Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law and

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Margaret Lan Xiao, Visiting Scholar, East Asian Legal Studies Center, UW-Madison Law School EALSC

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. In the Czech Republic, the Constitutional Court rules that the fees charged by banks for managing loan and mortgage accounts are legal.
  2. The Indian Supreme Court recognizes transgenders as an official third gender.
  3. The South African Constitutional Court orders the country’s Social Security Agency to initiate a new tender process for the payment of social welfare grants.
  4. Some of the judges who served on Ukraine’s Constitutional Court may face investigations launched by the prosecutor-general based on their ties to former president Yanukovych.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Slovakia rules that the personal rights of former gangster Volodymyr Yegorov were violated during previous judicial proceedings.

In the News

  1. China will amend its Environmental Protection Law to further prioritize environmental preservation over economic development.
  2. In Germany, more than 100 criminal law professors signed a petition asking for the legalization of marijuana in the foreseeable future.
  3. The European Union has passed a series of rules in order to build up a “banking union” system across Europe.
  4. In Turkey, the parliament has passed a bill to empower and strengthen the legal capability of its National Intelligence Organization.
  5. In New Zealand, a series of proposals striving for an efficient and effective anti-corruption legal framework will be put forward before the Cabinet very soon.
  6. In Egypt, the interim government is planning to adopt several new counter-terrorism laws which might make the usage of death penalty more common.
  7. In Vietnam, it is highly possible that the National Assembly will cancel the previous ban on gay marriage and acknowledge the existence of gay couples under the law in May.

New Scholarship

  1. Adrian Vermeule, Optimal Abuse of Power (Northwestern University Law Review, forthcoming) (arguing that we should treat the abuse of governmental power within the context of an administrative state not as a total evil, but rather as something waiting to be “optimized,” in order to attain other desirable ends)
  2. Randy E. Barnett, We the People: Each and Every One (Yale Law Journal, forthcoming 2014) (critiquing Bruce Ackerman’s book series We the People for its excessive reliance on the constitutional claim of collectivity or supermajority and also arguing that Ackerman’s conceptual framework of an informal process of constitutional amendment might not be thoroughly sound)
  3. Stanley L. Paulson, How Merkl’s Stufenbaulehre Informs Kelsen’s Concept of Law (Revus – Journal for Constitutional Theory and Philosophy of Law, Vol. 21, 2013) (arguing that both the process of law-making and coercion should be viewed as an integrated single concept of law within Kelsenian theory and concluding that Merkl’s Stufenbaulehre is very helpful as genuine guidance for the relevant analysis and reasoning)
  4. Suja A. Thomas, Blackstone’s Curse: The Fall of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries and the Rise of the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary, and the States (William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 55, 2014) (telling a new story about how the original substance of a jury’s power under the Constitution has gradually, continually, and most importantly, irrevocably been shifted into other parts of government)
  5. Friedrich Kratochwil, The Status of Law in World Society (Cambridge University Press, April, 2014) (endorsing the analytical edge and prevalence of constructivism and pragmatism over legal positivism in understanding the role played by law in the international arena)
  6. Drew F. Cohen, A Constitution at a Crossroads: A Conversation with the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa (Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights, Vol. 12, 2014) (presenting an interview of South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng wherein the Chief Justice talks about how to narrow the gap between transformative constitutionalism and unsatisfactory social realities.)
  7. Mark Tushnet, Advanced Introduction To Comparative Constitutional Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014) (introducing a variety of key issues about constitutional design and structure such as constitution-making, constitutional review, and the new so-called “transparency” branch in constitutions all over the world)

Call for Papers

  1. The McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism announces a call for papers for its Tax Justice and Human Rights Research Collaboration Symposium, which will be held at the McGill Faculty of Law on June 18-20, 2014.
  2. The Poverty Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) announces a call for papers for the session of “working but poor: understanding and confronting the working poor phenomenon” during the upcoming AALS annual meeting, which will be held in Washington, D.C., January 2-5, 2015.
  3. The University of Richmond School of Law and the University of Illinois College of Law issue a call for papers for the Second Annual Workshop for Corporate & Securities Litigation, which will be held in Richmond, Virginia, October 24-25, 2014.
  4. The Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth issues a call for papers for the Seventh Annual Searle Conference on Antitrust Economics and Competition Policy, which will be held at Northwestern University School of Law, September 19-20, 2014.
  5. The University of Bristol Law School issues a call for papers for the Seventh Annual Legal Research Network Conference, which will take place on September 3-4, 2014.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Will Baude, Judges weigh in on credibility findings for law enforcement, The Washington Post
  2. Ilya Somin, Speed limits, immigration, and the duty to obey the law, The Washington Post
  3. Jacob Gershman, Scalia to Student: If Taxes Get Too High, “Perhaps You Should Revolt,” The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
  4. Jess Bravin, Chief Justice Roberts Refuses to Block Ruling Canceling Teva Patent, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
  5. David M. Herszenhorn, What is Putin’s “New Russia”?, The New York Times
  6. Adam Tyner, Can China’s New Urbanization Plan Work?, The Diplomat
  7. Alison Griswold, Why People Are Freaking Out Over General Mills’ New Legal Policy, Slate
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Published on April 21, 2014
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Canadian Supreme Court to Issue Advisory Opinion on Senate Reform

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada announced that it will issue its advisory opinion on Senate Reform next week on Friday, April 25.

The Court’s advisory opinion has been long awaited. The Court is expected to advise the Government of Canada on what is constitutionally required to reform and/or abolish the Senate. The Court will answer up to six questions referred by the Minister of Justice last February 2013. (I say “up to six” because the Court may decline to answer some questions, as it has done in the past.)

In this short post, I review the questions posed to the Court and provide a few internet links for readers in search of more resources.

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Published on April 18, 2014
Author:          Filed under: Developments, Uncategorized

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Angelique Devaux, French Licensed Attorney (Notaire)

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 Philippine top court upholds a reproductive health law.
  2. The Russian Constitutional Court holds “foreign agent” law is valid.
  3. The Turkish Constitutional Court rules that Twitter must be unblocked before elections.
  4. Italian court rules ban on sperm donors “unlawful”.
  5. French Constitutional Council’s dismisses a challenge to curbs on late night store opening by cosmetics chain.

In the news

  1. Federal judge in Indiana orders recognition of same-sex marriage.
  2. The Madrid Court of Appeals does not think that P2P technology is all that illicit, doesn’t automatically encourage exploitative acts nor does it promote an unfair advantage.
  3. Hungary’s Supreme Court says it will rule on fx loans in the fall.
  4. The Republic of Crimea adopted a new constitution.
  5. Security Council issues press statement on the situation in Burundi.
  6. Cambodian Court sentences 13 men for treason.
  7. The Brazilian Senate approved a project to simplify foreign entries to Brazil.
  8. French left political parties and unions protest against “right wing” austerity measures by the President.

New scholarship

  1. Lara Blecher, Nancy Kaymar Stafford, Gretchen C. Bellamy, Corporate Responsibility for Human Rights Impacts, New Expectations and Paradigms (ABA Publishing March 2014) (collection of perspectives on the key developments and trends in business and human rights law)
  2. Richard Primus, The Limits of Enumeration, Yale Law Journal (Forthcoming Volume 124) (arguing that the well-known principle of constitutional interpretation identified as “enumeration canon” is unsound; explaining why setting aside the enumeration canon is consistent with the interests of federalism, fidelity to the founding design, and text of the Constitution)
  3. Silvia Sonelli, The Dialogue between National Courts and the European Court of Human Rights: Comparative Perspecties, University Of Leicester School of Law Research Paper No 14-12 (focusing on the approaches UK and Italian judges have developed in their interaction with the Strasbourg Court jurisprudence, and exploring the differences and similarities between them)
  4. A.E. Oderkerk, The Need for a Methodological Framework for Comparative Legal Research: Sense and Nonsense of ‘Methodological Pluralism’ in Comparative Law, Centre for the Study of European Contract Law Working Paper Series No. 2014-04 Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2014-31 (arguing that the mere existence of a variety of methods comparative law does not preclude the elaboration of a comprehensive methodology)
  5. Heather Gerken, Federalism as the New Nationalism: An Overview, Yale Law Journal (2014) (suggesting that federalism is the new nationalism)

Call for papers

  1. The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law issues a Call for Papers for its workshop on comparative business and financial law, to be held at UC Davis Law School on November 7-8, 2014.
  2. Loyola University Chicago School of Law announces a call for paper for a Constitutional Law Colloquium at the Philip H. Corboy Law Center, 25 East Pearson Street, Chicago, IL 60611 on November 7-8, 2014.
  3. The International Academic Forum in conjunction with its global university partners announce a call for papers for the Inaugural European Conference on Politics, Economics and Law, to be held from July 3-6, 2014, at the Thistle Hotel Brighton, in the United Kingdom.
  4. Journal of Law Finance and Accounting (JLFA) is pleased to announce its launch and invites submissions for presentation at the first annual JLFA Conference, to be held at the New York University, New York on 19 September 2014.
  5. The Delhi School of Professional Studies and Research (DSPSR) calls for papers for the XVI Annual International Conference slated for January 3-4, 2015 on the broad theme “Governance: Changing Paradigms” at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Elsewhere on blogs

  1. Robert Barnes, Same-sex marriage battle escalates to force Supreme Court decision on constitutionality, The Washington Post
  2. Tom Blackwell, Born Canadian? Citizenship of babies born using new fertility methods sometimes unclear, The National Post
  3. Devon BD, “Freedom of the Press” and “The Shield Law”: “Protecting the Public” from Independent Alternatives to the Mainstream Media, Centre for Research on Globalization
  4. Lissa Griffin, South Africa: Reflections on the Pistorius Trial, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  5. Robert Tsai, Making Changes to Fundamental Law, Concurring Opinions
  6. Garimella Subramaniam, Development is intrinsic to a secular project, The Indu
  7. Algeria in eye of storm as elections near, Almonitor The Pulse of the Middle East
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Published on April 14, 2014
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Whose “Constitutional Moment” is it Anyway? A Response to Professor Chen on Electoral Reform in Hong Kong

Alyssa S. King, law clerk on the federal district court for the Eastern District of New York, and Alvin Y. H. Cheung, New York University School of Law*

As the controversy over Hong Kong’s Chief Executive electoral reforms for 2017 rages on, it is vital not to lose sight of the parameters of the debate.[i] The importance of the dispute can scarcely be overstated; to that extent, Professor Albert Chen’s use of the phrase “constitutional moment” to describe the arguments over 2017 reforms is apposite.[ii] A March 2014 academic roundtable at the University of Hong Kong underscored the importance of the right to be nominated – a position vehemently rejected by Basic Law Committee member Professor Rao Geping.[iii] Beijing’s bottom line – that only “non-confrontational” candidates will be permitted to run[iv] – implies that it will brook no compromise over the issue of nomination. A political “grand bargain” over nomination of candidates for Chief Executive seems more distant than ever. In such a charged atmosphere, it is vital to avoid misunderstanding what is truly at stake.

Professor Chen uses a vocabulary that is inappropriate to describe the Hong Kong context. The problem with Professor Chen’s use of “constitutional moment” and the vocabulary that surrounds it is not the appropriation of this vocabulary per se. Both legal theory and the common law are littered with appropriations of terms that mean different things in different contexts. The problem is that Professor Chen’s intent does not seem to be to redefine these terms for a new situation, but rather to signal a closeness between this situation and a constitutional moment in a representative democracy – indeed, to treat these things as one and the same. But they are very much not the same. As a result, Chen’s description serves to obfuscate rather than clarify what is really at stake in Hong Kong.
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Published on April 10, 2014
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Mohamed Abdelaal, Alexandria University (Egypt)

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 ruled that Twitter ban violates free speech.
  2. The Bulgarian Constitutional Court initiates proceeding over President’s decree.
  3. The Armenian Constitutional Court publishes its final verdict on funded pension
  4. The US Supreme Court refuses to overturn Arizona marijuana ruling ordering the Yuma County sheriff to return marijuana that was seized from a woman with a medical authorization.
  5. The US Supreme Court rules that limits on the total amount of money individuals can give to candidates, political parties and political action committees are unconstitutional.
  6. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upholds NYC ban on religious services in schools.
  7. A United States federal court ruled the Florida’s purge of non-citizens from the voter rolls in 2012 violated federal voting laws.

New Scholarship

  1. Eduardo Jordao & Susan Rose-Ackerman, Judicial Review of Executive Policymaking in Advanced Democracies: Beyond Rights Review, 66(1) Administrative Law Review (2014) (a critical review lawmaking in the United States, Canada, Italy and France arguing that courts can reconcile the competing dimensions of executive legitimacy, rights, democratic responsiveness and competence.)
  2. Andrew James Green, Can There Be Too Much Context in Administrative Law? Setting the Standard of Review in Canadian Administrative Law, 47 UBC Law Review (Forthcoming) (examines the shift of the Canadian Supreme Court regarding from a formal to a contextual approach regarding how deferential the court is to be to the executive decision-maker.)
  3. Thomas Gibbons, Building Trust in Press Regulation: Obstacles and Opportunities, 5(2) Journal of Media Law (2014), (argues that building trust between the press and its users is a crucial pillar of political and constitutional recognition of freedom of the press and offers suggestions for a more positive approach to create structures that will encourage the development of public trust.)
  4. Yaniv Roznai, Legisprudance Limitations on Constitutional Amendments? Reflections on The Czech Constitutional Court’s Declaration of Unconstitutional Constitutional Act, 8(1) International Constitutional Law Journal (2014) (addresses the question  whether the Czech Constitutional Court has an authority to review constitutional norms through examining its decision regarding the unconstitutionality of Act no 195/2009 Coll, on Shortening the Fifth Term of Office of the Chamber of Deputies)
  5. John Yoo, The Legality of the National Security Agency’s Bulk Data Surveillance Programs, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (Forthcoming), (examines the puzzle surrounding the federal government’s electronic surveillance program regarding its effectiveness and constitutionality.)
  6. Eljalill Tauschinsky & Maarten Den Heijer, Where Human Rights Meet Administrative Law: Essential Elements and Limits to Delegation: European Court of Justice, Grand Chamber C-355/10: European Parliament v. Council of the European Union, 3(9) European Constitutional Law Review (2013), (examines Case C-355/10: European Parliament v. Council of the European Union regarding migrants at sea, Frontex maritime operations , and fundamental rights.)

In the News

  1. Verdict date set by an Egyptian Military Court for leaks of video and audio recordings of former minister of defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
  2. British Prime Minister orders investigation of Muslim Brotherhood.
  3. Australia’s top court recognizes “gender neutral” sex category.
  4. France has a new Prime Minister as of since April 2.
  5. Nigerian Senate divided over proposal to allow President initiate Constitution Amendment.
  6. States demand builds for convention’ to amend the US Constitution.

Call for papers

  1. The University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Law and its Centre for Public Law will host a major international conference on Public Law (September 15-17, 2014).
  2. The AALS Section on Children and the Law announces a Call for Papers for its program during the AALS 2015 Annual Meeting that will take place on Jan. 2-5, 2015, in Washington, DC.
  3. The RGNUL Student Law Review of the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab invites submissions for its new volume.
  4. Asian Journal of Law and Society Cambridge University Press and KoGuan Law School, Shanghai Jiao Tong University launches a call for papers for its new issue.
  5. Indian Journal of Legal Philosophy (IJLP) invites submissions for Vol. 2 Issue 2, April-June 2014.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Kim Lane Scheppele, Hungary: An Election in Question, New York Times
  2. Ashby Jones, Federal Appeals Court Throws out Ruling on Lethal Execution Drugs, Wall Street Journal Law Blog
  3. Ruthann Robson, Second Circuit Holds NYC Can Ban Religious Services in School Buildings, Constitutional Law Prof Blog
  4. Ilya Shapiro, Symposium: The First Amendment’s protection of political speech extends to both donations and spending, SCOTUSblog
  5. Will Baude, Where do the Supreme Court’s campaign finance cases come from?, The Volokh Conspiracy
  6. Gerard Magliocca, The Constitutional Convention Countdown, Concurring Opinions Blog
  7. Lissa Griffin, Japan: Retrial Granted in 1966 Capital Case, Comparative Law Prof Blog
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Published on April 7, 2014
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Might Afghans Amend The 2004 Constitution? Hints from a Televised Presidential Debate

Clark B. Lombardi & Shamshad Pasarlay, University of Washington School of Law

2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the current Afghan Constitution, as a post last month on (cross-posted on this blog) noted. In that post, two American experts in comparative constitutional law, Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Huq, critiqued the performance of the government that had been formed under this constitution and made some thoughtful suggestions to improve Afghan governance.

American Professors are not the only people thinking about governmental performance or about possible improvements. Indeed, if one follows the campaigns of the frontrunners in the upcoming presidential election to be held this Saturday, April 5, it becomes clear that Afghans are thinking long and deep about these issues. And some Afghans appear to be contemplating even more dramatic “fixes” than those suggested by Ginsburg and Huq.
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Published on April 3, 2014
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Third Annual YCC Global Conference and the Future of Comparative Law

As Chair of the Younger Comparativists Committee (“YCC”) in the American Society of Comparative Law (“ASCL”), I am pleased to announce that over 100 younger scholars will gather this weekend at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon for the Third Annual YCC Conference. Our host and Program Chair is Ozan Varol, who for the past 9 months has led a talented and indefatigable Program Committee in planning this conference.

This edition of the annual YCC global conference in comparative law will welcome scholars from far and near: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Scotland, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States.

The conference will begin with a welcome reception and is structured around four sessions of concurrent panels and one plenary luncheon panel on “Modern Challenges to Constitutional Democracy.” The full program is available here.

The annual YCC global conference has become the premiere scholarly gathering in the world for younger scholars of comparative law. As we approach the date of the conference, it is worth reflecting on the work of the YCC and how it is helping to shape the future of comparative law.

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Published on April 3, 2014
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What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Rohan Alva, Jindal Global Law School

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 Indian Supreme Court has rejected a constitutional challenge to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, holding as constitutionally sound Parliament’s decision to prohibit the trial of any child below the age of eighteen in the adult criminal justice system, creating rather a separate track juvenile justice system.
  2. A court in Turkey has handed down a decision which restrains the Turkish government from banning the use of Twitter.
  3. The Ukrainian Constitutional Court has ruled that the determination of Crimea’s Supreme Council to secede from Ukraine was in violation of Ukraine’s Constitution, even as the Constitutional Court of Russia officially recognized the treaty entered into between Russia and Crimea to be consistent with the Constitution of Russia.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Moldova has declared unconstitutional certain parts of Annex. 1 of the Tax Code’s Title 4.
  5. The legal prohibition in accessing information regarding the drug composition in the “lethal injection” by individuals who have been sentenced to death has been ruled to be unconstitutional by the Oklahoma District Court, citing due process concerns. 

New Scholarship

  1. Mtendeweka Mhango, Constitutional Eighteenth Amendment Bill: An Unnecessary Amendment to the South African Constitution? 35 Statute Law Review 19 (2014) (analyzing some of the shortcomings in the proposed Eighteenth Amendment to South Africa’s Constitution, which seeks to amend constitutional provisions relating to the National Prosecuting Authority)
  2. Pratiksha Baxi, Public Secrets of Law: Rape Trials in India (evaluating the difficulties that arise in redressing complaints of sexual assault in India and the role that state institutions can end up playing in side-lining the victim from the pursuit of justice)
  3. Social Difference and Constitutionalism in Pan-Asia (Susan H. Williams ed.) (a collection of essays which utilize different modes of analysis to identify how constitutions in “Pan-Asia” interact with ethnic and religious variations, among others)
  4. Philip Alston, Against a World Court for Human Rights, Ethics and International Affairs (forthcoming 2014) (critiquing the idea of establishing a World Court to judicially review actions which result in the violation of human rights and analyzing the nature of difficulties that the functioning of such a Court will face)
  5. Rehan Abeyratne and Nilesh Sinha, Insular and Inconsistent: India’s Naz Foundation Judgment in Comparative Perspective, Yale Journal of International Law Online (forthcoming 2014) (critically evaluating the Indian Supreme Court’s rejection of comparative constitutional law in its same-sex rights decision)

In the News

  1. Justice R.M. Lodha has been recommended for appointment as the next Chief Justice of India.
  2. The General Assembly of the United Nations has resolved to declare as invalid Crimea’s efforts to secede from Ukraine, and has asked the global community ‘not to recognize any change in the status of Crimea…’.
  3. The governor for the state of Indiana has assented to a law which permits the carrying of firearms on school premises.
  4. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the head of Egypt’s army has resigned in order to contest the forthcoming elections for choosing the nation’s President.
  5. The Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council has cautioned Turkey that the prohibition imposed upon accessing “YouTube” must be withdrawn since it is incompatible with the European Court of Human Rights’ approach to free speech.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Melissa Crouch, Road to Constitutional Amendment in Myanmar Going Nowhere, East Asia Forum
  2. Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, The Effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights in Cases of War, ECHR Blog
  3. M.R. Madhavan, Empowering Parliamentarians, The PRS Blog
  4. Simonetta Manfredi, What Has the European Union Ever Done for Women? Oxford Human Rights Hub
  5. Joe Palazzolo, A Serious Challenge to the Affordable Care Act, But Not That One, Wall Street Journal Blog 

Calls for Papers

  1. A call for papers has been issued by the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law. Papers received by June 1 will be eligible for inclusion in the journal’s third volume.
  2. The International Association of Labour Law Journals invites submissions for the Marco Biagi Award. Papers are due by April 30, 2014.
  3. The Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft and the University of Turin, Dipartimento di Management invite papers for the conference on “Participatory rights in the environmental decision making process and the implementation of the Aarhus Convention: a comparative perspective on the German and the Italian system” to be held at the University of Turin between July 3 and 5, 2014. Abstracts should be emailed to, and by April 15.
  4. O.P. Jindal Global University invites papers for a conference on “Information Society: Challenges for India” to be held on June 7-8, 2014. Abstracts of papers are due by April 25. 
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Published on April 1, 2014
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Abstract Deadline is March 31—ICON-S Inaugural Conference in Italy, June 2014—Call for Papers & Panels—Rethinking the Boundaries of Public Law and Public Space

I-CONnect is pleased to announce the Call for Papers & Panels below for the Inaugural Conference of ICON-S: the International Society of Public Law.

ICON-S is a new international learned society. Its Pro Term Executive Committee includes many of the world’s leading scholars in the field of public law.

ICON-S will be launched officially at its Inaugural Conference in Florence, Italy, on June 26-28, 2014. The conference will feature plenary and concurrent panels. Scholars–both senior and junior, including graduate students–are invited to submit papers and/or fully-formed panels for the conference.

Please join us for what promises to be an important moment in the field of public law.

Further details follow below.

International Society of Public Law (ICON·S)

2014 Inaugural Conference

Florence, June 26-28, 2014



 We invite you to join the newly established International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) and to propose panels and papers for our Inaugural Conference on “Rethinking the Boundaries of Public Law and Public Space”.

The Conference will take place in Florence, Italy, on June 26-28, 2014, and will be jointly organized by the European University Institute and the New York University School of Law.

The Conference program will include a keynote address by Jeremy Waldron, as well as three plenary sessions (a provisional program can be found at The heart of the Conference, however, will be the two half-days devoted to the panels selected through this Call.

We welcome panel suggestions for the Conference as well as submissions of individual papers. Panel suggestions should include at least 3 papers by scholars who have agreed in advance to participate. Concurring panel sessions will take place over two half-days during the Conference. Each panel session will last 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The topics of Plenary Sessions are not meant to limit proposals to those specific issues. Panels and papers may focus on any theoretical and practical topic related to public law, administrative law, constitutional law, criminal law, or international law in all their possible domestic, transnational, supranational, international and global variants.

We particularly welcome panels that offer a genuine “trans-boundary” perspective: transcending the boundaries between different jurisdictions and legal traditions or between disciplines and areas of public law. We invite potential participants to refer to the ICON·S Mission Statement (available at when choosing a topic. Panels and papers challenging established theoretical schemes or adopting multi-disciplinary approaches are strongly encouraged.

ICON·S is by no means restricted to public lawyers! We welcome proposals from various areas of law (including civil, commercial, tax, and labor law), as well as from scholars from the humanities and the social sciences with an interest in the study of public law and public space.

Submissions from both senior and junior scholars (including advanced Ph.D. students) as well as practitioners are welcome. All submissions must be made through our online forms (available at, by March 31, 2014. Panel suggestions should also name one or two discussants. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by April 30, 2014. All participants will be responsible for their travel and accommodation expenses.

For any further information please contact

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Published on March 26, 2014
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Constitutionalizing Canada’s Supreme Court

Robert Leckey, McGill University

A dispute over the legality of a politically questionable judicial appointment has resulted in what pundits call a stinging defeat for Canada’s prime minister and a bold assertion by the Supreme Court of Canada of its independence and constitutional status.

Last week, in Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6, 2014 SCC 21, the Court advised that Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s appointment of the Honourable Mr. Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada was void. He had been sworn in five months earlier. On a six-judge majority’s reading of the Supreme Court Act, Justice Nadon was unqualified to fill one of three spots reserved for jurists trained in the law of Quebec. Quebec is the federation’s sole civil-law jurisdiction and the only province with a French-speaking majority.

In addition, the Court opined that the Parliament of Canada’s ex post amendments to the Supreme Court Act purporting to clarify that Justice Nadon was eligible were unconstitutional. They amounted to a constitutional amendment requiring the unanimous consent of Parliament and all provinces.

While many had criticized the political wisdom of the prime minister’s selection of a semi-retired judge on nobody’s shortlist, the constitutional issues turn on the interpretation of the Supreme Court Act and of the country’s constitutional amending formula.

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Published on March 25, 2014
Author:          Filed under: Developments