After being nominated by the president of Slovenia earlier this spring, Klemen Jaklič LL.M. ’00 S.J.D. ’11 has been elected Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia by the Slovenian parliament. His nine-year term officially started on March 27.
Jaklič, who has been teaching at Harvard in various roles since 2008, will take up full service after completing his spring semester teaching commitments. Currently a fellow at the Carr Center on Human Rights at the Kennedy School, Jaklič was a lecturer on law at HLS during the spring 2012 semester, among other appointments.
In 2000, Jaklič completed his LL.M. in comparative constitutional law at Harvard Law School, and then continued his doctoral studies at Harvard on a Fulbright fellowship, receiving his S.J.D. in 2011. While at Harvard Law, he worked under the mentorship of Professors Frank Michelman ’60, Laurence Tribe ’66, constitutional law experts; and Professor Henry Steiner ’55, an expert in human rights law.
Concurrently, he studied constitutional law with Professor Paul Craig at Oxford University. This parallel research on both continents, and under the supervision of the field’s leading authorities, provided him with insight into the comparative dimensions of European and U.S. constitutional law.
Michelman and Tribe joined Craig and Harvard Kennedy School Philosophy Professor Mathias Risse in a letter to the president of Slovenia supporting Jaklič’s judicial nomination. They wrote: “As senior scholars in the fields of constitutional law, human rights and European institutions, and speaking from years of close association with Dr. Jaklič’s scholarly work and accomplishments in this fields, we know him as a legal scholar and thinker of exceptional ability and as a morally upright person devoted to the advancement of democracy, human rights and fidelity to law. We would expect him to give most excellent service as a Judge of the Constitutional Court.”
After completing his first doctorate at Oxford in 2008 (D.Phil. in European constitutional law), he began teaching at Harvard University and he has received a range of awards, including Harvard’s Mancini Prize for best work in European law and European legal thought. He has authored or co-authored more than two hundred contributions in the field of constitutional law, including leading commentaries on the Slovene Constitution and the first Slovene translation of, and commentary on, the U.S. Constitution.
In 2012, he completed his four-year mandate as a full member of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission).
In 2014, Jaklič’s book “Constitutional Pluralism in the EU” was published by Oxford University Press, the first and only monograph by a Slovene legal scholar ever published by the press. That year, the Harvard Law School Library hosted a book talk and panel discussion about this work which was moderated by Harvard Law Professor William Alford ’77, vice dean for the Graduate Program and International Studies, and featured commentary by Frank Michelman and Vlad Perju LL.M. ’02 S.J.D. ’07, professor and director of the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College Law School.