Justin Collings

Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs and Professor of Law

Professor Justin Collings joined the BYU Law faculty in the fall of 2013. He is a scholar of constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, and constitutional history. His first book, Democracy's Guardians: A History of the German Federal Constitutional Court, 1951-2001, was published with Oxford University Press in 2015. His second book, Scales of Memory: Constitutional Justice and the Burdens of the Past, is scheduled to be published by Oxford University Press in 2020. Scales of Memory explores the ways in which constitutional courts in the United States, Germany, and South Africa have grappled with the legacies, respectively, of slavery, Nazism, and apartheid. Professor Collings is the author of numerous articles and book chapters in various venues, including the Stanford Law Review. His German publications have also appeared in several settings, including the JuristenZeitung.

From January to June 2019, Professor Collings was a Fulbright-Schuman Fellow based at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He has translated two books from German to English, both of them by Dieter Grimm, a former justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court. He has taught a wide variety of classes at the law school, including Torts, Property, Anglo-American Legal History, Comparative Constitutional Law, Structures of the Constitution

Professor Collings holds a BA from Brigham Young University, where he double-majored in English and Italian with a minor in classical civilization, as well as a JD and PhD in history from Yale University. During the 2012-2013 judicial term, he was a law clerk to the Honorable Guido Calabresi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is fluent in German and Italian and has a reading knowledge of French.


  • Civil Rights
  • Contitutional Law
  • Death Penalty and Capital Punishment
  • European Union
  • First Amendment
  • Freedom of Speech and the Press
  • Human Rights
  • Legal History

Courses Taught

  • History of the Common Law
  • Structures of the Constitution
  • Torts
  • Anglo-American Legal History
  • Property
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Structures of the Constitution
  • U.S. Constitutional History
  • Constitutional History


  • Ph.D., Yale University, 2013
  • J.D., Yale University, 2010
  • B.A., Brigham Young University, 2006


  • Democracy’s Guardians: A History of the German Federal Constitutional Court, 1951-2001, (Oxford University Press 2015).
  • The Supreme Court and the Memory of Evil, 71 Stanford Law Review (forthcoming, February 2019) .
  • Ernst-Wolfgang Bӧckenfӧrde in the History of the German Constitutional Court, in Understanding Ernst-Wolfgang Bӧckenfӧrde (Tine Stein & Mirjam Kuenker, eds., forthcoming Oxford University Press, 2019).
  • An American Perspective on the German Constitutional Court, in The U.S. Supreme Court and Contemporary Constitutional Law: The Obama Era and its Legacy (Anna-Bettina Kaiser, Niels Petersen & Johannes Sauer, eds., forthcoming Nomos Verlag & Routledge Publishers, 2019).
  • Phasen der politischen Kritik am BVerfG, in Das Bundesverfassungsgericht und die Verfassungsgeschichte der Bundesrepublik. Zur Geschichte der Karlsruher Republik (Christoph Schönberger & Florian Meinel, eds., forthcoming Mohr Siebeck, 2019).
  • Ernst-Wolfgang Bӧckenfӧrde on Constitutional Judging in a Democracy, 19 German Law Journal 161 (2018).
  • What Should Comparative Constitutional History Compare?, 2017 Illinois Law Review 475.
  • Appealing to Congress, 50 U.C. Davis Law Review 463 (2016).
  • Gerhard Leibholz und der Status des Bundesverfassungsgerichts, in Anna-Bettina Kaiser, ed., Der Parteienstaat. Zum Staatsverstӓndnis von Gerhard Leibholz (Nomos-Verlag, 2013).
  • How Adams and Jefferson Read Milton (and Milton Read Them), Milton Quarterly 40 (2006) (with John Tanner).
  • Dieter Grimm, The Constitution of European Democracy , (Oxford University Press, 2017).