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I·CONnect

Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

The Instrumentality of Metadata Access Regime for Suppressing Political Protests in Australia


Genna Churches, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law, UNSW Sydney, and Monika Zalnieriute, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, Macquarie University


Australians, just like many other people around the world, are taking to the streets. What started as a few small sparks earlier in a year — Greta, school strikes, Extinction Rebellion — unraveled during Australian bushfires crisis, spread to anti-lockdown protests over COVID-19 restrictions, and now exploded into massive protests on racial injustice with ‘Black Lives Matter’, the ‘Aboriginal deaths in custody’ movement and calls to tear down statutes of a racist colonial legacy. Strong consciousness of racial and environmental injustice is driving the protests, despite the COVID-19 risk of mass gatherings.

As we show below, Australian politicians have expressed strong disdain, and even threats, at protesters well before COVID-19 pandemic. Government desire to silence critics is not new, however today’s digital technologies and Australia’s slack federal metadata laws give the Government unprecedented tools to find out who has attended the protests, and take action. These tools, coupled with new COVID-19 powers to surveil citizens, have seriously impaired the right to protest anonymously in Australia.  In this post we are not disputing the need for restrictions on mass gatherings or social distancing — to the opposite, we think they are crucial to stop the spread of virus. Instead, we are exposing the instrumentality of metadata, including location data, for the government to clamp down on peaceful protests. As the High Court of Australia noted, the right to peaceful protest is vital to Australian democracy, given the only other voice for the public is at the ballot box. In this post, we propose one small step towards securing that right — a right that will be needed once the pandemic is under control and the restrictions are eased. That small step is reforming the laws so that our metadata can only be accessed with a judicial warrant.

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Published on August 4, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Analysis
 

What’s New in Public Law


Matteo Mastracci, PhD Researcher, Koç University, Istanbul

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 contact.iconnect@gmail.com.

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. France’s Constitutional Council struck down the main provisions of the Avia law forcing online platforms to delete hate-speech contents.
  2. Mexico’s Supreme Court rejected a proposal that could have paved the way for the decriminalization of abortion across the country.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Bulgaria dismissed two cases concerning amendments to the Health Act and the Cabinet investigations of the Prosecutor General.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Turkey rejected CHP opposition party’s appeal against multiple bar associations law.
  5. The European Court of Human Rights refused to apply an interim measure in the case concerning constitutional reform in Armenia.
  6. The Portuguese Constitutional Court ruled on the relationship between EU law and the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic clarifying the principle of primacy and the legal orders’ reciprocal limitations.

In the News

  1. Kyrgyzstan’s lawmakers passed a draft legislation which would allow to censure online information by cutting off websites and social media accounts without a court ruling. 
  2. Malta’s political forces agreed on constitutional amendments which will give greater powers to the President and change the method of appointment of the Head of State.
  3. On 29 July, the Turkish parliament approved AKP’s bill that strengthens control over social media companies.
  4. The acquittal of two right-to-die activists in Italy might push the Italian Constitutional Court to declare the unconstitutionality of Article 580 of the Italian Penal Code and to legalize the physician-assisted suicide.
  5. The Albanian Parliament approved a motion to not impeach President Meta for serious violations of the constitution.
  6. The Chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Council for Reforms of Ukraine proposed a nationwide referendum over the disbanding of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Romania will rule on the law establishing a minimum income for a decent living.
  8. The Italian Senate and the Chamber of Deputies approved the government extension of the state of emergency in the country over coronavirus till October 15.
  9. The Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs agreed to discuss a legislative proposal to establish a Constitutional Court in Pakistan following the model of the U.S. Supreme Court.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Trudeau’s Threat: The Referendum at Patriation (2020) (recovering the history of Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s threat to use a referendum to patriate the Canadian Constitution in 1982).
  2. Andrew Koppelman, Gay Rights vs. Religious Liberty? (2020) (addressing theoretical and practical queries on the conflict between gay rights and religious liberty)
  3. David Pozen and Kim Lane Scheppele, Executive Underreach, in Pandemics and Otherwise (forthcoming 2020) (introducing the phenomenon of executive underreach as a new form of illiberalism in reference to the COVID-19 crisis)
  4. Edward A. Purcell Jr., Antonin Scalia and American Constitutionalism (2020) (examining whether Scalia’s judgments were consistent with his jurisprudential theories)
  5. Giuliano Amato, Benedetta Barbisan and Cesare Pinelli, Rule of Law vs Majoritarian Democracy (forthcoming 2021) (exploring tensions and paradoxes of ROL, electoral democracy and illiberal political movements in selected Western countries)
  6. Jorge M. Farinacci- Fernós, Original Explication: A Democratic Model for the Interpretation of Modern State Constitutions (2020) (advancing an intent-based method of constitutional interpretation that privileges the official deliberation of the constitutional drafting body)
  7. Paul Yowell, Constitutional Rights and Constitutional Design (2020) (offering a critical insight on the Court’s empirical reasoning and the judicial review provisions in the design of constitutional rights)
  8. Vlad Perju, Against Bidimensional Supremacy in EU Constitutionalism (forthcoming 2020) (challenging conceptually and interpretatively the EU supremacy as a necessarily bidimensional phenomenon of supranational and national dimensions)
  9. Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou, Routledge Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Change (2020) (providing a comprehensive understanding of the importance of constitutional change mechanisms and tools in the study of constitutional law)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. African Yearbook of International Law welcomes submission for its special theme of Volume 24 on African Regional Law and Health: Present Status and Prospects. The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2020.
  2. Indian Society for Legal Research (ISLR) organizes the 1st virtual summer school on “International Legal System in the Age of Pandemic”.
  3. The Department of Legal Studies at Central European University (CEU) invites applications for an Assistant Professor in international human rights law.
  4. The International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice invites submissions for the special issue on “Crime Prevention in Ibero-America”. The deadline for abstract submissions is August 31, 2020.
  5. The Law Department of the European University Institute (EUI) with the support of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) invites submissions for a two-day Doctoral Forum on International Law “Practising Reflexivity in International Law”. The deadline of abstract submission is September 13, 2020.
  6. The Max Planck Institute for European Legal History offers a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department for European and Comparative Legal History for the research field “Legal Transfer in the Common Law World”. The application must be submitted by August 31, 2020.
  7. The Singapore Management University (SMU), School of Law invites distinguished scholars to apply for the Lee Kong Chian International Visiting Professor (LKC Professor) position to begin in August 2021, for a two months period. The application deadline is set on December 10, 2020.
  8. The Working Group on discrimination against women and girls invites contributions to present a thematic report on women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (SHRC) in situation of crisis to the 47th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2021. The deadline is August 31, 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Anjali Busar, Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Bostock v. County: a crowning glory, yet not enough?, IJLPP IL Blog
  2. Bertil Emrah Oder, Attacking the Bar Associations, Verfassungsblog
  3. Lando Kirchmair, Turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque (again), Vöelkerrechtsblog
  4. Lorenzo Zucca, Much ado about uncertainty: how Shakespeare navigates doubt, PSYCHE
  5. Lucas Brang, The Counter-Enlightenment Strikes Back, Verfassungsblog
  6. Rachel Lopez, The Law of Gravity: A Newtonian Proposal for Public International Law, OpinioJuris
  7. Shamshad Pasarlay and M. Basher Mobasher, Electoral Crises, Peace Process with Taliban and Constitutional Reform in Afghanistan, ConstitutionNet
  8. Stefanía Rainaldi, Symposium: The Sabalsagaray Case: A Uruguayan Example of the Integration of International Human Rights Law with Constitutional Law, IACL-AIDC Blog
  9. Steve Peers, Family reunion, the rights of the child and effective remedies: latest CJEU judgment, EU Law Analysis
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Published on August 3, 2020
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ICON Volume 18, Issue 2: Editorial

Orbán and the self-asphyxiation of democracy; Publishers, academics and the battles over copyright and your rights, Part I; Festschrift? ‘That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow! That is the whole Torah; the rest is interpretation’ (from the Elder Hillel in Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a); In this issue

Orbán and the self-asphyxiation of democracy

It came as no big surprise that Orbán has used COVID-19 to dismantle further the checks and balances that are an integral part of any functioning democracy. On March 30, 2020, with the authorization of the Hungarian Parliament (in which the government has a large majority), an Act was passed,[1] which effectively gave the government sweeping powers to rule by decree. It is not unusual in times of emergency for the executive branch to revert to extraordinary measures, though in this case they have a Hungarian twist: the new law is of indeterminate duration (though Parliament can end it when it sees fit—in the case of Hungary de facto when the Executive sees fit) and the powers granted exceed those necessary to deal with COVID.

More ominously, alongside that enabling law, the Penal Code was amended, permanently, to introduce two new crimes—punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment for any activity that interferes with the government in the discharge of its emergency responsibility and for any publication “distorting the truth” that might alarm a large number of persons—which I imagine could mean any publication that contradicts the government narrative. I consider this part of the package far, far more pernicious.

There have also been reports of government changes to the education package in schools to bring it into conformity with the government view of Hungarian history and “appropriate” Hungarian authors.

Hungary has deepened further its “illiberal democracy” —a juicy oxymoron.

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Published on August 2, 2020
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ICON’s Latest Issue: Table of Contents

Volume 18 Issue 2

Table of Contents

Editorial

ICON·S Reflections

Wojciech Sadurski, Constitutional democracy in the time of elected authoritarians

Luis Roberto Barroso, Technological revolution, democratic recession and climate change: The limits of law in a changing world

I·CON Foreword

Neil Walker, The sovereignty surplus

Reflections on Gender and Public Law: Eight Views

Christopher McCrudden, Resurrecting positive action

Barbara Havelková, The struggle for social constructivism in post-socialist Central and Eastern Europe

Ruth Rubio-Marin, Gendered nationalism and constitutionalism

Anna Śledzińska-Simon, Populists, gender and national identity

Julieta Leimatre, Transitional justice and the challenges of a feminist peace

Chao-ju Chen, Single equality in the age of marriage equality

 Veronica Undurraga, Engendering a constitutional moment: The quest for parity in the Chilean constitutional convention

 Stefano Osella, “De-gendering” the civil status? A public law problem

Articles

Jan Petrov, The populist challenge to the European Court of Human Rights

Tom Gerald Daly and Brian Christopher Jones, Parties versus democracy: Addressing today’s political-party threats to democratic rule

Critical Review of Jurisprudence

Marco Wan, The invention of tradition: Same-sex marriage and its discontents in Hong Kong

Special Section: From the Trenches

Sanjay Jain and Saranya Mishra, Scandalizing the judiciary: Analysis of the uneven response of the Supreme Court of India to the sexual harassment allegations against judges

The I•CONnect-Clough Center 2019 Global Review of Constitutional Law

Maja Sahadžić, 2019 Global Review of Constitutional Law: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Malkhaz Nakashidze, 2019 Global Review of Constitutional Law: Georgia

Jasmina Dimitrieva and. Lydia Tiede, 2019 Global Review of Constitutional Law: North Macedonia

Occasional Series: Constitutional Surveys

Piotr Radziewicz,Monika Florczak–Wątor and Marcin M. Wiszowaty, Survey on the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. The results of the research conducted in 2017-2018

Law and Gender in the Literature

Hillary Potter. Intersectionality and Criminology: Disrupting and Revolutionizing Studies of Crime; Shreya Atrey. Intersectional Discrimination (Arushi Garg)

Ruth Rubio-Marín and Will Kymlicka eds. Gender Parity & Multicultural Feminism (Ofra Bloch)

Ratna Kapur. Gender, Alterity and Human Rights: Freedom in a Fishbowl (Cara Röhner)

Irini Papanicolopulu (ed.). Gender and the Law of the Sea (Isabel Lischewski)

Libby Adler. Gay Priori. A Queer Critical Legal Studies Approach to Law Reform (Estefanía Vela-Barba)

Book Reviews

Richard Albert. Constitutional Amendments. Making, Breaking, and Changing Constitutions (Eoin Carolan)

Adrienne Yong. The Rise and Decline of Fundamental Rights in EU Citizenship (Dimitry Kochenov)

Moritz Baumgärtel. Demanding Rights: Europe’s Supranational Courts and the Dilemma of Migrant Vulnerability (Lena Riemer)

Gautam Bhatia. The Transformative Constitution: A Radical Biography in Nine Acts (Sandeep Suresh)

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Published on August 2, 2020
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Traces of Constitutional Reasoning in Latin America and the Caribbean – Regional Cosmopolitanism Without Backlash?

Johanna Fröhlich, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Latin America is claiming a leading position in global constitutional trendsetting, as its rich constitutional traditions keep inspiring new experiments and novel constitutional theories for seeking structural change. Transformative constitutionalism, Andean neo-constitutionalism or the idea of a distinct Latin American Ius Constitutionale Commune have all trusted judges, and especially justices of constitutional courts, with a great deal of responsibility in order to secure progress in eliminating structural inequalities, social injustice and the sweeping violence from Latin American societies. After a long history of interbranch crises with courts and numerous instances of attacks on judges and judicial institutions, some hold that there has been an “ideological shift” (Helmke&Ríos-Figueroa 2011, 2.) concerning the role of judges in the region. This shift is said to have brought not only the dominance of human rights in modern constitutionalism, but it generated a self-empowered image of judges adapted to the task of approximating the gap between the deficient social, political and institutional environment and law’s hopes to transform society. A robust empirical component, however, is still lacking to test constitutional courts’ activities and their outcomes under the “postwar paradigm”. In order to better understand judicial decision-making through reasoning, as well as the current trends and future perspectives of constitutional review in the region, it seems necessary to seek verifiable answers about what courts are actually doing in Latin America.

The Project on Constitutional Reasoning in Latin America (CORE Latam) seeks to advance the field by engaging with those questions. The project started in 2018 as a special regional follow-up of the CONREASON Project coordinated by András Jakab, Arthur Dyevre and Gulio Itzkovich (Comparative Constitutional Reasoning, CUP 2017). The CORE project aspires to contribute to a flourishing field of research by placing Latin America on the cartography of studies on comparative courts. The aim is to discover and explain the distinct features of constitutional reasoning in fifteen different jurisdictions[1] including the Inter-American Court and the Caribbean Commonwealth, and to identify correlations and trends on a regional and sub-regional level. In order to achieve this goal, the empirical methodology of the CONREASON project was partially redesigned in line with the unique characteristics of the Latin American constitutional environment. After two years’ work, the team had its second yearly meeting on June 11-12, in order to present the results of the quantitative analysis, using a sequence of fifty indicators that were created to analyze the forty most important landmark cases from each of the fifteen jurisdictions. This short summary strives to share the most exciting and thought-provoking preliminary results based on the raw dataset. Although at this point, there are far more questions than answers, it is worthwhile making allowances for our doubts too.

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Published on July 30, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Analysis
 

Constitutions, Science, and COVID: Does Constitutional Protection of Science and Health Predict Pandemic Outcomes?

Alexander Hudson, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

[Editor’s note: This is one of our biweekly I-CONnect columns. For more information about our four columnists for 2020, please click here.]

Those of us who study constitutions (especially in a comparative approach) are bound to wonder about the extent to which constitutional law might relate to the relative success that states have experienced in confronting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps the matter is worthy of a deeper engagement, but I can provide at least a shallow investigation of it here. In the paragraphs that follow, I explore the extent to which giving constitutional standing to rights relating to health and science are connected to success in combating the pandemic.

I would argue that the responses to the pandemic implicate at least three rights that are found in many constitutions. The first and most obvious is the right to health or the right to healthcare. This is a very common feature of constitutions, and is included in 102 of the 192 constitutions for which we have data for 2020 from the Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP). The extent to which the inclusion of this right in a constitution impacts the lived reality of citizens has received significant attention from scholars, including in legal, economic, and medical journals, and most recently in a forthcoming book by Adam Chilton and Mila Versteeg. At a more practical level, a number of constitutions also provide for the right to healthcare that is provided by the government free of charge (41/192). One would expect this constitutional provision in particular to be associated with better outcomes in combatting the virus.

However, the varying responses to the pandemic also bring new relevance to a less-commonly studied right found in many constitutions: the right to enjoy the benefits of science. The history and functions of the right to enjoy the benefits of science is explored in a forthcoming article in the Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Comparative Constitutional Law by Cesare Romano and Andrea Boggio. They highlight the fact that this is one of the oldest international human rights, as it was protected in the American Declaration of Rights and Duties of Man (1948, Article XIII) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948, Article 27.1). Romano and Boggio suggest that the formulation that has been most linguistically influential is from the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966, Article 15.1, b), which protects the rights of individuals “To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications.” As of 2020, the CCP finds this right in 21 constitutions, while a full 133 make some kind of mention of science or research.

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Published on July 29, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Analysis
 

Video Now Available — ICON•S Live Event — The Gendered Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Public Law Scholarship, Perspectives and Values


–The Editors

COVID-19 has inflicted serious damage on the health, social and economic well-being of citizens worldwide. But that damage has not been evenly distributed: it has affected some countries and regions far more than others, and has had distinctly racialized and gendered impacts. In this webinar, we focus in particular on the gendered impacts of the pandemic – on its impact on the capacity to combine care and work, and the resulting gendered impacts in public law scholarship. At the same time, we consider the ways in which the pandemic has created new ways of thinking about work, especially flexible work, which open up the possibilities of a new more gender-equal society, economy and academy. The webinar will feature a panel discussion led by Grainne de Burca and Rosalind Dixon, and which draws on the diverse perspectives of leading female-identifying members of the Society, as well as experts on gender and economic policy, including Michaela Hailbronner, Ruth Rubio Marin, Marcela Prieto Rudolphy, Iyiola Solanke, Betsey Stevenson and Julie Suk.

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Published on July 28, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Developments
 

Five Questions with Olivia Tambou


Richard Albert, William Stamps Farish Professor in Law and Professor of Government, The University of Texas at Austin


In “Five Questions” here at I-CONnect, we invite a public law scholar to answer five questions about her research and writing.

This edition of “Five Questions” features a short video interview with Olivia Tambou, Associate Professor of Public Law at Paris-Dauphine University.

Asked to identify her most meaningful publication among the ones she has authored, she selected Manuel de droit européen de la protection des données à caractère personnel, published just this year.

Professor Tambou is currently organizing a major e-conference on “Data Protection and Covid-19: Comparative Perspectives.” Interested persons may email her directly here: blogdroiteuropeen@gmail.com.

To nominate someone for a future edition of “Five Questions,” please email contact.iconnect@gmail.com. We welcome all nominations. We are especially eager to receive nominations of early-career scholars and women.

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Published on July 28, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Reviews
 

Why Replacing the Brazilian Constitution Is Not a Good Idea: A Response to Professor Bruce Ackerman

Thomas da Rosa Bustamante, Emilio Peluso Neder Meyer, Marcelo Andrade Cattoni de Oliveira, Federal University of Minas Gerais; Jane Reis Gonçalves Pereira, Rio de Janeiro State University; Juliano Zaiden Benvindo and Cristiano Paixão, University of Brasília

In a provocative piece that was first published in Portuguese and then in an English version on ICONnect, Professor Bruce Ackerman not only suggests the need for a new Brazilian constituent assembly, but also sets a date for it: 2023. His first words are strong: “Brazil needs a new Constitution,” a statement that is visibly an invitation for further discussions. His arguments are largely based on specific facts of the Constituent Assembly that resulted in the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, the most democratic ever in the history of the country, and the developments thereafter. His central claim is that “increasing numbers of Brazilians are losing faith in the system established in 1989”, and thereby “the best way to respond to escalating political alienation is to convene a new Constituent Assembly in 2023.” What could sound logical and plausible given the current political crisis catalyzed by Bolsonaro’s disastrous presidency – let alone the economic and health tragedy due to COVID-19 – is, however, made more nuanced and challenged by key facts of Brazilian constitutional history, longstanding discussions of Brazil’s constitutional identity, and cost-benefit analyses. This response aims to address some of those variables. We argue that the Brazilian situation, although extremely problematic, is not likely to be changed for the better with a new constitution.

Professor Ackerman assumes from the outset that the 1988 constitutional project has failed, and that “key decisions by the Assembly of 1988” laid the groundwork for the current public confidence crisis. He offers a historical recollection of events during the Constituent Assembly of 1987-1988, classifies the 1988 Constitution as a “compromise constitution,” describes some of the successive and mostly successful presidencies, depicts an assumed “popular demoralization” in 2020, and even proposes that the “Constituent Assembly of 2023” should adopt a parliamentary system.  In this subject matter, Ackerman follows his long defense of “constrained parliamentarism” as a “more promising path to constitutional development”[1] than presidentialism. 

 Yet, there are some serious difficulties in the claim that Brazil’s 1988 constitutional project has failed. Although Professor Ackerman acknowledges the relevance of various social movements during the Constituent Assembly, the emphasis on the negative dimension of compromises during that moment seems to follow a tradition of political scientists, especially from the 1980-1990s, who depicted the 1988 Constitution as a typical compromise constitution,[2] also arguing in favor of parliamentarism[3]. However,  current historiographic studies have pointed out that the emphasis on compromises and bargains is very partial and simplify that constitutional moment to a large extent.[4]  Such studies prompt, at least, two caveats. First, compromises are not necessarily problematic for constitutional legitimacy and they can even engender constitutional stability[5]  and resilience.[6] Second, the 1988 Constitution carries a history of democratic engagement that goes way beyond that specific constitutional moment. Though the Constituent Assembly took place between February 1, 1987 and October 5, 1988, the drafting of the Constitution, from different angles, is much longer and is anchored in the expressive effort by Brazilian society to overcome the military dictatorship (1964-1985).

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Published on July 28, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Analysis
 

What’s New in Public Law


Claudia Marchese, Research Fellow in Comparative Public Law at the University of Florence (Italy)

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. In an order of 27 May 2020, the First Senate of the German Federal Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional § 113 of the Telecommunications Act and several ordinary federal laws on the grounds that, enabling security authorities to obtain information from telecommunications enterprises, these provisions violate the right to informational self-determination and the right to the privacy of telecommunications (Art. 10(1) of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz – GG).
  2. In Croatia Covid-19 patients were allowed to vote by proxy in the parliamentary elections held on 5 July 2020 after the Constitutional Court stated that the State Electoral Commission has the duty to ensure the possibility to exercise the right to vote to all citizens, including Covid-19 patients.
  3. On 14 July 2020 the Austrian Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional certain provisions introducing restrictions on access to public places provided by the Covid- 19 Measures Act.
  4. U.S Supreme Court declined to overturn a federal appeals court’s decision that blocked Florida felons’ eligibility to participate in election until they have repaid all fines and fees they own.
  5. The Italian Constitutional Court, through the Order no. 132/2020, postponed deciding a question concerning the custodial sentence envisaged for libel to provide the Legislator with an opportunity to approve a new legislation regarding the balance between freedom of press and protection of reputation.

In the News

  1. On 21 July 2020 it was reached an agreement, at the end of the special meeting of the European Council, concerning the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and a specific Recovery effort under Next Generation EU (NGEU).
  2. On 3 July 2020, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin signed Decree No. 445 “On the Official Publication of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, as Amended”. The 206 amendments to the Constitution cover a wide range of issues.
  3. On 18 June 2020, the German parliament passed a reform which extends Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) by placing a reporting obligation on social network platforms which requires them to report certain types of “criminal content” to the Federal Criminal Police Office.
  4. On 21 July 2020 the Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) presented to Parliament a bill that introduce severe restrictions on social media and internet freedoms in the country. The bill was passed by the Justice Committee of Turkey’s parliament on 24 July.
  5. German state of Baden Wuerttemberg has banned burqas and face veils in schools on the reason that they would not belong to a free society.

New Scholarship

  1. R. Albert, America’s Amoral Constitution (explaining that the United States Constitution derives its legitimacy not from morality but from a peculiarly amoral code rooted in outcome-neutrality)
  2. A. Baraggia, C. Fasone, L.P. Vanoni (eds.), New Challenges to the Separation of Powers (forthcoming 2020) (This book guides readers through the transformation of the separation of powers in national contexts).
  3. S. Bartole, The Internationalisation of Constitutional Law. A View from the Venice Commission (2020) (This book illustrate the work of the Venice Commission to show how constitutional law in Europe  has become increasingly borderless).
  4. H. Krunke, B. Thorarensen, The Nordic Constitutions. A comparative and Contextual Study (2020) (This volume analyses the Nordic constitutional systems of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in a comparative context).
  5. Klodian Rado, The use of non-domestic legal sources in Supreme Court of Canada judgments: Is this the judicial slowbalization of the court?, Utrecht Law Review, 2020, 16(1) (This article examines all the 1223 judgments issued by the SCC between 2000 and 2016 and offers a comprehensive picture of citations of all forms of non-domestic legal sources).
  6. C. Fasone, D. Gallo, J. Wouters, Re-connecting Authority and Democratic Legitimacy in the EU: Introductory Remarks, European Papers, 2020, Vol. No. 5, No 1 (This article analyses the relationship between authority and democratic legitimacy in the European Union).
  7. Juan C. Herrera, La idea de un derecho común en América Latina a la luz de sus críticas prácticas, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2020-25 (This study deepens the idea of a Common Law in Latin America, focusing on the practical scope and the challenges faced by the region in moving from the national to the supranational sphere).
  8. R. Ibrido, C. Marchese, Integration policies, practices and experiences: Italy Country Report, Respond Working Paper 2020/54, June 2020 (This work explores the Italian model of integration by looking at the legal, political and institutional framework. It deepens five thematic topics: labour market, education, housing and spatial integration, psychosocial health, citizenship, belonging and civic participation).

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School and the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School announce a call for abstracts concerning “COVID-19 and the Law: Disruption, Impact, and Legacy” with the aim of examining the COVID-19 pandemic from several perspectives, but especially focusing on its relationship with health law and policy. The authors of selected papers will be invited to present their work at a virtual conference. The deadline to submit abstracts is 14 August 2020.
  2. An international and pluri-disciplinary symposium concerning “Coronavirus – Covid-19 Constitutional, political and social threats and challenges in France and the United Kingdom” will be hosted by the Panthéon-Assas University (Paris – France) on 27 May 2021 and the Centre for British Politics and Government, King’s College (London – UK), on 10 June 2021. The deadline for proposals is 15 September 2020.
  3. The theme of the 9th Law and Economic Conference, organized by the University of Lucerne together with the University of Notre-Dame at the University of Lucerne on 16-17 April 2021, will be “Law and Economics of the 2020 Coronavirus Crisis”. To submit a paper for this conference, you are kindly requested to send a proposal (1-2 pages) and a short CV no later than 15 September 2020.
  4. The EULab – Summer School on Labour Migration in the European Union, in cooperation with the Institute for Research on Innovation and Services for Development of the National Research Council of Italy (IRISS-CNR), promotes a call for papers concerning: “Labour Migration in the time of COVID-19: Inequalities and Perspectives for Change”. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 30 September 2020.
  5. The University of Trento and the Centre for Religious Studies at Bruno Kessler Foundation are organizing a workshop on the legal recognition of non-traditional families, “A shared interest in family legal pluralism: The potential of constructive alliances between religious and queer groups“, to be held virtually on September 18, 2020. Registration is mandatory.
  6. The Oxford Seminars in Jurisprudence invite papers on topics related to the philosophy of law. It is possible to submit fully anonymised papers (less than 12,000 words, footnotes included), within 10 August 2020. Papers will be selected by members of the University of Oxford legal philosophy group based on blind review.

Elsewhere Online

  1. D. R. Cameron, After five-day marathon, EU leaders agree on €750 billion recovery plan, Yale MacMillan Centre.
  2. T. Besley, S. Dray, Free media help combat the spread of COVID -19, LSE blog.
  3. A. Carlà, A new kind of insecurity: how the pandemic has affected minorities, LSE blog.
  4. A. Jakab, Moral Dilemmas of Teaching Constitutional Law in an Autocratizing Country, Verfassungsblog.
  5. M. Hailbronner, R. Rubio Marín, Parity laws in Germany – Caving in to Gender Backlash or Consolidating Women’s Citizenship Status?, Verfassungsblog.
  6. Jeffrey Omari, Undercutting Internet Governance in Brazil, Verfassungsblog.
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Published on July 27, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Developments