Faculty of Law

Dr Joel Colon-Rios

Senior Lecturer
School of Law

Phone: 04 463 6453
Location: Room 302, , Pipitea Campus

Dr Joel Colon-Rios

BA, JD Puerto Rico, LLM Tor, PhD York(Can)


Joel joined Victoria University from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he obtained his PhD and taught as part of the Adjunct Faculty. His dissertation, titled "The Legitimacy of the Juridical: Weak Constitutionalism, Democracy, and Constituent Power", explores the conditions that should be met for a constitutional regime to be considered legitimate from a democratic perspective. Joel teaches Introduction to Case Law, Comparative Constitutionalism, and Advanced Public Law. His research interests include comparative constitutional law, constitutional theory, legal and democratic theory, and Latin American constitutionalism.

Research Interests

  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Constitutional Theory
  • Legal and Democratic Theory
  • Latin American Constitutionalism

Areas of Supervision (PhD and LLM)

  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Legal and Democratic Theory

Current Research

Joel's current research explores the relationship between democracy, constituent power, and constitutional change. He is currently preparing a book manuscript on the democratic legitimacy of constitutional regimes, and working on several articles that look at different conceptions of the theory of constituent power and at recent episodes of constitutional change in Latin America.

Most of Joel's publications can be read free of charge at SSRN.

Selection of Publications

“The Legitimacy of the Juridical: Constituent Power, Democracy, and the Limits of Constitutional Reform” (2010) 48 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 199.

“The End of the Constitutionalism-Democracy Debate” (2010) 28 Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues 25-55.

“New Zealand’s Constitutional Crisis” (forthcoming 2011), 24 New Zealand Universities Law Review 449.

“The Counter-Majoritarian Difficulty and the Road not Taken: Democratizing Amendment Rules” (forthcoming 2012) Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence.