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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. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that the extradition of a Turkish national with Kurdish ethnicity suspected of committing a criminal offence, may raise the risk of a political prosecution, and therefore it violates German law and international law obligations.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Lithuania is called upon to clarify the effect of UN committee rulings on domestic cases of judicial review.
  3. The Constitutional Court of South Africa held that the hierarchy during the retrenchment consultation process does not limit the right to fair labour practices.
  4. The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe delivered a landmark ruling noting that all debts owed in US dollars before February 2019 must be paid in the local currency at the rate of 1:1.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Malta found that the former Minister of Justice had violated freedom of expression for reordering, more than once, the clearing up of a journalist memorial.
  6. The US Supreme Court agreed to the expansion of the notion of “public charge” in immigration policy standards.

In the News

  1. European Parliament has voted to ratify the Brexit withdrawal agreement by an overwhelming majority of 621 votes to 49.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Georgia received a petition demanding the abolition of a criminal penalty for growing marijuana.
  3. The lower chamber of the Romanian legislature adopted a draft law repealing the special pension law for top public servants and high magistrates.
  4. The President of Abkhazia stepped down after anti-government protests and the Supreme Court ruling on the legitimacy of the election.
  5. The Prime Minister of Australia has called for a national state of emergency to deal quickly with bush fires and other natural disasters across the country.

New Scholarship

  1. Adam S. Chilton and Mila Versteeg, When Constitutional Rights Matter (forthcoming 2020) (arguing for the practical relevance of enforcing certain constitutional rights on the road to a wealthier democracy)
  2. Mordechai Kremnitzer, Talya Steiner, and Andrej Lang (eds.), Proportionality in Action: Comparative and Empirical Perspectives on the Judicial Practice (forthcoming 2020) (offering a comparative study of the proportionality doctrine based on six different jurisdictions)
  3. Anna Fruhstorfer and Gianluca Passarelli, President and Assemblies – 25 Years After Shugart and Carey’s Book (2020) (exploring different institutional frameworks for organising the relationship between the executive and legislature, and their effect on democracy)
  4. Massimo Fichera and Oreste Pollicino, The Dialectics Between Constitutional Identity and Common Constitutional Traditions: Which Language for Cooperative Constitutionalism in Europe? (2019) (emphasizing how the ambiguity and apparent clash between identity and tradition have, nonetheless, shaped the European process)
  5. Larry Diamond, Breaking out of the Democratic Slump (2020) (explaining causes and remedies for the modern antidemocratic surge and how populist leaders might lose support)
  6. Felix Petersen and Zenyep Yanaşmayan, The Failure of Popular Constitution Making in Turkey: Regressing Towards Constitutional Autocracy (2020) (explaining how the many stances of the ruling party from 2011 to 2013 have thwarted the Turkish democratic process)
  7. Jacco Bomhoff, David Dyzenhaus, and Thomas Poole, The Double-Facing Constitution (2020) (examining the historical importance of external elements within constitutional and legal theories)
  8. Theodore Konstadinides, The Rule of Law in the European Union: The Internal Dimension (2020) (examining the ambiguities and criticisms of the EU Rule of Law, including judicial review and enforcement strategies)
  9. Christine Landfried, Judicial Power: How Constitutional Courts Affect Political Transformations (2019) (arguing that judicial review allows for a method of reflecting on social integration that differs from political methods, and, precisely because of the difference between judicial and political decision-making, strengthens democratic governance)
  10. Adriano Dirri, The Iraqi Federation and the Kurdistan Regional Government: the conflict between communal and oil and gas policies (2019) 11 Perspectives on Federalism (examining how that the interplay between oil and gas disputes and ethnic conflict shaped the asymmetric Iraqi Federation)
  11. Conall Towe, Constituent Power and Doctrines of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments (2020) (offering a rebuttal of Yaniv Roznai’s justificatory theory)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) invites applications for the first edition of its Summer School on “Algorithmic State, Market and Society,” (FLOS) that will be held in Florence on July 13-17, 2020. The deadline for applications is April 10, 2020.
  2. Luiss University invites candidates to apply for the position of Visiting Professors and Visiting Fellows in the academic year 2020-2021. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2020, at noon (Italian local time).
  3. Political Studies Association (PSA), the ECPR Standing Group on Southern European Politics and the Aston Centre for Europe invite abstract submissions for the conference “The State of democracy in Southern Europe: Democratic Decline or Resilience?,” to be held on June 25-26, 2020, at Aston University, in the UK. Abstracts of 150-200 words should be sent no later than March 16, 2020.
  4. Maastricht University invites applications for two Assistant Professors in the area of EU Politics at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The deadline for application is February 10, 2020.
  5. Ghent Human Rights Centre (HRC) invites submissions for the International Conference “The European Convention on Human Rights turns 70,” which will take place at Ghent University on November 18-20, 2020. The deadline for submission is April 15, 2020.
  6. Tilburg Law School invites applications for three fully funded PhD positions. The deadline for submission of applications is March 11, 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Matej Avbelj, Can Elections be Held under Unconstitutional Electoral Law?, Verfassungsblog
  2. Yulia Ioffe, The Amendments to the Russian Constitution: Putin’s Attempt to Reinforce Russia’s Isolationist Views on International Law?, EJIL: Talk!
  3. Julie Jarland, The Dark Side of Justice, PRIO Blogs
  4. Munkhsaikhan Odonkhuu, Mongolia’s Long, Participatory Route to Constitutional Reforms, ConstitutionNet
  5. Attila Mráz, In Orban’s Hungary, the law is not for everyone, EUobserver
  6. Fahri Aksüt, Turkey slams Belgian ruling protecting PKK terrorists, Anadolu Agency
  7. Daniele Albertazzi and Davide Pellegrino, Matteo Salvini fails to make waves in local election but Italy’s government remains on a knife edge, The Conversation
  8. Lisa James and Meg Russell, Has parliament just got boring? Five conclusions from the passage of the EU Withdrawal Agreement Act, Constitution Unit
  9. Federico Fabbrini, The Future of Europe Beyond Brexit, Brexit Institute
  10. Gabriel Toggenburg, The 3rd of all EU-r rights: Integrity and how the Charter contributes, EUreka!
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Published on February 3, 2020
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