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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 iconnecteditors@gmail.com.

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal declared that the interim measures imposed by EU’s Court of Justice (in the case C-204/21) on the Polish judicial system affecting the powers of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court conflict with the Polish Constitution.
  2. Romania’s Constitutional Court ruled against a bill introduced by the government coalition which provides for a minimum experience required for anti-corruption magistrates.
  3. Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled that strict home confinement included in a national state of emergency to curb the first wave of COVID-19 infections last year was unconstitutional.
  4. The Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic declared the suspension of the effectiveness of the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) ordinance that changed the rules for travelling across borders.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared the constitutionality of the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language” regulating the use of the state language in the field of consumer service.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe dismissed the appeal filed by human rights lawyer Musa Kika requesting the judges’ recusal from the case of Chief Justice Luke Malaba.
  7. The European Court of Justice ruled that employers can prohibit workers from wearing headscarves or other religious symbols when it is necessary to present a neutral image towards customers or to prevent social disputes

In the News

  1. Demonstrations took place in France against plans to restrict restaurants and cultural spaces to those that have been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19.
  2. Indonesia’s parliament ratified a new autonomy law for the Papua region aimed at boosting development in the poorest area.
  3. Several groups signed a statement against the Cambodian government’s inability to conduct an independent investigation into the death of prominent political analyst Kem Ley
  4. The European Commission started legal steps against Hungary’s law banning LGBTQ content for minors and Poland’s “LGBTQ-free” zones.
  5. The Pakistani parliament passed a bill that criminalizes torture and prevents killings in custody by police or other government officials.
  6. The rector of Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Melih Bulu, has been suspended from his post by a presidential decree after months of protest by several student associations.
  7. The Supreme Court of Nepal restored its parliament, which was dissolved by interim prime minister KP Sharma Oli in May and ordered his rival Sher Bahadur Deuba to be appointed as prime minister.

New Scholarship

  1. Brendan Sweetman, The Crisis of Democratic Pluralism. The Loss of Confidence in Reason and the Clash of Worldviews (forthcoming, 2022) (developing a novel approach to pluralist disagreement and reinterpreting the relationship between religion, secularism and politics)
  2. Claire O. Finkelstein and Richard W. Painter, Presidential Accountability and the Rule of Law: Can the President Claim Immunity If He Shoots Someone on Fifth Avenue?, 24 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law (2021) (discussing the concept of presidential immunity and contrasting the idea that presidential immunity is part of presidential powers under Article II of the Constitution)
  3. Erin R. Pineda, Seeing Like an Activist. Civil Disobedience and the Civil Rights Movement (2021) (exploring the role of civil disobedience of the Civil Rights Movement and advocating the importance of civil activism)
  4. Maurice Adams and Mark Van Hoecke (eds.), Comparative Methods in Law, Humanities and Social Sciences (2021) (discussing how comparative methodologies work from different disciplines and perspectives)
  5. Raymond Wacks, The Rule of Law Under Fire? (forthcoming, 2022) (offering both historical and empirical analysis on the major risks and challenges to the rule of law)
  6. Zaid Al-Ali, Arab Constitutionalism. The Coming Revolution (2021) (offering a thorough account on post-Arab Spring constitutionalism in the Middle East)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Bilgi IT Law Institute & KUIS AI invites applications for the “International Summer School on AI: on the trail of human rights, democracy and the rule of law” to be held from August 2 to September 30, 2021. The application deadline is July 26, 2021
  2. LUISS University, Department of Political Science, invites applications for one research grant (of 20 months) on the area of “Societal challenges in the Twenty-first century EU: comparing research and innovation cultures and processes” under the supervision of Prof. Robert Schuetze. Deadline for applications is July 19, 2021, 2 p.m. CEST.
  3. The Australian Feminist Law Journal (AFLJ) Editorial Board welcomes papers for the upcoming AFLJ Special Issue on ‘Conceptualisations of Violence’. Deadline for abstract submissions is November 15, 2021. The Special Issue will be published in June 2022.
  4. The Doctoral Programme Democracy Studies and DemocracyNet invites submissions for the research workshop on the topic of “Vested Interests and Democracy”, which will take place at the University of Zurich on December 9-10, 2021. Abstract should be sent by September 10. Researchers interested in attending without presenting should apply by October 1, 2021.
  5. The EU-funded COST Action “Constitution-making and deliberative democracy” (CA17135) invites papers for the Conference “Under-Representation, Direct Democracy and Deliberation: Mapping Contemporary Challenges” to be held in Ljubljana next September 7-8, 2021. The deadline for applications is July 30, 2021.
  6. The Indian Yearbook of Comparative Law (IYCL) accepts submission of original pieces across any legal discipline (public or private law) from a comparative lens for the IYCL 2020. Expression of interest together with a brief abstract of the paper must be sent to iycl@jgu.edu.in. Complete papers are expected to be delivered by September 1, 2021.
  7. The Minerva Law Network invites participants to attend “Post-WWII Occupied Germany: Examining the Effect of a Male Majority Military on the Political Power, Legal Rights, and Economic Opportunities of Women in a Female Majority Land,” a public talk by Cornelia Weiss. The event will take place on July 30, 2021.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Andrea Pritoni, What is the role of political science in public debate? A sobering lesson from Italy, The Loop
  2. David Rossiter and Charles Pattie, Another nail – but whose coffin? Redrawing Britain’s constituency map (again) and the future of the UK’s voting system, The Constitution Unit Blog
  3. Haimo Li, The Bolingbrokean Constitutional Argument in John Adams’s 1766 Clarendon Letter, Journal of the American Revolution
  4. Hana Ben Abda, The Provisional Instance of Tunisia: An Insufficient Substitute for a Constitutional Court, IACL-IADC Blog
  5. Mohd Imran, Unpaid Internships at International Courts & Tribunals: An Instrument in Expanding the Gap between the North and the South, Asia Blogs
  6. Paul Gowder, Don’t Count the Constitution Out of the Deep State Battle Yet, Balkinization
  7. Sümeyye Elif Biber, Machines Learning the Rule of Law, Verfassungsblog
  8. Vikram David Amar and Jason Mazzone, New Texas Abortion Statute Raises Cutting-Edge Questions Not Just About Abortion but About the Relationship Between State and Federal Courts, Verdict Justia | US Constitutional Law Blog
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Published on July 19, 2021
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