Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development | Who We Are
Who We Are
Justin O. Frosini is an Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and Director of the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (www.ccsdd.org). He is also Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law at Bocconi University. Prof. Frosini is the co-coordinator of a research group of the International Association of Constitutional Law devoted to Constitutionalism in Illiberal Democracies and he is a member of the Advisory Board of the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Constitutional Law published by Oxford University Press. Frosini has been a visiting professor at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico and at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada where, in 2010, he was awarded the European Union Centre of Excellence Visiting Scholar Grant. Since 2003 he is the co-director of the Summer School European Union and Legal Reform held every July in Igalo, Montenegro. Frosini was also a member of a group of seven international scholars conducting case studies for a 5-year project on Constitutional Design and Conflict Management in Africa funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Prof. Frosini is the author of a ground-breaking book on the legal value of constitutional preambles for which he received an Excellency in Research Prize from Bocconi University in 2013. He has published copiously in English and Italian in the field of comparative constitutional law with particular attention to federalism, regionalism and devolution, Brexit and the European Union, constitutional justice and forms of government. Frosini is a regular media commentator and he writes a trimonthly report on constitutional matters in the United Kingdom for Quaderni costituzionali one of Italy's leading constitutional law journals. He received his PhD in constitutional law from the University of Bologna
Sara Pennicino is Adjunct Professor of International Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Europe and Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law at the University of Padua. Pennicino completed her PhD in Comparative Public Law (2008) at the University of Siena and was then awarded a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Bologna's School of Law. In the meantime, she became a member of the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (CCSDD), where to date she holds the position of Senior Affiliated Scholar. She is the author of a book on the use of the concept of legal reasonableness in the case law of the US Supreme Court and of numerous articles published in Italian and international law reviews regarding constitutional adjudication in common law systems and elections. Her research areas include electoral management in transitional and post conflict countries, systems of electoral justice, constitutional ban on political parties and constitutional eternity clauses. Sara works with the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (COESPU) training Italian and third country members of security forces with specific regard to human rights and policing, security and elections-related violence and humanitarian law.
Francesco Biagi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Comparative Public Law at the University of Bologna's School of Law, and Researcher at the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (a partnership between the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe and the University of Bologna). From October 2015 to January 2017 he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law (Heidelberg), where he now works as a consultant. Biagi obtained a Ph.D. in Constitutional Law from the University of Ferrara after graduating in Law from the University of Bologna. In 2015 and 2017 he was Visiting Professor at the College of Law of the University of Illinois. He is the author of a book on the role of Constitutional Courts in the processes of transition to democracy (Corti costituzionali e transizioni democratiche. Tre generazioni a confronto, il Mulino 2016), as well as several articles and book chapters focusing on transitions to democracy, constitution-building, forms of government, constitutional justice, electoral justice, and federalism. He also coedited a book with Justin O. Frosini on "Political and Constitutional Transitions in North Africa: Actors and Factors" (Routledge 2015). In 2017 he obtained the National Scientific Qualification to become Associate Professor of Comparative Law.
Carna Pistan is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Comparative Public Law at the School of Law of the University of Udine. She holds a Ph.D in Constitutional Law from Bologna University after graduating in Political Science from the University of Trieste. Carna became a member of the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (CCSDD) in 2011 where she is responsible for organising the European Union and Legal Reform Summer School in Montenegro and coordinates a research project on "The Role of Constitutional Courts in the Challenges to Democratization and the Protection of Human Rights in Central Asia". She is the author of several book chapters and articles focusing on comparative constitutional justice, illiberal democracies, democratic transition, human rights and form of governments with particular reference to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet Union sphere. Her book “Between democracy and authoritarianism: experiences of constitutional justice in Central and Eastern Europe and Post-Soviet Union Counties” has been published in December 2015.
Marko Milenkovic is a research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences Belgrade (Centre for Legal Research). Marko has a PhD from the University of Belgrade and LL.M. from the University of Cambridge. He has been teaching in CCSDD summer school EU and legal reform regularly from 2010 and edited two volumes of school collected papers. He has a wide experience in implementation of projects aimed and legal transformation and advancement of the rule of law. His has published in areas of European Integration, Public law reforms and institutional change, Environmental law and State Aid.
Giuseppe de Vergottini is a member of the Johns Hopkins University Advisory Board and is the co-funder of the CCSDD. He is Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Bologna. Prof. de Vergottini is a world renowned constitutional scholar and is an expert in the fields of: comparative constitutional law, national security and emergencies, Government - Parliament relations, constitutional reform and federalism.
Michael G. Plummer is director of Johns Hopkins University, SAIS Europe, and ENI Professor of International Economics. He was head of the Development Division in the Trade and Agriculture Directorate of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris (2010-2012) and associate professor of Economics (with tenure) at Brandeis University (1992-2001). He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Asian Economics (Elsevier) and has been adviser/consultant to many international organizations, including the Asian Development Bank and the ASEAN Secretariat. Plummer is an alumnus of SAIS Europe.