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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. Supreme Court of USA agreed to hear the case relating to the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns and financial records in March 2020.
  2. Constitutional Court of Germany reversed a lower court’s order which allowed the extradition of two Russian nationals of Chechen origin. The Court based its decision due to the risk of political persecution of the constitutional complaints or to criminal proceedings that do not satisfy minimum standards. Moreover, the lower court could not have allowed extradition merely based on a verbal assurance by Russia to conduct criminal proceedings outside Chechnya.
  3. Supreme Court of India set up a panel headed by a former apex court judge to inquire into the recent police encounter killing of four accused persons in a rape and murder case in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  4. In a petition by parents and teachers of a Christian school, the Constitutional Court of Korea upheld the constitutional validity of regulations issued by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, which banned hate speech against homosexuality.
  5. A transgender woman, a parent of an 8-year old child, filed a petition challenging the constitutionality of the law that prevents her from changing her legal gender if they have children who are younger than 20 years.

In the News

  1. The President of India gave assent to the Citizenship Amendment Bill that seeks to grant Indian Citizenship to persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities on the ground of religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
  2. Indian Union Government’s Law Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, introduced the much-awaited Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 in the Lower House of the Indian Parliament.
  3. The Election Commission of Thailand will approach the Constitutional Court to dissolve the opposition party, Future Forward Party, for accepting illegal donations.
  4. The House of Representatives of Nigeria is discussing a Bill that seeks to separate the Attorney General’s Office from the Minster of Justice’s Office in order to remove political interference.
  5. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated Mississippi’s law that banned abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

New Scholarship

  1. Upendra Baxi, How to Feminize the Basic Structure Doctrine? The Elusive Futures of Women’s Rights as Human Rights, Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture (November 2019) (exploring how to feminize the basic structure doctrine by incorporating women’s perspectives of gender justice into it).
  2. Melissa Crouch, States of Legal Denial: How the State in Myanmar Uses Law to Exclude the Rohingya, Journal of Contemporary Asia (2019) (considering the constitutional creation of Rakhine State as an example of state denial through the law of the Rohingya in Myanmar).
  3. Kai Jäger, When Do Campaign Effects Persist for Years? Evidence from a Natural Experiment, American Journal of Political Science (Forthcoming 2019) (suggesting that persuasion could be durable if election candidates provide an unchallenged interpretation of political events).
  4. Vladislava Stoyanova, Common law tort of negligence as a tool for deconstructing positive obligations under the European convention on human rights, The International Journal of Human Rights (2019) (examining how the common law tort of negligence can provide guidance to clarify some of the disparate analytical issues surrounding positive obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights).
  5. Robert L. Tsai, Considerations of History and Purpose in Constitutional Borrowing, William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal (Forthcoming 2019) (arguing, inter alia, that perfect harmony among rights might not always be normatively desirable and we must consult history in a broadly relevant rather than a narrow originalist fashion to resolve clashes between rights).
  6. Reinhard Zimmermann, The Compulsory Portion in German Law, in Kenneth GC Reid, Marius J de Waal, and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds.), Comparative Succession Law, Vol. III: Family Protection (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming 2020) (discussing the constitutional law aspects of the compulsory portion of the German Law of Succession).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. Duke University is inviting applications for the Duke-Leiden Institute in Global and Transnational Law’s the 2020 summer program on ‘international and comparative law’ which will be held from June 14-15, 2020 at Leiden University in The Hague. Interested applications must apply before May 1, 2020.
  2. Max Planck Institute for Comparative & International Private Law and the University of Witwatersrand School of Law are inviting papers for the one-day Workshop on ‘Decolonial Comparative Law’ on October 6, 2020, at the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg). The workshop precedes the International Academy of Comparative Law’s Congress on ‘Diversity & Plurality in Law’ which takes place from October 7-9 in Pretoria. This Workshop is not connected to the International Congress, and participation in this workshop is not limited to or dependent on attendance at the International Congress. Interested scholars should submit abstracts of their papers by February 6, 2020.
  3. The University of Dundee is inviting proposals for streams/panels for the Critical Legal Conference on the theme of ‘Frankenlaw’ which will be held from September 3-5, 2020 at the University of Dundee. Interested conveners of streams or thematic panels should submit their proposals by February 29, 2020, to CLC2020@dundee.ac.uk.
  4. National Law School of India University’s flagship journal National Law School of India Review is accepting paper submissions for the upcoming Issue (Volume 32(2)) on ‘Unpacking Reservations in India: Theory, Practice, and Beyond’. Interested authors must submit their papers to mail.nlsir@gmail.com by March 31, 2020.
  5. Forced Migration Review is calling for papers to be published in the upcoming Issue (No.64) on ‘human trafficking and smuggling’. Interested authors should submit their articles by February 17, 2020, to

Elsewhere Online

  1. Bernard M. Dickens, Ontario Court: Conscientious objectors must provide an effective referral, Reprohealthlaw Blog
  2. Julius Yam, Hong Kong’s Anti-mask Law: A Legal Victory with a Disturbing Twist, IACL-AIDC blog
  3. Giancarlo Anello, Constitution Before Administration: The Latest Decision of the Italian Constitutional Court Fosters the Freedom of Religion in Italy, Verfassungsblog
  4. Tomiwa Ilori, A socio-legal analysis of Nigeria’s Protection from Internet Falsehoods, Manipulations and Other Related Matters Bill, AfricLaw
  5. Roshni Sinha, Explainer: The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, PRS Legislative Research
  6. Meeran Chadha Borwankar, We need to invest in four wings of criminal justice system — police, prosecution, judiciary, prisons, The Indian Express
  7. Catalina Fernández Carter, Blind Protestors: The Use of Force by the Chilean Police in the Current Social Unrest, Opinio Juris
  8. Fotis Bregiannis and Argyro Chatzinikolaou, López Ribalda and Others v. Spain – covert surveillance in the workplace: attenuating the protection of privacy for employees, Strasbourg Observers
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Published on December 16, 2019
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