Each spring, three professors from the J. Reuben Clark Law School travel to Budapest, Hungary to teach students from more than 100 countries at Central European University (CEU). BYU Law Professors Cole Durham, Clifton Fleming, and Brett Scharffs are among the distinguished visiting faculty from thirty countries who participate in the Comparative Constitutional Law Program of CEU’s Department of Legal Studies. Established in 1991, CEU is a model for international education: a center for regional and global studies where there is intellectual support for building open and democratic societies that respect human rights.
Professor Durham, Director of the Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies, has been visiting professor at CEU since 1994, teaching courses on international protection, religious freedom, and comparative church and state.
“The experience is really remarkable because you have students coming from so many different countries,” Professor Durham said. “The classes are very interesting because you’ve got very bright students with vastly different experiences. It’s a place where you can really see diversity at work.”
Also from the Center is Associate Director Professor Brett Scharffs, who has been teaching a course on comparative law and religion for four years at CEU. “To be teaching comparative law and religion in a classroom with students from so many different countries is really interesting because they each bring their own experiences,” says Professor Scharffs.
Professor Fleming also makes the trip east each year to teach a two-week international taxation course and has been doing so since 2001.
“It has been an extremely rewarding experience,” Professor Fleming said. “We have the opportunity to instruct people who are going to be the next generation of leaders. These are the people who will be playing an important role in developing the rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights, market economy, and private property regimes in their home countries.”