USD School of Law presents Constitutional Crises and Challenges: Comparing the United States and the United Kingdom

This event occurred in the past

USD School of Law presents Constitutional Crises and Challenges: Comparing the United States and the United Kingdom

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m.


Pardee Legal Research Center, Room 132

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




The University of San Diego School of Law is proud to present Constitutional Crises and Challenges:  Comparing the United States and the United Kingdom, a panel discussion in honor of Constitution Day.

Both the US and the UK have been sometimes described as facing a constitutional crisis.  One big difference between the two countries is that the US has a written constitution, while the UK's constitution is unwritten.  The panelists will discuss the difference between the two and consider such current issues as states' efforts to change the electoral college (in the US), Brexit and Scottish independence (in the UK) and executive vs legislative authority (in both).


Maimon Schwarzschild, Professor of Law, USD School of Law

Areas of Expertise: Religious Freedom/Separation of Church and State, Comparative Law, Federal Courts, Evidence, Constitutional Law, Public International Law, Constitutional Law and Constitutional Rights, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure, International Law, Law and Religion

Professional Experience: Schwarzschild was an accredited journalist at the United Nations for five years, had White House press credentials during the Nixon administration, and served in the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., during the Carter administration. He practiced law as a barrister in London and with the Chadbourne law firm in New York. Schwarzschild was a visiting professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at the Sorbonne in Paris. He joined the USD School of Law faculty in 1982.

Honors and Affiliations: Schwarzschild is an English barrister as well as an American lawyer. He was called to the English Bar at Lincoln's Inn and is a member of barristers’ chambers at Landmark Chambers, London.

Laurence Claus, Professor of Law, USD School of Law

Areas of Expertise: Professor Claus teaches Comparative Constitutional Law, Constitutional Law, Contracts and Animal Law. He writes about public law and legal theory. In recent years, he has consulted for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative on constitutional reform projects in the Middle East and North Africa.

Professional Experience: Claus clerked for distinguished jurists in Australia and for the Honorable Frank H. Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He served for three years at the U.S. Embassy in London for the Office of Foreign Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice

Honors and Affiliations: USD awarded Claus a University Professorship in 2013-14. He received the Herzog Endowed Scholar Award in 2007 and 2011 and won USD’s Thorsnes Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship in 2008 and 2013.

James Allan, Visiting Professsor of Law, USD School of Law

Areas of Expertise: Professor Allan teaches Comparative Constitutional Law.

Professional Experience: Professor Allan holds the oldest named chair at The University of Queensland. Before arriving in Australia in February 2005, he spent 11 years teaching law in New Zealand at the University of Otago, and before that lectured in Hong Kong. His areas of interest include legal and moral philosophy, constitutional law and bills of rights. He practiced law in a large Toronto firm and at the Bar in London before shifting to teaching law. He has had sabbaticals at the Cornell Law School, at the Dalhousie Law School in Canada as the Bertha Wilson Visiting Professor in Human Rights and he has taught previously at USD School of Law.

Allan has published widely in the areas of legal philosophy and constitutional law, including in all the top English language legal philosophy journals in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. He has also published in numerous prestigious constitutional law journals.


Constitution Day program

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Pardee Legal Research Center, Room 132

Pizza and lemonade will be provided, so please register here so we have an accurate count.


Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the US or by naturalization, have become citizens. On that date, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created.  


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