Law professor to be honored at Russian school

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For his latest honor, Wayne State University Law School Distinguished Professor Robert Sedler had to be measured for a commencement gown.

He’ll receive and don the robe and its regalia in Russia on Thursday, June 18, when he’s named honorary professor of Ural State Law University in Yekaterinburg.

The ceremony will take place during the ninth session of the Euro-Asian Juridical Congress in Yekaterinburg, where Sedler also will present two papers.

Sedler was an honored visitor at the Russian law school in 2007, 2009 and 2010. In 2009, Ural State Law Professor Marina Lomovtseva was a Fulbright Scholar at Wayne Law, and last year, Sedler was an academic supervisor for Aldar Chirninov, a recent Ural State Law graduate, when he attended Wayne Law on a student grant.

“I’ve had a long history of involvement with Russia,” Sedler said. “I’ve written a couple of articles on American constitutional law that Marina translated in Russian for their journals. Now I’ll go to Russia for the eighth time. Receiving the honor is reflective of Wayne Law’s involvement with the international legal community.” Chirninov emailed Sedler to tell the professor about his new honor.

“The title of the honorary professor is the university’s most advanced professor title,” Chirninov wrote. “It may be conferred upon those who are able to demonstrate outstanding research abilities and teaching skills, and who have contributed significantly to development of the university … I am delighted to invite you to visit Russia for the official awards ceremony. It’s equally important that you will be officially awarded this title during the International Euro-Asian Juridical Law Congress …”

The congress, established in 2007 by the Association of Lawyers of Russia, is a forum to help promote Euro-Asian cooperation and coordinate legal research and projects. The theme of this year’s congress, set for Thursday, June 18, and Friday, June 19, is “Law and National Interests in Modern Geopolitics.” On June 18, after receiving his honorary professor title, Sedler will present “The President, Congress and American Foreign Policy.” On June 19 during a roundtable, he’ll present “Constitutional Protection of Freedom of Speech in the United States.”

Sedler, who joined Wayne Law in 1977, teaches courses in Constitutional Law and Conflict of Laws. He is internationally known as an expert on those topics, and he’s been interviewed, written about and quoted by journalists all over the world. He has published extensively, and there have been many citations to his works by courts and academic commentators. In 2005, Sedler was elected to the Wayne State University Academy of Scholars, which is the highest recognition that may be bestowed upon faculty members by their colleagues.

He’s received many awards, including from the NAACP Metropolitan Detroit Branch in 1986, Southwestern Michigan American Civil Liberties Union in 1988, Metropolitan Detroit ACLU in 1994 and Metropolitan Detroit Chapter of the American Jewish Committee in 2012 (together with his wife, Rozanne, who will accompany him to Russia).

In 2012, he was awarded the State Bar of Michigan John W. Reed Michigan Lawyer Legacy Award, which is presented periodically to an educator from a Michigan law school whose influence on lawyers has elevated the quality of legal practice in the state.

Sedler earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1956 and his law degree from the same university in 1959.

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