Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Chiara Graziani, Research Fellow in Comparative Public Law, University of Milan-Bicocca (Italy) and Academic Fellow, Bocconi University (Italy)

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The US Supreme Court  reversed a ruling that allowed several individuals to sue some food corporations over alleged acts of child slavery.
  2. The US Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act by a 7-2 vote.
  3. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the constitutionality of carbon tax participation requirements for provinces.
  4. The Romanian Constitutional Court published the reasoning of a recent decision holding that the Special Section for Magistrates can only be dismantled by Parliament, and not by ordinary courts.
  5. The Turkish Constitutional Court will hear an application asking it to dissolve the pro-Kurdish party on terror-related charges.
  6. The Egyptian Court of Cassation upheld death penalty for three leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, classified as a terrorist group by the Egyptian government.

In the News

  1. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called for an investigation into activities of the new Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, alleging crimes against humanity and claiming that states should exercise universal jurisdiction.
  2. Japan lifted the state of emergency in some of its prefectures, in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
  3. A new gambling bill has been introduced in Norway, imposing tighter restrictions on unlicensed international betting companies.
  4. The European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor issued a joint opinion urging that planned EU regulation on artificial intelligence include a ban on biometric identification in public spaces.
  5. The Spanish government pardoned nine jailed Catalan leaders.
  6. The Swiss Federal Administrative Court approved the extension of the residence permit for a transgender Mauritian national for important personal reasons.

New Scholarship

  1. Heejin Kim, Global Export Controls of Cyber Surveillance Technology and the Disrupted Triangular Dialogue, 70 International and Comparative Law Quarterly (2021) (addressing the issue of the proliferation of cyber surveillance technology as a global policy problem).
  2. András L. Pap, Academic Freedom: A Test and Tool for Illiberalism, Neoliberalism, and Liberal Democracy, 26 Brown Journal of World Affairs (2021) (investigating the status and role of academic freedom in (neo)liberal democracies and illiberal regimes).
  3. Guillaume Tusseau, Contentieux constitutionnel comparé. Une introduction critique au droit processuel constitutionnel (Librairie générale de droit et de jurisprudence, Lextenso, 2021) (addressing the history of constitutional adjudication, the methodology to be applied in comparative studies of constitutional courts, constitutional complaint procedures as well as many other topics related to constitutional adjudication).
  4. John F. Kowal & Wilfred U. Codrington III, The People’s Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union (forthcoming September 2021) (telling the “233-year story of how the American people have taken an imperfect constitution—the product of compromises and an artifact of its time—and made it more democratic”).
  5. Arianna Vedaschi, Kim Lane Scheppele (eds.), 9/11 and the Rise of Global Anti-Terrorism Law. How the UN Security Council Rules the World (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) (giving a picture of the complex and evolving interaction between the international, regional and domestic levels in framing counter-terrorism law and policies).
  6. Cornelia Weiss, Creating UNSCR 1325: Women who served as initiators, drafters, and strategists, in Rebecca Adami, Dan Plesch (eds.), Women and the UN. A New History of Women’s International Human Rights (Routledge, 2022) (highlighting women from both inside and outside of the United Nations and examining how, in a Security Council composed of almost all men, the first UN Security Council resolution on Women and Peace and Security, UNSCR 1325, was adopted).

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. A webinar on “Hong Kong in China, or Hybridity and its Discontents” is being organized at Bocconi University and will be held on June 29, 2021, at 1 PM CET. The event can be accessed here.
  2. The DI.SEA.DE Department of the University of Milan-Bicocca, together with the Department of Legal Studies of Bocconi University, under the auspices of the Association “Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo” and of the law review “Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo”, are organizing a webinar on “Crisi pandemica o crisi della democrazia? Il principio dello Stato di diritto alla prova dell’emergenza sanitaria” (in Italian). The event will be held on June 30, 2021, at 6 PM CET. The webinar can be accessed here (password “uepandemia”).
  3. The International Law Department and the Gender Centre of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva invites contributions for the Virtual Queer Workshop, “International Law Dis/Oriented: Queer Legacies and Queer Futures”, to be held from September 27 to October 1, 2021. Contributions will be accepted until July 2, 2021 at 11.59 PM CET.
  4. Submissions are welcome for the Fourth International Symposium of the Indonesian Constitutional Court, to be held on September 14-15, 2021.
  5. The DISSECT research project is organizing a webinar on “Evidence and Proof in Proceedings Before the European Court of Human Rights”, to be held on July 5, 2021, at 9:30 AM CET. Those interested should email, shortly motivating why they would like to attend the webinar. 
  6. Papers are invited for two events on judicial education and on judicial conduct in Ireland, to be held online in September and October 2021. The project is organized by Dr. Laura Cahillane (University of Limerick) and Dr. Rónán Kennedy (NUI Galway), funded by the Irish Research Council and undertaken in conjunction with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. The deadline for submissions is August 20, 2021.
  7. The Milan Law Review (MLR) welcomes the submission of articles on topics belonging to any area of legal scholarship of public international law, private international law and European Union law.  More information is available on the website. The next deadline for submitting papers is October 31, 2021.
  8. The World Congress of International Law will be held in Johannesburg on December 5-9, 2022. More information can be found here.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Pablo G. Hidalgo, Fiona de Londras and Daniella Lock, Parliamentary Scrutiny of Extending Emergency Measures in the two Scottish Coronavirus Acts: On the Question of Timing, UKCLA Blog
  2. Priyanka Jain, No Collective Redress against Foreign Companies in Cases of Purely Financial Damage: Case C-709/19 VEB v. British Petroleum, European Law Blog
  3. Haimo Li, The Intellectual Origin of the US Constitution Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3: An Important Contribution from Maryland, Journal of the American Revolution – Constitutional Debate, Critical Thinking, Law
  4. Ulisses Levy Silvério dos Reis, Rafael Lamera Giesta Cabral, Military Justice, Journalism and Free Speech in Brazil, Verfassungsblog
  5. Centro de Estudios de Seguridad and Tirant Editorial, Democracia y Seguridad. Respuestas para Avanzar en el Sistema Público (ed. J.J. Fernández Rodríguez). Book launch, YouTube
  6. David Andrés Viñas, UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and Humanitarian Action: A Case for Saving Lives, Just Security
  7. Lorna Woods, Big Brother Watch v UK: the ECtHR Grand Chamber rules on mass surveillance, EU Law Analysis
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Published on June 28, 2021
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Paternalist Constitutionalism and the Emergence of Sovereign Cultural Identity: The Case of Russia

Angela Di Gregorio, Full Professor of Comparative Public Law, University of Milan, Italy

Now that the path of constitutional reform in Russia has reached its conclusion, with the adoption of almost all the implementing measures of Constitutional Amendment Law of the 14th March 2020, a more thoughtful reflection on the rationale of this complex constitutional restructuring is needed, taking into account long-term political and cultural phenomena.

The complex path of transformation, only to all appearances rapid and limited in scope despite the heading of the Amendment Law (“On improving the regulation of individual issues of organisation and functioning of public authority”) cannot be understood without an investigation into its deepest cultural motivations and the constitutional spirit of Russia. This is a country with a complex genetic identity where Western influences, including European constitutional models, are mixed with deep-rooted indigenous elements, the result of the complex history and geography of the country. Both the long-term constitutional development which we find confirmed in the Great Putin’s Reform along a trajectory which dates back centuries, and the complex management and architecture of power, are conditioned by this dual nature. The balance of the different components has varied over time and, in recent years, the greatest degree of emphasis appears to have been placed on the ‘indigenous’ elements, as shown by the Great Putin’s Reform, where the elements of conservation emerge more than those of innovation. It was a matter of unveiling the deepest and most traditional soul of the ‘new’ Russia, that could not fail to be steeped in its secular political traditions, notwithstanding the important transformations that have taken place in the post-Soviet period.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Published on June 27, 2021
Author:          Filed under: Developments

ICON Volume 19, Issue 1: Editorial

We invited Marcela Prieto and Sergio Verdugo, I•CON’s Associate Editors, to write a Guest Editorial.

Understanding Chile’s constitution-making procedure*

For good or bad, Latin America has seen several constitution-making processes in the past decades, including the cases of Brazil (1988), Colombia (1991), Perú (1993), Ecuador (1998 and again in 2008), Venezuela (1999), and Bolivia (2009). It is now Chile’s turn.

In October 2020, close to 80% of Chileans voted in favor of initiating a constitution-making process through a Constitutional Convention. The Convention’s members will be elected in May 2021. The pressure for constitutional change was largely the result of the 2019 mass protests, which were primarily demanding social rights expansions across the country. In response to this pressure, political parties approved a multi-partisan agreement (the “Agreement”) aimed at initiating a process to replace the current Constitution.[1]

Chile’s constitution-making process can be analyzed in various ways. We argue that, as it was designed in the Agreement, Chile’s constitution-making process can be understood from the perspective of “aversive constitutionalism.” Aversive constitutionalism focuses on “the negative models that are prominent in constitution builders’ minds.”[2] Those models later operate as “building blocks of a new constitutional order,” thus incorporating a “sense of rejection of a particular constitutional possibility.”[3] Using this perspective, the Chilean constitution-making process can be understood as showing a dual aversion: Pinochet’s constitutional legacy and the Bolivarian prescriptions of constitution-making.

The rejection of Pinochet’s constitutional model is not an obvious choice. After all, the current Constitution—originally imposed by the Pinochet regime in 1980—has been amended several times, and Chile has a competitive—though polarized and gridlocked—democratic regime. However, public opinion and politicians associate Pinochet’s Constitution with legislative inaction in areas Chileans care about, such as healthcare, social security, and education. Although there is no academic consensus as to the gridlock’s causes, many Chileans blame the Constitution. In any case, it is true that crucial issues associated to social and economic rights are still partly dominated by neoliberal norms that were part of the dictatorship’s original design.

The rejection of Pinochet’s Constitution also has a symbolic dimension, whereby Chile can be seen as consolidating its transition to democracy through a break with its past constitutional order. Unlike other countries, such as Spain, South Africa, and Brazil, where the transition included a total constitutional replacement, Chile’s post-authoritarian system maintained an amended version of the original constitutional text imposed by the dictatorship. The rejection of Pinochet’s constitutional model involves a desire for social transformation, the need to participate in a democratic—and not imposed—constitution-making process, and a symbolic rejection of the authoritarian legacy.

The Bolivarian approach to constitution-making is Chile’s second negative model. This model has inspired the constitution-makers of Venezuela (1999), Ecuador (2008), and Bolivia (2009), and it combines a form of transformative constitutionalism (an idea originated in relation to South Africa) with a particular constituent narrative. That narrative involves the recognition of a strong social rights model, the existence of a sovereign constituent assembly that produces norms that weaken limits on political power, a post-liberal and radical approach to democracy, and a revolutionary discourse emphasizing the (unconstrained) power of the “people” as the legitimizing driver of the constitution-making process.

The rejection of this model can be identified in the Chilean political debates—as we show in our essay published in this issue—and in many features of the Agreement. The Agreement emphasizes institutional continuity and creates a highly regulated process that imposes several procedural and substantive limitations on the Constitutional Convention. Most notably, the rules governing the Convention promote consensus-building and multi-partisan compromises through a super-majority decision-making rule, a judicial remedy in case the procedures are infringed, and an electoral system that is likely to secure a fragmented and politically diverse Convention—a feature that might prevent the rise of a dominant party. These norms are in tension with the constituent power narrative that Bolivarian constitution-makers typically advocate.

Chile’s success in effectively rejecting these two negative models will depend on whether the Convention finds a path that can accommodate the dual aversion. In order to do so, Chile’s Convention needs to design a more responsive political system that can put an end to legislative inaction in critical areas that require social reform and can provide for a strongly symbolical rejection of the Pinochet legacy. It also needs to avoid a populist narrative that may undermine the competitiveness of the democratic order, thus rejecting the Bolivarian approach. And it must do so while producing a constitution that can be accepted by both public opinion and partisan elites. This is no easy task.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Published on June 25, 2021
Author:          Filed under: Editorials

The “Metaphor of Waves” in Latin America: A Fragmentary Reality?

Juliano Zaiden Benvindo, University of Brasília and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development

[Editors’ Note: This is one of our biweekly ICONnect columns. For more information on our four columnists for 2021, please see here.]

Comparative constitutional law has a particular taste for unraveling constitutional waves. Jon Elster, in his Forces and Mechanisms in the Constitution-Making Process, identifies seven waves from the late eighteenth century to the end of the twentieth century.[1] Tom Ginsburg, when examining the global spread of constitutional review, points out three waves that led to the most current configuration of constitutional review worldwide.[2]  Doreen Lustig and J. H. H. Weiler, drawing from Mauro Cappeletti’s Judicial Review in the Contemporary World,[3]  wrote that they would pay homage to that great author by exploring the recent developments of constitutional law through the “metaphor of waves.”[4]  It is a fascinating discussion that connects cross-national historical developments with their respective constitutional designs, as if both environmental and design factors walk hand in hand across various countries that are connected by some common ground. Comparative studies have already shown the correlation between geographic diffusion and constitutional change, leading neighboring countries to follow certain patterns that could be framed as waves.[5]  Also important, regime changes[6] and political crises[7] have a strong impact on constitutional change, so the waves that take place in the political realm may also imply waves in constitutionalism. In Latin America, this correlation seems quite strong. But is it really? And what about the recent political and constitutional events in the region? Could they be framed in the “metaphor of waves”?

One of the most fascinating and impactful books on Latin American constitutionalism is Roberto Gargarella’s Latin American Constitutionalism, 1810-2010: The Engine Room of the Constitution.[8] It is impressive how Gargarella connects the diverse and highly conflictive historical narratives of a region with the rise of the rich – and sometimes experimental – Latin American constitutionalism. It is still a largely overlooked constitutionalism in comparative constitutional studies despite those two hundred years of experiments, practices, crises, populisms, and – why not? –  political and constitutional successes. The coincidence of movements for independence in the early nineteenth century, when modern constitutionalism was still in its infancy, furthered a series of extremely interesting constitutional projects and designs, even more so when applied in a region with so many social disparities and oligarchical control over institutions. It is the moment of rebellions (if not revolutions) challenging preservationist movements, of radicals, liberals and conservatives negotiating with each other. It is also the moment when Latin American constitutionalism would replicate, with various adaptations, some political and constitutional designs from the neighboring North, such as presidentialism, federalism, and, a bit later, the concrete or diffuse system of judicial review.

Gargarella concentrates his analysis on two central features of Latin American constitutionalism that gained strength over those two hundred years. The first feature, largely inspired by the lessons of his fellow Argentinean Professor Carlos Santiago Nino,[9] is that presidentialism in Latin America means hyper-presidentialism and that this is the “engine room of the constitution;” the second is the vast presence of economic and social rights in the most recent Latin American constitutions, but which are more promise than reality. His very interesting thesis is straightforward: “the institutional system had a significant responsibility in the consolidation of the political, economic, and social system, which remains, after 200 years of independence, profoundly unequal.”[10] The engine room of the Constitution – and particularly hyper-presidentialism – is intimately connected to the perseverance of inequality in the region.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Published on June 23, 2021
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

2021 I•CON Prize

We are very pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 I•CON Prize for the most outstanding article published in volume 18 of the International Journal of Constitutional Law. This year the I•CON Editors in Chief in consultation with the Advisory Board have awarded the Prize to Tamar Hostovsky Brandes, for her article, “The Diminishing Status of International Law in the Decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court concerning the Occupied Territories”, published in our 18:3 issue.

The selection process was particularly difficult this year, given the excellent quality of articles we publish. In this light, the Editors gave a Special Mention award to Andrea Scoseria Katz for her article, “Taming the Prince: Bringing Presidential Emergency Powers under Law in Colombia”, published in I•CON 18:4.

Our warmest congratulations go to these authors for their outstanding contributions to scholarship in the field of public law.

GdeB and JHHW

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Published on June 22, 2021
Author:          Filed under: Editorials

What’s New in Public Law

–Susan Achury, Visiting Lecturer at Texas Christian 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

Developments in Constitutional Court

  1. The US Supreme Court ruled against Texas’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act based on a procedural issue of standing.
  2. The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Catholic foster care agency, declaring it a violation of the free exercise of religion the decision of ending its contract after they refused to work with same-sex couples.
  3. The Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that a woman with HIV was fired without just cause and granting a special protection.
  4. Russian Constitutional Court ruled allowing the enforcement of debt judgments on bankrupt’s sole home.
  5. The Mexican Supreme Court determined that it is “mandatory” for Mexico to comply with the measures of the Committee against Forced Disappearance (CED) of the United Nations (UN).
  6. The Constitutional Court of Spain ruled constitutional sanctions of disqualification from running for popular election positions for electoral crimes.
  7. The Romanian Constitutional Court ruled that the Special Section for magistrates of the Section for Investigation of Criminal Crimes (SIIJ) can be dismantled only by the Parliament and not by ordinary courts. In the reasoning, the court argued that the priority of the application of EU law must not be perceived in the sense of removing or disregarding the national constitutional identity.

In the News

  1. Ecuador implements Constitutional Court Rulings Protecting Rights
  2. Turkey’s Constitutional Court will conduct its first examination in a case filed for the closure of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
  3. The Colombian Senate decided to accuse the former magistrate before the Supreme Court of Justice for alleged acts of corruption.
  4. Poland’s Constitutional Court postponed for the third time its review of whether the country must comply with a demand by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) to suspend judicial reform, which was declared to be contrary to EU law.
  5. The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation is scheduled to discuss the general declaration of unconstitutionality on the prohibition of the use of marijuana.
  6. In Spain, the political party Vox has challenged the constitutionality of the Euthanasia Law, arguing it violates the constitutional right to life
  7. Hungarian Parliament adopted a bill banning LGBT content in schools.
  8. In Peru, the presidential election results have been challenged in courts through requests for annulment.
  9. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) received climate activists’ challenge to Norway’s Arctic oil plans.
  10. European Parliament urged European Commission to support patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccine.

New Scholarship

  1. Yun-chien Chang, Nuno Garoupa, and Martin T Wells, Drawing the Legal Family Tree: An Empirical Comparative Study of 170 Dimensions of Property Law in 129 Jurisdictions (2021) (providing a taxonomy of legal systems, based on their legal family tree and created using variance on property law using an average-linkage agglomerative hierarchical clustering, an unsupervised machine-learning method).
  2. Adam Chilton, Justin Driver, Jonathan S. Masur, and Kyle Rozema, Assessing Affirmative Action’s Diversity Rationale (2021) (providing empirical support for the benefits of diversity in higher education that supports the constitutionality of affirmative action programs by looking at student-run law reviews).
  3. Evan D. Bernick, Eliminating Constitutional Law (2021) (arguing that theories of law should include a factor interpretive choice).
  4. Jorge Ernesto Roa, La ciudadania dentro de la sala de maquinas del constitucionalismo transformador latinoamericano (2021) (arguing that Latin America transformative constitutionalism builds on broad access to constitutional justice to materialize social promises contained in constitutions).
  5. Jonathan Rauch, The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth (2021) (analyzing the constitutional conflicts arising from fakes news and democratic principles and examining solutions to an “epistemic crisis” of an American crisis of information).
  6. Martin Belov, Peace, Discontent and Constitutional Law: Challenges to Constitutional Order and Democracy (2021) (exploring how constitutions serve as a reliable framework for peaceful co-existence while allowing for reasonable and legitimate discontent).
  7. Hèctor López Bofill, Law, Violence and Constituent Power: The Law, Politics, and History of Constitution Making (2021) (arguing that legitimacy of the constitution-making in liberal democracies is based on violence).
  8. Fruzsina Gárdos-Orosz and Zoltán Szente, Populist Challenges to Constitutional Interpretation in Europe and Beyond (2021) (exploring the relationship between populism or populist regimes and constitutional interpretation used in those regimes).
  9. Andrej Lang, Non-judicial rights review of counterterrorism policies: The role of fundamental rights in the making of the counterterrorism database and the data retention legislation in Germany (2021) (examining how rights considerations affect the making of anti-terrorism policy in Germany).
  10. Chiara Valentini, Deliberative Democracy, Social Rights and the Modulation of Judicial Review (2021) (examining the idea of a “third way” for judicial action that mediates between judicial inertia and activism).
  11. Guillaume Tusseau, Comparative constitutional litigation: A critical introduction to constitutional procedural law (2021) (examining the procedural rules of nearly 200 constitutional justice systems).

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Comparative Constitutional Law Research Forum of the Centre for Comparative and Transnational Law at CUHK law invites submissions for a workshop on “Issues in Public Law in South Asia.” (Abstract due July 30).
  2. The Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law journal invite papers for his Volume 6 Issue 1. (Submissions due August 15).
  3. The Review of European Administrative Law invites an online discussion on the edited collection Cases, materials, and texts on judicial review of administrative action (Hart 2019) on July 2021).
  4. The University of Miami School of Law and the University of Houston Law Center invites submissions for a Virtual Colloquium on Race, Racism, and American Media. (Submissions due June 21).
  5. The Chair of French Public Law at Saarland University is recruiting an Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief for a comparative public law journal to be published in English.
  6. Curtin Law School at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, invites submissions for the International Trade and Business Law Review. (Submissions due July 31).
  7. International Journal for The Semiotics Of Law & Comparative Legilinguistics issued a call for papers for three special issues on “COVID-19 infodemic –between law, ethics, and fake news.” (Abstract due December 10).
  8. Eurac Research invites applications for the 2022 Federal Scholar in Residence Program in Italy. (Applications due July 1).
  9. The Northern Illinois University College of Law is accepting proposals for the Fourth Annual Chicagoland Junior Scholars Conference on October 1, 2021. (Abstract due June 25)
  10. The University of New Hampshire Law Review Fall 2021 invites submission for the Symposium on “The War on Drugs 50 Years Later: Where we are and Where we’re Going.”
  11. The South Dakota Law Review invites submissions to a symposium on issues related to marijuana law. (Abstracts due July 1).
  12. The Comparative Constitutions Project announced the latest release of its data on Characteristics of National Constitutions, updated through the end of 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Javier Rodríguez Sandoval, El voto nulo y el triunfo de la derecha en Ecuador, Nueva Sociedad.
  2. Evangelia Psychogiopoulou and Federica Casarosa, Social Media, Fundamental Rights And Courts In Europe, British Association of Comparative Law.
  3. María Sosa Mendoza, Perú: ¿de la indignación a una nueva Constitución? Nueva Sociedad
  4. Jacob Gursky and Samuel Woolley, Countering disinformation and protecting democratic communication on encrypted messaging applications, Brookings.
  5. Joel I. Colón-Ríos, Of Colonies and Empires, IACL-AIDC Blog.
  6. Seána Glennon, More Power to the People? The Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality and The Future for Minipublic Deliberation in Ireland, IACL-AIDC Blog.
  7. Kate Dommett, Constitutional reformers need to tackle six key questions about the regulation of digital campaigning, The Constitution Unit.
  8. Stoyan Panov, The Role of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Magnitsky Sanctions, JURIST.
  9. Louis Rene Beres, Politics, Law and the Triumph of Chaos, JURIST.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Published on June 21, 2021
Author:          Filed under: Developments

What’s New in Public Law

Boldizsár Szentgáli-Tóth, Research fellow at Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies – Centre of Excellence (Budapest); Research Fellow at Eotvos Loránd University (Budapest)

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. U.S. Supreme Court takes up FBI bid to block Muslim civil rights suit.
  2. U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs challenge to all-male military draft.
  3. U.S. Supreme Court held, that immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally cannot apply for green cards simply because they enjoy Temporary Protected Status, or TPS.
  4. The Latvian Constitutional Court finds that the provisions of the Istanbul Convention comply with the Latvian Constitution.
  5. Zimbabwe court upheld chief justice’s right to resume work despite age.           .
  6. The Constitutional Court of South Korea held the opening hearing of the first ever case in the country, when a sitting judge had been impeached over abuse of judicial power.

In the News

  1. Delhi court dismissed a prisoner’s request for special food, dietary supplements.
  2. Washington Superior Court finds city of Seattle’s payroll expense tax on salaries constitutional.
  3. The Eleventh Circuit Court ruled, that an inmate’s claim against the U.S. that his constitutional right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment was violated, when prison officials negligently placed him with a violent cellmate, is blocked by the Federal Tort Claim Act’s discretionary function exception.
  4. CDU surprises pollsters, scores big win in German state election.
  5. Albanian Parliament impeaches president for vote comments.
  6. Japan ruling MPs seek emergency clause for constitution amid pandemic response discontent.
  7. Constitutional referendum in Haiti originally scheduled on June 27 2021 has been postponed indefinitely.
  8. Slovenia to hold referendum on drinking water on July 11.
  9. A Libyan political leader announced his intention to block Libyan referendum since he has been excluded from presidential candidature due to his dual citizenship.
  10. Mexican president may seek constitutional change in power industry.

New Scholarship

  1. Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Gerhard van der Schyff, Maarten Stremler, and Maartje De Visser (eds), The City in Constitutional Law – European Yearbook of Constitutional Law 2020 (2021) (examining the positioning and powers of cities in the contemporary constitutional context)
  2. Martin Belov (ed), Courts, Politics and Constitutional Law: Judicialization of Politics and Politicization of the Judiciary (2021) (examining how the judicialization of politics, and the politicization of courts, affect representative democracy, rule of law, and separation of powers)
  3. Brian Christopher Jones (ed), Democracy and Rule of Law in China’s Shadow (2021) (providing detailed insight into some of the most contentious events occurring in jurisdictions operating within China’s vast shadow)
  4. Ian Loveland (ed), British and Canadian Public Law in Comparative Perspective (2021) (exploring current human rights controversies arising in UK law, in the light of the way such matters have been dealt with in Canada)
  5. G. Delledonne, G. Martinico, M. Monti, and F. Pacini, Italian Populism and Constitutional Law (2021) (diagnosing the relationship between constitutionalism and populism in the Italian context, featuring 15 chapters offering various perspectives on this relationship)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Minerva Law Network organizes a conference a panel session with a title “Women and the International Law Commission,” in which the current and former women of the International Law Commission will discuss their experiences in the Commission and their work on the progressive development of international law and its codification. The panel will take place online, on June 30, 2021.
  2. The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford hosts a workshop on “Issues in Public Law in South Asia,” to be held on June 10-12, 2022. The deadline for submissions is July 30, 2021.
  3. The South African Research Chair in International Constitutional Law in the Faculty of Law (UP Law) at the University of Pretoria (UP), Prof Dire Tladi, invites applications for full-time Research Master’s, Doctoral, Postdoctoral candidates commencing in 2022. The deadline for submission of applications is 30 June, 2021.
  4. University of Oxford and Max Planck Institute for Comparative and Private International Law, with the funding of the British Academy Global Professorship and the Max Planck Institute, organize the second Decolonial Comparative Law Workshop on “Decolonial comparative legal history: indigenous and global South law prior to colonialism.” The deadline for submissions is February 9, 2022.
  5. Droit Public Comparé – Comparative Public Law (DPC-CPL) invites those that are interested to submit papers to the biannual peer-reviewed journal dedicated to Comparative Public Law. Articles can be written in English or French, and will be published in spring and autumn, 2022.
  6. The AACL calls for nominations for the 2021 Saunders Prize, which will be awarded to the author of an article or note on a subject of constitutional law published in an Australian legal journal in 2020. The deadline for all nominations is June 21, 2022.
  7. Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law hosts the 2022 Nova Law Review Symposium on March 11, 2022. The theme of the symposium is “Under Pressure:  Legal and Systemic Responses to the Psychological Trauma Associated With COVID-19.” The deadline of submissions is July 16, 2021.
  8. Indiana University McKinney School of Law and Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality (IU Maurer School of Law) organize a hybrid conference on “Law vs. Antisemitism.” to be held on March 13-14, 2022. The deadline of submissions is August 1, 2021.
  9. Submissions are invited for two events on Judicial education and on Judicial conduct in Ireland in September and October 2021, with a selection of papers to be published afterwards in special editions of the Irish Judicial Studies Journal. This project is funded by the Irish Research Council and is undertaken in conjunction with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and further information and calls for papers are available here.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Jennifer Selin, How the Constitution’s federalist framework is being tested by COVID-19, Brookings
  2. Andreas Fischer-Lescano, Georg Restle, Kein Anspruch auf Sendezeit: Warum die Rundfunkfreiheit kein Einlassticket für rechte Parteien ist, Verfassungsblog
  3. Florian Kriener, Gabriel Álvarez Argüello, Alina Maria Ripplinger, Nicaragua’s Electoral Counter-Reform, Verfassungsblog
  4. Felix Ekardt, Shell’s Climate Obligation: Climate, Civil Courts, Human Rights, and Balance of Powers, Verfassungsblog
  5. Jasper Mührel, Standing for Piglets: The Locus Standi of Non-Human Beings Under the German Constitution, Verfassungsblog
  6. Radosveta Vassileva, Framing and Raiding: Bulgaria’s Kafkaesque Prosecutor’s Office, Verfassungsblog
  7. Sven Jürgensen, Für immer dein Feind?: Über die Präzedenzwirkung im Parteiordnungsrecht, Verfassungsblog
  8. Maximilian Beyer, Sangeeta Mahapatra, and Matthias C. Kettemann, Fighting Platforms and the People, not the Pandemic: #ResignModi and Disinformation Governance in India – an update, Verfassungsblog
  9. Maximilian Steinbeis, After he’s gone, Verfassungsblog
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Published on June 14, 2021
Author:          Filed under: Developments

ICON’s Latest Issue: Table of Contents

Volume 19 Issue 1

Table of Contents


Afterword: Neil Walker and his Critics

Fleur Johns, The sovereignty deficit: Afterword to the Foreword by Neil Walker

George Duke, Sovereignty’s rationale: Afterword to the Foreword by Neil Walker

Nicole Roughan, Surplus or surrender? Afterword to the Foreword by Neil Walker

Lucia Rubinelli, Democracy and sovereignty: Afterword to the Foreword by Neil Walker

Neil Walker, The sovereignty surplus: A rejoinder


Giovanni De Gregorio, The rise of digital constitutionalism in the European Union

Harry Hobbs and George Williams, Micronations: A lacuna in the law

Critical Review of Governance

Melissa Loja, Recent engagement with international human rights norms by the courts of Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines

Critical Review of Jurisprudence

Po Jen Yap and Rehan Abeyratne,Judicial self-dealing and unconstitutional constitutional amendments in South Asia

Critical Review of Constitution-Making

Sergio Verdugo and Marcela Prieto, The dual aversion of Chile’s constitution-making process: Bolivarian constitutionalism and the Pinochet Constitution

Special Section: Game of Laws

Fernando César Costa Xavier, Huehue constitutionalism

Symposium: The PSPP Judgment of the Bundesverfassungsgericht

Joseph H.H. Weiler, Why Weiss? The I•CON symposium: Preface

Jürgen Basedow, Jan Dietze, Stefan Griller, Manuel Kellerbauer, Marcus Klamert, Luigi Malferrari, Tibor Scharf, Dominik Schnichels, Daniel Thym, Jonathan Tomkin, in cooperation with and co-signed by Peter Behrens, Georg Berrisch, Jan Ceyssens, Herwig Hofmann, Susanne Kalss, Katja Langenbucher, Leander D. Loacker, Till Müller-Ibold, Theo Öhlinger, Ingolf Pernice, Jessica Schmidt, Francesco Schurr, Gerd Schwendinger, Andreas von Bonin, Robin van der Hout, European Integration: Quo Vadis? A critical commentary on the PSPP judgment of the German Federal Constitutional Court of May, 5 2020

Ulrich Haltern, Revolutions, real contradictions, and the method of resolving them: The relationship between the Court of Justice of the European Union and the German Federal Constitutional Court

Karen J. Alter, When and how to legally challenge economic globalization: A comment on the German Constitutional Court’s false promise

Stefanie Egidy, Proportionality and procedure of monetary policy-making

Marco Dani, Edoardo Chiti, Joana Mendes, Agustín José Menéndez, Harm Schepel and Michael A. Wilkinson, ‘It’s the political economy..!’ A moment of truth for the Eurozone and the EU

Tom Flynn, Constitutional pluralism and loyal opposition

Review Essays

Lucas Brang, Conceptual realism and imperial nostalgia in Chinese legal historiography. Review of Gao Quanxi, Zhang Wei, Tian Feilong. Xiandai zhongguo de fazhi zhi lu [The Road to the Rule of Law in Modern China]; Zhang Yongle. Jiu bang xin zao: 1911-1917 [The Remaking of an Old Country: 1911-1917]

Erika Arban, City, State: Reflecting on Cities in (Comparative) Constitutional Law. Review of Ran Hirschl, City, State. Constitutionalism and the Megacity

Book Reviews

Hannah Birkenkötter, Review of Vijayashri Sripati, Constitution-Making Under UN Auspices. Fostering Dependency in Sovereign Lands

Silvia Steininger, Review of Antje Wiener, Contestation and Constitution of Norms in Global International Relations

Eugenie Merieau, Review of Takao Suami, Anne Peters, Dimitri Vanoverbeke, Mattias Kumm (eds), Global Constitutionalism from European and East Asian Perspectives

Darshan Datar, Review of Myriam Hunter-Henin, Why Religious Freedom Matters for Democracy: Comparative Reflections from Britain and France for a Democratic “Vivre Ensemble”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Published on June 12, 2021
Author:          Filed under: Editorials

Internationalised Constitution-Making in Deeply Divided States: A Note on South Sudan

Armi Beatriz E. Bayot, University of Oxford Faculty of Law

[Editors’ Note: This is one of our biweekly ICONnect columns. For more information on our four columnists for 2021, please see here.]

Describing a state as failed, failing, or fragile has often been a prelude to international intervention. Such was the case for Sudan,[1] where an internationalised peace process aimed at resolving a decades-long armed conflict eventually resulted in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/A).[2] The CPA provided for new government and security arrangements, elections, and the holding of a referendum in 2011 for southern independence.[3] And this has likewise been the case for South Sudan.[4] International actors have brokered multiple ceasefires and peace deals seeking to stem the seemingly intractable violence that has beset South Sudan since civil war erupted in 2013.[5]

Among the indicators of South Sudan’s alleged failure as a state are its deep societal cleavages and the near-constant violent armed conflict over power among political and military elites.[6] International actors, including the United Nations, are therefore keen to help South Sudanese finally draft a permanent constitution that would hopefully signal a transition from highly centralised, highly militarised government to broad-based accommodation and free and fair elections.[7] Unless the constitution-drafting process for South Sudan avoids the ways in which international involvement exacerbated societal divisions in the past, however, the new constitution could merely codify cleavages that fuel armed conflict.  External third-party involvement and support can strengthen the relative position of certain actors over others, thereby entrenching ethnic divisions and unjust power relations.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Published on June 9, 2021
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

ICON: Editors’ Choice of Books 2020

As is now our custom, our Book Review Editor, Michaela Hailbronner, invited the I•CON Board members to reflect on the books that had a significant impact on them during the past year. Their contributions, posted on I•CONnect, were read with interest and curiosity. In the following pieces Marian Ahumada, Richard Albert, Tom Ginsburg, and Wojciech Sadurski write about the books they read or reread this past year and which they found inspiring, enjoyable, or even “must-reads” for their own work or public law scholarship in general.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Published on June 8, 2021
Author:          Filed under: Editorials