—Eman Muhammad Rashwan, PhD. Candidate in the European Doctorate in Law & Economics (EDLE), Hamburg University, Germany; Assistant Lecturer of Public Law, Cairo University, Egypt.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Developments in Constitutional Courts
- The First Senate of the German Federal Constitutional Court held that the Offshore Wind Energy Act is partially unconstitutional, because of lack of compensation for developers’ expenses incurred in the planning of projects initiated under previously applicable law.
- The U.S. Supreme Court has set a hearing date for the Trump administration’s latest attempt to have the Affordable Care Act (ACA) nullified.
- The Supreme Court of India held prominent Indian civil rights attorney Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt over two tweets. The Court held that the tweets were not a fair criticism of the functioning of the judiciary, “made bona fide in the public interest.” It further held that “the said tweet undermines the dignity and authority of the institution of the Supreme Court of India and the CJI and directly affronts the majesty of law … the tweets which are based on the distorted facts, in our considered view, amount to committing of criminal contempt.”
- The Constitutional Court of Uganda ruled that the government’s failure to provide basic maternal health care violates the Constitution as an inhumane and degrading treatment to women. The Court gave the government two years to increase maternal health spending.
- The Chief Justice of India told the Central Government to consider amending the Official Languages Act 1963 to allow the publication of official notifications in languages other than Hindi and English, the second official language of the Government of India.
In the News
- In response to anti-government rallies and demands for rewriting the charter and reforming the monarchy, the Thai political parties started making proposals on amending the Constitution. So far, there is no full agreement on the fate of the first and second sections of the charter that contain the general principles and royal provisions.
- The Egyptian Parliament has issued amendments to the penal code criminalizing bullying.
- Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed a resolution approving the draft constitutional law on changes and amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan. The resolution also prescribes to hold discussions with the representatives of Turkmenistan’s Halk Maslahaty (People’s Council) in the regions, districts, and cities of the country who will participate in the next meeting of the council. Afterwards, the draft should be turned for the People’s Council and then to the Parliament for their approval.
- After the South African Constitutional Court held last June the electoral law unconstitutional, the Parliament’s Home Affairs portfolio committee is looking for scenarios of modifying the Act within the deadline given by the Court, i.e., June 2022. Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi stated that it would not be possible to effect changes to the Electoral Act without also amending the Constitution.
- The Belarus leader Lukashenko, in response to the wave of protests after the election, said that he would be ready to hold new elections and hand over power after a constitutional referendum, but not under pressure from protestors. The statement followed an announcement by the exiled opposition politician Svetlana Tikhanovskaya that she was willing to lead the country. Lukashenko faces the threat of European Union sanctions after a bloody crackdown on protests following what demonstrators say was his rigged re-election victory last week.
- On Aug 19, military officers who overthrew Mali’s president Keita in a coup d’etat that drew international condemnation pledged to restore stability and oversee a transition to elections within a “reasonable” period.
- In Egypt, a draft law on electoral redistricting is being reviewed by the House of Representatives. The draft would reduce the number of voting districts for individual candidates to 143 from 205 while setting the figure for lists at four legislative districts. The draft comes in response to the amendments promulgated in June to the House of Representatives Elections Bill, which introduced the list system. On another note, election results of the newly-added higher chamber of the Parliament were declared, with 14.23% voter turnout.
- Yvonne Tew, Constitutional Statecraft in Asian Courts, Oxford University Press (2020) (presenting an original account of how courts engage in constitutional state-building in Asia with a focus on the Malaysian and Singaporean cases)
- Donal K Coffey, Constitutional Law and Empire in Interwar Britain: Universities, Liberty, Nationality and Parliamentary Supremacy, the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly’s Special Issue on Constitutional Legacies of Empire (2020) (examining the influence of imperial law, law outside the U.K. but within the British Empire, on the development of British constitutional law in the interwar period)
- Julian R Murphy, Police Doorknocking in Comparative and Constitutional Perspective, 42(3) Sydney Law Review (2020) (reviewing U.S., U.K., Canadian and New Zealand police powers of entry onto private property and considering the potential implications in Australia’s federal context)
- Domenico Giannino, Looking for an Innovative Environmental Imagination. Transnational Legal Tools for the Anthropocene: the Latin American Environmental Ius Commune, Federalismi.it (2020) (evaluating the rise of a Latin-American environmental ius commune, which is formed by a group of transnational norms and is seen as an instrument to enforce a system of protection inherent to ideas like ‘living well’, rights of nature, and collective goods)
- Howard Schweber and András Jakab (eds), Constitutional Decline, Constitutional Design, and Lawyerly Hubris, Special Issue of Constitutional Studies (6) (2020) (presenting institutionalist explanations of constitutional decline by András Jakab, Will Freeman, Wojciech Sadurski, Han Zhai, Rainer Grote, David Kosar, Katarina Sipulova, Aziz Z Huq, Tom Ginsburg, and Tom Gerald Daly)
- Amedeo Arena, From an Unpaid Electricity Bill to the Primacy of E.U. Law: Gian Galeazzo Stendardi and the Making of Costa v. ENEL, 30 European Journal of International Law 3 (2019) (shedding light on the less-known aspects of the Costa v. ENEL lawsuit)
- Tímea Drinóczi and Agnieszka Bień-Kacała, Rule of Law, Common Values, and Illiberal Constitutionalism: Poland and Hungary within the European Union (forthcoming 2020) (challenging the idea that the Rule of Law is still a universal European value given its relatively rapid deterioration in Hungary and Poland)
Call for Papers and Announcements
- The International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism welcomes participants for “The Global Summit” to be held Jan 12-16, 2021. The first of its kind summit will be both multilingual and multi-time zone, and it offers an opportunity for all-ranks scholars from all over the world to exchange ideas on all areas of constitutionalism. The deadline to submit a proposal for a paper or a fully-formed panel is 8 pm (local time in Ottawa, Canada) on Oct 1, 2020.
- BAU Cyprus, University of Sarajevo, and Pravnik Association will jointly organize the second edition of International Summer School “Current Legal Issues in Post-Conflict Societies,” which will be held online on September 2-4, 2020. Keynote lecturer will be Prof. Dr. Stefan Oeter (University of Hamburg). This year’s participation is free of charge.
- The Indian Journal of Constitutional Law has released its 9th volume. The content of the volume can be accessed freely on the journal’s website, and will also be available on HeinOnline. The Indian Journal of Constitutional Law is a peer-reviewed journal published by NALSAR University of Law, under the aegis of the M.K. Nambyar SAARCLaw Chair in Comparative Constitutional Law.
- The Keele Law Review is pleased to announce a call for submissions for its second volume (2021) on the theme of Democracy and Human Rights During a National Crisis or the State of Emergency. For more details, please see here.
- The Canadian Study of Parliament Group hosts a special online event on “Behind the Scenes of American Impeachment Trials: In conversation with the Parliamentarian of the U.S. Senate” on Monday, Sept 14, at noon Eastern. The Canadian Study of Parliament Group will be joined by exceptional guest and expert: U.S. Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough.
- The Canadian Study of Parliament Group invites all to register for its annual (this year online) conference on “Perspectives on Legislatures and Legislative Power: Past, Present, Future” on Oct 13-15, 2020. Nearly 50 presenters from five continents will share their latest research through an innovative format that combines pre-recorded videos on each research project and live panel discussions where presenters can engage with each other and those viewing online. The conference will be fully bilingual in English and French.
- The 4th annual Young European Scholars Conference (YELS) invites submissions to contribute to an academic debate on the topic “Back to Beginnings: Revisiting the Preambles of European Treaties.” The conference is organized in cooperation with the University of Zurich and the Liechtenstein Institute and sponsored by the European Society of International Law. It will be held on May 20-21, 2021. The deadline for submitting abstracts is Oct 15, 2020.
- The Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society (CILIS) hosts the online 2020 CILIS Islamic Studies Postgraduate Conference on Wednesday, Nov 25, 2020. This conference aims to bring together postgraduate students from around Australia and overseas, who are researching topics relating to Islam. Applications are welcome by 5 pm, Friday, Sept 25, 2020.
- The fifth Melbourne Forum on Constitution Building in Asia and the Pacific has been organized as a series of four online seminars. The third webinar will be held on Sept 17, 2020, under the title “Multi-Level Government and COVID-19.” Registration is welcome here.
- Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman, The Fragile Republic: American Democracy Has Never Faced So Many Threats All at Once, Foreign Affairs
- Susan Kneebone, Is the 2016 Indonesian Presidential Regulation a potential ‘game-changer’ on rescue of Rohingya boat refugees?, Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law
- Marcia Coyle, The Postal Clause’s grant of ‘broad power’ to Congress over a system in crisis, Constitution Daily
- Jon Henley, Female-led countries handled coronavirus better, study suggests, The Guardian
- Julia Emtseva, Transitional Justice – A Bridge to Democracy in Belarus, OpinioJuris
- Jan Fährmann, Clemens doctor, Hartmut Aden, Corona guest lists – excessive use of data by the police, Verfassungsblog
- Leonid Sirota, Unholy Trinity, Double Aspect
- Radosveta Vassileva, A Grand National Assembly or Grand Bulgarian Chicanery? Boyko Borissov’s proposal for a new Constitution, Verfassungsblog
- Sameer P. Lalwani and Gillian Gayner, India’s Kashmir Conundrum: Before and After the Abrogation of Article 370, United States Institute of Peace
- Adhy Aman, Elections in a Pandemic: Lessons From Asia, International IDEA