Barnabas D. Johnson

Co-founder with Lowry Wyman of the Jurlandia Institute

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Barnabas D. Johnson was born in 1943 in Primavera, Paraguay, South America. He received his J.D. degree from Harvard University in 1970, where he focused on international and comparative law and jurisprudence. In 1983 he helped found, and thereafter managed, the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary (1983-1989), a loose-leaf service that profiled and evaluated all federal judges in the United States.

Since 1989, he has worked with his wife, Lowry Wyman, on post-Soviet law reform and legal-education reform. During 1998-2003, he was Professor of Law at the American University of Armenia, where he served as Director of the Legal Research Center, Associate Dean, and on-site manager of the new AUA Department of Law, then affiliated with the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. 

Wyman and Johnson were advisors to Lithuania when it sought its independence from the USSR in 1990-91. The first version of what has become the Constitution of Jurlandia was drafted at the request of President Vytautas Landsbergis in the days following the attempted Soviet takeover of Lithuania on 13 January 1991. A revised version was the basis of the Proposed Alternative Constitution of Kazakhstan, 1995. The original constitutional text was published on the early Internet in 1991, and an Armenian-language version was prepared in 2001 as a teaching tool to promote constitutional reform in Armenia. See Constitution of Jurlandia.

The "pedagogical country" of Jurlandia was initially created in aid of Professor Johnson's courses on Comparative Constitutional Law. That pedagogical terrain remains dedicated to exploring the general proposition that a good constitutional democracy is a self-regulating learning organism. See Conversation of Democracy.

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Jurlandia Institute
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Peaks Island, ME, 04108, USA

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