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The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy

Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments


Tuesday, September 17, 2013
5:00 p.m.
Barat House, Boston College Law School

with Chief Justice Aharon Barak and Judge Lech Garlicki.
Moderated by Vicki Jackson, Harvard University.


watch the event



speaker bio



The Honorable Aharon Barak is the former President of the Supreme Court of Israel and a recipient of the Israel Prize, widely regarded as the State's highest honor.

Judge Barak was born in 1936 in Kaunas, Lithuania. Upon Kaunas’s occupation by the Nazis in 1941, he and his family were sent to the city’s ghetto, which held up to 40,000 people at its peak. After the war, Judge Barak undertook an arduous journey through Europe before arriving in Mandatory Palestine in 1947. Following a brief period in a moshav, he and his family settled in Jerusalem.

Judge Barak graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a degree in law and served for two years in the Israel Defense Forces. He then returned to the Hebrew University, first to pursue a doctorate in law and then to work as a professor. His career at the university culminated with his appointment as Dean of the Faculty of Law in 1974. The following year, Judge Barak not only received the Israel Prize for his legal research but also was appointed Attorney General of Israel. Before his appointment as Justice of the Supreme Court in 1978, he played an integral role in formulating the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt.

Judge Barak went on to serve as President of the Supreme Court from 1995 to 2006. Although his legal expertise was originally rooted in civil and commercial law, his tenure on the Court was marked by his influential opinions concerning public and constitutional law. Following his retirement, he has returned to academia and now holds positions at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, the Hebrew University, the Yale Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.


Lech Garlicki is a judge of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the President of the 4th Section of the Court. He is a professor at the Chair of Constitutional Law at the University of Warsaw (Poland).

Judge Garlicki served as a judge of the Constitutional Tribunal (1993- 2001). Prior to that, he practiced as an advocate. Judge Garlicki was a member of the Legislative Council of the Prime Minister and has served as the director of the Centre for American Studies at the University of Warsaw.

He is the author of nearly 250 publications, including 10 monographs, in the fields of Polish and comparative constitutional law and human rights.

Judge Garlicki is a Founding Member of the European Law Institute, a non-profit organization that conducts research, makes recommendations and provides practical guidance in the field of European legal development with a goal of enhancing the European legal integration. He serves on its Membership and Projects Committee(s).

He is also a Visiting Professor of Law and the Peter and Patricia Gruber Fellow in Global Justice at Yale Law School.


Vicki Jackson is the Thurgood Marshall Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. Jackson received her B.A. summa cum laude from Yale College in 1972. She earned her J.D. from Yale Law in 1975, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as a clerk for Thurgood Marshall. Jackson was an associate and then partner at the firm of Rogovin, Huge & Lenzner in Washington, D.C. She served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. She taught and held several administrative positions at Georgetown University Law Center from 1985 to 2011. She is a prolific author and a towering scholar of constitutional thought. Her latest book is Constitutional Engagement in a Transnational Era.    

On December 11, 2012, the United States Supreme Court appointed Jackson as amicus curiae in United States v. Windsor to argue an unrepresented position relating to the legal standing of two of the parties.

Her publications include the book Constitutional Engagement in a Transnational Era.