Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Indian Supreme Court delivered its decision in support of equaling women officers to their male counterparts in the military by making them eligible for permanent commissions, which qualifies them to serve as a full tenure.
  2. Thailand’s Constitutional Court held that Article 301 of the country’s criminal code penalizing abortion is unconstitutional. The Court asked the government to amend the law within one calendar year.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Thailand dissolved an upstart opposition party which challenged the military establishment for taking an illegal loan from its billionaire founder.
  4. The Supreme Court of Estonia ruled that Regulation No 99, of November 29, 2019, which stipulates that the wastewater should be as pure as the water in water bodies is constitutional.

In the News

  1. After more than four months after the election of the new parliament, the Tunisian president Kais Saied still struggles with the formation of the new government. The president announced that if the parliament rejects the currently proposed cabinet, he will dissolve the parliament and calls for early elections. On another note, the country has been witnessing a constitutional argument over the parliament authorities versus the current cabinet.
  2. The Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi announced that he formed a cabinet of political independents and called the parliament to vote on it on February 24. The constitution gives him until March 2 to present a cabinet for parliamentary approval.
  3. The autonomous Bougainville government in Papua New Guinea declared lately to amend its constitution to, among other issues, allow the president to serve for more than two terms. The Ombudsman Commission released a statement asking the government to follow the procedures of amending the constitution strictly.
  4. The Indonesian government dismissed concerns over a proposed bill to give the president the power to revoke regional regulations. The economic minister said that the president would have this power only over the administrations bellow the central government.
  5. Two new judges were appointed at the German Federal Court of Justice. The two judges are Jörn Fritsche and Mario von Häfen who were both judges at High Regional Courts.

New Scholarship

  1. Samy A. Ayoub, Law, Empire, and the Sultan: Ottoman Imperial Authority and Late Hanafi Jurisprudence (2019) (examining the Ottoman imperial authority in authoritative Ḥanafī legal works from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries CE)
  2. Christian Bjørnskov and Stefan Voigt, Is constitutionalized media freedom only window dressing? Evidence from terrorist attacks, Public Choice (2020) (finding that neither the direct nor indirect constitutional protection of the media freedom mitigates the post-terror curtailment of press freedom)
  3. Dominique Dalla-Pozza and Greg Weeks, A Statutory Shield of the Executive: To What Extent Does Legislation Help Administrative Action Evade Judicial Scrutiny?, in Janina Boughey and Lisa Burton Crawford (eds.), Interpreting Executive Power (2020) (explaining the functional justification for the preference of codification of the executive power in Australia)
  4. Diego Muro and Ignacio Lago (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Spanish Politics (2020) (presenting a comparative, empirical analysis of Spanish politics, including a chapter on the judicial politics and the Constitutional Court)
  5. Judith Resnik, (Un)Constitutional Punishments: Eighth Amendment Silos, Penological Purposes, and People’s “Ruin,” The Yale Law Journal Forum (2020) (contextually examining the US Supreme Court decision in Timbs v. Indiana on the application of the constitutional prohibition of excessive fines to states )

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. Università degli Studi di Milano invites applications for a conference on “Academic Freedom under Pressure? New State and Social Challenges in a German-Italian Comparison,” which will be held on September 24-25, 2020, at the University of Milan under the sponsorship of the German Academic Exchange Service – DAAD. Please note that accepted participants will be reimbursed for travelling and accommodation expenses.
  2. The University of Texas Law School invites participants for its conference on “The Imperial Presidency in the Twenty-First Century,” convened by professors Richard Albert and Sanford Levinson. The conference will be held at Texas Law School in Austin, on March 26-28, 2020.
  3. The American University, Washington College of Law in Washington DC, seeks an Assistant Director for its Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project.
  4. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) invites attendees, online and in persons, for its book event hosting Keith Whittington to discuss his book “Repugnant Laws: Judicial Review of Acts of Congress from the Founding to the Present.” The event will take place on February 21, 2020.
  5. The National University of Public Service at Ludovika and the Centre for Parliamentary Studies at the University of Győr invites for a conference on parliamentary and legislative research, under the title “30 Years of Parliaments and Legislation in Central and Eastern Europe.” The deadline for submission of proposals is March 22, 2020.
  6. The paper submission period is now open for the 37th Annual Conference of the European Association of Law and Economics (EALE), which will be held on September 24-25, 2020, at the University of Paris 2. Submissions deadline is on April 6, 2020.
  7. The Institute for Advanced Studies in Public Administration (IDHEAP), Faculty of Law, Criminal Sciences and Public Administration of the University of Lausanne, invites young researchers to submit a paper as part of the meeting on the topic “What social sciences can contribute to the study of (public) law,” to be held on May 14–15, 2020, in Lausanne, Switzerland. The deadline for submission of abstracts is March 20, 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. David R. Cameron, AKK resigns as CDU chair, and Germany and Europe wonder who will lead after Merkel, Yale MacMillan Center
  2. Elisa Arcioni & Rayner Thwaites, Aboriginal Australians not Vulnerable to Deportation, IACL-AIDC Blog
  3. Kevin Casas-Zamora, The State of Democracy in Africa, International IDEA
  4. Jordan S. Rubin, Project Bolsters Tribes’ High Court Claims Following Defeats, Bloomberg Law
  5. Hoitsimolimo Mutlokwa, Land Expropriation without Compensation in South Africa, IACL-AIDC Blog
  6. Daniel Marans, Embracing Supreme Court Expansion Carries No Political Cost, Study Says, HuffPost
  7. Mark Mancini, On the Rule of Law, Blockades, and Indigenous Self-Government, Double Aspect
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Published on February 24, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Special 20 Percent Discount–New Book–“Revolutionary Constitutionalism”

Richard Albert, William Stamps Farish Professor in Law and Professor of Government, The University of Texas at Austin

I-CONnect is pleased to share a special 20% discount code for our readers interested in a new book entitled Revolutionary Constitutionalism (Hart 2020).

To order this book at the discount rate, enter code CV7 at checkout here.

Here is the book’s description:

This book, the result of a major international conference held at Yale Law School, contains contributions from leading scholars in public law who engage critically with Bruce Ackerman’s path-breaking book, Revolutionary Constitutions: Charismatic Leadership and the Rule of Law. The book also features a rebuttal chapter by Ackerman in which he responds directly to the contributors’ essays.

Some advance Ackerman’s theory, others attack it, and still others refine it–but all agree that the ideas in his book reset the terms of debate on the most important subjects in constitutionalism today: from the promise and perils of populism to the causes and consequences of democratic backsliding, from the optimal models of constitutional design to the forms and limits of constitutional amendment, and from the role of courts in politics to how we identify when the mythical ‘people’ have spoken. A must-read for all interested in the current state of constitutionalism.

And here are the contents of the volume:

Introduction: A Global Tour of Constitutionalism
Richard Albert

1. A Political, not a Legal History of the Rise of Worldwide Constitutionalism
Dieter Grimm


2. A Defence of Non-representational Constitutionalism: Why Constitutions Need not be Representational
Alon Harel

3. Constitutionalism and Society: Ackerman on Worldwide Constitution-Making and the Role of Social Forces
Denis Baranger

4. Bruce Ackerman’s Theory of History
Roberto Gargarella

5. Constitutionalism and the Predicament of Postcolonial Independence
Aziz Rana

6. Revolution on a Human Scale: Liberal Values, Populist Theory?
Andrew Arato


7. Charismatic Fictions and Constitutional Politics
Tom Ginsburg

8. Uncharismatic Revolutionary Constitutionalism
Stephen Gardbaum

9. Unconventional Adaptation and the Authenticity of the Constitution
Alessandro Ferrara

10. Constitutional Revolution, Legal Positivism and Constituent Power
Yasuo Hasebe

11. The Traditions of Constitutional Change
Richard Albert


12. Constitutional Crossroads: A View from Europe
Neil Walker

13. How Europe Brought Judicial Review to France: A Response to Bruce Ackerman
Daniel Halberstam

14. Constituting the Judiciary, Constituting Europe
Mitchel Lasser


15. Sustaining Revolutionary Constitutions: From Movement Party to Movement Court
Menaka Guruswamy

16. The Italian Constitution as a Revolutionary Agreement
Marta Cartabia

17. Constitutional Strategy for a Polarised Society: Learning from Poland’s Post-revolutionary Misfortunes
Maciej Kisilowski

18. Choosing to Have Had a Revolution: Lessons from South Africa’s Undecided Constitutionalism
James Fowkes

19. The Race against Time
Bruce Ackerman

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Published on February 20, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Developments

What’s New in Public Law

Gaurav Mukherjee, S.J.D. Candidate in Comparative Constitutional Law, Central European 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. The High Court of Australia held that Aboriginal Australians who are born overseas and are not citizens of Australia are nevertheless not within reach of the “aliens” power in section 51(xix) of the Australian Constitution.
  2. The High Court of Kenya halted a controversial biometric ID scheme until new data protection laws are enacted.
  3. The Supreme Court of India delivered an important decision on the use of affirmative action in promotions in public posts.
  4. The European Court of Human Rights held that indefinite retention of DNA profile, fingerprints and photograph of a person convicted for a minor offence was disproportionate and violated the right to respect for private life under Article 8 of the Convention.
  5. The Supreme Court of India issued mandatory directions to political parties to publish criminal antecedents of their candidates.

In the News

  1. Military-appointed lawmakers in Myanmar opposed a proposal by the parliamentary Joint Bill Committee to merge the military’s constitutional amendment bills with those submitted by the National League for Democracy (NLD) for discussion by Parliament.
  2. The Public Protector of South Africa stated that adverse court findings against her could not form the basis of a parliamentary inquiry, which could result in her removal from office.
  3. Bosnian Serb officials have been accused of breaking the law after they stopped work on deciding any state-level matters, pending adoption of a new law on the Constitutional Court.
  4. The Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria in the exercise of its power granted by Section 225(a) of the 1999 Constitution, deregistered 74 political parties that failed to meet the requirements for listing on its register, in the wake of the last year’s elections and the recent rerun.
  5. An indigenous community opposing the construction of a gas pipeline in Canada launched a legal challenge at the Supreme Court over the climate impact of fossil fuel projects on indigenous territories.
  6. Geoffrey Cox, the UK government’s attorney-general threw his weight behind calls to curb judges’ powers to overturn ministerial decisions, saying there is a “widespread feeling” courts are making decisions that “properly ought” to be parliament’s.
  7. The District Court of the Hague in The Netherlands ordered the immediate halt to a digital benefit fraud detection tool targeted at poor neighborhoods in the Netherlands because it violated human rights norms, giving credence to a report filed by  Philip Alston the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
  8. A judge in South Africa issued an arrest warrant for former president Jacob Zuma for failing to appear in court on a corruption case that he has sought to avoid for months.
  9. The President of Guinea announced that he would go ahead with a contested plan to revise the West African country’s constitution next month, a move that threatened to inflame political tensions after a series of deadly demonstrations further.

New Scholarship

  1. Stephen M. Griffin, Against Historical Practice: Facing Up to the Challenge of Informal Constitutional Change 35 Constitutional Commentary (2020) (developing an approach to “constitutional change as state-building” to resolve contentious disputes over war powers and judicial nominations in the Obama and Trump administrations as well as recent Supreme Court cases).
  2. Alexandra Sinclair and Joe Tomlinson, RR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: Empowering Tribunals to Enforce the Human Rights Act 1998, Modern Law Review, forthcoming 2020 (analyzing the human rights implications of the judgment in RR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which also has significant implications for social security law).
  3. Katherine Shaw, Reva Siegel and Melissa Murray, Introduction to Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories in Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories, forthcoming 2020 (providing an overview of the stories about the individual litigants and lawyers behind important cases in reproductive rights which recognize courts as but one of many institutions in constitutional democracy).
  4. Jack M. Balkin, How to Regulate (and Not Regulate) Social Media Yale Law School, Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper Series (2020) (describing three policy levers that might create better incentives for privately-owned companies to subject themselves to greater regulation: (1) antitrust and competition law; (2) privacy and consumer protection law; and (3) a careful balance of intermediary liability and intermediary immunity rules).
  5. Jordi Jaria-Manzano and Susana Borrás (eds.), Research Handbook on Global Climate Constitutionalism (2020) (exploring how to develop constitutional discourses and strategies to address issues of sustainability and global equity, and thereby tackle the negative effects of climate change whilst also advancing a more sustainable, equitable and responsible global society).
  6. Kajit J Bagu (John Paul), Peacebuilding, Constitutionalism and the Global South: The Case for Cognitive Justice Plurinationalism (2019) (demonstrating the failure of liberal constitutionalism in guaranteeing peace in the postcolonial global South and developing an alternative, more compelling constitutionalism for peacebuilding in conflicted regions which could deliver peace by addressing historic, conceptual, legal, institutional and structural issues that have created social inequality and injustice).
  7. Alexandre de le Court, Sufficiency principle and minimum social security benefits: an analysis from the perspective of the German right to a minimum of subsistence, 32(2) Rev. derecho (Valdivia) (2019) (analyzing the recent case concerning social minimum in Germany from a comparative perspective).
  8. Brian Christopher Jones, Constitutional Idolatry and Democracy: Challenging the Infatuation with Writtenness (forthcoming 2020) (arguing that written constitutions have been drastically and persistently over-sold throughout the years and that their wider importance and effects are not nearly as significant as advocates maintain). 
  9. Toomas Kotkas, Ingrid Leijten, and Frans Pennings (eds.), Specifying and Securing a Social Minimum in the Battle Against Poverty (2019) (bringing together a wide variety of perspectives on the legal and academic dimensions of a social minimum and its expression in law and policy across jurisdictions).
  10. Neville Hoad, “I Don’t Want to Live in a World Where People Die Every Day Simply Because They Are Poor”: From the Treatment Action Campaign to Equal Education, from Stories of Human Rights to the Poetics of Inequality, Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development (2019) (exploring the rhetorical and genre differences between human rights arguments and inequality arguments, speculating that the former privileges narrative as a dominant mode of representation and that the latter frequently require a poetics—paradoxically the poetics of numbers).
  11. Padraic Kenna  Héctor Simón‐Moreno, Towards a common standard of protection of the right to housing in Europe through the charter of fundamental rights, 25(6) European Law Journal (2019) (on developing common standards of housing using housing financialization and mortgage directives and examining the practice of the ECJ). 

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Law & Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex holds a Speaker Series event on 19 February featuring Sylvian Aubry (The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), Prof. Aoife Nolan, (University of Nottingham), and Dr. Koldo Casla (University of Essex).
  2. A limited number of doctoral scholarships are available as part of a new ERC-funded project based in the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin. The successful candidates will have the opportunity to participate in a comparative research project investigating how constitutional systems are responding to the challenges of populism and declining public trust. The project is led by Professor Eoin Carolan, who will act as supervisor to the successful candidates.
  3. The Graduate Law Students Association of McGill University’s Faculty of Law announced the 13th Annual McGill Graduate Law Conference on May 7-8 2020 in Montreal, Canada. This year’s theme is “’Law Actually’: Intimacy and Trust”.
  4. The University of Amsterdam invites applications for the position of an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Global Economic Law. The deadline for applications is April 15 2020.
  5. Ghent University, Belgium invites submissions to an International Conference on ‘The European Convention on Human Rights turns 70: Taking Stock, Thinking Forward’ on 18-20 November 2020.
  6. World Comparative Law/VRÜ invites submissions to a forthcoming special issue on ‘Corrupting Democracy? Interrogating the Role of Law in the Fight against Corruption and its Impact on (Democratic) Politics’.
  7. The European University Institute invites applications to its summer school on `Human Rights and Conflict Resolution’ and a `General Course on ‘Reimagining Law, Human Rights and War’. The deadline for applications is 15 April 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Katharine Young, Trumping Human Rights in the United States? The Commission on Unalienable Rights, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  2. Kate Galloway and Melissa Castan, High Court rules Indigenous people cannot be deported as aliens, but the fight for legal recognition remains, The Conversation
  3. Lewis Graham, Human Rights in the Supreme Court in 2020, UK Human Rights Blog
  4. Walter Khobe Ochieng, Comparing the Superior Courts, Nairobi Law Monthly
  5. Carlos Oviedo Moreno, A Painful Slap from the ECtHR and an Urgent Opportunity for Spain, Verfassungsblog
  6. Linda Greenhouse, The Supreme Court in the Mean Season, New York Times
  7. Faranaaz Veriava and Sasha Stevenson, It’s time to rethink our strategies for securing socio-economic justice, Daily Maverick
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Published on February 17, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Developments

How are Constitutional Theocracies Born?

Yvonne Tew, Georgetown University Law Center

[Editor’s note: This is one of our biweekly I-CONnect columns. For more information about our four columnists for 2020, please click here. For a fuller discussion of the ideas in this post, see Yvonne Tew, Stealth Theocracy, 58 Va. J. Int’l L. 31 (2018). Available at SSRN:]

Religion appears to be a rising political force across the globe. Constitutional democracies the world over are grappling with politics based on religious and racial identities as well as increasing ethno-nationalism. In September 2019, after its unprecedented defeat in Malaysia’s national elections the year before, the United Malays National Organisation signed a political cooperation pact with the Malaysian Islamic Party, formalizing the alliance between the country’s two largest Malay-Muslim parties at an event in Kuala Lumpur that attracted  thousands of supporters.[1] Indonesia’s 2019 presidential elections featured a divisive battle between incumbent President Joko Widodo, who picked the leader of Indonesian Ulema Council as his running mate, while his opponent Prabowo Subianto ran a campaign aimed at mobilizing conservative Indonesian Muslims.[2] In India, the Bharatiya Janata Party swept to a landslide victory in May 2019; a few month later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party passed a contentious citizenship law for migrants that excluded Muslims, sparking massive protests.[3] Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan have witnessed a surge in nationalist political forces that have agitated against religious minorities.[4] And in January 2020, accounts of the Myanmar military’s violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority played out on the public stage of the international court of justice.[5] Religion’s role has been increasingly expanded in the public sphere of many constitutional orders, including those not normally thought of in terms of constitutional theocracy.[6] What is striking is how this global phenomenon is taking place.

The birth of a constitutional theocracy tends to be associated with revolution or the explicit creation of religious principles of governance. Think, for example, of the 1979 Iranian revolution. Or the twenty-first century constitution-writing efforts for Afghanistan and Iraq, and those following the Arab Spring revolutions in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, which explicitly constitutionalized Islam as a source of law within those states.

Sometimes, though, a constitution’s religious character may emerge through more subtle means of constitutional change, which are less transparent than creating or amending a constitutional text. Fundamental transformations of constitutional identity toward a more religious order can occur by stealth through political and judicial actors. What’s striking is the key role that courts play in elevating the place of religion in the public order. We tend to think of courts as “bastions” of secularism that act as “effective shields against the spread of religiosity” and principles of theocracy. [7] Yet, in many contexts, courts act to expand, not limit, the place of religion in the constitutional order.

Read the rest of this entry…
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Published on February 12, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

Symposium: Football Feminism–Global Governance Perspectives

–The Editors

The Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice at NYU School Law will host a two-day symposium – Football Feminism: Global Governance Perspectives – on February 24 & 25, 2020. The symposium will bring together scholars and practitioners from around the world to critically examine the transnational system of governance that regulates football (soccer) through the lens of gender. The presentation and discussion of interdisciplinary research (works-in-progress) on this topic aims to elucidate the operation of discrimination in and through the structures, rules, and practices of football governance; to assess various understandings of, and approaches to, advancing gender equality in this context; and to contemplate innovative ideas for feminist reform or reimagination of an increasingly complex and globalized system of significant social, economic, and political import.

Further information is available here.

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Published on February 11, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Developments

What’s New in Public Law

Teodora Miljojkovic, PhD student, Central European University, Budapest/Vienna

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 Constitutional Court of Malawi, in a landmark decision, annulled last year’s elections due to the evidence of widespread irregularities and called for a new ballot.
  2. The European Court of Human Rights rejected the request to impose temporary measures which would ban the Montenegrin state bodies from implementing the Law on Religious Freedoms.
  3. Armenia will hold a referendum on constitutional amendment curbing powers of the Constitutional Court.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Spain declared unconstitutional the article of the Spanish Law on Civil Procedure (LEC), which did not allow an appeal against the individual decisions of the Ministry of Justice lawyers. 
  5. The Constitutional Court of Turkey ruled that the lower courts cannot dispute its authority by rejecting to implement a decision, which ordered the release of the journalist Mehmet Altan.

In the News:

  1. Kosovo gets new government four months after polls.
  2. Afghan Rights Group investigates video of a woman being stoned to death.
  3. A Polish judge who challenged the government’s recent changes to the judiciary got suspended and hit by a 40% salary cut.
  4. In the past 20 years in Colombia, almost 1700 rape victims faced illegal abortion charges. The statistics were generated on request of the Constitutional Court which is to revisit the illegality of abortion.
  5. Nepalese officials announced that the next population census will include a third gender option, which is believed to expand social benefits to the LGBTQ+ community.
  6. The US District Court for the Fifth Circuit heard oral arguments over the city of Natchitoches’ refusal to allow the Louisiana division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) to carry Confederate flags during the 2015 Christmas Festival.
  7. The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal dismissed a recent complaint from First Nations peoples seeking to delay expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. The applicants claimed that the officials failed to consult with them over the Trans Mountain pipeline project properly, but the judges concluded that First Nations “cannot tactically use the consultation process as a means to try to veto it.”

New Scholarship:

  1. Brandon L. Bartels, Christopher L. Johnson, Curbing the Court: Why the Public Constrains Judicial Independence (forthcoming 2020) (arguing that the citizens are not primary defenders of the judiciary, instead, they seek to limit it, in line with their political preferences, particularly in the times of the sharp partisan polarization)
  2. Weitseng Chen, Hualing Fu (eds.), Authoritarian Legality in Asia: Formation, Development and Transition (forthcoming 2020) (explaining, through the comparison of six Asian jurisdictions, why the authoritarian regimes still need a degree of legality and examining what kind of struggles these countries would face if they transitioned to liberal democratic system)
  3. Koen Lenaerts, New Horizons for the Rule of Law Within the EU  (2020) (arguing that the rule of law has always been and should be the core value behind the European integration process)
  4. Manuel Rodriguez, Disinformation Operations Aimed at (Democratic) Elections in the Context of Public International Law: The Conduct of the Internet Research Agency During the 2016 US Presidential Election (2020) (discussing the future of the international legal framework for the regulation of the disinformation operations aimed at election processes)
  5. Lael K Weis, Legislative Constitutional Baselines (2019) (identifying “baselines” as a distinctive issue in constitutional interpretation, and examining an important but under-theorised way that courts define them: namely, by adopting legislatively–defined norms or standards)
  6. Daniel Bonilla Maldonado, Judges, Judicial Opinions, and Culture from a Comparative Perspective. An Introduction (2019) (discussing the directions in which the processes of regional and global legal unification should move forward)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. DIPEC (Gruppo di ricerca e formazione sul diritto publico e europeo) and University of Siena invite submissions from young researchers for the workshop on the topic “Framing and Diagnosing Constitutional Degradation: A Comparative Perspective” which will be held on June 22-23, 2020 in Siena. The abstracts (max. 500 words), together with a CV, should be submitted no later than May 31.
  2. SOAS University of London invites submissions for the 2020 SOAS Postgraduate Colloquium on “Changing Dimensions of Rule of Law: From Theory to Practice,” which will be held on June 10, 2020. The deadline for the abstract (max.500 words) and short CV is February 20, 2020.
  3. The Law Department of Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique (UPT) and the Instituto Jurídico Portucalense invite submissions for the 2020 Congress on “Have Fundamental Rights gone too far?” that will be held on May 7-8, 2020.  Interested scholars should submit an abstract (max.750 words), publishable CV and a publishable photo no later than March 1, 2020.
  4. Constitutional Court of South Africa invites applications from law graduates or those in the final year of their studies interested in serving as Law Clerks. The deadline for the application is March 31, 2020. 
  5. The International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) invites applications for an IACL roundtable on “Democracy 2020: Assessing Constitutional Decay, Breakdown and Renewal Worldwide.” which will be held in Melbourne on December 10-12, 2020. The deadline for the submission of an abstract (max.300 words) is May 1, 2020.

Elsewhere online:

  1. Alan S. Reid, The Proud, Sovereign, Independent Nation that is United Kingdom: What Next?, Brexit Institute 
  2. Benjamin Ward, The Success of Brexit Britain Will Depend on How Well It Can Stick to Its Principles, Euronews.
  3. Marten Breuer, The Struggle of Strasbourg: The Council of Europe’s Response to Rule of Law Backsliding and Serious Violations of Fundamental Principles, Verfassungsblog
  4. Indigo-Trigg Hager, Bruno Oliveira Martins, and Andrea Silkoset, “Drone technology has democratized:” An Interview with Bruno Oliveira Martins and Andrea Silkoset, PRIO Blogs
  5. Dean Falvy, Dead Letter Office: What’s Left of the Impeachment Power After Trump’s Acquittal, VERDICT
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Published on February 10, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Five Questions with Felicia Caponigri

Richard Albert, William Stamps Farish Professor in Law and Professor of Government, The University of Texas at Austin

In “Five Questions” here at I-CONnect, we invite a public law scholar to answer five questions about scholarship.

This edition of “Five Questions” features a short video interview with Felicia Caponigri, Director of the Program on Intellectual Property and Technology Law at Notre Dame Law School. A comparative art law scholar, her research explores links between cultural property and intellectual property in Italian and U.S. law.

One of her papers is “The Ethics of the International Display of Fashion in the Museum,” available for free download here.

To nominate someone for a future edition of “Five Questions,” please email We welcome all nominations. We are especially eager to receive nominations of early-career scholars and women.

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Published on February 6, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Wiley and the European Law Journal

Gráinne de Búrca & J.H.H. Weiler, Co-Editors-in-Chief, International Journal of Constitutional Law

It is, we believe, unprecedented that both Editors-in-Chief and the entire Editorial and Scientific Advisory Board of a learned journal should resign en masse in protest at the high-handed behavior of the commercial publisher. But that is what has happened at the European Law Journal in their dispute with their publishers Wiley Publishing.

The statement of the Editors in Chief of the European Law Journal is appended below.

Between the two of us, Editors in Chief of ICON (the International Journal of Constitutional Law published by OUP) we have clocked dozens of years serving as Editors and members of Editorial and Advisory Boards of at least two dozen legal journals. We can safely say that never before have we seen even remotely the like of this.   By ‘this’ we do not just mean the mass resignation, but the entire approach of Wiley to the relationship between a commercial publisher and the academics – the editors, editorial boards and authors – who actually make the journal not only an academic and intellectual success, but also give it monetary value for its publisher. The journal generates hundreds of thousands of euros in annual revenue, and Wiley itself estimated its monetary value in the millions. You would expect some respect for the value of the academic world which generate these profits for them, would you not?

Read the rest of this entry…
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Published on February 5, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Editorials

Invitation from I-CONnect — Books for Review

Richard Albert, William Stamps Farish Professor in Law and Professor of Government, The University of Texas at Austin

We are once again inviting our readers to express an interest in reviewing public law books here at I-CONnect.

We are pleased to promote new books to our readers in this forum. We welcome books from all scholars and publishers. We especially value the opportunity to showcase books from women and early-career scholars.

Here, below, is the list of books we have most recently received at I-CONnect for this purpose.

  1. Jorge L. Esquirol, Ruling the Law: Legitimacy and Failure in Latin American Legal Systems (Cambridge 2019)
  2. Maria Adele Carrai, Sovereignty in China: A Genealogy of a Concept Since 1840 (Cambridge 2019)
  3. Milton Cesar Jimenez Ramirez et al., La garantía judicial de la constitución (Universidad de Caldas 2017)
  4. Carlos Closa et al., Between Democracy and Law: The Amorality of Secession (Routledge 2019)
  5. Todd A. Eisenstadt et al., Constituents Before Assembly: Participation, Deliberation, and Representation in the Crafting of New Constitutions (Cambridge 2019)
  6. Jody Heymann et al., Advancing Equality: How Constitutional Rights Can Make a Difference Worldwide (UC Press 2020)
  7. Marie Seong-Hak Kim, Constitutional Transition and the Travail of Judges: The Courts of South Korea (Cambridge 2019)
  8. Dimitry Kochenov, Citizenship (MIT 2019)
  9. Ernest Lim, A Case for Shareholders’ Fiduciary Duties in Common Law Asia (Cambridge 2019)
  10. Florian Matthey-Prakash, The Right to Education in India: The Importance of Enforceability of a Fundamental Right (Oxford 2019)
  11. Tamir Moustafa, Constituting Religion: Islam, Liberal Rights, and the Malaysian State (Cambridge 2018)
  12. Luke Nottage et al., ASEAN Consumer Law Harmonisation and Cooperation: Achievements and Challenges (August 2019)
  13. Gerald N. Rosenberg et al., A Qualified Hope: The Indian Supreme Court and Progressive Social Change (Cambridge 2019)
  14. Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker, Comparative Capital Punishment (Edward Elgar 2019)
  15. Riaz Tejani, Law and Society Today (UC Press 2019)
  16. Nicolò Zanon and Giada Ragone, The Dissenting Opinion: Selected Essays (Giuffrè Francis Lefebvre 2019)

Please complete this questionnaire by February 9 if you would like to review one of these books. The questionnaire is available here. confirmation will follow. Preference will be given to early-career scholars and first-time I-CONnect contributors.

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Published on February 4, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Developments

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that the extradition of a Turkish national with Kurdish ethnicity suspected of committing a criminal offence, may raise the risk of a political prosecution, and therefore it violates German law and international law obligations.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Lithuania is called upon to clarify the effect of UN committee rulings on domestic cases of judicial review.
  3. The Constitutional Court of South Africa held that the hierarchy during the retrenchment consultation process does not limit the right to fair labour practices.
  4. The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe delivered a landmark ruling noting that all debts owed in US dollars before February 2019 must be paid in the local currency at the rate of 1:1.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Malta found that the former Minister of Justice had violated freedom of expression for reordering, more than once, the clearing up of a journalist memorial.
  6. The US Supreme Court agreed to the expansion of the notion of “public charge” in immigration policy standards.

In the News

  1. European Parliament has voted to ratify the Brexit withdrawal agreement by an overwhelming majority of 621 votes to 49.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Georgia received a petition demanding the abolition of a criminal penalty for growing marijuana.
  3. The lower chamber of the Romanian legislature adopted a draft law repealing the special pension law for top public servants and high magistrates.
  4. The President of Abkhazia stepped down after anti-government protests and the Supreme Court ruling on the legitimacy of the election.
  5. The Prime Minister of Australia has called for a national state of emergency to deal quickly with bush fires and other natural disasters across the country.

New Scholarship

  1. Adam S. Chilton and Mila Versteeg, When Constitutional Rights Matter (forthcoming 2020) (arguing for the practical relevance of enforcing certain constitutional rights on the road to a wealthier democracy)
  2. Mordechai Kremnitzer, Talya Steiner, and Andrej Lang (eds.), Proportionality in Action: Comparative and Empirical Perspectives on the Judicial Practice (forthcoming 2020) (offering a comparative study of the proportionality doctrine based on six different jurisdictions)
  3. Anna Fruhstorfer and Gianluca Passarelli, President and Assemblies – 25 Years After Shugart and Carey’s Book (2020) (exploring different institutional frameworks for organising the relationship between the executive and legislature, and their effect on democracy)
  4. Massimo Fichera and Oreste Pollicino, The Dialectics Between Constitutional Identity and Common Constitutional Traditions: Which Language for Cooperative Constitutionalism in Europe? (2019) (emphasizing how the ambiguity and apparent clash between identity and tradition have, nonetheless, shaped the European process)
  5. Larry Diamond, Breaking out of the Democratic Slump (2020) (explaining causes and remedies for the modern antidemocratic surge and how populist leaders might lose support)
  6. Felix Petersen and Zenyep Yanaşmayan, The Failure of Popular Constitution Making in Turkey: Regressing Towards Constitutional Autocracy (2020) (explaining how the many stances of the ruling party from 2011 to 2013 have thwarted the Turkish democratic process)
  7. Jacco Bomhoff, David Dyzenhaus, and Thomas Poole, The Double-Facing Constitution (2020) (examining the historical importance of external elements within constitutional and legal theories)
  8. Theodore Konstadinides, The Rule of Law in the European Union: The Internal Dimension (2020) (examining the ambiguities and criticisms of the EU Rule of Law, including judicial review and enforcement strategies)
  9. Christine Landfried, Judicial Power: How Constitutional Courts Affect Political Transformations (2019) (arguing that judicial review allows for a method of reflecting on social integration that differs from political methods, and, precisely because of the difference between judicial and political decision-making, strengthens democratic governance)
  10. Adriano Dirri, The Iraqi Federation and the Kurdistan Regional Government: the conflict between communal and oil and gas policies (2019) 11 Perspectives on Federalism (examining how that the interplay between oil and gas disputes and ethnic conflict shaped the asymmetric Iraqi Federation)
  11. Conall Towe, Constituent Power and Doctrines of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments (2020) (offering a rebuttal of Yaniv Roznai’s justificatory theory)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) invites applications for the first edition of its Summer School on “Algorithmic State, Market and Society,” (FLOS) that will be held in Florence on July 13-17, 2020. The deadline for applications is April 10, 2020.
  2. Luiss University invites candidates to apply for the position of Visiting Professors and Visiting Fellows in the academic year 2020-2021. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2020, at noon (Italian local time).
  3. Political Studies Association (PSA), the ECPR Standing Group on Southern European Politics and the Aston Centre for Europe invite abstract submissions for the conference “The State of democracy in Southern Europe: Democratic Decline or Resilience?,” to be held on June 25-26, 2020, at Aston University, in the UK. Abstracts of 150-200 words should be sent no later than March 16, 2020.
  4. Maastricht University invites applications for two Assistant Professors in the area of EU Politics at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The deadline for application is February 10, 2020.
  5. Ghent Human Rights Centre (HRC) invites submissions for the International Conference “The European Convention on Human Rights turns 70,” which will take place at Ghent University on November 18-20, 2020. The deadline for submission is April 15, 2020.
  6. Tilburg Law School invites applications for three fully funded PhD positions. The deadline for submission of applications is March 11, 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Matej Avbelj, Can Elections be Held under Unconstitutional Electoral Law?, Verfassungsblog
  2. Yulia Ioffe, The Amendments to the Russian Constitution: Putin’s Attempt to Reinforce Russia’s Isolationist Views on International Law?, EJIL: Talk!
  3. Julie Jarland, The Dark Side of Justice, PRIO Blogs
  4. Munkhsaikhan Odonkhuu, Mongolia’s Long, Participatory Route to Constitutional Reforms, ConstitutionNet
  5. Attila Mráz, In Orban’s Hungary, the law is not for everyone, EUobserver
  6. Fahri Aksüt, Turkey slams Belgian ruling protecting PKK terrorists, Anadolu Agency
  7. Daniele Albertazzi and Davide Pellegrino, Matteo Salvini fails to make waves in local election but Italy’s government remains on a knife edge, The Conversation
  8. Lisa James and Meg Russell, Has parliament just got boring? Five conclusions from the passage of the EU Withdrawal Agreement Act, Constitution Unit
  9. Federico Fabbrini, The Future of Europe Beyond Brexit, Brexit Institute
  10. Gabriel Toggenburg, The 3rd of all EU-r rights: Integrity and how the Charter contributes, EUreka!
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Published on February 3, 2020
Author:          Filed under: Developments