Richard S. Kay
Wallace Stevens Professor of Law Emeritus, Oliver Ellsworth Research Professor
JD, Harvard Law School
BA, Brandeis University
Constitutional Law, Comparative Law, Contracts
Richard S. Kay joined the Law School faculty after clerking on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. The holder of a B.A. from Brandeis University, an MA in economics from Yale University and a JD (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School, Professor Kay has taught basic and advanced courses in constitutional law, comparative law and commercial law, as well as European Human Rights and Evidence. During his tenure at UConn Law, he has held visiting professorships at Boston University School of Law, the University of Exeter (England), the University of San Diego School of Law and Boston College Law School. From 2014 to 2016 he served as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development.
Professor Kay is a leading scholar on constitutional interpretation, a subject on which his work is frequently cited. His recent research has focused on comparative constitutional law and more particularly on the social and political preconditions for establishing a successful constitutional system. He is the co-editor (with the late Anthony W. Bradley and Law School colleague Mark Weston Janis) of European Human Rights Law, a casebook published by Oxford University Press now in its third edition; and the editor of and contributor to Standing to Raise Constitutional Issues: Comparative Perspectives, published by Bruylant. Two of his monographs have explored the relationship between revolution and legality. The Glorious Revolution and the Continuity of Law published by the Catholic University of America Press in 2014,describes and analyzes the tendency of the makers of the English Revolution of 1688 to employ legal argument even as they were breaching critical aspects of the existing constitutional system. Most recently in 2022, Adjudicating Revolution: Courts and Constitutional Change, co-written with Joel Colon-Rios of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, was published by Edward Elgar. It examines nine jurisdictions where courts have been recruited to pronounce on the legality of revolutionary changes in government. Professor Kay is also the author of numerous articles, book reviews and popular press pieces on constitutional law, constitutional theory and comparative law. He has been an invited speaker and panelist at numerous academic conferences in the United States and abroad.
In September 2019 Professor Kay’s scholarship was honored at a conference held at the law school which featured papers presented by constitutional law scholars from six countries. The proceedings of that event were published in a special symposium issue of the Connecticut Law Review, “Original Constitutionalist: Reconstructing Richard Kay’s Scholarship” (52 Conn. L. Rev No. 5 (2021)).
Professor Kay is an elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, a past chair of the Constitutional Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and past president of the American Society of Comparative Law.