Professor Mark Movsesian Teaches at American University of Armenia
Professor Mark L. Movsesian visited Armenia recently to teach Topics in American Law: US Constitution and Human Rights, a one-week, intensive course at the American University of Armenia (AUA) in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city. The course, which focused on the Supreme Court’s substantive due process and unenumerated rights jurisprudence, was offered as part of AUA’s Graduate LL.M. Program.
Founded in 1991 and affiliated with the University of California, AUA is one of Armenia’s top universities. Its LL.M. Program trains lawyers and advisers for careers in Armenia and abroad, and covers a wide variety of topics in international and comparative law. Instruction is in English.
Professor Movsesian’s course provided an overview of American constitutional rights jurisprudence, as well as an introduction to the American concepts of originalism and the living Constitution, constitutional stare decisis, judicial review and judicial supremacy. “I enjoyed explaining Marbury v. Madison to the AUA students,” Professor Movsesian says. “When I teach comparative law at St. John’s, I introduce American students to the sometimes unfamiliar ways that other legal systems solve problems. This time, the situation was reversed. I taught fundamental concepts of American law, like judicial review, to students for whom the concepts were entirely new. This forced me to go back to original sources and really think about ideas we Americans take for granted. It was a great educational experience for me as well as the students.”
Adelaida Baghdasaryan, chair of AUA’s LL.M. program, shares Professor Movsesian’s enthusiasm. "This was our students' first exposure to American legal thought, and provided an excellent opportunity for them to hear and argue about fundamental concepts enshrined in the U.S. Constitution as discussed and interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. We are thankful to Professor Movsesian for giving the students knowledge and understanding of American constitutional values which they will certainly carry beyond the classroom."
Reflecting on the visit, Professor Movsesian shares: “My experience at AUA has enriched me as an educator. A good way to understand one’s own legal system is to see it from the outside. Now I look forward to bringing the lessons I learned teaching American law in Armenia back home to my students at St. John’s Law.