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What’s New in Public Law


Nakul Nayak, Assistant Professor at Jindal Global Law School, India.


Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Kenyan Constitutional Court dismissed a petition to strike down the Female Genital Mutilation Act, which outlaws the traditional practice of female circumcision.
  2. The UK Supreme Court ruled that care workers carrying out overnight ‘sleep-in’ shifts are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage for the entire duration of their shifts.
  3. The Irish Supreme Court found that the Workplace Relations Commission set up to adjudicate disputes between employers and staff is not unconstitutional.
  4. The US Supreme Court granted review in a case that will decide how harmless error review is applied in federal habeas petitions.
  5. The Indian Supreme Court refused to grant relief in a petition challenging the detention of Rohingya refugees and their deportation back to Myanmar.

In the News

  1. Tunisia’s President Kais Saied refused to sign the Constitutional Court Law amendments introduced by the Parliament.
  2. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed two judges of the Ukrainian Constitutional Court on the grounds of national security.
  3. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a new law permitting him to run for two more presidential terms, potentially extending his rule until 2036.
  4. The President of India appointed Justice NV Ramana as India’s next Chief Justice. Justice Ramana will take oath on April 24.
  5. Samoa is currently holding its national elections.
  6. The lower house of the French parliament voted to amend the French constitution to include provisions related to climate and biodiversity protection.
  7. Chile’s Senate postponed by five weeks an election to choose a commission to rewrite the country’s dictatorship-era constitution.

New Scholarship

  1. Philipp Dann & Arun K. Thiruvengadam (eds.), Democratic Constitutionalism in India and the European Union (exploring how democracy is possible within vastly diverse societies of continental scale, and why a constitutional framework is best able to secure the ideals of collective autonomy and individual dignity).
  2. Victor Ferreres Comella, The Constitution of Arbitration (examining arbitration and all its types from a constitutional perspective).
  3. Jorge Contesse, Judicial Interactions and Human Rights Contestations in Latin America, Journal of International Dispute Settlement (discussing recent instances of resistance against the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and offering ways in which the Court could protect and enhance its authority).
  4. Chinmayi Arun, Facebook’s Faces, Harvard Law Review Forum (forthcoming) (theorizing Facebook’s internal systems and how they effect Facebook’s relationships with different states and publics).
  5. Rehan Abeyratne & Iddo Porat (eds.), Towering Judges: A Comparative Study of Constitutional Judges (examining the work of nineteen judges from fourteen jurisdictions and their impact on constitutional law).
  6. Paola Chirulli & Luca De Lucia, Non-Judicial Remedies and EU Administration, Protection of Rights versus Preservation of Autonomy (analysing the theoretical and practical issues raised by the development of the wide range of administrative remedies that have become a central part of the EU administrative justice system).
  7. Monika Zalnieriute, Lyria Bennett Moses, and George Williams, The Rule of Law ‘By Design’?, Tulane Law Review (forthcoming) (exploring the extent to which technology can foster rule of law values in practice and its implications for the idea of society ruled by law.)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. LAWASIA will hold a webinar to discuss the human rights and rule of law concerns emerging out of Sri Lanka. The webinar is free and is scheduled for April 22, 2021.
  2. The Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at Melbourne Law School has announced the launch of a new podcast entitled Constitutional Café.
  3. Philosophies, an international peer-reviewed journal published by MDPI, has invited papers for its special issue on “The Philosophy of Human Rights Obligations and Omissions”. The deadline to submit manuscripts is June 30, 2021.
  4. Comparative Legilinguistics and The International Journal for the Semiotics of Law invite paper submissions in English or French for three special issues on the theme ‘COVID-19 Infodemic – Between Law, Ethics and Fake News’. Deadline for abstracts is December 10, 2021.
  5. The Graduate Program in Law of Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG, Brazil) and the DigitalConst research group have announced the launch of a Seminar Series on Constitutionalism and Democracy. Specific dates of the seminars will be announced on UFMG’s website.
  6. Trinity College Dublin will host an online book launch and panel discussion of William Phelan’s book ‘Great Judgments of the European Court of Justice’ on April 15.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Jill Lepore, When Constitutions Took Over the World, The New Yorker.
  2. Tarunabh Khaitan, Who should attend a Global Democracy Summit?, Balkinization.
  3. Jane Duncan, Data collection: ConCourt judgment on surveillance has far-reaching, global implications, Daily Maverick.
  4. Sergei Belov, The Content of the 2020 Constitutional Amendments in Russia, IACL-AIDC Blog.
  5. Samo Bardutzky, Bojan Bugaric, and Saša Zagorc, Slovenian Constitutional Hardball: disruptive moves towards an illiberal democracy?, Verfassungslblog.
  6. David Cameron, EU counters “vaccine nationalism” with “vaccine solidarity” for hard-hit eastern states, Yale Macmillan Centre.
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Published on April 12, 2021
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