Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled on constitutional requirements related to the establishment of a judicial standby duty for investigating judges.
  2. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution does not guarantee a “painless death” for condemned murderers.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Moldova invalidated parts of the Enforcement Code about the time limit on disputing bailiff’s acts.
  4. The Supreme Court of Philippines ordered the release of police documents on extrajudicial killings of suspects in the president’s anti-drug crackdown.
  5. The Supreme Court of Venezuela held Juan Guaidó in contempt and requested the pro-Maduro National Constituent Assembly to withdraw the opposition leader’s parliamentary immunity.
  6. The Slovak National Council selects eight candidates as constitutional judges, failing to resolve the blockage at the Constitutional Court.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe ruled that corporal punishment of juvenile convicts is unconstitutional.
  8. The Constitutional Council of France invalidated parts of the new anti-protest law.

In the News

  1. The Supreme Court of Kentucky upheld abortion law that requires doctors to perform ultrasounds and show foetal images to patients before an abortion.
  2. The Second Senate of the German Federal Constitutional Court will hear a case about the exclusion from voting rights in the European elections.
  3. The Legislative Council of Hong Kong considers the enactment of law amendments for extradition to Macau, Taiwan, and mainland China on a case-by-case basis.
  4. New Zealand government introduced legislation to reduce and restrict semi-automatic firearms.
  5. The Parliament of Egypt will vote on changing the 2014 Egyptian Constitution.
  6. The National Council of Slovakia passes a constitutional amendment to cap the retirement age.
  7. The President of Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned amid mass protests and calls by senior military leadership for his departure.
  8. The Judicial Services Commission in Zimbabwe has been criticized for ordering 64 horsehair wigs made in London, at the cost of 118,400 GBP, while the country faces economic difficulties.
  9. British PM Theresa May formally requested an extension to the UK’s deadline to withdraw from the European Union until June 30.
  10. The United Kingdom has established a compensation scheme for those affected by the Windrush scandal: a political scandal, concerning people who were wrongly detained, denied rights, and in some cases wrongly deported by the Home Office.
  11. The United States revoked the visa of the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in response to her intention to investigate alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.
  12. The European Commission launched an infringement procedure by sending a Letter of Formal Notice to Poland regarding the new disciplinary regime for judges.
  13. The National Registry of Identification and Civil Status in Peru promotes the use of indigenous names in public records.
  14. Japan reveals the name of the new Imperial era ahead of Emperor’s abdication. The new era starts on May 1, when Crown Prince Naruhito successes to the throne following the abdication of Emperor Akihito, a day earlier.

New Scholarship

  1. Anna Fruhstorfer (2019), Consistency in constitutional design and its effect on democracy, Democratization (2019) (theorizing consistency and inconsistency in the constitutional design and change)
  2. Oleksiy Kresin, Comparative Legal Studies 1750 to 1835, Approaches to Conceptualization (2019) (examining the origins of comparative law as a discipline by considering the period from 1750 to 1835)
  3. Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich, Comparative Legal Systems. A short and illustrated Introduction (2019) (providing an introduction to comparative law and comparative legal systems)
  4. Tom Ginsburg and Mila Versteeg, From Catalonia to California: Secession in Consitutional Law, Alabama Law Review (2019) (offering a comprehensive exploration of how the world’s constitutions treat secession and how constitutional secession clauses can affect real-world secessionist disputes)
  5. Silvia Setu, Gender in Comparative Constitutional Change, in Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Comparative Constitutional Change (2019) (bridging the gap between the literature on comparative constitutional change and gender and constitutionalism)
  6. George Anderson and Sujit Choudhry (eds), Territory and Power in Constitutional Transitions (2019) (surveying the full range of challenges that territorial conflicts pose for constitution-making processes and constitutional design)
  7. Neal Devins and Lawrence Baum, The Company They Keep: How Partisan Divisions Came to the Supreme Court (2019) (explaining, using social psychology, why Supreme Court Justices respond more to elite social networks with which they identify than to majority views in the general public)
  8. Charles Gardner Geyh, Who is to Judge? The Perennial Debate Over Whether to Elect or Appoint America’s Judges (2019) (arguing in favor of a moderate position between the poles judicial election and appointment)
  9. Jaclyn L Neo and Ngoc Son Bui, Pluralist Constitutions in Southeast Asia (2019) (examining the presence of ethnic, religious, political, and ideational pluralities in Southeast Asian societies and how their respective constitutions respond to these pluralities)
  10. Ester Herlin-Karnell, The Constitutional Structure of Europe’s Area of ‘Freedom, Security and Justice’ and the Right to Justification (2019) (exploring the idea of freedom as non-domination and the constitutional implications of this view for EU security regulation)
  11. Elizabeth Wicks, The State and the Body: Legal Regulation of Bodily Autonomy (2019) (probing limits of the legitimate role of the state in regulating the human body)

Calls for Papers and announcements

  1. Junge Wissenschaft im Öffentlichen Recht e.V., supported by Noerr LLP, Verlag Kohlhammer, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Walther-Schücking-Gesellschaft and the European Commission invite submissions for a conference on “The Lisbon Treaty 10 years On. Reflections on the Future of European Integration,” to be held in Berlin, on June 21, 2019.
  2. The University of Tel Aviv invites submissions for the 5th Annual TAU Workshop for Junior Scholars in Law to be held on Novembre 17-19, 2019, at the Buchmann Faculty of Law in Tel Aviv, Israel.
  3. The University of Rome Tor Vergata invites submissions for a workshop on the topic “Understanding the EU Crisis: Legal, Political and Philosophical Interpretations,” to be held on May 18, 2019.
  4. The Société de législation comparée organizes a competition in comparative law. Papers can be in French or English. The submission deadline is October 15, 2019.
  5. Loyola University Chicago School of Law invites submissions for its Tenth Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium, to be held on November 8-9, 2019. The submission deadline is June 21.
  6. The Odysseus Network, the EMN-Finland and the European Policy Centre (EPC) invite submissions for a conference on “From Tampere 20 to Tampere 2.0: Towards a new programme (2020-24) for EU migration and asylum policies 20 years after the Tampere conclusions?,” to be held in Helsinki on October 24-25, 2019.
  7. Católica Law Review invites submissions for the 2020 January issue. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2019.
  8. KU Leuven invites applications for short-term grants for up to 90 days from researchers from Global South. The deadline for applications is May 10, 2019.
  9. The Academy of European Law (AEL) invites papers for a conference on EU equality law to be held at the European University Institute in Florence, on October 10-11, 2019. The deadline for abstracts is June 17.
  10. The University of Copenhagen invites applications for two teaching position in Advanced EU Constitutional Law and European Data Protection Law. The deadline for applications is September 1, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. András Jakab, How to Defend the Integrity of the EP Elections against Authoritarian Member States, Verfassungsblog
  2. Chrystie Flournoy Swiney, Laws are chipping away at democracy around the world,
  3. Iulia Motoc, Chapter Summary: The dialogue between the ECHR and the Italian Constitutional Court: the sage of “GIEM and Others v. Italy”, IACL-AIDC blog
  4. Stefan Theil, Unconstitutional Prorogation, UK Constitutional Law Association
  5. Recent case: Planned Parenthood v. Hodges, Harvard Law Review
  6. Colin P.A. Jones, Heisei’s legal legacies include greater civic participation, The Japan Times
  7. Neil Siegel, Justice Frankfurter’s Misplaced Legitimacy Concerns in the Reapportionment Cases, Balkinization
  8. Suzanna Sherry and Christopher Sundby, The risks of Supreme Court term limits, SCOTUSblog
  9. Mark Tushnet, Court-Packing On the Table in the United States?, Verfassungsblog
  10. Eliana Barrera and Leonardo Cofré, Chile’s debt to children: State engagement in children´s rights protection, OxHRH
  11. Kai Ambos and Susann Aboueldahab, Colombia: Time for the ICC Prosecutor to Act?, EJIL: Talk!
  12. Pierre de Vos, What can voters do about the scoundrels whose names appear on electoral lists?, Constitutionally Speaking
  13. Cristiano d’Orsi, Some rays of light on the plight of irregular migration within Africa, AfricLaw
  14. Aaron Moss and William Isdale, Where to Next? Native Title Compensation following Timber Creek, AUSPUBLAW
  15. Richard Clayton, Transforming Judicial Selection Procedures: Privy Council Changes Trinidad High Court Selection Procedure, UK Constitutional Law Association
  16. Mark Elliott, Does the Prime Minister’s request for an Article 50 extension scupper the Cooper-Letwin Bill?, Public Law for Everyone
  17. Jim Gallagher, Citizens’ assemblies: breaking the Brexit deadlock?, The Constitution Unit
  18. David R. Cameron, House of Commons rejects withdrawal agreement for third time so the UK will leave the EU in two weeks — unless it doesn’t, Yale MacMillan Center
  19. Rouven Diekjobst and Judith Prasse, New peak in the dispute concerning the Golan Heights: On the recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory by Donald Trump, Völkerrechtsblog
  20. Jahnavi Sindhu and Vikram Aditya Narayan, Historical Argument Supporting Proportionality Review under the Indian Constitution, Admin Law Blog
  21. Wilson Tay Tze Vern, Restoring the Constitutional Status of Sabah and Sarawak: First Step in A Long Journey of Redemption, ConstitutionNet
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Published on April 8, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Announcement–Special Issue on “What Can Central and Eastern Europe Learn from the Development of Canada’s Constitutional System?”

–Eszter Bodnár, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

I-CONnect readers may be interested in a special issue of the peer-reviewed ELTE Law Journal, entitled “What Can Central and Eastern Europe Learn from the Development of Canada’s Constitutional System?”, guest edited by Eszter Bodnár and Zoltán Pozsár-Szentmiklósy, members of the International Society of Public Law (ICON-S).

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in Canada, the ELTE Faculty of Law, with the kind support of the Embassy of Canada in Hungary, held an international symposium on 28 June 2017, convening a group of scholars to reflect on the history and evolution of the Constitution of Canada, on its written and unwritten dimensions, and on its influence abroad.

One of the most important conclusions of the Symposium was that the main “export products” of Canada–such as diversity, openness and transparency–are precisely the values which the domestic market for constitutional ideas is in need of in Central and Eastern Europe. As we speak a common language, the discussion can and should be continued.

This special issue includes some of the papers presented at the symposium, including contributions from the two keynote speakers, Jeremy Webber (University of Victoria) and Richard Albert (University of Texas).

The entire issue is available here for download. We hope readers will enjoy this special issue.

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Published on April 6, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Joint Symposium on “Towering Judges”: The Globalization of Towering Judges

 [Editor’s Note: This is the concluding post for the joint I-CONnect/IACL-AIDC Blog symposium on “towering judges,” which emerged from a conference held earlier this year at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, organized by Professors Rehan Abeyratne (CUHK) and Iddo Porat (CLB). The introduction to the joint symposium can be found here.]

Iddo Porat, College of Law and Business, Israel

The purpose of my post is to situate the phenomenon of towering judges, discussed in the preceding posts, in a specific historical and global context. The context is the height of what I will call the liberal-cosmopolitan wave in global politics around the 1990s.[1] Towering judges, I will argue, flourished during that period, and this ideological setting provided a background that was conducive to the formation of towering judges. This context is not relevant to all judges in this symposium, and to some more than others, but it relevant to many of them.  It is important also because we may be seeing now a global counter-wave or backlash, which raises the question whether the towering judges phenomenon will similarly face a backlash, and how this counter-wave would affect it.[2]

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Published on April 5, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

Joint Symposium on “Towering Judges”: László Sólyom’s Constitutional Symphony for the Republic of Hungary

[Editor’s Note: This is part of the joint I-CONnect/IACL-AIDC Blog symposium on “towering judges,” which emerged from a conference held earlier this year at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, organized by Professors Rehan Abeyratne (CUHK) and Iddo Porat (CLB). The author in this post formed part of a panel on “Towering Judges in Transitional/Non-Liberal Constitutions.” The introduction to the joint symposium can be found here.]

Gábor Attila Tóth, Humboldt University, Berlin

László Sólyom was the first Chief Justice of the Hungarian Constitutional Court between 1990 and 1998. There is a consensus among constitutional scholars that he was the most dominant jurist in the short-lived Republic of Hungary. There is, however, much less agreement about his achievement. For example, Kim Lane Scheppele endorses the Sólyom-led HCC for its judgments establishing the rule of law and democracy.[i] Bojan Bugarič and Tom Ginsburg are also full of praise for “the strong leadership of liberal Chief Justice Sólyom.”[ii] Bruce Ackerman and Stephen Holmes, by contrast, were doubtful about the initial achievements of the HCC because of its weak democratic legitimacy.[iii] András Sajó warned early in the 1990s that it undermined the rule of law that the judicial activism tended to disregard the written constitution.[iv] Andrew Arato has observed that Sólyom was, on the one hand, an admirer of Hans Kelsen’s legal positivism, while on the other he mobilized a form of constitutional mythology derived from Carl Schmitt.[v]

First movement: A constitutional revolutionary

The year 1989 was the historical turning point for the transformation from a Soviet-type regime to constitutional democracy. The single-party system collapsed through roundtable negotiations between the old regime and the democratic opposition. As a representative of a conservative opposition party, Sólyom was an important roundtable participant. He can be considered as one of the founders of the republic.

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Published on April 3, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

Five Questions with Mark Graber

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

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

This edition of “Five Questions” features a short video interview with Mark Graber, the University System of Maryland Regents Professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

When asked the question “among all your publications, which is your favorite?,” Mark Graber responded “The Passive-Aggressive Virtues,” which is available for download here.

To nominate someone for a future edition of “Five Questions,” please email

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Published on April 2, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Reviews

What’s New in Public Law

Vicente F. Benítez R., JSD candidate at NYU School of Law and Constitutional Law Professor at Universidad de La Sabana

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 U.S. Supreme Court heard a case that discusses the existence of constitutional limits to the power to redraw electoral districts in the states of North Carolina and Maryland.
  2. Judge Donal John O’Donnell of the Supreme Court of Ireland, concluded that a Fianna Fáil male member has standing to challenge the constitutionality of some provisions of the Electoral Act 1997 which governs female representation in elections.
  3. The Supreme Court of India declined to hear a petition that requested the deportation of Indian Muslims to Pakistan.      
  4. The Supreme Court of Myanmar is set to hear an appeal filed by two jailed Reuters reporters who were sentenced to serve seven years in prison.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Poland held that the appointment of the National Judicial Council’s members by the Parliament is compatible with the Constitution.
  6. The Supreme Court of Pakistan granted bail, on medical grounds, to convicted former president Nawaz Sharif.
  7. The Supreme Court of Canada emphasized that making an accused person wait in jail before trial should be the exception, not the rule.
  8. The U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution of a Buddhist man who was denied the presence of his spiritual adviser in the death chamber.    

In the News

  1. In the U.S., special counsel Robert Mueller submitted to Attorney General William Bar a report that contains his findings on the investigation into the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election. The Justice Department’s Summary of the report can be read here.
  2. The Parliament of Egypt requested a series of amendments to the Constitution (one of them seeks to extend the presidential term in office). A referendum will follow, should these proposals be passed by a 2/3 parliamentary majority.
  3. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio plans to propose a constitutional amendment in order to establish, in the constitutional text, a fixed number of nine seats for the Supreme Court. At the same time, some Democrats are calling for abolishing the Electoral College.     
  4. The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, signed a decree to rename the city of Astana to Nur-Sultan.
  5. Following a Venice Commission’s report, the government of Malta announced that it will introduce some amendments to the Constitution regarding –among others– the Attorney General’s powers as well as the rules concerning the appointment and removal of the members of the judiciary.
  6. The President of the U.S., Donald Trump, signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. 
  7. The Prime Minister of Romania, Viorica Dancila, declared that Bucharest plans to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  
  8. The President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, called Jerusalem the capital of Israel and announced that Honduras is planning to open a trade office there.  
  9. The European Union and the U.K. announced that their respective stances regarding the Golan Heights remain unchanged.  
  10. Over one million people rallied in central London to ask for a new referendum on the Brexit question.
  11. The U.K. House of Commons rejected, in an indicative vote, all eight Brexit proposed options.  
  12. The Parliament of Lithuania passed a constitutional amendment which grants individual access to the Constitutional Court via constitutional complaint. The Parliament also approved a law that allows the revision of already-in-place life sentences.   
  13. The President of the UK Supreme Court, Lady Hale, said that at least half of the UK’s judges should be women.
  14. The UN welcomed the Rohingya’s relocation plan proposed by the government of Bangladesh.
  15. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, announced a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch mosques terror attack.
  16. The President of Mexico, Andres Lopez Obrador, asked Spain and the Vatican to apologize for the abuses committed during the conquest of the Americas occurred five centuries ago.  
  17. Several South American Presidents convened in Chile to announce the creation of the new regional bloc ‘Prosur’.  
  18. The Premier of Quebec, François Legault, defended the use of the so-called ‘notwithstanding clause’ to shield a bill banning the use of religious symbols in public spaces by certain authority figures such as teachers.  
  19. The Attorney General of Switzerland indicted Liberian former rebel leader Alieu Kosiah for war crimes
  20. The Algerian Army Chief, Gaid Salah, called on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down.
  21. The Minister for Justice and Equality of Ireland, Charles Flanagan, published the text of the upcoming referendum that aims to modify the Constitution to ease the requirements to get a divorce.
  22. In the wake of allegations of electoral irregularities and amidst the current military-led government, seven pro-democracy parties in Thailand forged a coalition which is large enough to claim parliamentary majority.
  23. The Chamber of Deputies in Brazil passed a bill that grants Congress-members more control over the federal budget.
  24. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, announced the introduction of several measures to combat poverty. One of them entails a constitutional amendment whose purpose is to move article 38(d) –that regulates the provision of basic necessities of life– from the “Principles of Policy” section into the “Fundamental Rights” section.   
  25. The deputy commander-in-chief of the Myanmar military, Vice Senior General Soe Win, warned that the enactment of constitutional amendments through popular power rather than by legal means would disrupt the country’s stability.
  26. The General Comptroller of Venezuela, Elvis Amoroso, barred opposition leader (and interim president according to many countries) Juan Guaidó from holding public office for 15 years.
  27. The European Parliament voted to ban single-use plastics
  28. The President of North Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, refused to sign several bills passed by the Parliament, showing his opposition to the name-change deal signed between his country and Greece.
  29. The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, condemned the leak of information pertaining to a possible appointment to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, conservatives asked the federal judicial affairs commissioner to investigate this issue.         

New Scholarship

  1. Alex Schwartz, International Judges on Constitutional Courts: Cautionary Evidence from Post-Conflict Bosnia, Law and Social Inquiry (2019) (questioning the value of hybrid courts in light of the case study of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and claiming that its foreign judges have not provided a reliable counterbalance to ethnographical divisions on the Court and have probably affected the Court’s tenuous authority)
  2. David Landau, Yaniv Roznai & Rosalind Dixon, From an unconstitutional constitutional amendment to an unconstitutional constitution? Lessons from Honduras, Global Constitutionalism (2019) (examining the possibility of ‘unconstitutional constitutions’ or the ‘unconstitutionality of original constitutional provisions’ using Honduras as case study)
  3. Tom Gerald Daly, Democratic Decay: Conceptualising an Emerging Research Field, Hague Journal on the Rule of Law (2019) (exploring the advantages of conceptualizing, as a research field, the scattered cross-disciplinary literature on the creeping deterioration of democratic rule worldwide)
  4. Nicole Scicluna & Stefan Auer, From the rule of law to the rule of rules: technocracy and the crisis of EU governance, West European Politics, (2019) (examining two trends emerging from the eurozone crisis that diminish the quality of democracy in the EU and its member states: reliance on non-majoritarian institutions and an emphasis on coercive enforcement)
  5. David Law & Hsiang-Yang Hsieh, Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments: Taiwan (forthcoming 2019 ) (arguing that “hard” review, “soft” review, and judicial review of constitutional amendments can and should all be arrayed along the same spectrum of judicial power, and questioning whether the concept of “dialogic” judicial review is especially meaningful using Taiwan as a case study)
  6. Núria Reguart-Segarra, Business, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Security in the Case Law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Business and Human Rights Journal (2019) (analyzing, in light of the interrelation between business, human rights and security, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ case law on indigenous property rights)
  7. Tarunabh Khaitan, Constitutional Directives: Morally‐Committed Political Constitutionalism, Modern Law Review (2019) (presenting constitutional directives as obligatory telic norms, addressed primarily to the political state, and understanding them as a key tool to realize a morally‐committed conception of political constitutionalism.)
  8. Nimer Sultany, Arab constitutionalism and the formalism of authoritarian constitutionalism, (forthcoming 2019) (challenging different manifestations of a “formalist” approach to constitutional theory, and arguing that some categories used to understand Arab constitutions, are neither analytically illuminating nor descriptively informative)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Católica Law Review welcomes the submission of articles in the field of Public Law from all legal scholars and practitioners for the January issue of 2020. The deadline for applications is September 30, 2019.
  2. KU Leuven offers scholarships to researchers and alumni from the Global South to conduct research for up to 90 days in Belgium. Applications must be submitted by May 10, 2019. 
  3. The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child call for papers for the third volume of the African Human Rights Yearbook (AHRY). Abstracts should be submitted before or by 30 April 2019
  4. The ICON-S Colombian Chapter calls for proposals for its forthcoming Second National Conference on ‘Law, Politics and Deliberation’ to be held on October 24-25, 2019 in Manizales. Interested scholars can submit their proposals to on or before July 15, 2019.
  5. The Editors of the Melbourne Journal of International Law (‘MJIL’) invite submissions on areas of interest in international law for volume 20(2), to be published in December 2019. Contributions must be submitted by July 1, 2019.   
  6. The European University Institute, University of Florence and Bocconi University convene the Inaugural Conference on “Constitutional Challenges in the Algorithmic Society”. This Conference is organized in the framework of the IACL Research Group “Algorithmic State, Society and Market – Constitutional Dimensions”, and will take place on May 9-11, 2019 in Florence.
  7. The Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School calls for applicants who are interested to participate in its Visiting Researcher Program. The deadline for applications is April 15, 2019.
  8. The Turkish Society of General Theory of State organizes a conference on “Transformation of the Concept of the State and Rethinking ‘Allgemeine Staatslehre’ in German and Turkish Perspectives” at Galatasaray University, Istanbul on May 3rd, 2019 in cooperation with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. For more information about the Conference, click here.    

Elsewhere Online

  1. Meg Russell, How did parliament get into this Brexit mess, and how can it get out? The Constitution Unit
  2. Nicolás Carrillo-Santarelli, An Analysis of the Legal Obligations of the ELN Guerrilla and Third States in the Aftermath of the Attack Against a Colombian Police Academy (Part I), OpinioJuris
  3. Anne Applebaum, Theresa May isn’t the adult in the room. She’s part of the problem, The Washington Post
  4. Philippe LeDoux, Inclusive Marriage for Taiwan, JURIST
  5. Mireia Grau Creus, States Reactions in Turbulent Times and the Erosion of the Rule of Law: The Trial of the Catalan Pro-Independence Leaders, IACL-AIDC Blog
  6. Agne Limantė, Lithuania Introduces Individual Constitutional Complaint, Verfassungsblog
  7. Adam Ratzlaff, Why cuts to affirmative action programs will undermine Brazil’s geopolitical ambitions, Global Americans
  8. Raul Sanchez Urribarri, Australia’s Recognition of Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s Interim President, Australian Institute of International Affairs
  9. Stephen Coutts, Bold and Thoughtful: The Court of Justice Intervenes in Nationality Law Case C-221/17 TJEBBES, European Law Blog
  10. Lindsay Aqui, How the story of Britain and Europe began: Was Brexit inevitable? LSE Brexit Blog
  11. Michael Wines, Will the Supreme Court End Gerrymandering? Arguments Begin This Week, The New York Times
  12. Neil Siegel, The Anti-Constitutionality of Court-Packing, Balkinization
  13. Jaakko Husa, Merging Comparative Law and Legal History? Thesis and Scepticism in Finland, IACL-AIDC Blog
  14. Kevin Jon Heller, Judge Ozaki Must Resign — Or Be Removed, OpinioJuris
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Published on April 1, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Invitation from I-CONnect — Books for Review

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

We are once again inviting our readers to express an interest in reviewing books in public law here at I-CONnect. The list of books we have received at I-CONnect for this purpose is available below.

  1. Antonia Baraggia, Ordinamenti giuridici a confronto nell’era della crisi (G. Giappichelli Editore 2017)
  2. Adelle Blackett, Everyday Transgressions: Domestic Workers’ Transnational Challenge to International Labor Law (Cornell 2019)
  3. Giacomo Delledone & Giuseppe Martinico (eds.), The Canadian Contribution to a Comparative Law of Secession (Palgrave 2019)
  4. Rosalind Dixon (ed.), Australian Constitutional Values (Hart 2018)
  5. Luisa Fernanda Garcia (ed.), Justicia y democracia (Universidad del Rosario 2017)
  6. Giuseppe Franco Ferrari, Reijer Passchier & Wim Voermans (eds.), The Dutch Constitution Beyond 200 Years (Eleven International 2018)
  7. Devesh Kapur & Madhav Khosla (eds.), Regulation in India: Design, Capacity, Performance (Hart 2019)
  8. Mariana Mota Prado & Michael J. Trebilcock, Institutional Bypasses: A Strategy to Promote Reforms for Development (Cambridge 2018)
  9. Arthur Peltomaa, Understanding Unconstitutionality: How a Country Lost its Way (Teja 2018)
  10. Patricia Popelier & Maja Sahadžić (eds.), Constitutional Asymmetry in Multinational Federalism (Palgrave 2019)
  11. Eneida Desiree Salgado, Reforma Politica (Editora Contracorrente 2018)
  12. Alain Supiot & Sitharamam Kakarala (eds.), La loi de la langue: Dialogue euro-indien (Schulthess 2017)

Please email my colleague Trish Do by April 15, 2019, if you would like to review one of these books. A confirmation will follow. Preference will be given to early-career scholars and first-time I-CONnect contributors.

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Published on March 28, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Reviews

Joint Symposium on “Towering Judges”: Justice P.N. Bhagwati: A Towering Judge with a Divisive Legacy

[Editor’s Note: This is part of the joint I-CONnect/IACL-AIDC Blog symposium on “towering judges,” which emerged from a conference held earlier this year at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, organized by Professors Rehan Abeyratne (CUHK) and Iddo Porat (CLB). The author in this post formed part of a panel on “Towering Judges in Transformative Constitutions.” The introduction to the joint symposium can be found here.]

Rehan Abeyratne, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Justice P.N. Bhagwati, who served on the Supreme Court of India from 1973-86 (including as Chief Justice from 1985-86) is widely regarded as the most influential jurist in post-independence India. He was the main architect of public interest litigation (PIL) in the 1980s. Moreover, his engagement with the press and civil society, along with his post-judicial career as a global advocate for human rights, made him a well-known figure beyond legal circles and kept him in the limelight long after his retirement from the Court.   For these reasons, Justice Bhagwati is a towering judge. However, as Iddo Porat and I discussed in our introductory post, the fact that a judge is “taller” than their peers, does not mean that their legacy is necessarily positive. This post critically examines Justice Bhagwati’s legacy, looking at his jurisprudential, institutional, and post-retirement contributions to the Indian judiciary and beyond.

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Published on March 27, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

What’s New in Public Law

Davide Bacis, PhD Student in Constitutional Law, University of Pavia (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 Kenyan High Court upheld the constitutional rights to maternal dignity and reproductive healthcare.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Bavaria ruled that the ban preventing judges from wearing headscarves is permissible.
  3. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the administration has the authority to pick up and detain immigrants for deportations at any time.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Moldova declared the unconstitutionality of the provision establishing that the refusal of the criminal prosecution authorities to receive complaints can be challenged before the investigating judge no later than five days from the moment of refusal.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Moldova held that the renunciation of appeals against ruling rejecting claims in payment-order proceedings is unconstitutional.
  6. The European Court of Justice held that internal borders – even when border control has been reintroduced – cannot be equated to an external border.
  7. The European Court of Human Rights rejected the request on interim measures for torture claims, arguing that those measures can be applied only  when there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm.

In the News

  1. President Trump issued his first veto on Congress resolution rejecting the presidential declaration of national emergency.
  2. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev succeeded Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned as President of Kazakhstan after almost 30 years in power.
  3. The Speaker of the House of Commons ruled out another vote on Brexit deal, unless it is substantially different.
  4. The Mexican President signed a vow that he will not change the constitutional limit of a single six-year term.
  5. Theresa May informed the European Council that the UK is asking for an extension of Article 50 until June 30, 2019.
  6. The Philippines has officially withdrawn from the International Criminal Court.
  7. The Communication Committee of the Egyptian Parliament passed legislation to protect the right to privacy.

New Scholarship

  1. MS. Kuo, Control by Aggregation? Critical Reflections on Global Constitutionalism in the Shadow of Looming Transnational Emergency Powers (2019) (rethinking the relationship between rights protection, global constitutionalism and aggregate powers preventing transnational governance).
  2. M. St-Hilaire, P.F. Baud and E.S. Drouin, The Constitution of Canada as Supreme Law: A New Definition (2019) (proposing a new definition of the Canadian Constitution as supreme law).
  3. G. Ablavsky, Empire States: The Coming of Dual Federalism (2019) (offering an alternate account on the development of federalism as a form of centralization).
  4. C.E. Haupt, Sex and the First Amendment Through the Lens of Professional Speech (2019) (providing an interesting review of professional speech doctrine and how this doctrine might apply to future conflicts concerning reproductive rights and transgender healthcare).
  5. D.S. Cohen, Silence of the Liberals: When supreme Court Justices Fail to Speak Up for LGBT Rights (2019) (arguing that, even if the Supreme Court repeatedly protected gay rights, the liberal justices of the Court remained silent on this specific topic). 
  6. A. Stone, Freedom of Expression in Asia (2019) (offering a comprehensive outline of freedom of expression in Asian constitutions and arguing how the different approaches show how Asian constitutionalism has distinctive characteristics).
  7. R. Leckey, Assisted Dying, Suspended Declarations, and Dialogue’s Time (2019) (recounting Quebec and Canada experiences with drafting legislations on assisted suicide).
  8. R. Weill, T. Kritzman-Amir, Between Institutional Survival and Human Rights Protection: Adjudicating Landmark Cases of African Undocumented Migrants in Israel in a Comparative International Context (2019) (offering a complete analysis of Israeli case law on the rights of undocumented immigrants and arguing for a new approach to be taken by courts).
  9. B.M. Wilson, C. Gianella, Overcoming the Limits of Legal Opportunity Structures: LGBT Rights’ Forking Paths in Costa Rica and Colombia (forthcoming) (providing an interest analysis of the different level of protection of LGBT rights in Costa Rica and Colombia).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The European Public Law Organization welcomes applications for the Academy of European Public Law, which will be held from August 26, to September 14, 2019 in Athens. Applications should be submitted by June 29, 2019 (April 20, 2019 for Early Bird applications).
  2. The Investment Migration Council welcomes submissions for the “4th Annual Investment Migration Conference: International Mobility of the Wealthy and Global Inequality”, to be held on June 3, 2019 in Geneva. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted by March 30, 2019.
  3. The Rule of Law Monitoring Center, Warsaw, Poland, launched a new online resource on Rule of Law in Poland entirely in English.
  4. The Italian Association of Comparative Law will hold its XXV Biennial Colloquium “Food Law: A Comparative Perspective”. The event will be held in Parma, on May 23-25, 2019.
  5. The American Society of Comparative Law and the University of Missouri School of Law invite all interested scholars to submit panel or paper proposals for the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law entitled “Comparative Law and International Dispute Resolution Processes”. The event will be held at University of Missouri School of Law on October 17-19, 2019. The deadline for submission is May 20, 2019.
  6. The Spanish Association of International Law and International Relations Professors (AEPDIRI), in cooperation with the University of Granada welcome submissions for its 28th Conference “A New World, A New Europe. Reshaping the European Union in the Era of Brexit” to be held on September 18-20, 2019, in Granada. Abstracts of 1000-1500 words, alongside a CV, shall be submitted by April 10, 2019.
  7. The Spanish Association of International Law and International Relations Professors (AEPDIRI), in cooperation with the University of Castilla – La Mancha welcome submissions for the Jean Monnet International Conference “The European Union and Material and Immaterial Walls: Challenges for Security, Sustainability and the Rule of Law” to be held in Cuenca, on May 29-20, 2019. Abstracts of 1000-1500 words, alongside a CV, shall be submitted by April 1, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. D.R. Cameron, After House of Commons rejects Brexit deal again and no-deal exit and calls for Article 50 extension, Theresa May considers third vote – but the Speaker says no, Yale Macmillan Center
  2. K. McCall-Smith, The Realities of Being Global: Treaty Law and Brexit, UK Constitutional Law Association
  3. S. Lashyn, Brexit Means Brexit: Does it so When It Comes to EU Citizenship?, EJIL: Talk!
  4. A. Alemanno, The Birth of Political Europe, Verfassungsblog
  5. L. Kirchmair, Fight Fire with Fire – a Plea for EU Information Campaigns in Hungarian and Polish, Verfassungsblog
  6. D. Guilfoyle, Part I – This is not fine: The International Criminal Court in Trouble, EJIL: Talk!
  7. T. Van Poecke, The IHL Exclusion Clause, and why Belgian Courts Refuse to Convict PKK Members for Terrorist Offences, EJIL: Talk!
  8. T.T. Koncewicz, L. Strother, The Role of Citizen Emotions in Constitutional Backsliding – Mapping Out Frontiers of New Research, Verfassungsblog
  9. R. Hazell, B. Morris, O. Hepsworth, Comparing European monarchies: a conference first, The Constitution Unit
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Published on March 25, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Conference Report–Liberalism, Democracy, and Constitutionalism: Three Categories in Search of Authority

Shubha Ghosh, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law, Syracuse University

Comparativists, constitutional law aficionados, and global citizens were the perfect audience for the conference on “The Future of Liberal Democracy,” held at The University of Texas at Austin on February 21-23, 2019. Professors Richard Albert and Sanford Levinson assembled leading scholars from across the globe for a two-and-a-half day symposium exploring whether the current emergence of authoritarian regimes, here and abroad, is a sign of a dark future or the strident cries of an imploding conservatism. What follows is a distillation of the dialogue at this conference, with brief mentions of some of the many scholars who participated. Apologies to those not mentioned.

Part-festschrift, part-book talk, part-panel discussion, the Texas symposium placed Trumpism in the broader context of European authoritarianism, as playing out in Hungary and Poland. A forum on the forthcoming “Democracy and Dysfunction,” by Sanford Levinson and Jack Balkin opened the proceedings. This unique book brings together letters between Levinson and Balkin written from 2016 and 2018, tracing the events leading up to the surprising results of November 2016 and the aftermath. Panels on “Illiberal Constitutionalism,” “The Erosion of Constraints on Executive Power,” Managing Difference and Diversity,” “The Trump Phenomenon: American Exceptionalism or Global Trend?,” and “Constitutional Replacement by Constitutional Amendment” followed. In the midst of these heated discussions was a festschrift to political scientist Gary Jacobsohn and his 2010  book Constitutional Identity. Four critical themes emerged from the symposium which this blog space allows for exploration.

Read the rest of this entry…
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Published on March 23, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Reviews