As part of its commitment to international law, the University of Miami School of Law is joining Yale Law School as an equal partner to direct, organize, and participate in SELA, the Seminar in Latin America on Constitutional and Political Theory /Seminario en Latinoamérica de Teoría Constitucional y Política. SELA, which was founded by students and faculty at Yale Law School over two decades ago, is dedicated to promoting and fostering legal scholarship in the Americas.
Interim Dean Nell Newton applauds the partnership. “I am happy to announce our participation with Yale Law School in this important venture, which seeks to promote legal scholarship in the Americas. Miami is a natural fit for this role given the expertise of our faculty, our location as a gateway to the Americas, and our history of engaging with Latin America. I am proud to build on the work of my predecessor, Dean Emeritus Tony Varona, in establishing this partnership.”
Annual Academic Conference
SELA member schools span Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain and participate in an annual conference as well as other subject-specific conferences throughout the year.
“Our participation in SELA will enrich our existing international graduate programs, and will allow our faculty and students to participate and collaborate in the production of the highest levels of legal scholarship in the Americas,” says Caroline Bradley, Associate Dean of International and Graduate Law Programs.
Through SELA, scholars from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Spain, and the United States present papers on themes determined by the faculty directors and representatives from partnering universities and discuss them in a series of panel discussions. The papers are written in English and Spanish or Portuguese and published in a Spanish-language book following the discussions.
This seminar provides leading researchers from across the Americas opportunities to learn from and collaborate with other experts who share their commitment to democratic principles and values.
History of SELA
The Seminario en Latinoamérica de Teoría Constitucional y Política—the Seminar in Latin America on Constitutional and Political Theory — or SELA, as it has come to be known by its Spanish acronym, was inaugurated in August 1995. Since then, participants have grown to include over one hundred representatives from countries throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States.
According to its website, SELA was created “to help deepen the understanding of complex theoretical issues, to model a more discussion-oriented form of intellectual discourse than is the norm in Latin America, and to create a venue for the formation of a professional community.”
University of Miami School of Law Role
The University of Miami School of Law, along with the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, are joining as equal partners with Yale Law School in the direction and management of SELA, becoming only the second and third law U.S. law schools to join the consortium. Miami’s role includes helping to organize the substance of the annual conference as well as the other events and initiatives of the consortium.
“Our new partnership and involvement in SELA further solidifies our reputation as a leader in comparative and international legal scholarship, and gives our faculty, students, and alumni access to a rich professional network of the top law schools in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain," says Carmen Pérez-Llorca, Assistant Dean of International and Graduate Law Programs,
A SELA-organized event discussing the Chilean Constitutional Convention is scheduled for October 8th. At that event, Miami Law and Arizona Law will be introduced as only the second and third law schools to join SELA. Professor Sergio Campos, head of Miami Law’s new S.J.D. Program, will be introduced as the head of the Miami Law SELA delegation.