Position and Power: Like Hollywood’s Weinstein, A UC Berkeley Dean That Got Away With Sexual Harassment
Sujit Choudhry’s impact on a global scale:
Sujit Choudhry is a Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as the Dean of the School of Law. Aside from being a distinguished author, he serves as a prominent advisor to the constitution-building processes, in a broad range of Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen.
Having published over 90 articles, Professor Sujit Choudhry’s research focuses on ideas such as transitioning to peaceful democratic politics, constitutional courts such as minority rights, and constitution building.
As the Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions, Sujit Choudhry attended a July 10th workshop with constitutional leaders in Kiev to discuss the presidential system in the Ukrainian government and the challenges it faces. Choudhry would be joined alongside people like International IDEA Sumit Bisarya, Ukraine’s representative on Human Rights, Vladimir Vasilenko, Sergyi Holovatyi, a member of the constitutional commission of Ukraine, Viktor Musiaka a representative in Supreme Court, and Ihor and a former Member of Parliament and the president’s advisor.
It was hosted by a Ukrainian think tank International Institute for Democracy and Electorate Assistance (IDEA) which supports healthy democracies all over the world. Sujit Choudhry spoke there mentioning the importance in discussing these topics on cooperation and sustainability even pointing out the lack of democratization in Ukraine. He highlighted the electoral system and weak political parties as leading to this instability.
Sujit Choudhry’s “constitutional Making,” provides a collection of academic contributions relevant to the workshop such as classic articles on case studies and constitutional law. Choudhry has provided lectures to a number of diverse countries and serve as their constitutional process advisor. Scholars have long been interested in the process of constitution making, what history has told us about it, and how to best assemble a democratic system free of corruption and greed.
The Ukrainian workshop is a vital step in the long-sought process of cooperation because it allows for more than 25 countries to have discourse and share ideas in being able to tackle the many constitutional hurdles that face nations. This strengthens instability and ensure security in their hemispheres.
Flashback to the Fall of 2016:
Choudhry’s sexual harassment case against Tyann Sorrell, his executive assistant, sparked national outrage with the Dean of Law reaching a deal with the school that allowed him to maintain tenure, receive research funding while avoiding charges.
The university sought to end its disciplinary process allowing the professor to remain a faculty member “in good standing” until he “voluntarily” resigns next year, according to released documents.
UC Berkeley has grown into a college environment known for supporting social justice causes. The former “Civil Rights” school displayed a very similar hypocrisy to Hollywood and the Harvey Weinstein cover that spanned for nearly two decades. The film mogul has been accused of 3 rape charges, sexually assaulting women, and engaging in inappropriate or lewd conduct against a number of actresses.
Sorrell, who went public with her claims last year that Choudhry repeatedly touched her inappropriately when she was his assistant, slammed the settlement terms, saying in a statement:
“This deal insults all who suffer harassment at the hands of those with power and privilege.”
Choudhry’s attorney remarked that the settlement “contains no admission of liability for sexual harassment.”
This become one of the most high-profile cases of faculty misconduct at a prestigious university in recent memory especially involving such a person in power.
If 2017 has not evidenced a tendency for people to abuse their celebrity, given the alleged scandals at Fox News and Hollywood, harassment discrimination and sexual violence should remain a serious issue in academia and business industries.