Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law and

Legal Uncertainty Surrounding the Approval of the Brexit Agreement

Antonios Kouroutakis, Assistant Professor, IE University

The referendum of June 23rd 2016 and the majority vote in favour of Brexit led British constitutional law into uncharted territories as Paul Craig has accurately said.[1] The constitutional order of the United Kingdom is being overwhelmed by a paradox. Although it is governed by the principle of parliamentary sovereignty rather than by the rule of popular sovereignty, the outcome of the referendum, as an expression of the principle of popular sovereignty, reveals unprecedented legal issues.

The first question raised was whether the executive had the power to activate Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union (TEU) or whether there is a need to adopt a law according to which the Prime Minister will be empowered to activate Article 50 TEU. The UK Supreme Court resolved that issue [2] holding that the activation of article 50 TEU falls within the power of the legislative body, and therefore a parliamentary law is necessary.[3]

Since the withdrawal procedure under Article 50 TEU is triggered, the question is the following: what is the procedure for approving the possible agreement between the United Kingdom and the Member States of the European Union (henceforth Brexit Agreement)? Does a parliamentary procedure suffice? Or there is need for a new referendum?  And most importantly, in case the UK Parliament – or the popular will in a referendum – rejects the Brexit Agreement, what is the legal effect? Does the rejection of the Brexit Agreement automatically activate a hard Brexit?

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Published on June 28, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

Daniels v. Scribante: South Africa Pushes the Boundaries of Horizontality and Social Rights

Aoife Nolan, University of Nottingham

The South African Constitutional Court ruling in Daniels v Scribante and Another[1] is a ground-breaking decision on the right to security of tenure – an aspect of the right to property under the South African Constitution (Section 25(6))[2] that has received relatively limited judicial analysis from a constitutional law perspective. In Daniels, all members of the Court found that the complainant was entitled to make improvements to her dwelling on a Stellenbosch farm owned by the second respondent. These improvements were sought against a backdrop of ‘a move calculated to get rid of Ms Daniels from the farm’ (para 5), involving the first respondent farm manager interfering with the dwelling’s door, cutting off the electricity supply and failing to maintain the dwelling adequately. Although earlier orders by the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court requiring the respondents to address these issues were implemented, it was accepted by all parties that the ongoing condition of the dwelling constituted an infringement of Ms Daniels’s right to human dignity. However, in a further proceeding, the Magistrate’s Court held that as an occupier of farmland under the Extension of Security of Tenure[3] – an Act passed to give effect to the constitutional right contained in Section 25(6) of the Constitution – Ms Daniels did not have the right to effect improvements to her dwelling without the consent of an owner or person in charge.

In a decision authored by Madlanga J and concurred with by five other members of the Court, great emphasis was placed on the importance of the historical context of systemic discrimination and dispossession experienced by generations of black South Africans as a result of colonialism and apartheid. (See also the concurring judgment of Froneman J). The same judgment stressed the linkage between the right to security of tenure and the right to human dignity. Adopting a purposive approach, Madlanga J highlighted that Section 25(6) and ESTA are not only about securing the tenure of ESTA occupiers but are also about affording occupiers the dignity that eluded most of them throughout the colonial and apartheid regimes.  In doing so, he stated that the notions ‘reside’ in terms of ESTA and ‘security of tenure’ must mean that the dwelling has to be habitable.  In this instance, ‘denial of the existence of the right asserted by Ms Daniels might inadvertently result in what would in effect be evictions. This would be a direct result of the intolerability of conditions on the dwelling’ (para 32).

Most excitingly from the perspective of comparative constitutional law, a majority of the Court rejected the argument that constitutionally an owner bears no positive obligation to ensure that an occupier lives under conditions that afford her or him human dignity. In doing so, it recognised the possibility of the direct horizontality of positive obligations imposed by constitutional ESR.

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Published on June 27, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Special Issue on “Electoral Reform in Constitutional Democracies”

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

I-CONnect readers may be interested in a special issue of the peer-reviewed Election Law Journal on the subject of Electoral Reform in Constitutional Democracies, guest edited by Michael Pal (Ottawa) and me.

Mike and I observed a couple of years ago that countries across the globe were undergoing major electoral reforms that would have implications for the robustness of their democratic procedures and outcomes, and that could in many cases determine whether liberal constitutionalism survives in those jurisdictions.

To give these events the scholarly attention we thought they deserved, we organized a special issue featuring thirteen articles from expert scholars, each describing and evaluating major electoral reforms in a country or region. From Egypt to Italy, New Zealand to the Caribbean, Canada to Kenya and many jurisdictions in between, this special issue is both an introduction and a deep dive into the challenge and promise of electoral reform in the democratic world.

The special issue has just been published. All papers–including a thematic introduction written by U.S. election law expert Vik Amar (Illinois)–are available for a free period of 30 days at the homepage of the Election Law Journal.

The table of contents–along with direct links to the papers in PDF and HTML–are available below.

Electoral Reform in Constitutional Democracies
Guest Editors: Richard Albert and Michael Pal

Introduction–The Stakes of Electoral Reform at Home and Abroad free access

Vikram David Amar

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 211-212.

Citation | Full Text PDF or HTML | Reprints | Permissions | Download Metadata

The Deliberative Case for Constitutional Referenda free access

Ron Levy

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 213-221.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

From People’s Revolution to Partisan Reform: Recent Electoral Change in New Zealand free access

Andrew Geddis

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 222-229.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

Lessons from Litigating for Reform free access

Nicholas Stephanopoulos

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 230-236.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

On the Nexus of Eternity Clauses, Proportional Representation, and Banned Political Parties free access

Rivka Weill

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 237-246.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

Towards a Ius Commune on Elections in Europe? The Role of the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters in “Harmonizing” Electoral Rights free access

Cristina Fasone, Giovanni Piccirilli

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 247-254.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

Three Narratives About Canadian Election Law free access

Michael Pal

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 255-262.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

Constitutional Reform in the Caribbean free access

Richard Albert

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 263-271.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

Italian Electoral Law: A Story of an Impossible Transition? free access

Antonia Baraggia

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 272-279.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

Military Electoral Authoritarianism in Egypt free access

Sahar F. Aziz

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 280-295.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

Legalizing Politics: An Evaluation of Hong Kong’s Recent Attempt at Democratization free access

Cora Chan

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 296-305.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

Lessons for Sub-Saharan Africa from Kenya on Electoral Reforms: The Role and Limitations of the Law free access

Duncan Okubasu

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 306-315.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

Electoral Reforms in Belgium’s Sixth State Reform: Historic Split of Electoral Constituency BHV, Reform of the Senate, and Coincident Elections free access

Jurgen Goossens

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 316-324.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

Brazilian Legislators at Work: Constitutional Amendments as Electoral Strategy free access

Eneida Desiree Salgado

Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. Jun 2017, 16(2): 325-333.

Abstract | Full Text PDF or HTML

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Published on June 27, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

What’s New in Public Law

–Vicente F. Benítez R., Constitutional Law Professor, Universidad de La Sabana (Colombia) and doctoral student at NYU

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in 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 public law blogosphere.

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The European Court of Human Rights held that the Russian statutes banning the so-called “propaganda of homosexuality” infringe provisions of the Convention.
  2. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the dismissal of an accused drug dealer’s case due to the excessive delay in conducting the trial, and to the subsequent violation of the right to a timely trial.  
  3. The U.K. Supreme Court ruled that women from Northern Ireland are not entitled to receive free abortions in England, which are supplied by the National Health Service (NHS).
  4. The Constitutional Court of South Africa concluded that the Speaker of the National Assembly has the power to establish a secret ballot procedure for a vote of no confidence against the President.
  5. The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt halted the execution of two contradictory judicial decisions issued by lower courts pertaining the border demarcation on Red Sea islands.
  6. The Hungarian Constitutional Court quashed some provisions of the national security law that imposed the obligation of conducting security screenings on judges.   
  7. The Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal allowed the prosecution of Venezuela’s General Attorney due to the alleged existence of serious offenses in the exercise of her office.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Poland annulled several laws regarding the appointment process to the National Council of the Judiciary.
  9. The Constitutional Court of Spain declared that Catalonia’s appointment of a Foreign Affairs Minister is unconstitutional, but it also concluded that the Catalonian government may engage in international activities as long as they are compatible with Spain’s foreign policies.
  10. The US Supreme Court struck down a North Carolina law that barred sexual offenders from using social networks, due to its violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

In the News

  1. The European Network of Ombudsmen met on a conference to discuss the fallout for citizen rights from Brexit and increased populism in Europe.
  2. The Parliament of Turkey passed a statute allowing the deployment of troops to a military base in Qatar.
  3. French President Emmanuel Macron’s political coalition obtained a significant majority of seats in the recent election of the National Assembly.
  4. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament warned that the proposed constitutional amendments to the Turkish Constitution, could lead to a suspension of Turkey’s accession to the EU talks.
  5. The German Bundestag approved a constitutional amendment that prohibits public funding of anti-democratic political parties.  
  6. The Venice Commission issued its report on the revised draft of the new Constitution of Georgia.  
  7. A recent poll conducted in Poland showed that half of the citizenry endorses President Duda’s proposed referendum to amend the Constitution.
  8. Zambia’s Parliament Speaker suspended forty-eight opposition MPs for their refusal to attend to President Lungu’s state of the nation speech.
  9. The Parliament of Romania ousted Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu in a no-confidence vote.
  10. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to submit his proposed constitutional amendments package to the Diet during this fall.  

New Scholarship

  1. Federico Fabbrini & Miguel Poiares Maduro, Supranational Constitutional Courts, Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law; iCourts Working Paper Series 98 (forthcoming 2017) (analyzing and proposing a particular typology of non-domestic Constitutional Courts)
  2. Carl F. Goodman, Contemplated Amendments to Japan’s 1947 Constitution: A Return to Iye, Kokutai and the Meiji State, Washington International Law Journal (2016) (discussing some of the Liberal Democratic Party amendment proposals to the 1947 Japanese Constitution)
  3. Vlad Perju, On Uses and Misuses of Human Rights in European Constitutionalism, in Silja Vöneky and Gerald L. Neuman (eds.), Human Rights, Democracy, and Legitimacy in a World in Disorder (2017) (challenging the traditional account that human rights were absent from the genesis of the EU legal order)
  4. Julio Ríos-Figueroa, Constitutional Courts as Mediators. Armed Conflict, Civil-Military Relations, and the Rule of Law in Latin America (2017) (positing a new framework to understand the role of constitutional courts as mediators to solve internal armed conflicts in a democratic fashion)
  5. Yaniv Roznai, Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments. The Limits of Amendment Powers (2017) (examining the increasing tendency to limit the amendment power and to grant judicial review of amendments to constitutional and supreme courts)
  6. Bernard Stirn & Eirik Bjorge, Towards a European Public Law (2017) (proposing that European Public Law is a product of the convergence of the law of the European Union, the law of the European Convention on Human Rights, and the domestic legal orders)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL) invites younger scholars to participate in the first-ever Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law, to be held in Fukuoka, Japan on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. The deadline to email abstracts is September 15, 2017.
  2. City University of London Law School invites interested candidates to apply as Early Stage Researchers (ESR) to work on a PhD research project with the provisional title “On Global Law- The Democratisation of Global Governance.” The deadline for applications is July 5, 2017.
  3. The Mexican Chapter of ICON-S has launched its new website, and convenes its annual Conference on “Constitutional Culture and Gender,” which will be held on December 4-5, 2017.
  4. The Runnymede Society calls for papers to its forthcoming National Conference on “Threats to the Rule of Law from Within,” that will take place in January 2018. The deadline for submissions is August 18, 2017.  
  5. The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions welcomes submissions for a two-days Symposium on “Institutional Structures for Governance Before-During-After a National Emergency.” The Symposium will take place on December 14-15, 2017, at the University of Haifa, Israel. The submission deadline is July 31, 2017.
  6. The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law invites current law students and recent graduates to participate in a writing competition on international human rights and gender. Papers should be submitted by July 1, 2017.  
  7. Yale Law School is accepting submissions to its Seventh Annual Doctoral Scholarship Conference, to be held on November 10-11, 2017. The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Mohamed Arafa, “Vive la République, Vive la France”: Macron’s Foreign Policy in Muslim and Middle Eastern World, Jurist
  2. David R. Cameron, Pro-Macron landslide in low-turnout French election, Yale MacMillan Center
  3. Pierre de Vos, Secret Ballot Judgment: Constitutional Court Schools Members of Parliament on their Obligations, Constitutionally Speaking
  4. Mario García, Cautious Openness: The Spanish Constitutional Court’s Approach to EU Law in Recent National Case Law, European Law Blog
  5. Dilys Hartley, Statelessness and the Syrian Conflict, OxHRH
  6. Marcin Matczak, How to Demolish an Independent Judiciary with the Help of a Constitutional Court, Verfassungsblog
  7. Mireia Borrell Porta, Jose Javier Olivas, Francesc Trillas, and Francesc Trillas, Catalonia’s referendum: Four views on whether the vote should go ahead, EUROPP
  8. Sangeetha Pillai, Minister to get unprecedented power if Australia’s new citizenship bill is passed, The Conversation
  9. Ruthann Robson, SCOTUS Declares “Disparaging Trademarks” Provision Violates First Amendment, Constitutional Law Prof Blog
  10. Manish Tewari, Should Constitution be amended to make Freedom of Speech a direct Fundamental Right? The Indian Express
  11. Lauren Butterly, A decade on: What happened to the historic Blue Mud Bay case (and why is it in the news again)?, AUSPUBLAW
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Published on June 26, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Brazilian Democratic Decay and the Fear of the People

Juliano Zaiden Benvindo & Fernando José Gonçalves Acunha, University of Brasília

A recurring trend in comparative constitutional law is the emerging populism, which, in its various forms, extends to places and contexts as diverse as the United States, Poland, Turkey, Hungary, the Philippines, Latin America and so forth. Brazil, which is experiencing one of its most long-lasting political crises in recent history and whose social, economic, and political landscape could bolster similar avenues, is however facing a distinct sort of phenomenon. Though populism may pose a threat to Brazilian democracy,[1] especially in a context of widespread political disaffection and a lack of trust in political parties, Brazil’s contemporary democratic downturn seems to be grounded in more entrenched practices that have long co-existed with its gradual process of democratization and which are now in direct clash with democracy itself. The political system, which has long been “skewed toward the representation of elite interests,”[2] is now showing its claws, challenging the democratic achievements of the last decades. Populism may be knocking on the door,[3] but it is the fear of the people that is unleashing the demons of Brazilian constitutionalism.

The Brazilian political system as it has been historically designed and operated in practice is being challenged because of its inability to dialogue with civil society. Amid a deep disbelief in the political institutions and a widespread feeling of powerlessness in society, Brazilian institutions, in general, and the political class, in particular, have adapted themselves to make use of some antidemocratic practices that subvert the very idea of political representation.[4] This situation is aggravated by the fact that inequality and a lack of empowerment of socially marginalized groups, which are still significant in Brazilian society, also jeopardize the sense of political representation.[5] Although these characteristics have long shaped how the political class interacts with society, the current political crisis has intensified the visibility of the gap separating one from the other, and, more importantly, how the political class has strategically acted to fend off any effective popular participation affecting its status quo.

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Published on June 24, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

Ecuador After Rafael Correa: A Re-Engagement with Liberal Constitutionalism? (I-CONnect Column)

Javier Couso, Universidad Diego Portales

[Editor’s note: This is one of our biweekly I-CONnect columns. Columns, while scholarly in accordance with the tone of the blog and about the same length as a normal blog post, are a bit more “op-ed” in nature than standard posts. For more information about our four columnists for 2017, see here.]


A few weeks ago, on May 24th, Ecuador’s new President, Lenín Moreno, took over from Rafael Correa (who had been in power for over ten years). Although coming from the same political party, ‘Alianza PAIS’, and in spite of fears that Correa would continue to held power from the backstage, the first actions by Moreno suggest that he will be his own self as a President, something which, in turn, might change the dynamic that has characterized Ecuador’s political and constitutional process over the last decade, perhaps even turning away from the illiberal concentration of power around the Executive branch, which was one of the Correa government’s key features.

Of course, it would be a profound mistake to think that the extremely complex social, political and constitutional process experienced by Ecuador since 2007 can be fundamentally altered by the substitution of one individual by another as the head of state but, in this case, there are reasons to believe that the arrival of Moreno to the Presidency might change the dynamics –and even direction— of Ecuador’s experiment with radical democracy.


As observers of the Latin American region know well, soon after his surprising election as President (in 2007), Rafael Correa aligned himself with the so-called ‘Bolivarian’ movement, a regional initiative launched in the mid 2000s by Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro, which aimed at spreading radical left politics in Latin America. The Bolivarian movement, which included a so-called ‘new constitutionalism’ advocating for the concentration of power around the Executive branch and the curtailment of independent media outlets, reached its peak around 2010, when many Latin Americans felt that the pair liberal constitutionalism/free markets had failed to deliver its promises of freedom and economic well-being.

In the case of Ecuador, the Constitution of 2008 represented an effort by Correa’s government to launch a new era, one in which a corrupted economic and political elite maintained more than a third of the country’s population below the poverty line, while enriching themselves through corruption. The new constitutional practice was unashamedly illiberal with the justification that, in order to confront the large multinational corporations that had traditionally run most aspects of Ecuador’s politics, economics and society, the government had to be given very strong powers.

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Published on June 21, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

What’s New in Public Law

Mohamed Abdelaal, Assistant Professor, Alexandria University Faculty of Law

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in 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 public law blogosphere.

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The US Supreme Court ruled that a law that gives birthright citizenship preference to children of unwed mothers over unwed fathers is unconstitutional.
  2. The US Supreme Court struck down part of a federal law that denies trademark protection of terms that disparage living or dead,
  3. The US Supreme Court will decide whether electoral maps drawn deliberately to favor a particular political party are constitutional.
  4. The Supreme Court of Venezuela denied the chief prosecutor’s motion to stop President Nicolas Maduro’s attempt to rewrite the Constitution.
  5. The German Federal Constitutional Court reportedly stayed the ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC).
  6. The High Court of Justice of Israel held that the state has nine months to ensure that all of the country’s prisoners have at least three square meters of living space within nine months and at least 4.5 square meters within 18 months

In the News

  1. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Parliament) sends a bill on the Constitutional Court for a revision.
  2. Former Indonesian Constitutional Court justice Patrialis Akbar was indicted for bribery in connection with a request for a judicial review.
  3. People in Mali protest against a constitutional reform that would allow the president to appoint a third of future senators, presidents of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court.
  4. The Parliament of Hungary approved a new law on foreign-funded NGOs.
  5. The National Diet of Japan passed a controversial conspiracy law.
  6. The Parliament of Egypt approves a treaty to transfer two red sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
  7. The Samoan Parliament passed a constitutional amendment to transform the country from a secular to a Christian state.
  8. The Irish government considers holding a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution that protects the equal right to life of the mother and unborn child.
  9. The United Human Rights Committee ruled that Ireland’s abortion law violates human rights. Although, under the country’s 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act abortions may be provided if a mother’s live is in immediate danger

New Scholarship

  1. Cormac S. Mac Amhlaigh, The Anatomy of Constitutional Pluralism in the European Union, in Gareth Davies & Matej Avbelj, Research Handbook on Pluralism and EU Law (Edward Elgar, 2017) (discussing constitutional pluralism as a model for understanding interactions between state law and the law of the European Union and a particularly puzzling lack of crisis therein)
  2. Roberto Niembro Ortega, Conceptualizing authoritarian constitutionalism, 49 Verfassung und Recht in Übersee (2016) (proposing a different understanding of authoritarian constitutionalism)
  3. Sean Molloy, Sub-State Constitutions in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings, Kimana Zulueta-Fülscher and Asanga Welikala (eds.) (2017) (examining sub-state constitutions in fragile and conflict-affected settings employing a qualitative comparative framework)
  4. Antonia Baraggia and Maria Elena Gennusa, Intertwined but Different: The Heterologous In Vitro Fertilization Case before the European Court of Human Rights and the Italian Constitutional Court, 9 Perspectives on Federalism (2017) (addressing the issues of overlapping human rights protection systems in an analysis of the heterologous in vitro fertilization case, wherein the Strasbourg Court and the Italian Constitutional Court delivered relevant judgments on very similar matters)
  5. Kevin Crow and Lina Lorenzoni, International Corporate Obligations, Human Rights, and the Urbaser Standard: Breaking New Ground?, 35 Boston University International Law Journal (forthcoming 2018) (examining the implications of the recent ICSID Tribunal Award in Urbaser v. Argentina for international arbitral practice)
  6. Andras L. Pap, Ethno-racial identity (politics) by law: “Fraud” and “choice”, The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity (2017) (exploring the conceptualization of ethno-racial identity in social sciences and humanities and looking at how law reacts to these paradigm shifts)
  7. Torben Spaak, Legal Positivism, Conventionalism, and the Normativity of Law (2017) (investigating whether we can account for the normativity of law within the framework of legal positivism and whether the idea of a social convention can help in this endeavor)
  8. Jan-Baptist Lemaire, We the politicians? A comparative analysis of democratic constitution-making in the European Union and Belgium (2017) (assessing the processes of constitutional amendment in Belgium and the EU)
  9. Hao Jiang, Does Fairness Matter and Does a Materiality Requirement Achieve Fairness? ― Business as Usual in Approving Disclosure Settlement Post-Trulia (2017) (arguing that fairness remains the only criteria for the court to approve class action non-monetary form of settlements)
  10. Leila N. Sadat, Whither Human Rights in the Era of Trump, 35 Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (2017) (cataloging some of the early actions of the Trump administration to discern its approach to human rights)

Call for Papers

  1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic offers seven scholarships for Italian nationals in one of the European Law and Governance School Postgraduate Programs. The scholarship covers the 2017/18 tuition fee.
  2. The WZB Berlin Social Science Center invites applications for one of the positions in the Project Group “International Citizenship Law” led by Professor Liav Orgad: a Research Associate in the field of Naturalization Law and Policy: A Global Perspective” (apply by July 1, 2017); a Research Fellow/Ph.D. Candidate in International Law and Governance of Citizenship (by July 31 ).
  3. The Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy invites submissions for a Symposium on amending the Constitution, to be held at Duke University School of Law on February 2, 2018.
  4. Masaryk University Faculty of Law hosts an international conference on Alternative Methods of Argumentation in Law. The abstract submission deadline is July 31, 207.
  5. The Indian Constitutional Law Review invites submissions for its new volume. The submission  deadline is is July 2, 2017.
  6. The International Journal of Legal Research and Governance invites submissions for its new volume. The deadline for submission of papers is 30 June, 2017.
  7. The Italian Law Journal invites submission for its new volume on the theme “Italian corporate law in the context of a globalized world.”

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Colin PA Jones, Conspiracy theory becomes frightening reality for Japan, The Japan Times
  2. Muhammad Zubair, Mainstreaming Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA): Constitutional and Legal Reforms, ConstitutionNet
  3. Jack M. Balkin, Trumping the Constitution, Balkinization
  4. Jud Mathews, More Emolument Trouble For President Trump?, Verfassungsblog
  5. David R. Cameron, After election disaster, UK more likely to seek a softer Brexit, Yale MacMillan Center
  6. Mark Elliot, Strong and Stable? The British Constitution and the 2017 General Election, Public Law for Everyone
  7. Mairead Enright, Ireland’s Failing Abortion Law: Statutory Interpretation, Human Rights and the Detention of Pregnant Children, Human Rights in Ireland
  8. Liora Lazarus, Do Human Rights Impede Effective Counterterrorism?, UK Constitutional Law Association
  9. Karin Loevy, The Far Reaching Constitutional Context of the Manchester Arena Terrorist Attack, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  10. Thomas Hirse and Paetrick Sakowski, More bad news for the European Unitary Patent: The Federal Constitutional Court pro-visionally stops transposition laws, Lexology
  11. Pierre de Vos, Gigaba and Gupta citizenship: several ethical and legal questions remain unanswered, Constitutionally Speaking
  12. Dylan Lino, The Uluru Statement: Towards Federalism with First Nations, AUSPUBLAW
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Published on June 19, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Conference Report–“Constitutional Responses to the Crisis of Representation and Oligarchic Democracy”

Elliot Bulmer and Ellen Hubbard, International IDEA

On 30-31 May 2017, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (Int. IDEA) hosted a Workshop on ‘Constitutional Responses to the Crisis of Representation and Oligarchic Democracy’ (CR2OD), held at the Hague Institute for Global Justice.

The workshop was part of a wider International IDEA project examining the apparent crisis of representation in established and consolidating democracies during this ‘new gilded age’ of rising inequalities of wealth. Participants addressed the issue that although modern liberal democracies have constitutions and free popular elections, these democratic institutions over time have become dominated by a wealthy, elite class. This can produce a hybrid regime-type, which for the purposes of this workshop was defined as ‘oligarchic democracy’.

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Published on June 16, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Save the Date–I-CONnect Happy Hour at ICON-S in Copenhagen–Thursday, July 6, 6pm-7pm at Llama

Tom Ginsburg, David Landau and Richard Albert invite friends of I-CONnect to a happy hour at the ICON-S 2017 Conference in Copenhagen.

All are welcome on Thursday, July 6, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm at Llama, located at Lille Kongensgade 14 1074 København K, within close walking distance from the University of Copenhagen where ICON-S will be held.

The I-CONnect co-editors look forward to seeing you there!

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Published on June 15, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Call for Papers–Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law–XXth International Congress–Fukuoka, Japan–July 25, 2018


Call for Papers

Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law
XXth International Congress 2018
International Academy of Comparative Law
Fukuoka, Japan
July 25, 2018


We invite younger scholars to participate in the first-ever Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law, to be held in Fukuoka, Japan on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, from 9:00am to 12:00pm as part of the larger quadrennial Congress of Comparative Law organized by the International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL).

Abstracts are invited for eight (8) Workshops and one (1) TED-style Speakers’ Corner. All nine sessions will be held concurrently from 9:00am to 12:00pm on the day of the Forum. More details follow below on the subject-matter of each Workshop and on the format of the Speakers’ Corner.

Abstracts may be submitted in either English or French, the two official languages of the IACL.

The Congress

The IACL hosts a general Congress of Comparative Law every four years. It is the premiere gathering for scholars of comparative law. It is a “general” Congress because scholars of all fields attend and participate in Workshops on specific subjects that span the broad range of private and public law. To learn more about the IACL, here is its website: And here is a description of the IACL itself:

The Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law

For the first time in its history (the first general Congress was held at The Hague in 1932), the IACL will host a program for younger scholars, defined as those scholars with no more than ten years of tenure-track faculty experience. This includes graduate students as well as post-doctoral fellows, lecturers and visiting affiliates who have yet to secure a continuing faculty appointment.

The Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law is chaired and convened by Richard Albert (Canada/USA) along with vice-chairs Luisa Fernanda García López (Colombia) and Maxime St-Hilaire (Canada). The chair is supported by a Program Committee and a Senior Advisory Committee. Members of both committees are identified further down below. The Program Committee is composed of three subcommittees: the Planning & Priorities subcommittee, co-chaired by Cora Chan (China) and Yaniv Roznai (Israel); the Information & Recruitment subcommittee, co-chaired by Cristina Fasone (Italy) and Daniel Wunder Hachem (Brazil); and the Communications & Technology subcommittee, chaired by John Haskell (United Kingdom).


Each Workshop will be conducted as a discussion group structured around accepted papers. Each Workshop will feature two Moderators and a Distinguished Provocateur-Discussant. The moderators will select up to 25 participants for a wide-ranging discussion that will run for the duration of the three-hour session. The Distinguished Provocateur-Discussant will comment on remarks made by participants, draw connections among the points made by the participants, seed the discussion with new points and questions, as well as challenge, reinforce and/or complicate the comments made by the participants. Discussions will be conducted in both English and French. Each of the Workshops follows below with an abstract identifying the Moderators and Distinguished Provocateur-Discussants.

Speakers’ Corner

The Speakers’ Corner will feature 15 to 18 TED-style 9-minute oral presentations on a scholarly subject related to a topic of the speaker’s choice in comparative law. All presentations will be recorded live in front of an audience at the Forum and uploaded on YouTube for larger dissemination with the global community of comparative law.

How to Participate

By September 15, 2017, younger scholars should email an abstract between 150 and 500 words to the Corresponding Moderator of the Workshop in which they would like to participate. All Corresponding Moderators are identified below in connection with each Workshop. For those interested in participating in the Speakers’ Corner, younger scholars should email an abstract between 150 and 500 words to the Director of the Speakers’ Corner, also identified further below.

Applicants will be notified by October 15, 2017.

The IACL does not cover expenses for any participant, including Moderators and Distinguished Provocateur-Discussants. But we believe that applicants’ home institutions will support participation in this event given the prestige and history of the IACL along with the special opportunity to exchange ideas and interact with younger scholars, Moderators and Distinguished Provocateur-Discussants from around the world.

All successful participants will have to register with the IACL. No other affiliation is required to participate in this program.


For questions about the Workshops, please contact Program Committee vice-chairs Luisa Fernanda García López (Colombia) at or Maxime St-Hilaire (Canada) at

For questions about the Speakers’ Corner, please contact the Director John Haskell (United Kingdom) at

For questions about the IACL, please contact Program Committee Chair Richard Albert at


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Published on June 14, 2017
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