Constitutional Law Project
Shared interests of Free University of Tbilisi (FUT) and Washburn Law faculty led to a project focused on constitutional law. The Constitutional Law Clinic at FUT selects cases pending before the Constitutional Court of Georgia. Washburn Law students draft memoranda describing U.S. treatment of the constitutional issues involved in those cases, and students from the two schools participate in a joint video conference to discuss the cases. The FUT students then draft an amicus brief for the Constitutional Court. In 2012, that court cited work of FUT and Washburn students in a landmark decision shaping property rights in Georgia. Additionally, Washburn Professor Bill Rich, current overall chair of the project, participated in an intensive Winter Course on Constitutional Law at the Bazaleti Conference Center in Georgia in 2012. Other Washburn Law constitutional law experts expect to participate in future Constitutional Law winter courses.
In summer 2013 Washburn law students, led by Professor Craig Martin, participated in a video conference with students from the Constitutional Law Clinic at FUT and their faculty leaders, David Zedelashvili and Eka Lomtatitdze, to discuss a case involving freedom of expression and Article 314 of the Constitution of Georgia. The discussion involved responses to a memorandum on that topic prepared by the Washburn Law students. A separate memorandum addressing constitutional treatment of unregistered marriages was also prepared by the Washburn Law students, with assistance from Washburn Law Professor Jeffrey Jackson, and that topic will be discussed in a video conference with Washburn Law and FUT students during the fall 2013 semester.