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I·CONnect

Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Symposium – The Brazilian Supreme Court and the Protection of Democracy in the Age of Populism: The Empirical Turn in the Brazilian Supreme Court: Getting it Right

[Editor’s Note: I-CONnect is pleased to feature a four-part symposium on the role of the Brazilian Supreme Court and the protection of democracy in the age of populism. This is the third entry of the symposium, which was kindly organized by Professors Conrado Hübner Mendes and Juliano Zaiden Benvindo. Their introduction is available here.]

Debora Diniz, University of Brasilia

I would describe Brazil as an ongoing experiment in the effects of the post-truth wave on public institutions and spaces. If post-truth is a global phenomenon, with president Mr. Donald Trump as one of its leading voices, Latin America is a particularly fertile region for observing the effects of the phenomenon on politics due to the weakness of the region’s democratic institutions. The election of Mr. Jair Bolsonaro as the president of Brazil is one of the most recent milestones of the post-truth wave, which is characterized by the persecution of academics and science, the distrust of journalists, and the dissemination of fake news via social media channels. 

Mr. Bolsonaro has not changed the composition of the Brazilian Supreme Court, yet. During his tenure, it is expected that he will have the opportunity to nominate at least two new Justices to the Court, which could significantly shift the power balance on sensitive issues, particularly those involving the rights of minority groups. Recently, Mr. Bolsonaro announced his wish to have an “evangelical Justice” as a potential candidate, even though the current Minister of Justice, Sergio Moro, the former judge who sentenced former president Mr. Lula to jail, had been considered the top candidate. Bolsonaro’s comments provoked a strong reaction among the legal community about the meaning of a secular state.

Given the recent radical change in the political scenario, the Brazilian Supreme Court now has a particularly crucial role in protecting fundamental rights for women, LGBTQI, and racial minorities. However, to honor its mandate of protecting the Constitution, the Court has to strengthen its capacity to resist the post-truth mindset that dominates politics in Brazil. I would argue that there is a particular entry point that can facilitate such a role for the Court: the “empirical turn” of legal studies. The “empirical turn” has started at the legal schools with a demand for more rigor in the use of science in legal argumentation and is slowly migrating to the everyday legal work in Brazil. As a professor of methodology to Law students, I have been following a path in changing the legal mindset in country.

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Published on June 28, 2019
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Symposium – The Brazilian Supreme Court and the Protection of Democracy in the Age of Populism: Under Pressure but Crucial: The Brazilian Supreme Court under Bolsonaro

[Editor’s Note: I-CONnect is pleased to feature a four-part symposium on the role of the Brazilian Supreme Court and the protection of democracy in the age of populism. This is the second entry of the symposium, which was kindly organized by Professors Conrado Hübner Mendes and Juliano Zaiden Benvindo. Their introduction is available here.]

Luciana Gross Cunha, Getúlio Vargas Foundation – São Paulo (FGV-SP), and Marta R. de Assis Machado, Getúlio Vargas Foundation – São Paulo (FGV-SP)

The Brazilian Supreme Court is characterized by high autonomy and broad authority[1], which renders it a central policy player. The Brazilian Constitution, similar to that of other Latin American countries, has a long list of economic and social rights, combined with broad access to justice opened to individual and collective actors.[2] As a result, Brazilian courts, and especially the Brazilian Supreme Court, have a crucial role in redistributive politics, besides its more ordinary tasks.

It is possible to say that the Brazilian Supreme Court has gradually been occupying an expansive role in national politics since the early 1990’s, when it decided, for example, to declare the unconstitutionality of a constitutional amendment approved by Congress (ADI 926-5). In the following years, it built an impressive record in adjudicating important political issues and pushed the term “judicial activism” to become a cliché of academic and political analysis. For example, it recognized homosexual civil unions (ADI 4277 e ADPF 132/2011), allowed stem cell research (ADI 3510/2008), broadened the circumstances for legal abortion (ADPF 54) and defined the rules of electoral campaign financing (ADI 4650/2015). It is not a coincidence that the power of the Brazilian Supreme Court has been named as “supremocracy.”[3]

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Published on June 27, 2019
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Symposium — Introduction: The Brazilian Supreme Court and the Protection of Democracy in the Age of Populism

[Editor’s Note: I-CONnect is pleased to feature a four-part symposium on the role of the Brazilian Supreme Court and the protection of democracy in the age of populism. The symposium was kindly organized by Professors Conrado Hübner Mendes and Juliano Zaiden Benvindo, who have written today’s introduction to the symposium.]

Conrado Hübner Mendes, University of São Paulo (USP) and Juliano Zaiden Benvindo, University of Brasilia (UnB)

Studies on the crisis of constitutional democracy and the populist threat have mushroomed in the last decade.[1] Such crises are detected through a set of markers, such as the denial of the dignity and legitimacy of political opponents, weak commitment to the rule of law, attacks on civil liberties, the erosion of basic democratic norms, etc.[2] No matter which standard of crisis one embraces, it is hard do deny that Brazilian democracy is now facing its most severe challenge of the last 30 years.

This is not an easy story to reconstruct. In the course of the last five years, the specter of polarized and anti-establishment politics has gradually engulfed the Brazilian public sphere and institutional life. This story comprises the arousal of an almost unprecedented wave of street protests that cut across the political spectrum from June 2013 onwards, the arguably biggest anti-corruption judicial operation in the history of Western democracies (the ongoing CarWash Operation, kicked off in 2014), a highly contested impeachment process against an elected president (Dilma Roussef, who was ousted from office in 2016), and a vicious electoral cycle in 2018, which ended in the election of Jair Bolsonaro. The accumulated body of knowledge of political science, until the very last minute, did not see it coming. And all this coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Brazilian 1988 Constitution, the most ambitious democratizing document in the country’s history and the shared platform for significant social change over these decades.

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Published on June 26, 2019
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What’s New in Public Law

Simon Drugda, PhD Candidate at the University of Copenhagen

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 contact.iconnect@gmail.com.

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Caribbean Court of Justice found that the appointment of Justice James Patterson as the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission almost two years ago was unconstitutional.
  2. The Caribbean Court of Justice confirmed the validity of a no-confidence motion against the ruling party in Guyana.
  3. The European Court of Justice found that a German law instituting a highway toll violated European Union law because the law discriminated based on nationality.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine ruled that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s move to dissolve the Parliament was constitutional.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Ecuador ruled against a request to require community consultations for a planned mining project.
  6. The US Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision in favour of a ban on uranium mining in Virginia.
  7. The US Supreme Court ruled against the Virginia House of Delegates in a racial gerrymandering case.
  8. The US Supreme Court ruled that a public access television provider is not a state actor.
  9. The US Supreme Court ruled that a Mississippi prosecutor unconstitutionally excluded black jurors from a murder trial.
  10. The US Supreme Court upheld the federal government’s authority under a 2006 law to require thousands of sex offenders to register with authorities in the states where they live.
  11. The Constitutional Court of Russia ruled that local authorities may not ban public events by simply citing lack of security plan from organizers.

In the News

  1. Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the EU, Evgeni Tanchev advised the Court to rule that the new retirement rules for Polish judges are contrary to EU law.
  2. The Union Parliament’s Charter Amendment Committee of Myanmar completed reviewing the entire Constitution for possible amendments and will send a report to the Parliament.
  3. The New York state legislature passed a bill prohibiting citizens of the state from refusing vaccinations on religious grounds.
  4. Indian Prime Minister proposed constitutional amendments to hold simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
  5. The President of Mexico proposed holding a recall referendum on his presidency on March 21, 2021, at the latest.
  6. Pakistan will establish a system of 1,016 special courts dedicated to addressing gender-based violence.
  7. The Court of Appeals of the United Kingdom found that the government in 2016 illegally sold arms to Saudi Arabia.
  8. The date for a referendum on whether or not to extend the vote in presidential elections to Irish citizens living abroad was set for October.
  9. The Supreme Court of Colorado found that an initiative to repeal the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (“TABOR”) is a single subject that can be voted on in one referendum.

New Scholarship

  1. Tom Ginsburg, Mark D Rosen, and Georg Vanberg (eds), Constitutions in Times of Financial Crisis (2019) (assessing the ability of constitutional orders all over the world to cope with financial crises, and the demands for emergency powers that typically accompany them)
  2. Bui Ngoc Son, Economic Constitution of the Developing World, Law and Development Review (introducing a direct concept of the economic constitution with reference to developing countries)
  3. Bruce Ackerman, Revolutionary Constitutions: Charismatic Leadership and the Rule of Law (2019) (offering insights into the origins, successes, and threats to revolutionary constitutionalism in case studies of India, South Africa, Italy, France, Poland, Burma, Israel, Iran, and the US)
  4. Sanford Levinson and Jack M Balkin, Democracy and Dysfunction (2019) (uncovering the underlying causes of the current crisis of American political life and their meaning for democracy)
  5. Neliana Rodean, ‘We, the People’ Entitlement Within Constitutional Change (2019) (examining the “we the people” claims in constitutional change)
  6. Ling Li, Political-Legal Order and the Curious Double Character of China’s Courts, 6 Asian Journal of Law and Society (2019) (providing an analytical account of how politics and law in China are organically integrated into the institutional architecture of courts as designed by the Chinese Communist Party)
  7. Simon Butt, Judicial Reasoning and Review in the Indonesian Supreme Court, 6 Asian Journal of Law and Society (2019) (describing and criticizing the judicial reasoning of Indonesia’s Supreme Court, through the lens of the Court’s reviews of subnational laws during 2011–17)
  8. Cedric Jenart and Mathieu Leloup, Separation of Powers and Alternative Dispute Resolution before the European Court of Human Rights, European Constitutional Law Review (2019) (examining how alternative dispute resolution procedures before the ECtHR impact the separation of powers principle in the contracting states of the Council of Europe)
  9. Alec Stone Sweet and Jud Mathews, Proportionality Balancing and Constitutional Governance A Comparative and Global Approach (2019) (examining the law and politics of rights protection in democracies, and in human rights regimes in Europe, the Americas, and Africa)
  10. Philip Alston and Nikki Reisch (eds), Tax, Inequality, and Human Rights (2019) (showing how structural biases in the tax regime impact human rights)
  11. Arghya Sengupta, Independence and Accountability of the Higher Indian Judiciary (2019) (examining who the judges of the Supreme Court of India are, how they are appointed, transferred and removed, and what they do after retirement)
  12. Vito Breda (ed), Legal Transplants in East Asia and Oceania (2019) (providing an overview of methodologies that are conducive to a successful legal transplant in East Asia and Oceania)
  13. Abdurrachman Satrio, A Battle Between Two Populists: The 2019 Presidential Election and the Resurgence of Indonesia’s Authoritarian Constitutional Tradition, 19 Australian Journal of Asian Law (2019) (examining the emergence of two major populist candidates with authoritarian tendencies in presidential elections in a country once hailed as the most stable democracy in Southeast Asia)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The University of Perugia invites panels and paper proposals for the 2019 Critical Legal Conference that will take place on September 12-14, 2019. The deadline for submission of abstracts is July 15, 2019.
  2. The Gujarat National Law University Law and Society Review (GLSR) invites submissions for its second volume in 2019. The deadline for submissions is August 4, 2019.
  3. RECONNECT organizes a webinar on “Poland’s Constitutional Breakdown,” a new book by Wojciech Sadurski, to be held on June 25, 2019. You can register for the webinar at this link.
  4. Yale Law School invites submissions from PhD candidates and recent graduates from doctoral programs for its Ninth Annual Doctoral Scholarship Conference to be held on November 8-9, 2019. The workshop has four thematic workshops: 1) International Law; 2) Law and Philosophy; 3) Network Theory, Law and Policy; and 4) Public Law and Institutional Design: Assemblies, Executives, Courts, Agencies. The deadline for submissions of abstracts is July 8, 2019.
  5. The Law Faculty at Lund University invites applications for the position of a professor in international law and human rights. The deadline for applications is September 12, 2019.
  6. The International Journal of Law in Context and the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS) at the University of Oxford jointly invite early career scholars to participate in a workshop to be held in Oxford, on September 17-18, 2019. The purpose of this international to support junior researchers in developing research projects and preparing their publications for submission to scholarly journals in the field of socio-legal studies. The deadline for applications is 10 July 2019.
  7. The Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL), at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen invites applications for two doctoral candidates. The closing date for applications is July 15, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Martin Husovec, Why There Is No Due Process Online?, Balkinization
  2. Ann Southworth, The Power of Constitutional Frames, Balkinization
  3. Noah Feldman, Congress’s Weakness on Tariffs Is Its Own Fault, Bloomberg Opinion
  4. David R Cameron, Tory MPs narrow choice of new party leader to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, Yale MacMillan Center
  5. Shubhangi Agarwalla, Decisional Autonomy as Central to Privacy: Reproductive Rights in India, IACL-AIDC Blog
  6. Arushi Gupta, Notes from a Foreign Field – Carpenter v USA and Rethinking the Third-Party Doctrine in the Digital Age, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy
  7. Wessel Reijers, How to Make the Perfect Citizen?, Verfassungsblog
  8. Albert Chen, A Commentary on the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019, HKU Legal Scholarship Blog
  9. Pierre de Vos, A brilliant court victory for LGBT people in Botswana lays the ground for further legal activism, Constitutionally Speaking
  10. Tony Wright, Joni Lovenduski, Andrew Gamble and Albert Weale, Rethinking democracy: is our democracy fit for purpose?, The Constitution Unit
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Published on June 24, 2019
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Save the Date–2019 I-CONnect Happy Hour at ICON-S in Santiago–Sunday, June 30, 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Quitral

Richard Albert (Texas), Tom Ginsburg (Chicago), and David Landau (Florida State) invite friends of I-CONnect to our happy hour at the ICON-S 2019 Annual Conference in Santiago.

All are welcome on Sunday, June 30, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Quitral, located within walking distance from the conference venue at this address: Jose Victorino Lastarria 70 – Local 4 – Paseo Lastarria.

Attendees will benefit from a discount of 15 percent off all food and beverages, thanks to the kind help of our colleague Sergio Verdugo (Universidad del Desarrollo).

The I-CONnect editors look forward to seeing you there!



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Published on June 21, 2019
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The Game of Thrones, Courts, and the Democratic Process in Indonesia

Dian A H Shah, National University Singapore Faculty of Law

[Editor’s note: This is one of our biweekly I-CONnect columns. Columns, while scholarly in accordance with the tone of the blog and about the same length as a normal blog post, are a bit more “op-ed” in nature than standard posts. For more information about our four columnists for 2019, see here.]

All eyes are on Indonesia again as the Constitutional Court began hearing Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno’s appeal against the presidential election results released (officially) on 21 May 2019. The Prabowo-Sandi pair was defeated by the incumbent, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), and his running mate, Ma’ruf Amin, who emerged as winners of the hard-fought election with 55.50% of votes cast. This more or less confirms the ‘quick count’ results released by several survey organizations soon after polling ended on 17 April.[1]

However, the Prabowo camp had always disputed these results from the moment they trickled in, arguing that exit poll data from 5000 polling stations and quick count results showed that Prabowo had won the elections with 55.4% and 52.2% of the votes, respectively. Based on these information – both compiled by his campaign team – Prabowo declared himself to be the winner of the elections and the ‘president of all Indonesians’,[2] just hours after the polls closed and despite warnings from the Elections Commission that candidates should refrain from claiming victory until the Commission releases the official results in May. To demonstrate his readiness to go to ‘war’ over the election outcomes, Prabowo immediately alleged that certain survey organizations were attempting to steer public opinion against his success,[3] and within days after the elections, his campaign team began releasing reports of electoral fraud.

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Published on June 21, 2019
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Five Questions with Patricia García Majado

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 her research.

This edition of “Five Questions” features a short video interview with Patricia García Majado, a doctoral candidate in constitutional law at Oviedo University and a Research Fellow at the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Universities. She has completed research stays at the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne (2017) and at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg (2018). Asked to identify one of her publications to be shared with I-CONnect readers, she chose “40 años de legislación de urgencia,” available for download here.

To nominate someone for a future edition of “Five Questions,” please email contact.iconnect@gmail.com.

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Published on June 19, 2019
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Symposium–The Croatian Constitutional Court’s Abortion Decision: Finding Common Ground Amid Differences in Approach

[Editor’s Note: I-CONnect is pleased to feature a three-part symposium on the Croatian Constitutional Court’s 2017 ruling on abortion. This is the final entry in this symposium, which has been generously organized by Professor Djordje Gardasevic. The Introduction to the symposium is available here and the second entry is available here.]


Sonia Human, Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Law

It is clear from a reading of the judgment as a whole that the issue of termination of pregnancy has moved beyond the somewhat emotional debates associated with pro-life and pro-choice arguments. As a matter of fact, one can even question if terminology such as “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are still appropriate to capture the intricacies, nuances, sensitivities and realities surrounding  a termination of pregnancy. What is evident from the judgment of both the majority and the minority, is that, viewed from a legal perspective, termination of pregnancy is now firmly located within the framework of a constitutional dispensation. Terminology such as “rights”, “infringement of rights”, “balancing of rights”, “constitutional values”  and “public interest”, now determine the content and nature of discussions. It is furthermore clear from both the majority and the minority judgments that it is first and foremost the task of the legislator to enact legislation that is aligned with constitutional values, taking into account the realities of pregnancy, the associated risks and the unique and undeniable bond between mother and child from the moment of conception. At the heart of the legislation is a decision-making process that reflects the foregoing and that will also withstand constitutional scrutiny.

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Published on June 18, 2019
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What’s New in Public Law

–Angélique Devaux, Cheuvreux Notaires, Paris, France, Diplômée notaire, LL.M. Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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 contact.iconnect@gmail.com.

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Constitutional Court of Ecuador approved same-sex marriage in a close 5-4 decision.
  2. The Federal Supreme Court of Brazil voted to criminalize homophobic discrimination.
  3. The Supreme Court of Israel allowed a Jewish settler organization to lease three church properties in Jerusalem’s Old City.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Indonesia hears an appeal in a case to annul presidential election, while protesters gather before the Court building despite a police ban.
  5. The European Court of Human Rights published a guide on Article 1 of the Convention’s First Protocol, the protection of property.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Spain blocked a Catalan politician from leaving jail to collect his credentials for the European Parliament, to which he was elected on May 26.

In the News

  1. The Supreme Court of Kentucky invalidated a constitutional amendment that granted constitutional rights for victims.
  2. The Supreme Court of Washington ruled against a florist who refused to provide flowers to a same-sex wedding.
  3. The Supreme Court of Alaska ruled unconstitutional the state’s sex offender registry law.
  4. The High Court in Botswana found laws criminalizing homosexuality unconstitutional.
  5. Moldova has a new Government.
  6. The referendum on constitutional amendments on local elections in Ghana will take place on December 29.
  7. The Governor of Illinois signed legislation ensuring women’s right to abortion.
  8. The Parliament of Albania passed a motion criticizing President Ilir Meta’s decision to cancel municipal elections as unconstitutional.
  9. Hong Kong government announced suspension of the controversial extradition bill.

New Scholarship

  1. Stefan Voigt, Taking the Rule of Law Seriously – How the EU Could Foster Its Own Values, (2019) (developing a proposal to improve the rule of law in Europe)
  2. Giovanni De Gregorio, From Constitutional Freedoms to the Power of the Platforms: Protecting Fundamental Rights Online in the Algorithmic Society, 11 European Journal of Legal Studies (2019) (examining how online platforms affect fundamental rights and proposing solutions to limit the influence of such private powers from a constitutional law perspective)
  3. Ana Micaela Alterio, Reactive vs. Structural approach: A public law response to populism, 8 Global constitutionalism (2019) (assessing answers to populism by using the new Latin American Constitutionalism as an example)
  4. Federico Fabbrini and Oreste Pollicino, Constitutional Identity in Italy: Institutional Disagreements at a Time of Political Change, in Christian Calliess and Gerhard van der Schyff, Constitutional Identity in a Europe of Multilevel Constitutionalism (forthcoming 2019) (examining the notion of constitutional identity in Italy through the analysis of the discourse and practice of the two key constitutional bodies, the President of the Republic and the Constitutional Court)
  5. Francisco Pereira Coutinho and Nuno Piçarra, Portugal: The Impact of European Integration and the Economic Crisis on the Identity of the Constitution, in Anneli Albi and Samo Bardutzky (eds.) National Constitutions in European and Global Governance: Democracy, Rights, the Rule of Law (2019) (analyzing the Portuguese Constitution in light of the European Union)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The University of Würzburg invites submissions for an exploratory workshop on “Constitutions of Value,” to be held on December 12-13, 2019. The deadline for abstracts is July 12, 2019.
  2. The Law Faculty of Humboldt University Berlin invites applications for a Postdoc position and PhD positions in the new research group established to study “Dynamic Integration – Law in-between Harmonization and Plurality in Europe” (DynamInt).
  3. The Maastricht University and the University of Liverpool Research and Development Fund invite submissions for a workshop on “Judicial and extra-judicial challenges in the EU multi-and-cross-level administrative framework,” to be held on July 8-9, 2019 in Brussels.
  4. The University of Ottawa invites submissions for its conference on the theme “Public Law: Rights, Duties and Powers,” to be held on June 17-19, 2020 in Ottawa. The deadline for submission of abstracts is September 2, 2019.
  5. Loyola University Chicago School of Law invites submissions for its 13th Annual Symposium on Health Law and Policy to be held in Chicago, Illinois on November 15, 2019. The deadline for submission of abstracts is July 1, 2019.
  6. The Board of Editors of Trade, Law and Development invites original, unpublished manuscripts for publication in the Winter 2019 Issue of the Journal (Vol. 11, No. 2) in the form of Articles, Notes, Comments and Book Reviews.
  7. The European Implementation Network, a hub of European civil society aimed at increasing the timely and effective implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, has launched a call for contributions to create a handbook on the domestic advocacy for implementation of Strasbourg Court judgments.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Linda Greenhouse, Who cares about Supreme Court’s legitimacy? The New York Times
  2. Idris Fassassi, France: The Yellow vests, the right to Protest and the Conseil Constitutionnel, ConstitutionNet
  3. David R. Cameron, Boris Johnson far ahead of others in first ballot of Conservative leadership race, Yale MacMillan Center
  4. Johannes Graf von Luckner, German Prosecutors are insufficiently independent to issue European arrest warrants, European Law Blog
  5. Richard Ekins, Constitutional lessons from America, the UK Constitutional Law Association
  6. Michael Kenny, The English Question – from the margins to the mainstream? Center on Constitutional Change
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Published on June 17, 2019
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Symposium–The Croatian Constitutional Court’s Abortion Decision: A Nominal Win for Reproductive Freedom

[Editor’s Note: I-CONnect is pleased to feature a three-part symposium on the Croatian Constitutional Court’s 2017 ruling on abortion. The symposium is kindly organized by Professor Djordje Gardasevic. The Introduction to the symposium is available here. This entry is the second of three parts in this symposium.]


–Ana Horvat Vuković, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law

Hailed in liberal circles as an historic decision, the 2017 ruling of the Croatian Constitutional Court upheld the constitutionality of non-medically (or socioeconomically) indicated abortions within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.[1] It extensively considered comparative constitutional jurisprudence as well as case law of the ECtHR in a welcome show of cross-jurisdictional constitutional dialogue on matters relating to the termination of unwanted pregnancy. In its efforts to consider all relevant arguments, the Court requested expert opinions from a plethora of family law experts, bioethicists and (Catholic) theologians, but puzzlingly contacted a single constitutional law expert.[2]

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Published on June 16, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis