Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Monica Cappelletti, School of Law and Government, Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland

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 Moldova declared the unconstitutionality of certain provisions of the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, that bar access to case-files, during pre-trial investigation, to the victim of torture, civil party, suspect, the accused person, and to the party incurring civil liability.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Moldova held that some articles of the Contravention Code on the nullity of the administrative notice of violation of offences, such as injury of physical integrity or domestic violence, are unconstitutional since they prevent the authorities from meeting their positive procedural duties under Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
  3. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany declared void a statutory provision on civil and judicial service remuneration in the Land Baden-Württemberg providing for a lowering of the remuneration level in certain remuneration grades for civil servants and judges during the first three years of service.
  4. The Spanish Constitutional Court accepted for consideration the appeal against the anti-monarchy motion passed by the Catalan Parliament in October.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Russia has begun to consider the issue on the Chechen-Ingush border.
  6. The South African Constitutional Court heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of the use of corporal punishment in the home.

In the News

  1. The Libyan House of Representatives adopted a constitutional amendment and approved the formula for restructuring the Presidency Council (PC).
  2. The Kuwait’s National Assembly debated the constitutionality of questioning of the Prime Minister.
  3. The Philippines Parliament resumed plenary debates on a draft charter prepared by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that is separate from the federalism proposal of a consultative committee that President Duterte had created.
  4. The South Sudan National Constitution and Amendment Committee approved the Constitutional Amendment Bill to incorporate the peace agreement into the constitution.
  5. The Swiss Referendum to put the Swiss Constitution above international law has been rejected by voters.
  6. The Presidential decree in Ukraine allows suspension of constitutional rights during martial law.
  7. The Bulgarian President referred to the Constitutional Court with a request to declare certain provisions of the Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Corporate Income Tax Act as unconstitutional and non-conforming to international treaties.
  8. The Pakistan cabinet discussed changing province’s status in accordance with constitution.
  9. The Ethiopian Prime Minister discussed the electoral reform with the opposition.
  10. The Irish Government is going to ratify the two Status of Forces Agreements, otherwise known as SOFAs.
  11. The Cayman Islands pushes for constitutional reform to promote autonomy from United Kingdom.
  12. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act into law in Nigeria. 

New Scholarship

  1. Gyan Basnet, The Human Right to Development and Freedom from Poverty (2018) (examining the conceptual and practical implications of transforming the right to development from a political aspiration into a possible vehicle for the alleviation of poverty and its eventual eradication)
  2. Uladzislau Belavusau and Kristin Henrard, EU Anti-Discrimination Law beyond Gender (2018) (setting out to capture the striking developments and shortcomings that have taken place in the interpretation of relevant EU secondary law in the anti-discrimination field)
  3. Graham Butler, Implementing a Complete System of Legal Remedies in EU Foreign Affairs Law, (2018) 24 (3) Columbia Journal of European Law, p. 637–676 (analysing how a ‘complete system of legal remedies’, a thirty-year-old doctrine of European Union law from the Les Vert case, continues to shape the manner in which judicial review is conducted in EU foreign affairs law, and to broaden our understanding of how the Court continues to add pieces to the puzzle of EU foreign affairs law)
  4. Michael Dafel, The Constitutional Rebuilding of the South African Private Law (2018) (comparing how the judiciary and legislature give effect to constitutional rights within private law)
  5. Oran Doyle,The Constitution of Ireland: A Contextual Analysis (2018) (providing a critical analysis of Ireland’s Constitution, how it has developed, and future directions)
  6. Penny Green and Tony Ward, State Crime and Civil Activism (2018) (exploring the work of NGOs challenging state violence and corruption in six countries – Colombia, Tunisia, Kenya, Turkey, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea)
  7. Alexander Horne and Andrew Le Sueur, Parliament: Legislation and Accountability (2018) (providing a critical assessment of the UK Parliament’s two main constitutional roles-as a legislature and as the preeminent institution for calling government to account)
  8. Genevieve Lennon, Colin King, and Carole McCartney, Counter-terrorism, Constitutionalism and Miscarriages of Justice (2018) (exploring Professor Walker’s influence from three perspectives: historical reflection upon the development of the law and policy in relation to counter-terrorism and miscarriages of justice since the 1970s; critical analysis of the current law and policy; and future trajectory)
  9. Bronwen Manby, Citizenship in Africa: the Law of Belonging (2018) (providing a comprehensive exploration of nationality laws in Africa, placing them in their theoretical and historical context)
  10. Kálmán Pócza, Constitutional Politics and the Judiciary. Decision-making in Central and Eastern Europe (2018) (applying an innovative research methodology to quantify the impact and effect of court’s decisions on legislation and legislators, and measure the strength of judicial decisions in six CEE countries)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Warwick University (UK) organises the Conference “White Slavery in Transnational and International Context, 1880-1950” in June 21, 2019, and welcomes paper, poster and creative presentations for a one day interdisciplinary event. The deadline for the submission is January 31, 2019.
  2. The Portsmouth Law School at the University of Portsmouth and the European University Institute (EUI) organise a 2-day international conference on “Corruption Democracy and Human Rights: Exploring new avenues in the fight against corruption”. The conference will be hosted by the EUI in Florence on 20th and 21st of June 2019. The organisers welcome submissions of abstract of paper by February 26, 2019.
  3. The ESIL Interest Groups on International Environmental Law and International Bio Law organise an IG event on the occasion of the ESIL Research Forum in Göttingen on Wednesday 3 April 2019, and the topic is  ‘Sound Science-Based Regulation in the Post-Truth Era: Domestic and International Rule of Law Under Fire’. ESIL invites submissions of paper by December 30, 2018.
  4. The Fourth Illinois-Bologna conference on “Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives” will be held in Chicago on April 29- 30, 2019. The deadline for the call for papers is December 15, 2018.
  5. The 12th Annual Toronto Group Conference, hosted by the Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, will be held at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law on March 28th and 29th, 2019. The theme is “Resistance to International Law and the Global Legal Order”. The organisers welcome abstract of paper by December 14, 2018.
  6. The 20th International Roundtable for the Semiotics of Law (IRSL 2019), hosted by Instituto Jurídico da Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Coimbra (UCILeR – University of Coimbra Institute for Legal Research), Portugal, will take place from 23-25 May 2019. The organisers invite submissions of abstracts by January 15, 2019.
  7. The Rule of Law for Development Institute at Loyola University Chicago School of Law will convene a conference on “Rule of Law in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda” to be held at Loyola’s Rome, Italy campus on 1-2 February 2019. The organisers welcome abstract of papers by December 7, 2018.
  8. The Czech peer-reviewed journal Acta Universitatis Carolinea Studia Territorialia welcomes papers for the special issues on International Organizations throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries: Successes, Failures, Transformations, and Challenges. The deadline for the abstract submissions is January 15, 2019.
  9. The Southern Illinois Law Journal invites proposals at the upcoming annual symposium, which will focus on public health surveillance. Accepted presenters will have the opportunity to participate on an interdisciplinary panel of scholars, and to have their papers published in a special symposium issue of the journal. The deadline for the proposals is December 20, 2018.
  10. The Indian Journal of Constitutional & Administrative Law (IJCAL) welcomes submissions of papers for the third volume by December 31, 2018. 

Elsewhere Online

  1. Elisabeth Baier, A power struggle or something more? The current disqualification saga at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Volkerrechtsblog
  2. Cillian Bracken, Episode 5 of the Celmer Saga – The Irish High Court Holds Back, Verfassungsblog
  3. Eoin Carolan, Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Abortion as a Model for Democratic Change?: Reflections on Hope, Hype and the Practical Challenges of Sortition, IACL-AIDC Blog
  4. Fiona de Londras, The Citizens’ Assembly and the Disciplining of Activist Demands, IACL-AIDC Blog
  5. Mireia Grau Creus, Catalonia – Look at the Big Picture: The Alternative to There-is-no-Alternative, IACL-AIDC Blog
  6. Thorvaldur Gylfason, Iceland’s Ongoing Constitutional Fight, Verfassungsblog
  7. Karl Kössler, Streamlining Austria’s federation: Comprehensive reform after nearly a century?, Constitutionnet
  8. Dmitry Kurnosov, All Bark and no Bite? A Domestic Perspective on a Possible Russian Withdrawal from the Council of Europe, Verfassungsblog
  9. Pin Lean Lau, Affirmative Action in Malaysia: Constitutional Conflict with the ICERD?, Verfassungsblog
  10. Derek O’Brien, The End of the Caribbean Court of Justice? On failed constitutional referendums in Grenada, and Antigua and Barbuda, Constitutionnet
  11. Sarah Progin-Theuerkauf, Case C-713/17 Ayubi: A refugee is a refugee is a refugee (even with temporary right of residence), European Law Blog
  12. Argelia Queralt Jiménez, One Year After the (Symbolic) Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Catalonia: Some Facts and Figures, IACL-AIDC Blog
  13. Dana Schmalz, Will the ECtHR Shake up the European Asylum System?, Verfassungsblog
  14. Ben Ye, Can once valid legislation ‘become’ invalid? A case study of the High Court’s (now-lost) Nauru jurisdiction, AUSPUBLAW
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Published on December 3, 2018
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The Ground-Breaking Advisory Opinion OC-23/17 of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Healthy Environment and Human Rights

–Domenico Giannino, Lecturer in International Law, INSEEC University (London).

Contemporary processes of environmental degradation require the creation of innovative legal tools with the objective of preserving those resources that are intrinsically essential for the life of human beings.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights Advisory Opinion OC-23/17 – issued in November 2017 at the request of the Republic of Colombia – adopts an innovative jurisdictional approach, recognising the right to a healthy environment as a fundamental right to the existence of humankind. Once more the Court has been the forerunner of an original interpretation of the American Convention of Human Rights, with the aim of guaranteeing the strongest protection possible to the conventional rights.

Leaving aside the consequences this opinion may have for the requesting State, it is worthwhile to analyse not only the relationship between environmental protection and human rights but also the substantial and procedural guidelines, concerning environmental responsibilities, for (potentially) all the member States.

Read the rest of this entry…

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Published on December 2, 2018
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A Proposal for Gender Parity on Slovakia’s Constitutional Court

Šimon Drugda, PhD Candidate at the University of Copenhagen

The chairman of the Slovak National Council (NaCo) has formally initiated the process to select replacements for nine Constitutional Court (CC) judges who will finish their term in mid-February next year.

The schedule is tight. All nominations must be made to the NaCo by January 7. Members of Parliament must then choose twice the number of candidates for each vacancy, in this case a total of 18 selections. President Andrej Kiska must then pick nine judges based on their merit and high moral character to start working on February 18th.

The President will look “only for merit and moral character” in a CC judge.[1] But should he consider diversity considerations as separate criteria for an appointment? Diversity comes in many forms. In this post, I wish to focus on one in particular: gender. There is currently a disproportionate over-representation of men on the CC in contrast to the demographics of the professional judiciary.

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Published on November 30, 2018
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Constitutional Chaos in Sri Lanka: Constitutional Retrogression or Working Out of its Constitutional Salvation?

Jaclyn L. Neo, National University of 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 2018, see here.]

The current constitutional chaos in Sri Lanka throws up important questions about constitutional design, constitutional resilience, and constitutional culture. The present crisis was triggered when on 26 October 2018, the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena purported to sack Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new premier of Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa was a two-term president considered a hero by much of the island’s Sinhalese majority for ending a 37-year civil war. He has also been accused of grave human rights abuses during his tenure. In 2015, he lost his presidential bid when now President Sirisena teamed up with then opposition leader Wickremesinghe to put himself forward as a unity candidate against Rajapaksa and to bring to an end blatant corruption and abuse of power under Rajapaksa’s regime. Sirisena later appointed Wickremesinghe as prime minister, after Wickremesinghe’s party (UNP) won most seats (but fell short of a majority) in the 2015 parliamentary elections and formed a national unity government with Sirisena’s party (SLFP).

As is probably to be expected, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe refused to accept his sacking and continued to occupy his official residence. President Sirisena then sought to prorogue, then dissolve parliament on 9 November 2018, five days before it was due to reconvene, and sought to call for a general election on 5 January 2019. The dissolution was likely to avoid a vote of no confidence against Rajapaksa. However, following a petition by three political parties, including Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP), the Supreme Court issued an interim order suspending the dissolution. Parliament reconvened and on 14 November 2018, passed a vote of no confidence against Rajapaksa. Without the confidence of a majority in Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa does not satisfy the constitutional prescription for the premiership. However, he has refused to go away and his supporters disrupted parliamentary proceedings even as a second vote of no confidence was put forward. Important questions have arisen about the constitutionality of events in Sri Lanka and addressing these issues allow us to examine broader issues about the importance of design (or not), democratic resilience, as well as the role of constitutional culture in preserving the constitutional order. Here, I discuss two such issues arising from the current political conundrum.

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Published on November 29, 2018
Author:          Filed under: Developments

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 Constitutional Court of South Africa held that the provision making it a criminal offence for more than fifteen people to gather without notifying authorities is unconstitutional.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine found that the bill amending the Constitution in order to allow Ukrainian participation in the EU is compliant with the Constitution itself.
  3. The Israeli High Court of Justice upheld a ruling by the Great Rabbinical Court denying adulterous women property rights on the marital house.
  4. The UK Supreme Court is considering whether to hold a full hearing on a case concerning the right to die.
  5. The Supreme Court of Costa Rica ruled that the same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional and discriminatory.
  6. The Supreme Court of Kentucky upheld the constitutionality of the right-to-work law.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Moldova held that the provision of the Criminal Code preventing legal entities from appointing their representative at trial is unconstitutional.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Moldova ruled that the general retirement age does not constitute a limit to the application of unpaid community service to individuals convicted of domestic violence.
  9. The European Court of Human Rights found that Turkey violated art. 5 of the Convention with the pre-trial detention of Selahattin Demirtas.
  10. The Constitutional Court of Moldova declared the unconstitutionality of a provision that grants disability pensions based on the actual contribution period.
  11. The Federal Constitutional Tribunal of Germany held that the Constitution does not oblige courts to investigate further when facing limits in scientific knowledge.

In the News

  1. The Polish Parliament passed legislation to reinstate Supreme Court Justices who were forced to retire.
  2. The Spanish Senate approved a controversial online data protection law.
  3. The Australian Prime Minister urged Parliament to pass a law allowing police to access encrypted messages.
  4. The President of Sri Lanka prevented members of his cabinet from making key appointments in state institutions.
  5. The Law Council expressed critical views on the Australian counter-terrorism law on the automatic loss of citizenship for individuals convicted for terrorism related crimes.
  6. The EU Commission began proceedings against Italy over the 2019 budget plan.
  7. The French Parliament passed a law aimed at granting judges the power to order the immediate removal of fake news during election campaigns.

New Scholarship

  1. R. T. Anderson (2018), Indigenous Rights to Water and Environmental Protection (examining the right of the so called Indian nations within the United States on water supplies and environmental protection for their land).
  2. R. Grozdanova (2018), The Normalisation of Secrecy in the UK and the Netherlands: Individuals, the Courts and the Counter-Terrorism Framework (providing a comparison on how UK and Dutch courts deal with sensitive intelligence information).
  3. G. T. Davis (2018), Does the Court of Justice Own the Treaties? Interpretative Pluralism as a Solution to Over-Constitutionalisation (arguing for interpretative pluralism on the EU Treaties sin order to allow for wider participation in the construction of EU law).
  4. I. Bantekas and C. Lumina (2018), Sovereign Debt and Human Rights (providing a thorough analysis of how national debts impact on human rights and potentially violate them).
  5. K. J. Alter, E.M. Hafner-Burton and L. Helfer (2018), Theorizing the Judicialization of International Relations (examining the phenomenon of judicialization of international relations and the shift of power from politics and the legislators towards judicial bodies).
  6. K. van Leeuwen (2018), Paving the Road to “Legal Revolution”: The Dutch Origins of the First Preliminary References in European Law (1957-1963) (analyzing the active role of Dutch courts in shaping European law through the first preliminary references).
  7. L. Violini, A. Baraggia (eds.) (2018), The Fragmented Landscape of Fundamental Rights Protection in Europe (focusing on the complex nature of fundamental rights protection within the European legal system).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. Radboud University encourages submissions for the conference “It takes two to tango. The preliminary reference dance between the Court of Justice of the European Union and national courts” that will be held in Nijmegen on June 14, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 600 words must be submitted within January 1, 2019.
  2. The University of Geneva welcomes submissions for the workshop “The EU and the Crisis of the International Liberal Order: A Systemic Crisis?” that will be held in Geneva on April 4 and 5, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 500 words are to be submitted within December 10, 2018.
  3. The University of Exeter welcomes paper proposals for the conference “Legal Resilience in an Era of Hybrid Threats” that will be held in Exeter on April 8 to 10, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 600 words must be submitted within November 30, 2018.
  4. Papers proposals are welcome for the Fourth Illinois-Bologna conference on “Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives” that will be held in Chicago on April 29 and 30, 2019. A 500-1000 words proposal is to be sent alongside a CV by December 15, 2018.
  5. The Urban Law Center at Fordham University and the University of New South Wales welcome submissions for the “Sixth Annual International and Comparative Urban Law Conference” that will be held in Sydney on July 11 and 12, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 500 words are to be sent no later than January 10, 2019.
  6. The Portsmouth Law School and the European University Institute welcome submissions for the conference “Corruption, Democracy and Human Rights” that will be held in Florence, Italy on June 20 and 21, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 500 words by February 26, 2019.
  7. The University of Aberdeen welcomes application for a PhD on the topic “Sovereignty and the state”, starting in September 2019 and lasting 3 years. Applications must be submitted within January 20, 2019.
  8. The University of Aberdeen welcomes application for a PhD on the topic “Rule of law and constitutionalism”, starting in September 2019 and lasting 3 years. Applications must be submitted within January 20, 2019.
  9. The Law and Development Institute and the University of Dubai college of Law encourage submissions for the 2019 Law and Development Conference “Law and Development: From the Islamic Perspective” that will be held in Dubai on December 6, 2019. Abstracts must be submitted by February 1, 2019.
  10. The University of Nottingham welcomes submissions for the Twentieth Annual Student Human Rights Conference on “The European Court of Human Rights: 60 Years of Success?” that will be held in Nottingham on March 29, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 1000 words must be submitted by December 13, 2018.

Elsewhere Online

  1. A. Nazeer, Opportunism on the Bench – The Maldivian Supreme Court’s Decision Upholding the 2018 Election Result, Verfassungsblog
  2. A. Buser, Justiciability of Security Exceptions in the US Steel (and other) Disputes: Some Middle-Ground Options and the Requirements of Article XXI lit. b (i)-(iii), EJIL: Talk!
  3. M. Elliott and S. Tierney: House of Lords Constitution Committee Reports on Delegated Powers, UK Constitutional Law Association
  4. C. White, Northern Ireland Worker’s Rights and the Draft Withdrawal Agreement: The Quasi-Constitutional Entrenchment of EU-derived Labour Law Rights, UK Constitutional Law Association
  5. J. Vidmat, Palestine v United States: Why the ICJ does not need to decide whether Palestine is a state, EJIL: Talk!
  6. A. Peters, The Global Compact for Migration: to sign or not to sign?, EJIL: Talk!
  7. J. Sheldon, Intergovernmental relations: a blueprint for reform, The Constitution Unit
  8. E. Bougiakiotis, E.S. v Austria: Blasphemy Laws and the Double Standards of the European Court of Human Rights, UK Constitutional Law Association
  9. D. Byman, Was Syria Different? Anticipating the Next Islamic State, Lawfare
  10. R. Uitz, Europe’s Rule of Law Dialogues: Process With No End in Sight, Verfassungsblog
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Published on November 26, 2018
Author:          Filed under: Developments

ICON·S Book Prize–Call for Nominations

–The Editors

ICON·S | The International Society for Public Law is pleased to open the Call for Nominations for its second annual Book Prize. In line with the Society’s mission, the prize will be awarded to an outstanding book or books in the field of public law, understood as a field of knowledge that transcends dichotomies between the national and the international as well as between administrative and constitutional law. Preference will be given to scholarship which, in dealing with the challenges of public life and governance, combines elements from all of the above with a good dose of political theory and social science.

The Book Prize will be awarded at the Society’s next Annual Conference on July 1-3, 2019 in Santiago, Chile to the author(s) of a book or books published in the two calendar years prior to the conference (2017 and 2018). The winner will be selected by the Society’s Book Award Committee, chaired in 2018 and 2019 by Anne Peters.

Eligibility Criteria

Monographs on public law as defined above written in any language are eligible for nomination. Only books published up to two years prior to the year of the annual meeting are eligible for nomination. The relevant criterion is the official publication year as stated in the book’s front-matter. Repeat nominations in consecutive years are not permitted. Books nominated for the 2018 Book Prize are not eligible. Nominated books must moreover be the first original edition.

Nomination Procedure

Members of the Society’s Executive Committee and Council, groups of at least three ICON·S members, book review editors of academic journals, as well as scholarly publishers are invited to nominate books, up to a maximum of 5 (five) each. The Book Prize Committee is authorized to consider books that have not been nominated and that it considers particularly worthy of consideration. Please note that authors are not eligible to nominate their own books. Please note also that edited books are not eligible for consideration. The Society especially welcomes nominations of scholarly works by female- and male-identifying scholars.

Nominations may be made via email to with the following subject line: Book Prize ATTN: Chair of the Book Prize Committee. Nominations must include a justification of up to 200 words explaining the basis for the nomination.

The deadline for the submission of nominations is January 31, 2019.

Please note that the nominators must send (or make arrangements with the publisher to send) one hardcopy for each member of the Book Prize Committee no later than February 28, 2019 directly to each of the members of the committee. Addresses will be provided after nomination. E-Books or scans can substitute hardcopies with the approval of the Chair. Failure to deliver the required number of hardcopies or substitutes will lead to non-consideration of the proposal.

The Call for Nominations for the ICON·S Book Prize can be downloaded here.

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Published on November 23, 2018
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Support for New I-CONnect Contributors from Historically Underrepresented Groups

Richard Albert, William Stamps Farish Professor of Law, The University of Texas at Austin, and David Landau, Mason Ladd Professor and Associate Dean for International Programs, Florida State University

It always brings us great joy here at I-CONnect to receive an unsolicited submission from a new contributor. We care a great deal about making room in the field for new voices.

To ensure that I-CONnect remains accessible to all—especially to those from historically underrepresented groups—we will host open conference calls from time to time with anyone who wishes to learn about how to prepare a submission, specifically what makes a good submission and how we can help contributors to improve their initial drafts.

Our first open conference call will be held in January 2019. If you would like to participate, please email your identifying and contact information to Trish Do at tdo[at] by December 15. You will be contacted in January with further details.

We thank our many contributors for all they do for I-CONnect.

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Published on November 19, 2018
Author:          Filed under: Developments

What’s New in Public Law

Chiara Graziani, Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Constitutional Law, University of Genoa (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 European Court of Human Rights condemned Belgium for not allowing the applicant to exercise his right to legal assistance at the initial stage of the criminal proceedings against him.
  2. The General Court of the European Union annulled a decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office revoking the rights of the proprietor of a trade mark.
  3. The European Court of Justice will decide on 27 November whether the UK can reverse its decision to leave the EU regardless of whether other EU member states agree.
  4. The European Court of Justice ruled that Hungary’s monopoly over mobile payment services is incompatible with EU law.
  5. The European Court of Justice held that the taste of food is not covered by copyright.
  6. The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka will rule whether or not the President’s decision to sack the Parliament is illegal.
  7. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany rejected an application by two political parties seeking an injunction against statements made by the Federal Minister of the Interior.
  8. The Constitutional Court of South Africa ordered the reinstatement of workers retrenched by their company 6 years ago.
  9. The UK Supreme Court dismissed an application on the indexation of pensions.
  10. The French Conseil Constitutionnel has been asked to determine whether the offence punishing the exploitation of prostitution violates the right to private life, the right to economic freedom and the principle of proportionality.

In the News

  1. The United Nations lifted sanctions on Eritrea.
  2. The General Court of the European Union will apply new rules enabling procedural documents to be lodged and served electronically as of December 1, 2018.
  3. The Scotland’s Court of Session ruled that the UK government cannot stop the case, brought by Scotland before the European Court of Justice, seeking to determine whether the UK can unilaterally reverse its decision to leave the EU.
  4. The EU denounced the dissolution of the Sri Lanka Parliament as it could undermine public confidence in democratic institutions and exacerbate the economic crisis.
  5. A Spanish audit office ordered former Catalan leaders to repay public money spending in the 2014 non-binding independence ballot.
  6. EU observers said that anomalies in Madagascar presidential elections were marginal.
  7. The Macedonian police issued an arrest warrant for the former Prime Minister on corruption-related charges.
  8. The state of Maryland challenged the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General before a federal judge.

New Scholarship

  1. Rosalind Dixon and Adrienne Stone (eds.), The Invisible Constitution in Comparative Perspective (2018) (analyzing the “invisible” dimension of constitutions, such as unwritten or conventional underpinnings, social and political dimensions not apparent to certain observers, from a comparative perspective focused on Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Indonesia, Ireland and Malaysia)
  2. Oran Doyle, The Constitution of Ireland. A Contextual Analysis (2018) (providing a contextual analysis of constitutional governance in Ireland, starting from the 1937 Constitution as a seminal moment in an ongoing constitutional evolution and examining how the constitutional structure of Ireland revolved around a bipartite separation of powers)
  3. Todd A. Eisenstadt, Carl LeVan, Tofigh Maboudi, Constituents Before Assembly. Participation, Deliberation, and Representation in the Crafting of New Constitutions (forthcoming 2018) (analyzing increasing participation in the forming of constitutions and demonstrating its positive impact on the level of democratization)
  4. Mark A. Graber, Sanford Levinson, Mark Tushnet, Constitutional Democracy in Crisis (2018) (analyzing the forces weakening constitutional democracy around the world and the concepts of “constitutional crisis” and “constitutional degeneration”)
  5. Michael Head, Kristian Boehringer, The Legal Power to Launch War. Who Decides? (forthcoming 2018) (discussing legal and political issues arising from the decision to declare war or authorize military action in democratic countries)
  6. Desmond Johnson, Institutional Balance as a Constitutional Dialogue: A Republican Paradigm for the EU, in Mattias Derlén and Johan Lindholm (eds.), The Court of Justice of the European Union: Multidisciplinary Perspective (2018) (exploring how a republican understanding of EU governance that promotes an ongoing dialogue on the institutional balance, between a range of public and private societal forces, can enhance the legitimation of the EU constitutional order)
  7. Valsamis Mitsilegas, EU Criminal Law after Lisbon. Rights, Trust and the Transformation of Justice in Europe (2018) (discussing the impact of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on EU criminal law, with a focus on key areas and procedures)
  8. Juss S. Satvinder, Beyond Human Rights and the War on Terror (2018) (focusing on post 9/11 measures and how they impacted on human rights in countries across the world)
  9. Jason NE Varuhas, NA Moreham, Remedies for Breach of Privacy (2018) (analyzing how courts approached privacy actions from a comparative perspective, taking into consideration also the nature of such actions)
  10. Timothy Zick, The Dynamic Free Speech Clause. Free Speech and its Relation to Other Constitutional Rights (2018) (discussing the relationship between freedom of speech and other rights, with a focus on current constitutional controversies)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. ICON-S invites submissions of panel proposals and abstracts for the 2019 Annual Conference on “Public Law in Times of Change”, which will take place on July 1-3 in Santiago de Chile. Abstracts or panel proposals must be submitted through the ICON-S website by March 9, 2019.
  2. The Inaugural Conference of the ICON-S Italian Chapter will be held in Rome on November 23-24, 2019.
  3. The European Journal of International Law is calling for paper proposals for its 30th anniversary Symposium on “International Law and Democracy Revisited”. Abstracts of 350-500 words must be send to by January 15, 2019.
  4. The King’s Law Journal is calling for abstracts for a Special Issue on Environmental Justice and Anthropocene. The deadline for submission of abstract (to and is November 19, 2019.
  5. A Seminar on “Surveillance and the Prevention of Terrorism” will be held at Bocconi University on November 27, 2018.
  6. The University of Exeter invites submission of abstracts for the Conference “Legal Resilience in an Era of Hybrid Threats”, to be held on April 8-9, 2019. Abstracts (max 600 words) must be sent along with a short CV to by November 30, 2018.
  7. The Asian Law Institute of the National University of Singapore invites submissions of abstracts for the 16th ASLI Conference on “The Rule of Law and the Role of Law in Africa”, to be held in Singapore on June 12-13, 2019. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is December 3, 2018.
  8. The T.M.C. Asser Instituut is seeking applications for an internship in public international law with a focus on new technologies. Applications must be sent to NYIL@asser.nlno later than December 3, 2018.
  9. The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law is seeking applications for a residential fellowship beginning as early as February 1, 2019. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, beginning December 3, 2018. All documents must be sent to
  10. The University of Illinois College of Law, The University of Bologna School of Law and the John Hopkins Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic development welcome proposals for the Conference “Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives”, to be held in Chicago on April 29-30, 2019. The deadline for sending proposal ( is December 15, 2018.
  11. The Research Group on Constitutional Responses to Terrorism within the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) encourages submissions of abstracts for its 2019 Annual Workshop, to be held at Bocconi University, Milan (Italy) on June 13-14, 2019. Abstracts of max. 500 words, along with a CV, must be sent no later than December 15, 2018 to
  12. The International Academy of Comparative Law is launching the Ius Comparatum Journal. The editorial board welcomes abstracts for articles, to be submitted by January 6, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Philip Allot, UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement: A Legal Speculation, UK Constitutional Law Association
  2. Alexander Hoogenboom, CJEU Case Law on EU Citizenship: Normatively Consistent? Unlikely! – A Response to Davies’ ‘Has the Court Changed, or Have the Cases?’, EU Law Analysis
  3. Emilio Peluso Neder Meyer and Felipe Guimarães Assis Tirado, Brazil Reckoning with its Past in Present Days: Will Judges Check Bolsonaro’s Government?, I-CONnect Blog
  4. Kim L. Scheppele, Laurent Pech, Daniel Kelemen, Never Missing an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity: The Council Legal Service Opinion on the Commission’s EU Budget-Related Rule of Law Mechanism, Verfassungsblog
  5. Erik Shaw, Mandatory Reselection: Lessons from Labour’s Past, The Constitution Unit
  6. Marco Antonio Simonelli, Quod Licet Iovi Non Licet Bovi. The Appointment Process to the Court of Justice and the Reform of Judiciary in Poland, European Law Blog
  7. Arianna Vedaschi and Chiara Graziani, Extraordinary Renditions: Old Stories, New Trends, IACL-AIDC Blog
  8. Tom G. Daly, Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC): Fourth Monthly Update November 2018, Verfassungsblog
  9. Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC), Bibliography Update, November 2018, DEM-DEC
  10. Lila Margalit, Israel’s Supreme Court Hands a Victory to Lara Alqasem, But the Future of Foreigners’ Free Speech Remains Uncertain, Lawfare
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Published on November 19, 2018
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Informal Networks and Judicial Institutions: Comparative Perspectives–A New Special Issue in The International Political Science Review

Björn Dressel, Australian National University, Raul A. Sanchez Urribarri, La Trobe University, Alexander Stroh, University of Bayreuth

We are pleased to share with the scholarly community the publication of a special issue of the International Political Science Review – Informal Networks and Judicial Institutions: Comparative Perspectives (Vol. 39, No 5, 2018).

Throughout the world, judicial institutions – especially courts of last resort – have become central to political life. Yet, despite a growing body of scholarship, there is still considerable debate about how and why judges make decisions, and under what conditions courts protect rights and control power, across countries and over time.

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Call for Papers: European Journal of International law

International Law and Democracy Revisited: The EJIL 30th Anniversary Symposium

EJIL was founded in 1989, coinciding with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the attendant excitement encapsulated by that well-known optimistic/hubristic End of History phraseology, with predictions of liberal democracy to become regnant in the world and a New International Legal Order to replace the old First World-Second World-Third World distinctions.

Thirty years later the state of democracy, whether liberal or social or any other variant, seems to be far from sanguine.

Here is but a partial list of the challenges to democracy in the contemporary world:

  • The advent of so-called ‘illiberal democracies’
  • The crisis and breakdown of trust within established democracies
  • The reality or otherwise of states with ‘formal democracy’ often reduced to little more than elections, more or less free
  • The accountability and rule of law concerns, famously termed GAL concerns, which transnational governance regimes raise as indispensable features of democracy
  • The persistent ‘democracy deficit’ or ‘political deficit’ of the European Union and similar Organizations
  • The emergence of the global ‘data economy’ with mega platforms calling into question basic assumptions about territory and jurisdiction and calling into question the ability of democratic regimes to reign in such platforms increasingly questioned
  • The impact of both financial markets and international monetary bodies on the internal margin of manoeuvre and democratic choices of economic management
  • Democracy and global inequality: The relationship between counter-democratic ideologies, legal reforms and political processes at the domestic and global levels and social and economic processes such as the shrinking middle class and the lasting ramifications of the 2008 economic crisis.

The list of challenges could go on quite a bit. The international legal order itself has come under stress and the interaction, descriptively and prescriptively, of international law with the question of ‘democracy’ has become complex, even messy.

We are issuing here a Call for Papers. International lawyers from practice and academia as well as scholars from related disciplines are invited to send an abstract of 350-500 words setting out the prospective papers they would like to submit for inclusion in the symposium dealing with any theme that comes within the overarching topic of International Law and Democracy. We will accept proposals for research papers of 10-12K words as well as shorter Think Pieces of 5-7K words.

The deadline for the Abstracts is 15 January 2019. Draft papers of those abstracts selected by a committee composed of members of the Editorial Boards of EJIL will be expected by 15 June. We are considering a workshop in Madrid in early July to discuss the drafts. Final version of papers will be expected by 15 September.

Abstracts are to be sent to EJIL’s Managing Editor at by 15 January 2019.

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Published on November 14, 2018
Author:          Filed under: Developments