an abstract on any subject of public or private comparative law. The YCC serves as a forum for younger comparative law scholars to develop their research and to engage in the scholarly exchange of ideas in all areas of comparative law. The YCC also awards two prizes at its annual global conference, one for the most meritorious paper written by a graduate student and one for the most meritorious paper written by a student currently enrolled in a J.D. or LL. B program.

The two-day comparative law conference welcomed scholars from across the globe, including Australia, Brazil, China, France, Japan, India, and South Africa. The conference was structured around four concurrent sessions of panels covering topics such as human dignity and socioeconomic rights, financial regulation, state sovereignty, corporate governance, legal transplants, and comparative constitutionalism before culminating in the plenary panel entitled “Modern Challenges to Constitutional Democracy.”

Under Albert’s leadership, the YCC has expanded its reach by holding other national conferences as well as smaller workshops in addition to the annual conference, which have attracted strong participation from a wide variety of new and younger comparative law scholars. Plans have already been announced for four more conferences for later in 2014 and 2015, including one in Ireland and one in Canada. 

John Reitz, former President of the ASCL from 2010-12 and current Edward L. Carmody Professor of Law at University of Iowa College of Law, appointed Albert as Chair of the YCC in February 2011. Reitz remarked that appointing Albert “was one of the best things I did as President.” Albert’s work with the YCC has “energized” the study of comparative law, Reitz said, bringing new attention and new scholarship in the field. “Under Professor Albert’s leadership, the YCC has reached out to faculty at non-member schools and across international borders and recruited a large group of young comparative law scholars and teachers to join him in organizing a series of conferences aimed at younger scholars.” 

H. Patrick Glenn, the current President of the ASCL and the Peter M. Laing Professor of Law at McGill University, expressed his thanks to Albert for his service to the ASLC. “The American Society of Comparative Law is delighted with the success of Richard’s series and highly appreciative of the leadership he has shown,” Glenn said.

Albert is a constitutional law professor at BC Law, where he specializes in constitutional law and comparative constitutional law. His research focuses primarily on comparative constitutional change, including both formal and informal constitutional amendment. In 2010, he received the Hessel Yntema Prize from ASCL, given annually to a scholar under the age of 40 to recognize “the most outstanding article” on comparative law. He has published peer-reviewed papers on comparative constitutional change in the American Journal of Comparative Law, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, the McGill Law Journal and the Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence. Prior to joining BC Law in 2009, Albert was a law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin.

Founded in 1951, ASCL is the leading organization in the United States promoting the comparative study of law. ASCL is a thriving organization of more than 100 institutional sponsor members, both in the United States and abroad, and a growing number of individual members. It publishes The American Journal of Comparative Law and holds annual meetings and other scholarly conferences at which comparative law scholars present research and critically examine important legal issues from a comparative perspective. Each year, the Society’s Yntema Prize recognizes exceptional publications on comparative law by younger scholars.