Faculty of Law

Dr Joel Colon-Rios

Senior Lecturer
School of Law

Phone: 04 463 6453
Location: Room 302, Government Building, 55 Lambton Quay, Pipitea Campus

Dr Joel Colon-Rios

Teaching in 2016

LAWS 122 - Introduction to Case Law
Course Lecturer

LAWS 320 - Advanced Public Law
Course Coordinator

LAWS 330 - Jurisprudence
Course Coordinator

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. He teaches Introduction to Case Law, Comparative Law, and Advanced Public Law. Since 2012, Joel has also been the Honours Coordinator at the Faculty of Law. His research interests include comparative constitutional law, constitutional theory, legal and democratic theory, and Latin American constitutionalism. He is currently working on a monograph titled Constituent Power and the Law.

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 research explores the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy. His latest publications explore different institutionalisations of judicial review of legislation, the theoretical basis of the doctrine of unconstitutional constitutional amendments, and the juridical implications of the theory of constituent power. His current book project, Constituent Power and the Law, looks at the ways in which judges, government officials, jurists, and citizens from various jurisdictions have made use, and use, the theory of constituent power to justify or challenge the legal validity of different exercises of political power.

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

Selection of Publications

Weak Constitutionalism: Democratic Legitimacy and the Question of Constituent Power (Routledge, 2012) 210pp.

“Five Conceptions of Constituent Power” (2014) 130 Law Quarterly Review 306-336.

“A New Typology of Judicial Review of Legislation” (2014) 3(2) Global Constitutionalism 143-169.

“The Counter-Majoritarian Difficulty and the Road Not Taken: Democratizing Amendment Rules” Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence (2012) Vol XXV, No 1, 53-78 .

“New Zealand’s Constitutional Crisis” (2011) 24 New Zealand Universities Law Review 448-477.