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W. Cole Durham, Jr.

Susan Young Gates University Professor of Law and Director
International Center for Law and Religious Studies
J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University


Professor Durham has been involved in constitutional drafting projects in Nepal (2009), Thailand (2007), and Iraq (2005-2006). He has worked in constitutional and statutory drafting projects throughout Eastern Europe and in most former Soviet bloc countries. He has been particularly active in matters involving relations between religion and the state, though he also has extensive experience with comparative criminal law and non-profit law. He is vice president of the International Consortium of Law and Religion Studies and the International Academy for Freedom and Religion.

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a note editor of the Harvard Law Review and managing editor of the Harvard international Law Journal, Professor Durham has been heavily involved in comparative law scholarship, with a special emphasis on comparative constitutional law. From 1989 to 1994, he served as secretary of the American Society of Comparative Law and is an associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law in Paris.

He has taught at the Brigham Young University Law School since 1976. He was awarded the honorary designation of University Professor there in the fall of 1999. In 2000, he was appointed to be director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU. Since 1994, he also has been a recurring visiting professor of law at Central European University in Budapest, where he teaches comparative constitutional law to students from throughout Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

At home, Professor Durham has organized a series of conferences on comparative law issues at BYU and other institutions in the United States, which have brought about 800 scholars and experts dealing with comparative constitutional law themes from more than 100 countries to theUnited States. He authored or coauthored numerous books and articles dealing with religious liberty and other comparative law themes.

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