Kim L. Scheppele
Visiting Professor of Law
John Harvey Gregory Lecturer on World Organization
Kim Lane Scheppele is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton where, from 2005-2010, she served as Director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs. Scheppele joined the Princeton faculty after serving nearly a decade on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, where she was the John J. O'Brien Professor of Comparative Law. Before that, she held a primary academic appointment in political science at the University of Michigan with cross-appointments in the law school, sociology department and public policy school. She has also taught on the law faculties at Yale (2009-2010), Central European University in Budapest (1994-1998), Humboldt University in Berlin (2015, 2017) and Erasmus University in Rotterdam (2015-2017).
Scheppele's work focuses on the intersection of constitutional and international law, particularly in constitutional systems under stress. After 1989, Scheppele studied the emergence of constitutional law in Hungary and Russia, living in both places for extended periods. She worked as a researcher at the Hungarian Constitutional Court from 1994-1998 and at the Russian Constitutional Court in 2003 and has consulted on the development of new constitutions in other transitional societies.
After 9/11, Scheppele researched the effects of the international "war on terror" on constitutional protections around the world. Focusing on the impact of UN Security Council resolutions on domestic law of established and fragile democracies, Scheppele showed how global security law pushed states toward the use of emergency powers and toward undermining constitutional protections of both rights and checked and limited powers. Her work on the intersection of international and national security law has documented how the “war on terror” has been fought through transnational coordination of parallel national law changes in a wide variety of countries.
Since 2010, Scheppele has focused on the return of constitutional authoritarianism to East-Central Europe, which has created rule of law problems in the EU. She has reported in real-time blogposts how constitutional power has been consolidated in the hands of the governing party in Hungary, and has shown in her forthcoming book, Counter-Constitutions, how the tactics of the new authoritarians require us to rethink many aspects of constitutional theory.
Most recently, she has been making interventions in the area of EU law, where her proposal for solving rule of law problems in the EU through systemic infringement actions brought by the European Commission against Member States has already been put to use. Her latest proposal, as of the time of this writing, provides a new solution for the legal aftermath of BREXIT and shows how all sides can benefit from avoiding Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. She is a regular participant in debates over the enforcement of the rule of law in Europe.
Scheppele’s many publications on post-communist constitutionalism, global security law and rule of law problems in the European Union have appeared in law reviews and social science journals, and in many languages. She is a public commentator on comparative constitutional law, the state of Europe, and the transformation of Hungary from a constitutional-democratic state to one that risks breaching constitutional principles of the European Union.
Scheppele is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Academy of Comparative Law. She received the Kalven Prize of the Law and Society Association in 2014 for having created body of scholarship influential in the law and society field.