Constitutional Law Department Professor awarded the highest honor for his thesis

The University Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona unanimously awarded the work by Externado de Colombia Professor, Jorge Ernesto Roa Roa, a summa cum laude rating, and a recommendation for publication.

The Professor began his process in 2011 when he was awarded by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid a scholarship for a Masters in Governance and Human Rights. Later, Roa was in the Constitutional Court of Spain. “Subsequently, I went to the University Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona where I completed a  Master’s in Advanced Legal Sciences (2012) and pursued a Ph.D., until November 2018,” he added.

While completing his Master studies, Roa also served as Professor of Constitutional Law at the Pompeu Fabra University, invited Professor at the University of Trento (Italy), and researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law, in Heidelberg (Germany). At the same time, he completed studies in International Protection of Human Rights at the International Institute of Human Rights, in Strasbourg (France).

Professor Ernesto Roa Roa was awarded the summa cum laude distinction for his doctoral research on the democratic legitimacy of constitutionality control. “In essence, it is the first study in the world that defends the democratic legitimacy of the tribunals and constitutional courts based on greater citizens’ participation in constitutionality processes,” he stated.

This work, says the Professor, is the first dedicated exclusively to analyzing the democratic foundation of the Colombian Constitutional Court, its role in the Colombian democratic system, and its contributions to the global constitutional theory and deliberative democracy.

In developing his thesis, the author studied the world’s constitutional justice systems. “I found that in the case of the Colombian Constitutional Court, there was no rigorous and serious research on the classic problem of democratic legitimacy of constitutionality control. My objective was to fill the void in the Colombian constitutional theory and present the work by the Constitutional Court to the global academic community,” he said.

For Roa, this work is vitally important for society as it helps to understand the way the Colombian Constitutional Court strengthens a deliberative democracy model in our country.

For all of the above, as well as the highest rating, summa cum laude, unanimously awarded to the thesis by the jury, the Center for Political and Constitutional Studies (CEPC) deemed the thesis deserved the mention of honor and suggested its publication.

“All these years, I received support for my studies from the Externado University and other institutions; for instance, the Spanish Cooperation Agency and the Catalan Agency for Research,” acknowledged Dr. Roa.