Introducing Constitutional Transitions Fellow, Richard Stacey

It is the distinct pleasure of the Center for Constitutional Transitions at NYU Law (Constitutional Transitions) to introduce our fellow, Richard Stacey. Richard is primarily responsible for the Center’s research activities. Outside of his work at the Center, Richard is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Law and Society at NYU, an interdisciplinary endeavor of the School of Law and the Faculty of Arts and Science.

As a fellow, Richard contributes to the Center’s agenda-setting research and helps ensure that the Center is advancing the academic discussion of constitution building. He is both developing the networks of scholars and conducting research required for the Center’s two current projects. “What excites me most about the Center is the opportunity to collaborate with the brilliant minds that make up the Center’s research network,” he said. “In a very short time, the Center has attracted some of the very best scholars of constitutional law and democracy, from around the world: it’ll be fascinating to be part of the conversation.”

The first project concerns security sector reform, investigating how civilian control of the military can be etablished in post-authoritarian regimes without allowing for partisan abuse of the military’s power, which could threaten democratic consolidation. The project seeks to determine which institutional structures best promote “civilianization without politicization.”

The second project asks how societies emerging from political turmoil and transition should treat the inherited judiciary, given its likely association with the outgoing regime. This pervasive problem has arisen in constitutional transitions in Latin America, post-communist Eastern and Central Europe, post-Second World War Europe, across Africa and into South-East Asia. The comparative study will examine the countervailing pressures of a thorough political transition with respect for judicial independence.

Richard holds degrees in political philosophy and law from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, where he also clerked for Justice Kate O’Regan and Justice Bess Nkabinde of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He has taught courses in political theory, constitutional law, administrative law and human rights. He has also worked as a consultant and advisor to the South African Department of Justice and Parliament, and in 2009 participated in Kenya’s constitutional review process. His doctoral research focuses on whether the law, particularly legislation and notions of rule of law, is effective in efforts to fulfill the right to water.

Richard’s complete bio is available here.

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