Featured Faculty Member



Professor John Knechtle


International Programs

Professor Knechtle is a Professor of Law and the Director of International Programs at Florida Coastal School of Law. He teaches constitutional law, international law, comparative law, Caribbean Law Clinic, and comparative constitutional law. He received his B.A. from Wheaton College and his J.D. from Emory University School of Law where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the International Law Journal. He also studied at the Institute D'Etude Europeenes, Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Brussels, Belgium.

Professor Knechtle is the co-founder and President of the American and Caribbean Law Initiative (ACLI), a consortium of five U.S. and three Caribbean law schools dedicated to the development of law, legal institutions, and collaborative relationships in the Caribbean basin. He directs the Caribbean Law Clinic, one program of the ACLI, which offers students the opportunity to work collaboratively with students from seven other law schools on issues of legal reform referred to the clinic by attorney generals from the Caribbean. He also oversees the ACLI Annual Law Conference in the Caribbean, ACLI joint publications, and the development of a summer program in Jamaica.

In the spring of 2004, Professor Knechtle was a Fulbright Scholar and served as Visiting Professor of International and Comparative Law at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In addition to teaching and researching, he gave talks at the request of universities and the U.S. Embassy, in most of the major cities of Uzbekistan.

Professor Knechtle advises foreign governments on a range of issues from constitutional questions to the organization of the bar. He recently advised the Georgian government on issues of legal education and bar reform. He serves as a commentator on Jacksonville's ABC, NBC, and FOX TV affiliates on issues of international and constitutional law. He serves as the faculty advisor to five FCSL student organizations.

Professor Knechtle has been a contributing author to five books, has authored or co-authored eight journal articles, and wrote or edited over 250 American Bar Association reports analyzing draft laws from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Working with constitutional drafting commissions, he has worked on 18 draft constitutions from that region, including Russia's. Each year he speaks at a number of conferences and he chairs the Teaching International Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law.

Professor Knechtle is President of L'Arche USA and a board member of the International Federation of L'Arche. L'Arche provides homes where people with and without developmental disabilities are invited to share life together. L'Arche seeks to reveal the particular gifts of people with a mental handicap who belong at the very heart of their communities and who call others to share their lives. L'Arche seeks not to offer a solution but a sign, a sign that a society, to be truly human, must be founded on welcome and respect for the weak. In a divided world, L'Arche wants to be a sign of hope. Its communities, founded on covenant relationships between people of differing intellectual capacity, social origin, religion, race, and culture, seek to be a sign of unity, faithfulness, and reconciliation.

Professor Knechtle came to FCSL in 1997, a year after it opened its doors, to help form and build its unique mission. Formerly Director of Legal Assessments and the Environmental Law Program at the American Bar Association's Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI), Professor Knechtle played a key role in developing the structure for transferring insight about democracy and free market economy to the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Prior to CEELI, Professor Knechtle was a consultant to the Legal Services Corporation, practiced for an international trade law firm in Washington, D.C.