Joel Colón Ríos

Académico Correspondiente

Académico Correspondiente


  • Doctor of Philosophy (2008), Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
    Dissertation: “The Legitimacy of the Juridical: Constitutionalism, Democracy, and Constituent Power” (Approved with No Revisions and Nominated for the Best Doctoral Dissertation prize by the Supervisory Committee)
  • Master of Laws (2004), Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
    Thesis: “Beyond the Legal: An Inquiry into the Politics of Rights”
  • Juris Doctor (2002, Honors), School of Law, University of Puerto Rico
    Bachelor of Arts (1999, High Honors), Department of Political Science, University of Puerto Rico

Carrera Profesional

  • Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington (2017-present)
  • Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington (2017-present)
  • Visiting Professor, HBKU Faculty of Law, Doha, Qatar (2016-2018).
  • Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington (2012-2016).
  • LLB Honours Coordinator, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington (2011-2016),
  • Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (2010-2012).
  • Adjunct Professor: “International and Comparative Family Law”, “Comparative Constitutionalism”, “Law and Social Change in Latin America”, Osgoode Hall Law School (2008-2010).
  • Instructor: “Legal Research and Writing”, Osgoode Hall Law School (2005-2007).
  • Teaching Assistant: “Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community”, Professor Allan C. Hutchinson, Osgoode Hall Law School (2008-2009).
  • Teaching Assistant: “Criminal Justice System”, Professor Naomi Couto, Department of Criminology, York University (2008-2009).
  • Judicial Clerkship, Judge Luis Rivera-Román, Puerto Rico Court of Appeals, Tel. 787-474-3784, PO Box 191067, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00919-1067 (2004-2005).
  • Lawyer, Private Practice, Sánchez-Crespo Law Firm, Tel. 787-757-0776, Carr 857 Km 0.3 Canovanillas, Carolina (2002-2003).
  • Teacher, Colegio San Antonio de Río Piedras, Puerto Rico (2000-2003).



  • Weak Constitutionalism: Democratic Legitimacy and the Question of Constituent Power (Routledge, 2012) 210pp.
  • La Constitución de la Democracia [The Constitution of Democracy] (Bogotá, Universidad Externado de Colombia, 2013) 406pp.
  • Constituent Power and the Law (under contract with Oxford University Press).
  • Revolution in the Dock: The Adjudication of Constitutional Change (with Richard S. Kay) (under contract with Edward Elgar).

Capítulos de libros:

  • “Judicial Review and the Democratic Judge” in Upendra Baxi Festschrift (Oxford University Press, 2019).
  • “Constitution-Making through Law” in Constitutional Replacements in Democratic Orders Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives (forthcoming, 2018).
  • “Multi-Stage Constitution-Making: From South Africa to Chile?” in Constitutional Triumphs, Constitutional Disappointments: A Critical Assessment of the 1996 South African Constitution’s Influence (Dixon & Rioux eds) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018).
  • “The Constitution of Puerto Rico” in Oxford Handbook of the Constitutions of the Caribbean (Albert & O’Brian eds.) (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018).
  • “Primary Assemblies, Constituent Power, and the Imperative Mandate” in Elgar Handbook of Comparative Constitution-Making (Hanna Lerner & David Landau eds.) (Edward Elgar, 2018).
  • “Theorising about Formal Constitutional Change” in Comparative Constitutional Theory (Schor & Jacobsohn eds) (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2018).
  • “Deliberative Democracy and Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments” in Deliberative Constitutionalism (Levy et al. eds) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018).
  • “Constitution-Making and Constituent Power” in Comparative Constitutional in Latin America (Dixon & Ginsburg eds.) (Edward Elgar, 2017).
  • “Notes on the Theory and Practice of the Rights of Nature: The Case of the Vilcabamba River”in In Search of Environmental Justice (Martin, Bigdela, Daya-Winterbottom, DuPlessis, & Kennedy) (Edward Elgar, 2015) 120-136.
  • “Experimentation and Regulation” in Framing the Commons: Cross-Cutting Issues in Regulation (Susy Frankel & John Yeabsly eds.) (Victoria University Press, 2014) 94-111.
  • “Participation in New Zealand’s Regulatory Context” (with Mark Bennett) in Recalibrating Behaviour: Smarter Regulation in a Global World (Susy Frankel ed.) (Lexis Nexis, 2013) 181-264.
  • “Notas sobre la Reforma Constitucional y Sus Límites” [“Notes on Constitutional Reform and its Limits”] in Diálogos Constitucionales de Colombia con el Mundo (Juan Carlos Henao ed.) (Universidad Externado de Colombia, 2013) 383-402.
  • “Public Participation and Regulation” (with Mark Bennett) in Learning from the Past, Adapting for the Future: Regulatory Reform in New Zealand (Susy Frankel ed.) (Lexis Nexis 2011) 21-70.
  • “El Igualitarismo Contemporáneo: Una Reseña Crítica” (with Martín Hevia) in Martín Hevia, Filosofía Política y Derecho Privado – Fundamentos de la Responsabilidad Civil (México D.F.: Editorial Fontamara, 2011) 125-161.
  • “Los Peligros de la Reforma Constitucional” [“The Dangers of Constitutional Reform”] in IX Congreso Panameño de Derecho Procesal (Panamá: Instituto Colombo Panameño de Derecho Procesal, 2012) 155-180.
  • “Kelsen en Nueva Zelanda” [“Kelsen in New Zealand”] in Ecos de Kelsen: Estudios Sobre las Influencias de la Obra de Kelsen [ Echoes of Kelsen’s: Studies on the Influence of Kelsen’s Work] (Gonzalo Ramírez Cleves ed.) (Bogotá, Universidad Externado de Colombia, forthcoming 2012) [Available through SSRN].“De la Redistribución al Reconocimiento” [From Redistribution to Recognition] (with Martín Hevia) in El Derecho a la Igualdad: Aportes para un Constitucionalismo Igualitario (Vol. II) (Roberto Gargarella & Marcelo Alegre eds.) (Buenos Aires: Abeledo Perrot, 2012).
  • “The (Un)Rule of Law in Puerto Rico: A Republican Approach”, (co-authored with Martin Hevia), in The Rule of Law: Transformatives Perspectives (India: ICFAI University Press, 2008).

Colecciones editadas:

  • Quasi-Constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes: Theory, Functions, Applications (co-edited with Richard Albert) (Routledge, forthcoming 2018).
  • Common Grounds: New Zealand and América Latina (co-edited with Richard Boast, Petra Butler, and Monique Alphen Fyfe) (Victoria University Press, forthcoming 2018).


  • “What is a Constitutional Transition?” 37(1) National Journal of Constitutional Law 43 (2017).
  • “Rousseau, Theorist of Constituent Power”, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (2016).
  • “Democratizar a Puerto Rico”, 85 Revista Jurídica UPR 857-882 (2016).
  • “Constitutionalising the Senate: A Modest Democratic Proposal”, 60(4) McGill LJ 599-622 (2015) (co-authored with Allan Hutchinson).
  • “Apuntes sobre Legitimidad Democrática y Asambleas Constituyentes” [Notes about Democratic Legitimacy and Constituent Assemblies], 16 Revista Argentina de Teoría Jurídica (December 2015).
  • “Constitutionalism and Democracy in Latin America”, New Zealand Association for Comparative Law Yearbook (forthcoming, 2015).
  • “Constituent Power, Universal Jurisdiction, and the Rights of Nature”, 60(1) McGill Law Journal 1 (2014).
  • “A New Typology of Judicial Review of Legislation”, 3(2) Global Constitutionalism 143-169 (2014).
  • “Five Conceptions of Constituent Power”, 130 Law Quarterly Review 306-336 (2014).
  • “Beyond Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy: The Doctrine of Implicit Limits to Constitutional Reform in Latin America”, 44(3) Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 521-534 (2013).
  • “Los Peligros de la Reforma Constitucional (Y Sus Límites)” [“The Dangers of Constitutional Reform (And its Limits)]”, Grado Cero (UNAM México), Vol. 1, No. 3, 10-25 (2013).
  • “Teoría Constitucional de la Asamblea Constituyente” [Constitutional Theory of the Constituent Assembly], 47 Revista Jurídica Universidad Inter-Americana de Puerto Rico 529-547 (2013).
  • “Legitimación Activa, Naturaleza, y el Río Whanganui” [“Standing, Nature, and the Whanganui River”], Letras Jurídicas (forthcoming 2014).
  • “The Office of the Speaker and the Constitution of Niue: A Brief Comparative Analysis”, Yearbook of the New Zealand Association for Comparative Law, Vol. 17, 33-44 (2012).
  • “Democracy and Revolution: An Enduring Relationship”, 89 Denver University Law Review 593-610 (co-authored with Allan C. Hutchinson) (2012).
  • “The Counter-Majoritarian Difficulty and the Road Not Taken: Democratizing Amendment Rules”, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, XXV, No. 1, 53-78 (2012).
  • “New Zealand’s Constitutional Crisis”, 24 New Zealand Universities Law Review 448-477 (2011).
  • “Democracy and Constitutional Change”, 127 Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 43-62 (co authored with Allan C. Hutchinson) (2011).
  • “Carl Schmitt and Constituent Power in Latin American Courts: The Cases of Colombia and Venezuela”, Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory, 18. No. 3 (2011), 365-388.
  • “Notes on Democracy and Constitution-Making”, 9(1) New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law 17-42 (2011).
  • “Law, Language, and Latin American Constitutions”, Victoria University of Wellington Law Review (2011) [Appeared simultaneously in Comparative Law Journal of the Pacific 201-222 (Special Issue on Law and Language) (2011) and in the New Zealand Association for Comparative Law, Yearbook 16 (2011), 203-224].
  • “The Three Waves of the Constitutionalism-Democracy Debate in the United States (And an Invitation to Return to the First)”, 18 Willamette Journal of International Law and Dispute Resolution 1-37 (2011).
  • “The Legal Status of Puerto Rico and the Institutional Requirements of Republicanism”, Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy (co-authored with Martín Hevia), vol. 17, 2-25 (2011).
  • “Constituciones Duraderas: Una Crítica Democrática” [Enduring Constitutions: A Democratic Critique] (co-authored with Allan C. Hutchinson), Anuario de Derecho Público, 1, 437-460 (2011).
  • “De-constitutionalizing Democracy”, 47 California Western Law Review 41 (2011).
  • “The Legitimacy of the Juridical: Constituent Power, Democracy, and the Dilemmas of Constitutional Reform”, Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 48 (2) (2010) 199-245.
  • “The End of the Constitutionalism-Democracy Debate”, 28 Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues 25 (2010).
  • “The Second Dimension of Democracy: The People and their Constitution”, Baltic Journal of Law and Politics, 2, No. 2 (2009).
  • “Review Essay: What Makes the Investment Rules Regime Undemocratic?” (co-authored with Martín Hevia), German Law Journal, 10, No. 8 (2009).
  • “¿Pueden Haber Enmiendas Constitucionales Inconstitucionales? Una Breve Mirada al Derecho Comparado” [Can there Be Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments? A Comparative Law Perspective], 42 Jur. U.I.P. 207 (2008).
  • “Reconstituir a Puerto Rico” [Re-Constituting Puerto Rico], 67 Col. Abogados 109 (2006).
  • “Contemporary Theories of Equality: A Critical Review” (co-authored with Martin Hevia), 74 Jur. U.P.R. 131 (2005).
  • “El Nuevo y El Viejo Igualitarismo [The New and the Old Egalitarianism]” (co-authored with Martin Hevia), Revista de Ciencias Jurídicas ¿Más Derecho?, No. 5 (2005).
  • “La Excepción de Orden Público en el Derecho Internacional Privado” [The Public Order Exception in Private International Law] 71 Jur. U.P.R. 781 (2002). Reproduced in Luis Muñiz-Argüelles, Derecho Internacional Privado Puertorriqueño: Materiales, Orientaciones e Interrogantes (Bogotá: Editorial Temis, 2016) 535-556.

Trabajos más cortos (de 5 a 10 páginas):

  • “Book Review: Roznai’s Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments”, Constitutional Commentary (2018).
  • “On Albert’s Unconstitutional Constitutions”, Cornell International Law Journal (online symposium 2017).
  • “Constituent Processes and Democratic Ruptures” (Review of Gerardo Pisarello, Procesos Constituyentes: Caminos para la Ruptura Democrática) 64 Am. J. Comp. L. 505 (2016).
  • “Book Review: The Legal Foundations of Inequality”, International Journal of Constitutional Law (forthcoming 2017).
  • “Introduction: The Forms and Limits of Constitutional Change”, 13 International Journal of Constitutional Law 567-574 (2015).
  • “Por qué PROMESA es Inconstitucional”, El Nuevo Día (13 March 2017).
  • “The Rights of Nature and the New Latin American Constitutionalism”, New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law (forthcoming, 2015).
  • “Foreword” (co-authored with Mark Bennett), 12(1) New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law (2014).
  • “The Meaning of Majority in the Constitution of Niue”, Yearbook of the New Zealand Association for Comparative Law, 17, 27-32 (2012).
  • “A Response to Professor Ozan Varol”, 53(2) Harvard Journal of International Law (2012) (online symposium).
  • “A Reply to Professor Zoran Oklopcic”, International Journal of Constitutional Law (Iconnect Blog, 2012).
  • “Las Opiniones ‘Secretas’ del Tribunal Supremo de Estados Unidos: ¿El Fin del Debate sobre el Estatus? [The Secret Opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court: The End of the Status Debate?], Claridad (August, 2011).
  • “Unas Preguntitas sobre el ELA Soberano” [A Few Questions about the Sovereign Commonwealth], Claridad (February 2010).
  • “Los Enredos del El ELA que Queremos (Y Cómo Evitarlos)” [The Mistakes of the Commonwealth we Want (And How to Avoid Them)], Claridad (February 2010).
  • “Soberanías Atrofiadas, Soberanía Plena” [Withered Sovereignties, Full Sovereignty] (co-authored with Manuel Marqués Bonilla), Claridad (March 12-18, 2009).
  • “Comentario a ‘Elementos Fundamentales en la Educación sobre la Soberanía’ de Angel Israel Rivera” [Response to Angel Israel Rivera’s ‘Fundamental Elements in the Education about Sovereignty] (co-authored with Manuel Marqués Bonilla), Claridad (April 30th – May 6th, 2009).