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What’s New in Public Law


Boldizsár-Szentgáli Tóth, Research Fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Etvos Loránd University


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. United States Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration in a dispute over federal court power to review noncitizens’ claims that they will be tortured in their home countries if they are deported.
  2. The Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that the country’s Electoral Act is unconstitutional as it does not provide for adult citizens to be elected to the National and Provincial Legislatures as independent candidates.
  3. 1st Panel of the Constitutional Court of Latvia initiated the case concerning a norm that prohibits organising of gambling in the interactive environment.
  4. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that the publication of an interview on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior violates the right of a political party to equal opportunities in the political competition.
  5. The Supreme Court of Ukraine submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court regarding the constitutionality of restrictions on the rights and freedoms of citizens during the quarantine.

In the News

  1. The Supreme Court of Florida blocked a proposed amendment for the ban on assault weapon bans from going to the ballot.
  2. The High Court of Pretoria in South African found some coronavirus lockdown regulations imposed by the government unconstitutional and invalid.
  3. The US National Constitution Centre opens a new exhibit on women’s suffrage movement and 19th amendment to mark 100 years of women’s right to vote.
  4. Iowa governor signed the voting rights bill that will allow convicted felons to get their voting rights back only after they have paid full restitution to victims.
  5. Two New Jersey senators have introduced a resolution for a state constitutional amendment that would ensure New Jersey would never again be subjected to open-ended executive orders.
  6. The Constitution Committee of the UK Parliament published a report on the constitutional issues and legislative challenges of delivering Brexit.
  7. Nepal postponed scheduled discussion on a constitutional amendment to update the political map of the country.
  8. The referendum on proposed amendments of the Constitution of Russia was rescheduled to July 1 2020.
  9. The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) called on the Parliament to suspend the hearings on a proposed constitutional change due to the coronavirus concerns until the public health stabilises.
  10. The South Pacific Lawyers’ Association (SPLA) expressed concern about Samoa’s proposed constitutional changes.
  11. The President of Maldives singed changes to Article 231 of the Maldives’ Constitution, which pertains to the elections for Local Councils. The amendments added two new provisions under the article in question, allowing for the tenure of the incumbent atoll, city and island councils to be extended past their specified term-limits of three years, under exceptional circumstances.

New Scholarship

  1. Juan Sebastián and Villamil Rodríguez, Legal Pluralism and Transitional Justice: Is the Special Jurisdiction for Peace a Hybrid Tribunal?, 26 International Journal of Constitutional Law (2020) (explaining how legal pluralist nature of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace supports its legitimacy and stability)
  2. artinico Giuseppe, Vu Xueyan (eds), A Legal Analysis of the Belt and Road Initiative: Towards a New Silk Road? (2020) (examining the Belt and Road Initiative from a legal perspective)
  3. Sofia Ranchordás and Yaniv Roznai, Time, Law, and Change: An Interdisciplinary Study (2020) (examining the often-overlooked relationship between time, change, and lawmaking)
  4. David Kosař, Jan Petrov, Katarína Šipulová, Hubert Smekal, Ladislav Vyhnánek, and Jozef Janovský, Domestic Judicial Treatment of European Court of Human Rights Case Law Beyond Compliance (2020) (empirically examining how often, how and with what consequences domestic judges work with the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights)
  5. Jorge M. Farinacci-Fernós, The Constitution is Dead, Long Live the Constitution! The Creation, Endurance and Modification of Modern Revolutionary Constitutions, 25 Barry Law Review (2020) (examining three stages of constitutional existence – creation, endurance, and change)
  6. Paul Linden-Retek, History, system, principle, analogy: Four paradigms of legitimacy in European law, 26 Columbia Journal of European Law (2020) (examining attentiveness to socio-cultural registers of judicial reasoning as a predicate for the legitimacy of post-national legal commitments in the European Union)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism invites all to attend a free online seminar on How to Write a Book Proposal–Insights from Publishers, featuring remarks from editors at three publishers.
  2. The DIRPOLIS Institute at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa invites application for Visiting Professorships in the academic year 2020-2021. The deadline for applications is July 1, 2020.
  3. The International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism invites all to register for an online course on “Judging in Times of Crisis: Conversations with High Court Judges around the World,” featuring Supreme and Constitutional Court judges from Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, and Taiwan.
  4. New University and group Diritti Comparati organised a webinar on “Democracy, Rule of Law and Authoritarian Populisms: A Postcard from Europe.” Live Webinar: June 10 h 15-17
  5. The International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism invites participants to register for the course “The Future of Liberal Democracy: Global Dialogues with Leading Scholars”. The six-week course will be held live on Zoom starting on July 22, 2020.
  6. The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) and Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) organise a digital conference “Are emergency measures in response to COVID-19 a threat to democracy? Fact and Fiction,” concentrating on the nature of emergency legislation adopted in various countries in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline for submission of abstracts is June 30, 2020.
  7. The Editorial Committee of Public Law welcomes submissions to the journal’s “analysis” section dealing with issues relating to the public law dimensions of the current Covid-19 pandemic. Deadline for submissions is June 30, 2020.
  8. The National Law Institute University (NLIU) Law Review invites submissions for its forthcoming issue. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2020.
  9. The South African Journal on Human Rights (SAJHR) and the SARChI Research Chair in Equality, Law and Social Justice, Wits School of Law invite abstract submissions for participation in a (virtual) conference and a special edition of the SAJHR on “The Covid-19 Pandemic, Inequality and Human Rights in South Africa.” The deadline for applications is June 15, 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Yuan Yi Zhu, The Supreme Court: Options for Change, UK Constitutional Law Association
  2. Nelson Tebbe, Micah Schwartzman, Richard Schragger, The Quiet Demise of the Separation of Church and State, The New York Times
  3. Sloka Shah, Coronavirus and the Constitution – XXX: PM-CARES Fund and the Right to Information Act, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy
  4. Markus Kaltenborn, Menschenrechtliche Sorgfaltspflicht in der globalen Lieferkette, Veefassungsblog
  5. Michael Keating: The UK and the EU – farther apart than ever?, Centre on Constitutional Change
  6. Lisa Forman, The Evolution of the Right to Health in the Shadow of COVID-19, Health and Human Rights
  7. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, COVID-19 Economy vs Human Rights: A Misleading Dichotomy, Health and Human Rights
  8. Gautam Gulati, Colum P. Dunne, and Brendan D. Kelly, Do COVID 19 responses imperil the human rights of people with disabilities?, Health and Human Rights
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Published on June 15, 2020
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