Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law and

I.CON’s Current Issue (Table of Contents)


 Volume 13 Issue 2

 Table of Contents


I.CON Keynote

Robert O. Keohane, Nominal democracy?  Prospects for democratic global governance


Matthias Klatt, Positive rights? Who decides? Judicial review in balance

Vanessa MacDonnell, The civil servant’s role in the implementation of constitutional rights

Kristen Stilt, Contextualizing constitutional Islam: The Malayan experience

Christopher McCrudden, Transnational culture wars

Symposium: Through the lens of time:

Global Administrative Law after 10 years

J.H.H. Weiler, GAL at a crossroads: Preface to the Symposium

Sabino Cassese, Global administrative law: The state of the art

Christoph Möllers, Ten years of global administrative law

Lorenzo Casini, Beyond drip-painting? Ten years of GAL and the emergence of a global administration

Benedict Kingsbury, Three models of “distributed administration”: Canopy, baobab, and symbiote

Giulio Napolitano, Going global, turning back national: Towards a cosmopolitan administrative law?

Edoardo Chiti, Where does GAL find its legal grounding?

Mario Savino, What if global administrative law is a normative project?

Richard B. Stewart, The normative dimensions and performance of global administrative law

Critical Review of Governance

Swati Jhaveri and Anne Scully-Hill, Executive and legislative reactions to judicial declarations of constitutional invalidity in Hong Kong: Engagement, acceptance or avoidance?

Review Essay

Ariel L. Bendor and Tal Sela, How proportional is proportionality? Review of Aharon Barak, Proportionality. Constitutional Rights and their Limitations

Book Reviews

Emily Zackin. Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America’s Positive Rights (Solongo Wandan)

Elke Cloots. National Identity in EU Law (Monika Polzin)

Ayten Gündoğdu. Rightlessness in an Age of Rights. Hannah Arendt and the Contemporary Struggles of Migrants (Dana Schmalz)

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Published on July 29, 2015
Author:          Filed under: Editorials

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Sandeep Suresh, National Law University, Jodhpur, India

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in comparative public law. “Developments” may include a selection of links to news, high court decisions, new or recent scholarly books and articles, and blog posts from around the comparative public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Comparative Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Turkish Constitutional Court has held that the closure of private tutoring centers violated the right to education.
  2. Th French Constitutional Council recently held that the new controversial surveillance law is constitutional.
  3. The Supreme Court of India ruled that religious faith does not have any relation to wearing a particular kind of dress.
  4. The  Russian Constitutional Court has declared that decisions of the European Court of Human Rights are inferior to Russian domestic law.

New Scholarship

  1. Christian Marxsen, Participatory Democracy in Europe – Article 11 TEU and the Legitimacy of the European Union, in Federico Fabbrini, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Han Somsen (eds.), What Form of Government for the European Union and the Eurozone? (Hart Publishing, Oxford 2015, 151-169) (reviewing the developing practice of participatory democracy and its critical assessment in Europe)
  2. Christopher Zurn, Democratic Constitutional Change: Assessing Institutional Possibilities, in Thomas Bustamante (ed.), Democratizing Constitutional Law: Perspectives on the Future of Constitutionalism (Forthcoming) (developing a normative framework for conceptualizing and assessing various institutional possibilities for democratic modes of constitutional change, with special attention to the recent ferment of constitutional experimentation witnessed across the globe)
  3. Stephen Riley, Human Dignity and the Rule of Law, Utrecht Law Review, Vol. 11, No. 2, p. 91-105 (assessing how the rule of law, taken together with a basic conception of the person, can be treated as ‘good governance consistent with human rationality or agency’ and be associated with human dignity)
  4. Carolina Arlota and Nuno M. Garoupa, Do Specialized Courts Make a Difference? Evidence from Brazilian State Supreme Courts, European Business Law Review (Forthcoming) (focusing on possible differences between decisions made by a non-specialized court or by a specialized court panel to determine whether there are significant variations in the outcome of the cases decided by a specialized panel)
  5. Michael C. Davis, The Basic Law, Universal Suffrage and the Rule of Law in Hong Kong, Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2015 (exploring perspectives on Hong Kong’s autonomy and the rule of law under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework)
  6. Fiona De Londras, In Defence of Judicial Innovation and Constitutional Evolution, in Laura Cahillane, Tom Hickey, James Gallen (eds.), Judges, Politics And The Irish Constitution(MUP, 2016) (Forthcoming) (arguing in favour of judicial innovation as an important and legitimate part of constitutional evolution, taking into account the broader constitutional tradition and structure within which Irish superior courts operate).

In the News

  1. Russian official proposes that adherence to international law must be removed from the Constitution of Russia.
  2. The Attorney General of India recently argued before the Supreme Court that Indian citizens do not have the right to privacy.
  3. The Chinese Communist Party’s top official targeted and investigated during President Xi Jinping’s Anti-Graft drive.
  4. Union Law Minister announces that India will soon have a National Litigation Policy.
  5. Maldivian Parliament moves a constitutional amendment bill that would empower the Government to sell islands to private parties.

Calls for Papers

  1. The Arab Association of Constitutional Law and the Faculty of Juridical, Political and Social Sciences of Tunis (University of Carthage) are organizing the first session of the Arab Association’s Constitutional Academy from December 1st, 2015 to January 31st, 2016 in Tunis, Tunisia. Interested candidates are required to submit an application no later than September 25th, 2015. Further details can be found here.
  2. The New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty Law, Boston College Law School, and The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) invite submissions for a two-day symposium on quasi-constitutionality and constitutional statutes, to be held on the Pipitea campus of Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law (Old Government Buildings) on Thursday & Friday, May 19-20, 2016.
  3. Kabarak University School of Law, Boston College Law School and the International Society of Public Law invite submissions for a two-day Symposium on Constitutional Change and Transformation in Africa, to be held on the campus of Kabarak University in Nakuru on Thursday and Friday, June 9-10, 2016.
  4. The European Procurement & Public Private Partnership Law Review, a pan-European trimestral publication, is inviting contributions (articles or case-law annotations) for its upcoming issues. Submission deadline for Issue No.3/2015 is August 3rd, 2015 and for Issue No.4/2015 is November 2nd, 2015.
  5. The UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence is calling submissions for the first Issue of 2016. The Journal’s Editorial Board welcomes papers covering all areas of law and jurisprudence, accepting articles of between 8,000-12,000 words, case notes of 6,000-8,000 words and book reviews of 1,000-2,000 words. The deadline for submissions is October 16th, 2015. For further information, please visit the website.
  6. Graduate School of Government and European Studies and the European Faculty of Lawis organising a 2 day Workshop on the theme ‘In Search of Basic European Values’. The Workshop will be conducted from November 20th – 21st, 2015 in Ljubljana. They are inviting abstracts for the same and interested applicants should send a 250-word abstract and a CV in narrative form by September 1st, 2015 to For further information, please visit the website.

Elsewhere on the Internet

  1. Tom Ginsburg, Rearmament and the Rule of Law in Japan: When Is it OK to Change the Constitution With a Statute?, The Huffington Post
  2. David Landau, Term Limits Manipulation across Latin America – and what Constitutional Design could do about it,
  3. Michael Pal, Ontario court ruling on expats forgets that voting is a right, not a privilege, The Globe and Mail
  4. Lyle Denniston, Constitution Check: Is natural-born citizenship sometimes not a fundamental right?, Constitution Daily
  5. Evan Bernick, Do We Have an Amoral Constitution? A Second Reply to Kurt Lash, The Huffington Post


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Published on July 27, 2015
Author:          Filed under: Developments

The Jokowi Presidency so Far: Increasing Disregard of Indonesian Constitutionalism?

Stefanus Hendrianto, Santa Clara University School of Law

It is still fresh in our memory that the election of President Joko Widodo in 2014 was hailed internationally. Here was a down to earth politician who seemed to do a credible job in his short term as governor of Jakarta. After nine months in office, Jokowi, as he commonly known, surprisingly seems conservative and out of depth, and has had to weather some major political crises he has largely created himself. One of the major issues of Jokowi’s Presidency is that he has shown a penchant for paying too little attention to the constitutional context of his political decisions.

The Anti-Corruption Battle

Nine months into his presidency, Jokowi is learning a hard lesson that combating corruption is a more difficult task than promising to eradicate it. The trouble began when Jokowi nominated Budi Gunawan as National Police Chief in January 2015. Gunawan, a onetime bodyguard to Megawati Sukarnoputri, former President and chairwoman of Jokowi’s party, had been investigated for months by the KPK. It was also confirmed that the President had been informed earlier by the KPK of their suspicions concerning Gunawan dating back to 2010. Soon after the nomination, the KPK declared Gunawan as a suspect in a bribery case. The Police immediately retaliated by naming the Head of the KPK, Abraham Samad, and his Deputy, Bambang Widjojanto, as suspects in criminal cases.

Jokowi’s initial reaction to the conflict was to call both KPK and National Police leaders to the palace at the same time and to tell them to work together. Jokowi’s cautious approach, however, did not solve the problem. It did not stop the Police from outmaneuvering the KPK by laying charges against 21 KPK investigators because as former policemen, they had not surrendered their weapons when they left the police force. Furthermore, President Jokowi replaced the two KPK Commissioners, because the law required them to be inactive while under investigation. Jokowi’s decision has been criticized as overly deferential to the Police, therefore leaving the KPK crippled for the past several months.

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Published on July 24, 2015
Author:          Filed under: Analysis, Uncategorized

Venice is not Barcelona: A Less Aggressive Regional Question gets a More Nuanced Constitutional Answer

Diletta Tega, University of Bologna (Italy)

In 2014 it was not only the Catalan and Scottish governments which were involved in claims for independence: the Italian Region of Veneto was also involved. Yet the three cases are very different: in this post, I will try to describe the Veneto case and highlight its peculiarities.

In past years, Veneto had several times attempted to hold consultative (non-binding) referendums on its own demands for enhanced political autonomy. These initiatives were challenged before the Italian Constitutional Court (CC), whose scrutiny has been very strict.[1] This time, the Region passed two laws: one envisaged a referendum on five questions, all of them basically concerning a higher degree of autonomy within the framework of the Italian regional form of State; the other law concerned a second referendum with a single question on full-fledged independence from the Italian Republic. The two laws have been challenged by the national Government and – although the scrutiny was as strict as usual – for the first time one of the referendum questions survived scrutiny, in judgment no. 118 of 29.4-25.6.2015.[2] Another Region, Lombardy, is already following in the lead of Veneto.

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Published on July 23, 2015
Author:          Filed under: Developments

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Margaret Lan Xiao, Washington University in St. Louis

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in comparative public law. “Developments” may include a selection of links to news, high court decisions, new or recent scholarly books and articles, and blog posts from around the comparative public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Comparative Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. Russia’s Constitutional Court rules that the decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights should be upheld only when they do not contradict basic Russian law.
  2. Turkey’s Constitutional Court rejects individual complaint filed by jailed journalist.
  3. In United States, the South Dakota Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the state’s presumptive probation law.
  4. Turkey’s Constitutional Court annuls legislation that would have closed down private schools linked to a movement led by a United States-based Muslim cleric.
  5. The United Kingdom High Court struck down British data retention law while offered the government nine months to redraft it.

In the News

  1. The Greek Parliament approves an austerity bill demanded by bailout creditors.
  2. Japan’s lower house of Parliament approves a highly controversial military bill.
  3. The EuropeanParliament’s Civil Liberties Commission passed the Passenger Name Record (PNR) system which requires a blanket collection of airline passenger data.
  4. Thailand passed a new law forbidding unsanctioned protests that strictly requires protest organizers to seek official permission at least 24 hours before holding a rally.
  5. The United States Senate passes revision to the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act.
  6. The United States House of Representatives passes legislation to stem California drought.
  7. Ukraine’s Parliament grants preliminary approval to a bill that might allow regions to self-rule.

New Scholarship

  1. Yen-Tu Su, Han-Wei Ho, The Causes of Rising Opinion Dissensus on Taiwan’s Constitutional Court, Law & Courts eJournal, Vol. 9, No. 81: July 2015 (examining what drives the Justices of Taiwan’s Constitutional Court to write separately in recent times)
  2. Rhea Molato, Public Debt and the Threat of Secession, Working Paper of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance No. 2015-4 (examining public debt as a strategic instrument to prevent secession; showing that debt can be used to preempt a country’s separation if the seceding region’s potential gain from independence is strictly decreasing in debt)
  3. Olga Frishman, Should Courts Fear Transnational Engagement?, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Forthcoming (arguing that the danger of judicial citation of foreign law does not come from citing or looking at foreign law, but rather, from other types of interaction, such as meetings at judicial organizations, judicial delegations, or judicial conferences)
  4. Thiago Amparo, Notes on Countermovements and Conservative Lawyering: The Bumpy Road to Constitutional Marriage Equality in Brazil, FGV Direito SP Research Paper Series No. 124 (reconstructing the road to same-sex marriage equality in Brazil through the lens of countermovements and the conservative lawyers representing them; highlighting the importance of combining both interpretative syncretism in the Brazilian apex court and the inertia of political branches in protecting sexual minorities during the academic analysis and legal research)
  5. Michal Bobek, Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Values in the Old and the New Europe, Forthcoming in S Douglas-Scott and N Hatzis (eds.), Edward Elgar Research Handbook on EU Human Rights Law (demonstrating that there are discernible value differences between the ‘new’ EU Member States and the ‘old’ Member States in regards to how historically formed values and convictions become translated into human rights and constitutional protection)
  6. Margaret F. Brinig, Two Treatments of Pluralism: Canada and the United States, Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 1517 (considering the effects of the differing policies on young people in two minority groups, the Québécois in Canada and African Americans in the United States, and explaining why the two groups diverge in terms of the mental health of their youth and in terms of the rate at which they commit suicide)

Calls for Papers 

  1. The New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty Law, Boston College Law School, and The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) invite submissions for a two-day symposium on quasi-constitutionality and constitutional statutes, to be held on the Pipitea campus of Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law (Old Government Buildings) on Thursday & Friday, May 19-20, 2016.
  2. Kabarak University School of Law, Boston College Law School and the International Society of Public Law invite submissions for a two-day Symposium on Constitutional Change and Transformation in Africa, to be held on the campus of Kabarak University in Nakuru on Thursday and Friday, June 9-10, 2016.
  3. The Business and Human Rights Journal (BHRJ) has issued a call for papers for its next issue.
  4. The AALS Sections on Business Associations and Law & Economics has issued a Call for Papers for a joint program on “The Corporate Law and Economics Revolution 40 Years Later,” to be held on January 8, 2016 in New York City.
  5. The AALS Section on Disability Law has issued a call for papers and presentations for a meeting on “The Wounded Warrior Comes Home,” to be held on January 6-10, 2016 in New York City.
  6. The AALS Section on Securities Regulation has issued a call for papers for a program on “The Future of Securities Regulation: Innovation, Regulation and Enforcement,” to be held on January 6-10, 2016 in New York City.
  7. Campbell University School of Law has issued a call for papers for its 2015 Law Review Symposium on “The Evolving Impact of Investment Crowdfunding on Modern Legal Markets,” to be held on November 1, 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Jennifer Zhang, China to Codify Internet Control Measures, The Diplomat
  2. Susan Page, A GOP and Democratic senator: This is how a bill used to become law, USA Today
  3. Jeet H. Shroff and Neeli Shah, Modi’s Marbury Moment, Foreign Policy
  4. Dan Harris, Getting Money Out Of China: An Update, China Law Blog
  5. Jacob Gershman, 5 Things About Police-Misconduct Payouts, The Wall Street Journal
  6. James B. Stewart, Convictions Prove Elusive in ‘London Whale’ Trading Case, The New York Times
  7. Jurgen Goossens and Pieter Cannoot, Monthly Overview – June 2015, BelCon Law Blog
  8. Marta Requejo, Parallel Proceedings and Contradictory Decisions in International Arbitration, Conflict of
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Published on July 20, 2015
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Conference Report–Symposium on “Politics and the Constitution”, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law

Anthony Robert Sangiuliano (JD, MA, BA), Student-at-Law, Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario, Constitutional Law Branch

On 10 July 2015, the Public Law Group of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law jointly sponsored a Symposium on “Politics and the Constitution” at the University of Ottawa. The Symposium was co-convened by Vanessa MacDonnell and Michael Pal (Ottawa) and Richard Albert (Boston College and Chair of the Younger Comparativists Committee). The aim of the Symposium was to feature presentations of six draft papers written by emerging scholars who conduct research at the intersection of political studies and constitutional law. As the former Executive Editor of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, and as an aspiring constitutional law scholar, I was fortunate to be invited by MacDonnell and Albert to participate in the Symposium. I am pleased to report that the Symposium’s interdisciplinary and state-of-the-art mandate produced a rich and engaging atmosphere of trail-blazing legal and social scientific scholarship.

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Published on July 20, 2015
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Call for Papers–Symposium on Constitutional Change and Transformation in Africa–Kabarak University, Kenya

Kabarak University School of Law
Centre for Jurisprudence & Constitutional Studies

in collaboration with

Boston College Law School

under the auspices of

The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S)

invite submissions for

Symposium on Constitutional Change and Transformation in Africa
Kabarak University School of Law
Nakuru, Kenya
June 9-10, 2016

Kabarak University School of Law, Boston College Law School and the International Society of Public Law invite submissions for a two-day Symposium on Constitutional Change and Transformation in Africa, to be held on the campus of Kabarak University in Nakuru on Thursday and Friday, June 9-10, 2016.

The keynote speaker for this event will be Dr. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice and the President of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kenya.

This Symposium is convened by Duncan Okubasu (Kabarak) and Richard Albert (Boston College).

About the Symposium

Nearly every country in Africa has amended, revised or replaced its constitution over the last forty years. Yet constitutional change on the continent remains largely underexplored, save for a few prominent exceptions.

Constitutional change in Africa raises fascinating questions in constitutional design and and its connection to political culture. Political actors in Africa have often resorted to extra-constitutional strategies to make changes to their constitution, undermining or indeed altogether bypassing the formal procedures for amendment, revision or replacement. They have relied on all manner of means to achieve their objectives, from political entrenchment through law, to strictly legalistic but substantively unconstitutional processes, and to military coups. The common refrain has consequently become that African states have “constitutions without constitutionalism.”

But there are signs of change. Although recent events in Burundi, Egypt, Madagascar, Mali and Tunisia show that progress is fragile, the prospects for constitutionalism in Africa are brighter today than before.

In 2007, the African Union adopted the African Charter of Governance, Elections and Democracy to address its concern “about the unconstitutional changes of governments that are one of the essential causes of insecurity, instability and violent conflict in Africa.” One of the purposes of the Charter is to “entrench in the Continent a political culture of change of power based on the holding of regular, free, fair and transparent elections conducted by competent, independent and impartial national electoral bodies,” and to “promote and strengthen good governance through the institutionalization of transparency, accountability and participatory democracy.” The Constitution of Kenya, adopted three years after the Charter, remains stable to this day. And the transformative Constitution of South Africa will soon mark its twentieth anniversary in 2016.

This Symposium on Constitutional Change and Transformation in Africa will be an occasion to discuss and diagnose specific episodes and larger trends in constitutional change in Africa, and to look ahead to the future of constitutionalism on the continent.

Papers are welcomed on any subject of constitutional change from comparative, doctrinal, historical, philosophical, sociological and theoretical perspectives. A non-exhaustive list of possible subjects include:

  1. Constitutional endurance in Africa;
  2. The (in)significance of formal rules of constitutional change;
  3. The place of informal rules of constitutional change;
  4. The role of the people and political institutions in constitutional change and transformation;
  5. The social, political, and economic dimensions of constitutional change;
  6. The influence of transnational constitutional norms on constitutional change.


Submissions are invited from scholars of all ranks, including doctoral students.


The Convenors intend to publish the papers in an edited book or in a special issue of a law journal. An invitation to participate in this Symposium will be issued to a participant on the following conditions: (1) the participant agrees to submit an original, unpublished paper ranging between 9,000 and 12,000 words consistent with the submission guidelines issued by the Symposium Convenors; (2) the participant agrees to submit a pre-Symposium draft by Monday, April 4, 2016; and (3) the participant agrees to submit a full post-Symposium final draft by Monday, August 15, 2016.

Submission Instructions

Interested scholars should email biographical information and an abstract by Monday, November 2, 2015 to on the understanding that the abstract will form the basis of the pre-Symposium draft to be submitted by Monday, April 4, 2016. Scholars should identify their submission with the following subject line: “Kabarak University—Abstract Submission—Change and Transformation.”


Successful applicants will be notified no later than Friday, December 4, 2015.


Kabarak University has generously offered to cover the cost of accommodations and meals on the days of the Symposium. Successful applicants are responsible for securing their own funding for travel.


Please direct inquiries in connection with this Symposium to:

Duncan Okubasu
Kabarak University School of Law

Richard Albert
Boston College Law School

About Kabarak University School of Law

Kabarak Law School [KLS] was established in 2009 and is emerging as one of the finest research intensive law schools in Kenya. It has so far established the leading student publications in Kenya and its scholars publish in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. KLS is reputable in Kenya and is increasingly becoming a preferred research destination for scholars from Europe, America, Australia and Asia. It has a rich curriculum in law with a specialization in good governance. KLS is attracting the interest of domestic and international scholars because of the institutional support it offers for research and scholarship. It has an ambitious fellowship programme run by its Centre for Jurisprudence & Constitutional Studies through which visiting professors and other reputable scholars are engaged in its research projects. KLS offers the highest quality training to students admitted to the Bachelor of Laws Degree Programme. Cognizant of the growing societal needs in the region, KLS has tailored the Programme to answer these needs by forming skilled professionals for the traditional law practice and also for contributions to public service, international affairs, non-governmental service, and academia.

About Boston College Law School

Founded in 1929, Boston College Law School offers broad course offerings and small class sizes that permit considerable personal interaction with faculty. The international and comparative law curriculum provides opportunities for in-class instruction, innovative and flexible study-abroad programs, and meaningful training in the field. Boston College Law School understands that globalization magnifies the scope and complexity of law and legal practice. The curriculum trains students for the needs of today, while giving them skills and perspectives that anticipate the needs of tomorrow. The program prepares leaders to pursue social justice not just nationally, but internationally as well. For more, please visit:

About The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S)

The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) was officially launched in June 2014 at an Inaugural Conference sponsored by the European University Institute and NYU School of Law in Florence, Italy. The conference featured a keynote address by Jeremy Waldron, plenary papers by Robert Keohane, Ruth Rubio Marin and Joseph H.H. Weiler, and hundreds of participants in concurrent panels on all subjects in public law.

Presided by Sabino Cassese, ICON·S emerged from the Editorial Board of I·CON—the International Journal of Constitutional Law. For several years now I·CON has been, both by choice and by the cartographic reality of the field, much more than a journal of comparative constitutional Law. I·CON has expanded its interests, range of authors, readers, Editorial Board members and, above all, issues covered to include not only discrete articles in fields such as Administrative Law, Global Constitutional Law, Global Administrative Law and the like, but also increasingly includes scholarship that reflects both legal reality and academic perception, and which in dealing with the challenges of public life and governance combines elements from all of the above with a good dosage of political theory and social science. Learned societies have often been founded to validate the emergence, autonomy, or breakaway of an intellectual endeavor. By contrast, international learned societies are often driven by the realization of intellectual cross-fertilization that can stem from disciplinary ecumenism. ICON·S is both.

The ICON·S Executive Committee includes Sujit Choudhry, Gráinne De Búrca, Ran Hirschl, Bing Bing Jia, Susanna Mancini, Phoebe Okowa, Michel Rosenfeld, Ruth Rubio Marin, Hélène Ruiz Fabri, Anne van Aaken, and Joseph H.H. Weiler. For more information, please visit:

About the Convenors

Richard Albert is an Associate Professor at Boston College Law School and, in 2015-16, a Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. A specialist in comparative public law with a focus on formal and informal constitutional amendment, he has since December 2014 been Book Reviews Editor for the American Journal of Comparative Law, which awarded him the Hessel Yntema Prize in 2010 for “the most outstanding article” on comparative law by a scholar under the age of 40. He is also a member of the Governing Council of the International Society of Public Law, an elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, an elected member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law, and a founding editor of I-CONnect, the new scholarly blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law. Prior to joining the faculty of Boston College Law School, Albert served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada. Educated at Yale, Harvard and Oxford, he is currently engaged as a consultant on constitutional reform in Europe and the Caribbean.

Duncan Okubasu directs the Centre for Jurisprudence & Constitutional Studies at Kabarak University School of Law, where he teaches constitutional and administrative law, human rights and humanitarian law. He is also a Doctor of Philosophy in Law researcher at the Institute for Jurisprudence, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Utrecht University, and an adjunct lecturer at Catholic University of Eastern Africa, where he teaches legal research and writing and supervises LLB students. He edits and reviews various journals including the Annual Supreme Court of Kenya Review, Journal of Law & Ethics, Catholic University of Eastern Africa Law Review, Strathmore University Law Journal, and University of Ilorin Law Journal. He was also an editor of the Pretoria Students Law Review (PSLR). He is, in addition, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, practicing in Nairobi. Mainly he handles public interest constitutional and human rights litigation. His academic areas of interest focus on constitutional law & theory, political theory, the origin and adaptability of institutions, and constitutional durability in Africa.

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Published on July 19, 2015
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Video Interview: The Design of the Iraqi Constitution Featuring Haider Ala Hamoudi

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

In this latest installment of our video interview series at I-CONnect, I interview Haider Ala Hamoudi on the Iraqi Constitution. I conducted the interview from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, where I am serving as a visiting scholar for the month of July. My thanks to the Faculty for hosting me, and also to Jena McGill for allowing me to use her office during my stay.

In the interview, we discuss the design of the Iraqi Constitution, the forms and uses of “deferral” as a strategy in designing the Iraqi Constitution, examples of where the strategy of deferral has borne fruit and where it has not, whether the Constitution has proven successful, and we also discuss the prognosis for the country now.

Haider Ala Hamoudi is an Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is the author of Negotiating in Civil Conflict: Constitutional Construction and Imperfect Bargaining in Iraq. He served as an advisor in Baghdad in 2009 to the Constitutional Review Committee of the Iraqi legislature and as a legal advisor to the Finance Committee of the Iraq Governing Council in 2003-04. An award-winning teacher and scholar, he has won the Robert T. Harper Award for Excellence in Teaching as well as the Hessel Yntema prize, awarded by the American Society of Comparative Law for the best article on comparative law published by an author under the age of 40. Haider Ala Hamoudi holds degrees from MIT (B.Sc.) and Columbia University (J.D., J.S.D.).

He has recently uploaded a new paper on SSRN on “The Political Codification of Islamic Law: A Closer Look at the Draft Shi’i Personal Status Code of Iraq.”

The entire interview runs for 24 minutes, and is available here.

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Published on July 16, 2015
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The Reframing of Local Government in the UK

Michèle Finck, University of Oxford

After the independence referendum that took place in Scotland in September 2014, the UK is reflecting on a new decentralisation arrangement. While Scotland voted against independence, these negotiations are nonetheless underway as David Cameron had promised Scots that, should they stay within the UK, they would receive more independence in administering their affairs. His government is now delivering on that promise in crafting a new devolution arrangement – which would not however be limited to Scotland but have wider consequences for power-sharing arrangements in the UK. Many aspects of this planned new arrangement are noteworthy, as they may be another step on the UK’s path to federalism. Extensive online commentary is already available on these evolutions.

My comment will be limited to only one facet of these changes, namely the reinvigoration of local governments in the UK, which, with the notable exception of the Greater London Authority (GLA) have extremely limited powers at present. This planned new power-sharing arrangement is commonly referred to as “Devo Met”, devolution to the metropolitan scale. Importantly, this evolution is limited to England and Wales and does not concern cities in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

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Published on July 15, 2015
Author:          Filed under: Developments

The Right to Vote of Hungarian Citizens Living Abroad

Eszter Bodnár, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

Péter and Pál were neighbors in Luxembourg. Péter was member of the Hungarian minority in Romania and arrived in Luxembourg in 2008 to work there at an international company. Due to the favorable new rules, he obtained Hungarian citizenship in 2010. Pál got a one-year contract at the Court of Justice of the European Union as a translator and moved with his family for one year to Luxembourg but retained his Hungarian address. In 2014, the neighbors decided to participate in the upcoming Hungarian parliamentary elections.

In order to exercise their right to vote, they asked the Hungarian authorities for more information. It turned out that Péter could vote only for a national list set by political parties but not for single member constituency candidates because he had no Hungarian address. However, if he registered for the voter list of citizens abroad, he would get the ballots by post and could send it back also by post.

Pál was told that since he had retained an address in Hungary, he had two votes but could cast them only in the territory of Hungary or at an embassy or consulate of the country. Given that the nearest embassy was in Brussels (more than 200 km from Luxembourg), he decided not to participate in the election.

The principle of equal suffrage is ensured not only by the Hungarian constitution but also by the most important international human rights treaties. According to Article 2 (2) of the Hungarian Basic Law, ‘Members of Parliament shall be elected by direct and secret ballot by citizens eligible to vote, on the basis of universal and equal suffrage, in elections which guarantee free expression of voters’ will’. The European Convention of Human Rights ensures the right to free elections in Article 3 of Protocol no. 1. According to Article 14, ‘[t]he enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.’

Do these two Hungarian citizens, Péter and Pál, have equal suffrage? The answers of the Hungarian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights are rather surprising.

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Published on July 14, 2015
Author:          Filed under: Analysis