The Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice at NYU School Law will host a two-day symposium – Football Feminism: Global Governance Perspectives – on February 24 & 25, 2020. The symposium will bring together scholars and practitioners from around the world to critically examine the transnational system of governance that regulates football (soccer) through the lens of gender. The presentation and discussion of interdisciplinary research (works-in-progress) on this topic aims to elucidate the operation of discrimination in and through the structures, rules, and practices of football governance; to assess various understandings of, and approaches to, advancing gender equality in this context; and to contemplate innovative ideas for feminist reform or reimagination of an increasingly complex and globalized system of significant social, economic, and political import.
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.
The Constitutional Court of Malawi, in a landmark decision, annulled last year’s elections due to the evidence of widespread irregularities and called for a new ballot.
The European Court of Human Rights rejected the request to impose temporary measures which would ban the Montenegrin state bodies from implementing the Law on Religious Freedoms.
Armenia will hold a referendum on constitutional amendment curbing powers of the Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court of Spain declared unconstitutional the article of the Spanish Law on Civil Procedure (LEC), which did not allow an appeal against the individual decisions of the Ministry of Justice lawyers.
The Constitutional Court of Turkey ruled that the lower courts cannot dispute its authority by rejecting to implement a decision, which ordered the release of the journalist Mehmet Altan.
A Polish judge who
challenged the government’s recent changes to the judiciary got suspended and hit by a 40% salary cut.
In the past 20
years in Colombia, almost 1700 rape victims faced illegal abortion charges. The statistics were generated on request of the
Constitutional Court which is to revisit the illegality of abortion.
announced that the next population census will include a third gender option,
which is believed to expand social benefits to the LGBTQ+ community.
The US District
Court for the Fifth Circuit heard oral arguments over the city of
Natchitoches’ refusal to allow the Louisiana division of the Sons of
Confederate Veterans (SCV) to carry Confederate flags during the 2015 Christmas
Canadian Federal Court of Appeal dismissed
a recent complaint from First Nations peoples seeking to delay expansion of the
Trans Mountain pipeline. The applicants claimed that the officials failed to consult
with them over the Trans Mountain pipeline project properly, but the judges
concluded that First Nations “cannot tactically use the consultation process as
a means to try to veto it.”
Brandon L. Bartels, Christopher L. Johnson, Curbing the Court: Why the Public Constrains Judicial Independence (forthcoming 2020) (arguing that the citizens are not primary defenders of the judiciary, instead, they seek to limit it, in line with their political preferences, particularly in the times of the sharp partisan polarization)
Weitseng Chen, Hualing Fu (eds.), Authoritarian Legality in Asia: Formation, Development and Transition (forthcoming 2020) (explaining, through the comparison of six Asian jurisdictions, why the authoritarian regimes still need a degree of legality and examining what kind of struggles these countries would face if they transitioned to liberal democratic system)
Lael K Weis, Legislative Constitutional Baselines (2019) (identifying “baselines” as a distinctive issue in constitutional interpretation, and examining an important but under-theorised way that courts define them: namely, by adopting legislatively–defined norms or standards)
(Gruppo di ricerca e formazione sul diritto publico e europeo) and University
of Siena invite
submissions from young researchers for the workshop on the topic “Framing and
Diagnosing Constitutional Degradation: A Comparative Perspective” which will be
held on June 22-23, 2020 in Siena. The abstracts (max. 500 words), together
with a CV, should be submitted no later than May 31.
University of London invites
submissions for the 2020 SOAS Postgraduate Colloquium on “Changing Dimensions
of Rule of Law: From Theory to Practice,” which will be held on June 10, 2020.
The deadline for the abstract (max.500 words) and short CV is February 20,
Law Department of Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique (UPT) and the
Instituto Jurídico Portucalense invite
submissions for the 2020 Congress on “Have Fundamental Rights gone too far?” that
will be held on May 7-8, 2020.
Interested scholars should submit an abstract (max.750 words),
publishable CV and a publishable photo no later than March 1, 2020.
Court of South Africa invites
applications from law graduates or those in the final year of their studies
interested in serving as Law Clerks. The deadline for the application is March
International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) invites
applications for an IACL roundtable on “Democracy 2020: Assessing
Constitutional Decay, Breakdown and Renewal Worldwide.” which will be held in
Melbourne on December 10-12, 2020. The deadline for the submission of an
abstract (max.300 words) is May 1, 2020.
—Richard Albert, William Stamps Farish Professor in Law and Professor of Government, The University of Texas at Austin
In “Five Questions” here at I-CONnect, we invite a public law scholar to answer five questions about scholarship.
This edition of “Five Questions” features a short video interview with Felicia Caponigri, Director of the Program on Intellectual Property and Technology Law at Notre Dame Law School. A comparative art law scholar, her research explores links between cultural property and intellectual property in Italian and U.S. law.
One of her papers is “The Ethics of the International Display of Fashion in the Museum,” available for free download here.
To nominate someone for a future edition of “Five Questions,” please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome all nominations. We are especially eager to receive nominations of early-career scholars and women.
It is, we believe, unprecedented
that both Editors-in-Chief and the entire Editorial and Scientific Advisory
Board of a learned journal should resign en masse in protest at the high-handed
behavior of the commercial publisher. But that is what has happened at the
European Law Journal in their dispute with their publishers Wiley Publishing.
The statement of the Editors in
Chief of the European Law Journal is appended below.
Between the two of us, Editors in Chief of ICON (the International Journal of Constitutional Law published by OUP) we have clocked dozens of years serving as Editors and members of Editorial and Advisory Boards of at least two dozen legal journals. We can safely say that never before have we seen even remotely the like of this. By ‘this’ we do not just mean the mass resignation, but the entire approach of Wiley to the relationship between a commercial publisher and the academics – the editors, editorial boards and authors – who actually make the journal not only an academic and intellectual success, but also give it monetary value for its publisher. The journal generates hundreds of thousands of euros in annual revenue, and Wiley itself estimated its monetary value in the millions. You would expect some respect for the value of the academic world which generate these profits for them, would you not?
—Richard Albert, William Stamps Farish Professor in Law and Professor of Government, The University of Texas at Austin
We are once again inviting our readers to express an interest in reviewing public law books here at I-CONnect.
We are pleased to promote new books to our readers in this forum. We welcome books from all scholars and publishers. We especially value the opportunity to showcase books from women and early-career scholars.
Here, below, is the list of books we have most recently received at I-CONnect for this purpose.
Please complete this questionnaire by February 9 if you would like to review one of these books. The questionnaire is available here. confirmation will follow. Preference will be given to early-career scholars and first-time I-CONnect contributors.
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.
The Federal Constitutional Court
of Germany ruled that the
extradition of a Turkish national with Kurdish ethnicity suspected of
committing a criminal offence, may raise the risk of a political prosecution, and
therefore it violates German law and international law obligations.
The Constitutional Court of
Lithuania is called upon to
clarify the effect of UN committee rulings on domestic cases of judicial review.
The Constitutional Court of South
Africa held that the
hierarchy during the retrenchment consultation process does not limit the right
to fair labour practices.
The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe delivered a
landmark ruling noting that all debts owed in US dollars before February 2019
must be paid in the local currency at the rate of 1:1.
The Constitutional Court of Malta
found that the former Minister of Justice
had violated freedom of expression for reordering, more than once, the clearing
up of a journalist memorial.
The US Supreme Court agreed to
the expansion of the notion of “public
charge” in immigration policy standards.
In the News
European Parliament has voted to
ratify the Brexit
withdrawal agreement by an overwhelming majority of 621 votes to 49.
The Constitutional Court of
Georgia received a petition demanding the abolition of a criminal penalty for growing
The lower chamber of the Romanian
legislature adopted a draft law repealing the special
pension law for top public servants and high
The President of Abkhazia stepped
down after anti-government protests and the Supreme Court
ruling on the legitimacy of the election.
The Prime Minister of Australia has
called for a national
state of emergency to deal quickly with bush fires
and other natural disasters across the country.
Adam S. Chilton and Mila Versteeg, When Constitutional Rights Matter (forthcoming 2020) (arguing for the practical relevance of enforcing certain constitutional rights on the road to a wealthier democracy)
Mordechai Kremnitzer, Talya Steiner, and Andrej Lang (eds.), Proportionality in Action: Comparative and Empirical Perspectives on the Judicial Practice (forthcoming 2020) (offering a comparative study of the proportionality doctrine based on six different jurisdictions)
The International Association of
Constitutional Law (IACL) invites applications
for the first edition of its Summer School on “Algorithmic
State, Market and Society,” (FLOS) that will be held in
Florence on July 13-17, 2020. The deadline for applications is April 10, 2020.
Luiss University invites
candidates to apply
for the position of Visiting Professors and Visiting
Fellows in the academic year 2020-2021. The deadline for
applications is February 28, 2020, at noon (Italian local time).
Political Studies Association
(PSA), the ECPR Standing Group on Southern European Politics and the Aston
Centre for Europe invite
abstract submissions for the conference “The State of
democracy in Southern Europe: Democratic Decline or Resilience?,” to be held on June 25-26, 2020,
at Aston University, in the UK. Abstracts of 150-200 words should be sent no
later than March 16, 2020.
Maastricht University invites
applications for two Assistant Professors in the
area of EU Politics at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The deadline
for application is February 10, 2020.
Ghent Human Rights Centre (HRC) invites submissions for the
International Conference “The European Convention on Human
Rights turns 70,” which
will take place at Ghent University on November 18-20, 2020. The deadline for
submission is April 15, 2020.
Tilburg Law School invites
applications for three fully funded PhD positions. The deadline for submission
of applications is March 11, 2020.
The first year of the Bolsonaro government had poor results in the economy and was marked by a high degree of political instability. Although he managed to approve pension reform, Bolsonaro does not have a stable parliamentary base in the National Congress and has also lost a significant portion of his popularity, becoming the President with the worst approval rating in the first 12 months of government since redemocratization. Bolsonaro has raised questions about his capacity to manage the country and has sought to prop himself up on the support he still has in the business community and among his most faithful voters.
Despite these weaknesses, in his first year in office, Bolsonaro proved that he can cause serious damage to democracy. As we anticipated at the beginning of his government, Bolsonaro has sought to reduce the bureaucracy’s capacity to halt his arbitrary actions and has tried to limit the exercise of the freedoms of speech and association, following the democratic erosion script adopted by other authoritarian leaders.
Within the executive branch, Bolsonaro has interfered in the regulatory and oversight functions of public administration in favor of sectors that support him, even if the fulfillment of his interests contradicts the law. Environmental protection has been one of the most impaired areas in Brazil because of this policy. Until November 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture authorized the registration of 439 new pesticide products, maintaining the previous year’s increasing trend. These authorizations were facilitated by a set of changes in the evaluation and toxicological classification criteria adopted by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária – ANVISA). After visiting Brazil in December, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances, Baskut Tuncak, expressed his concern about the seriousness of the situation in the country.
In this judgment, the high court declared the existence of dangerous
climate change to be a proven fact, affirmed the legal obligation of the Dutch State
to protect the rights of its citizens with the due care and diligence of good
government and good administration, and established the absence of absolute and
unimpeded freedom of choice for the law in the exercise of existing discretion
in climate change decision-making.
—Alexander Hudson, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
note: This is one of our biweekly I-CONnect columns. For more information about
our four columnists for 2020, please click here.]
attention of many observers of law and politics is fixed on the impeachment
process now underway in the United States of America, it’s an interesting time
to think about the choices that constitution drafters make regarding the grounds
for removing the head of state. Part of the case in the US Senate has so far turned
on whether or not the conduct of President Donald J. Trump meets the standards
for impeachment and removal as described in Article II, § 4. As readers no doubt know, the kinds of
conduct that are described there are “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes
treason and bribery are reasonably clear, legal scholars have spilled considerable
quantities of ink in discussing precisely what might or might not be covered by
“high Crimes and Misdemeanors” (see a nice summary at the Lawfare blog). I have nothing particularly
original to contribute to the debate over whether or not a crime as otherwise
defined must have been committed for this part of the clause governing
impeachment to apply. However, I would like to draw our attention as scholars
of comparative constitutional law to the level of influence that this
particular formulation has had in the drafting of other constitutions, and to
think for a moment about how widespread the term may or may not be. The history
of the US drafting is itself interesting, as the drafters considered various
other ways in which potential grounds for impeachment might be described (see
The influence on the US Constitution as a general model for other states is quite well known (see especially Billias 1990, 2011). The US Constitution has also been a model for specific textual choices in a surprising number of other states. I have identified 49 national constitutions that copy at least one phrase from the US Constitution. The countries that copied more than one phrase are not unexpected, with former US colonies or dependencies particularly well represented (e.g. Philippines, Micronesia, Palau, Marshall Islands). The most popular phrase to copy is the guarantee of due process in the 14th Amendment. However, the impeachment process is not entirely neglected. Four constitutions copy part of the description of the impeachment process in Article I, § 3 (Argentina (Article 60), Republic of Korea (Article 65, cl. 4), Liberia (Article 43), and the Philippines (Article XI, § 3, cl. 7)).
—Claudia Marchese, Research Fellow in Comparative Public Law at the University of Florence (Italy)
Developments in Constitutional Courts
Turkish Constitutional Court’s decision n. 2017/22355 dated 26 December 2019 on
the violation of the applicants’ freedom of speech determined by the blocked
access to Wikipedia, was published in the Official Gazette on January 15, 2020.
Colombian Constitutional Court ordered the country’s ministry of justice, the Office
of the Attorney General and health professionals to provide a justification for
the criminalization of abortion in Colombia.
Constitutional Court ruled that key figures of the opposition Future Forward
Party are not guilty of opposing the monarchy.
Chilean Constitutional Tribunal stated the inadmissibility of filing a claim questioning
the constitutionality of the National Institute for Human Rights’ legitimacy to
lodge complaints against the crimes of torture.
Italian Constitutional Court by means of a deliberation, dated 8 January 2020, admitted
all non-profit social groups and all institutional bodies representing
collective or diffuse interests relevant to the questions discussed to present
brief written opinions, thus providing the Court with information that may
be useful in understanding and evaluating the case before it.
Lawyers of President Trump during the impeachment trial, tried to emphasize that the House of Representatives had never accused the President of committing an ordinary crime, so that the accuse of abuse of power could collapse.
The Iowa Senate Republicans launched a resolution to modify the Iowa Constitution establishing that it is not recognized or secured a right to abortion and it is not possible to use public funding for abortion.
The Commonwealth of Virginia voted on 15 January 2020 to amend the U.S. Constitution, so becoming the 38th and final state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment which prohibits gender discrimination.
On 8 January 2020 the new Montenegro law on Religious Freedom came into force. This law led to tensions between Montenegro and Serbia.
The Law and Rights section of the German Political Science association welcomes submissions for their next conference on “Autocratic Constitutionalism” to be held on 28-30 May 2020 at Free University Berlin. Abstracts of no more than 300 words must be submitted by 1 February 2020.
The International Association of Constitutional Law welcomes proposals addressing “Constitutional Identity: Contemporary Issues and Challenges” for the roundtable that will be held in St. Petersburg (Russia) on 10-13 June 2020. Applicants are required to submit their CV and abstracts in English by 23 March 2020.
The Australian National University (ANU) College of Law will host a conference on 8and 9 December 2020 on “Public Law and Inequalities”. The deadline for abstracts is 2 March 2020.
Law, Technology and Humans, a new international peer-reviewed journal, invites submissions for its Volume 2, Issue 1. The deadline for submission of articles is 10 February 2020.
The University of Bristol Law School will host the 2020 British Association of Comparative Law (BACL) Postgraduate research workshop on Comparative Law on 23 and 24 April 2020. Doctoral students interested in participating should submit an abstract by 14 February 2020.
The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law together with the Tilburg Sustainability Centre will host a workshop in Tilburg University on 10 September 2020 entitled “Enhancing Urban Climate Resilience: the role of law”. Everyone interested can submit an abstract by 2 March 2020.
Forced Migration Review Issue 64 – to be published in June 2020 – will include a feature on human trafficking and smuggling. The deadline for submission of articles is 17 February 2020.
We welcome substantive submissions via email on any subject of comparative public law. Submissions usually, though not always, range from 750 to 1000 words. All submissions will be reviewed in a timely fashion.
Please send submissions to email@example.com.