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What’s New in Public Law


Sandeep Suresh, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, India

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. The US Supreme Court will soon hear a case to decide whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition of workplace discrimination on the ground of ‘sex’ also bans discrimination based on ‘sexual orientation’.
  2. A Court of Appeal in the Netherlands held that accusations of colonial-era crimes committed by Dutch forces in Indonesia are not bound by the law of limitations.
  3. The Tripura High Court in India banned the centuries-old practice of animal sacrifice in temples on the ground that animals have the fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
  4. The Mombasa High Court in Kenya held that amendments to the Merchant Shipping Act which allowed for privatization of the Container Terminal Two at the Port of Mombasa are unconstitutional as the amending process did not meet the requirements of adequate public participation.
  5. Justice Eduardo Medina Mora of the Supreme Court of Mexico resigned from his post in light of the on-going investigation against him by the government for financial irregularities.

In the News

  1. Experts indicate that Australia’s new religious discrimination bill, in its current form, could be unconstitutional as it allows doctors to refuse treatment based on their religious beliefs.
  2. The Ombudsman of Latvia, Juris Jansons, proposed to make the office of Ombudsman politically neutral under the country’s Constitution.
  3. The Guardian Council of Iran approved a law that now allows children of Iranian women married to foreigners to attain Iranian citizenship.
  4. The Parliament of Pakistan rejected a private member’s bill that proposed to allow non-Muslims to become the President or Prime Minister of the country.
  5. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong banned the use of face masks by protestors who are involved in the ongoing anti-government protests.

New Scholarship

  1. Donal Coffey, The Influence of the Weimar Constitution on the Common Law World, Vol 27 Rechtsgeschichte – Legal History (2019) (tracing the influence of the Weimar Constitution on the common law world by looking at the Constitutions of Ireland and South Asian countries).
  2. Tarunabh Khaitan, The Supreme Court as a Constitutional Watchdog, 721 Seminar 22-28 (2019) (pointing out that the Supreme Court of India has adopted a skewed approach to its appellate and constitutional functions by spending a far higher proportion of its institutional resources on its appellate function and far less judicial energy in performing its constitutional defence role).
  3. Robert E Ross, The Framers’ Intentions: The Myth of the Nonpartisan Constitution (University of Notre Dame Press 2019) (addressing the unresolved constitutional question: why did political parties emerge so quickly after the framers designed the Constitution to prevent them?).
  4. Abhinav Sekhri, Article 22 — Calling Time on Preventive Detention (September 2019) (arguing that Article 22 of the Indian Constitution which details various regulations for the deployment of preventive detention laws by sets an inadequate and minimum threshold for the legislature).
  5. Nikos Skoutaris, On Brexit and Secession(s) in C Closa, C Margiotta and G Martinico (eds), Between Democracy and Law: The Amorality of Secession (Routledge 2019) (exploring the interrelationship between Brexit and secession).
  6. Guillaume Tusseau, Codification, religion and practical reasoning: on the ambitions and limits of the benthamian paradigm (Varenne University Institute 2019) (exploring codification as an intellectual and cultural construction)
  7. Andraž Zidar, The World Community between Hegemony and Constitutionalism (Eleven International 2019) (surveying the complex and intertwined relationship between hegemony and constitutionalism in the global community).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Law & Society Association has opened the Call for Submissions for its 2020 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, on May 28-31. The theme of the annual gathering is “Rule and Resistance.” All are welcome to apply.
  2. The Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law at Melbourne Law School invites applications for the ‘2019 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship’. Applications are invited from female doctoral and early career scholars who may be looking for an opportunity to visit Melbourne and work with the program for one to two months. The final deadline to apply for this year’s program is approaching soon: October 13, 2019.
  3. The Department of Law at Utrecht University invites applications for the vacant Post-doctoral position on ‘EU Gender Equality Law’. The successful candidate will be a part of the gender stream of the European Equality Network of Legal Experts in Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination. Interested candidates should apply before October 13, 2019.
  4. The Georgetown University Law Center invites applications for the ‘Women’s Law & Public Policy 2020-2021 Fellowship’. It is a one-year fellowship program, based in Washington D.C., for public interest lawyers from the United States who are committed to advancing women rights. Interested candidates should apply before November 1, 2019 (11:59PM EST).
  5. The Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University invites applications from faculty members, independent scholars, lawyers, and judges for their ‘2020-2021 Princeton Program in Law and Public Affairs Fellowship’ (residential). The selected fellows will devote a significant portion of their time to their research and writing on law-related subjects of empirical, interpretive, doctrinal or normative significance, and participate in the institution’s programs. The deadline for applying is November 13, 2019 (11:59 PM EST).
  6. The International Association of Constitutional Law in association with the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Asian Legal Studies and Melbourne Law School’s Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies invite paper submissions from young constitutional law scholars for the inaugural ‘Junior Scholars Forum’ to be held in Singapore from July 2-3, 2020. Interested participants should submit their paper abstracts by November 29, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. India’s judges are ignoring the government’s abuses in Kashmir, The Economist
  2. Spencer Bokat-Lindell, When Should a President Be Impeached?, The New York Times
  3. Malavika Prasad, In pursuit of an ideal criminal process, The Hindu
  4. Anthony Arnull, Is the UK Supreme Court Pro-EU?, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  5. Kiryl Kascian, A Judicial Path to Nowhere? Challenging the Minority Education Reform Before Latvia’s Constitutional Court, Verfassungsblog
  6. Bruce Dyer, The dual citizen ban – what was Barton thinking?, AUSPUBLAW
  7. Sándor Lénárd, Interview with Prof. Michael W McConnell on religion and public life through American lenses, Mandiner
  8. Juliet Nyamao, The Global Compact on Refugees: A breakthrough opportunity in addressing the protracted refugee crises in East Africa, AfricLaw
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Published on October 7, 2019
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