Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law and

I-CONnect Global Symposium: Five Perspectives on the Brazilian Abortion Ruling

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

Last month, we announced that I-CONnect would host a special symposium on a recent abortion decision in Brazil. In an historic ruling for the region, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Brazil held that a criminal prohibition on procuring an abortion before the end of the first trimester violates the fundamental rights of women as well as the principle of proportionality.

Writing for the majority, Justice Luís Roberto Barroso wrote that “women bear alone the integral burden of pregnancy.” He continued: “Therefore there will only exist gender equality if women have the right to decide whether to continue a pregnancy or not.”

Today we are pleased to publish a special global symposium on this abortion ruling. The symposium features comments from scholars around the world on this controversial and important decision–controversial because the Court split 3 to 2 and the judgment has stirred much debate among lawmakers, and important because the judgment has broken new ground in the region.

First, immediately below, we publish the syllabus of the case. The full judgment, translated into English, is available here: Brazilian Abortion Ruling–Translation. We then publish comments from the following scholars:

  1. Rebecca J. Cook and Bernard M. Dickens, both of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto;
  2. Chao-ju Chen, National Taiwan University College of Law;
  3. Grégor Puppinck, Director of the European Centre for Law and Justice in Strasbourg, France;
  4. Debora Diniz from the University of Brasilia and NYU Law School, and Christine Ricardo from the Yale Law School; and
  5. Rachel Rebouché, Temple University Beasley School of Law

We thank Justice Barroso and his Chambers for generously providing, at our request, the syllabus and translation for his majority opinion in this case. 

Read the rest of this entry…

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Published on March 7, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Reviews

Call for Abstracts: Public Law and the New Populism

–Daniel Francis, International Journal of Constitutional Law

The International Journal of Constitutional Law (I-CON) is pleased to announce a call for abstracts for a workshop on “Public Law and the New Populism” to take place at NYU School of Law on September 15, 2017.  The workshop will be co-hosted by the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice at NYU.

The focus of the workshop will be on the relationship between the current populist turn in national and international politics, on the one hand, and legal norms and institutions on the other.  The aim is to bring together constitutional, international and public law scholars to investigate some of the distinctively legal dimensions of the populist wave sweeping the world’s democracies.  Each paper will be presented and discussed by an assigned commentator and other participants.  Following the workshop, there may be an opportunity for a subset of the papers to be submitted to the I-CON journal as a proposed symposium issue.

Abstracts of between 250 and 750 words should be submitted on or before March 31, 2017, by email to Daniel Francis at, with “Populism Workshop Submission” in the subject line.  Final papers will be due by August 15, 2017.  We hope to attract a genuinely diverse group of scholars in all respects.  We particularly welcome proposals which address of one or more of the following questions:

  1. One phenomenon or several?  What might be the shared or unifying dimensions, if any, of the challenges presented to constitutional and public law and institutions by the recent populist turn across the US, Europe, and parts of Asia?  Are there common problems and questions across jurisdictions or are these different and distinct phenomena?   Are they similar or different to those raised by earlier populist movements in Latin America and elsewhere?
  2. Which elements of the constitutional order are under strain?  Populist movements and populist leaders can present new challenges for the norms and institutions of public law: which aspects or elements of the constitutional and legal order will face the greatest strain in this new chapter of political history?
  3. Public law as a cause?  Does the rise of populism reflect a backlash against a systematic neglect of non-elite interests in or from constitutional and international law processes?  Have aspects of public law or its application played a role in bringing about this rise?
  4. Public law’s response.  Does (or should) the substance or application of public law — including its norms and its institutions — adapt in any ways to accommodate the phenomenon of populist politics?  Can (or should) public law become a point of resistance during periods of populist politics?  What are the implications of the populist turn for courts and the judiciary?
  5. What about international and transnational public law?  Can (or have) international or transnational legal norms and institutions responded in adequate ways to the strongly nationalist dimension of the populist turn?  Do international legal norms and institutions have a legitimate role to play in shaping, constraining, or reinforcing domestic political processes at such times?  More generally, what are the implications of the populist turn for law and legal institutions beyond the nation-state?
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Published on March 6, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

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

Special Announcement: ICON-S Mexican Chapter

We are happy to announce the establishment of the ICON Mexican Chapter founded by Micaela Alterio (professor of constitutional law at ITAM) and Roberto Niembro (clerk at the Mexican Supreme Court). The aim of the Mexican Chapter is to pursue the mission of ICON-S within Mexico and to promote the objectives and the values of ICON-S. In particular, the commitment to an inter-disciplinary approach to public law that engages constitutional, administrative and international law scholars and practitioners so as to better understand global and transnational legal developments. This year the Mexican Chapter will organize a national conference focus on the hundred-year-old Mexican Constitution with the participation of distinguished scholars, judges and governmental officials. Further information will be published soon. We encourage interested scholars and practitioners to become part of this new project. For more information, please contact Ana Micaela Alterio (, or Roberto Niembro (

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, Germany ruled in favor of “the right for a patient who is suffering and incurably ill to decide how and when their life should end” provided the patient “can freely express their will and act accordingly.”
  2. The Constitutional Court of Croatia ruled that the Yugoslav abortion law allowing a woman to terminate up to the 10th week of pregnancy does not breach the Constitution, but that the Parliament should pass a new and more detailed abortion legislation within two years.
  3. The Supreme Court of Nigeria declared free and compulsory basic education up to Junior Secondary School as an enforceable right for every child.
  4. The UK Supreme Court upheld the Government’s £18,600 income threshold that bars British workers’ foreign spouses entry into the UK, but judges also admitted it will continue to cause “significant hardship” for thousands of couples.
  5. The Supreme Court of India refused to allow abortion of a 23-week-old foetus although the foetus was diagnosed to suffer from Down syndrome.
  6. The High Court of Zimbabwe banned corporal punishment for children both at home and at school.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Uganda nullified all its prior interim orders not issued by a panel of five justices. Interim orders have been conventionally issued by a single justice.

In the News

  1. Catalonia prepares to vote in a referendum on independence from Spain this September.
  2. The Texas Supreme Court hears a challenge on same-sex marriage rights.
  3. The US Supreme Court declined hearing a direct challenge to the constitutionality of the death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment.
  4. The EU Parliament adopted a resolution on measures to temporarily introduce visas for American citizen.
  5. The US President Trump signed a bill to reauthorize the use of guns for mentally ill persons.
  6. Mexico amended articles 107 and 123 of the Constitution of the United Mexican States that deal with labor proceedings and collective bargaining.
  7. The Gambian Parliament removed the constitutional age limit on presidential elections candidates.
  8. The Constitution of Moldova was for the first time translated in the eight languages of ethnic minority groups, as well as in Braille alphabet.

New Scholarship

  1. Farrah Ahmed, The Autonomy Rationale for Religious Freedom, 80 The Modern Law (2017) (focusing on two tensions which have unappreciated implications for religious freedom jurisprudence, particularly that of the ECHR)
  2. Mohamed Arafa, The Prohibition of Wearing Veil in Public Schools in Egypt: An Analysis of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court jurisprudence, Revista De Investigacoes Constitutionais, 4 Journal of Constitutional Research (2017) (examining the decision of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt that upheld the prohibition on wearing veil in public schools)
  3. Eoin Carolan, Leaving Behind the Commonwealth Model of Rights Review: Ireland as an Example of Collaborative Constitutionalism (2017) (developing a model of collaborative constitutionalism as an alternative to conventional models of constitutional review)
  4. Lorne Neudorf, Taking Comparative Law Seriously: Rethinking the Supreme Court of Canada’s Modern Approach to Statutory Interpretation, Statute Law Review (2017) (proposing a principled approach to enhance the value and legitimacy of the use of foreign law by the Supreme Court of Canada)
  5. Lorne Neudorf, The Dynamics of Judicial Independence: A Comparative Study of Courts in Malaysia and Pakistan (2017) (examining the principle of judicial independence in a comparative perspective)
  6. Neil C Weare, Equally American: Amending the Constitution to Provide Voting Rights in U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia, 46 Stetson Law Review (2017) (proposing a voting rights amendment to the US Constitution that would provide full political participation and representation to citizens living in the Territories and the District of Columbia)
  7. David Stratas, The Canadian Law of Judicial Review: Some Doctrine and Cases (2017) (providing an up-to-date summary of the Canadian law of judicial review)
  8. Jaakko Husa, Hindu Law – Stateless Law?, 62 Scandinavian Studies in Law (2017) (discussing Hindu Law as a form of global law or law without the State)
  9. Tobias Lock, The Influence of EU law on Strasbourg Doctrines, European Law Review (2107 forthcoming) (identifying the distinct areas of influence of the EU law on doctrines of the European Court of Human Rights)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The European Commission Erasmus Program on “Parliamentary Procedures and Legislative Drafting” (EUROPADRA) invites applications for its joint Masters are open. Application deadline is 13 March 2017.
  2. Graz Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Law, University of Graz invites applications for two university Assistants without doctorate. German language skills are not required. Application deadline 22 March 2017.
  3. The European Law Institute invites submissions for its inaugural ELI European Young Lawyers Award. The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2017.
  4. The Center for Ethics and Law of the Life Science, the Human Rights Center, and Law and Global Justice of Durham Law School invite submission for a two-day conference on the topic “Defending Individual Rights,” to be held in Durham on 8-9 Mar 2017.
  5. The University of Otago invites submission and panel proposals for its conference to be held on 6-9 December 2017 in New Zealand.
  6. Curtin Law School invites submissions for its XIV Annual Australian Property Law  Teachers Conference on “Beyond Sole Ownership,” to be held on September 27-28, 2017.
  7. The University of Richmond School of Law invites proposal for its inaugural Mid-Atlantic Junior Faculty Forum in Richmond, VA, on May 10-11, 2017.
  8. The Italian Society of International Law and European Law invites submissions for its XXII Annual Conference on “Migration and International Law: Beyond the Emergency?” to be held on June 8-9, 2017.
  9. The Institutions and International Law in Eastern Europe, Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe invites submissions for a workshop to be held on 28-29 September, 2017.
  10. Nova Law School invites submissions for its conference on “The Federal Experience of the European Union,” to be held on May 22-23, 2017. The deadline for submission of abstracts is April 1, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Adam Liptak, A Constitutional Right to Facebook and Twitter? Supreme Court Weighs In, The New York Times
  2. Nikos Skoutaris, Limiting the Constitutional Space of Scotland and Northern Ireland, Verfassungsblog
  3. Ruthann Robson, Florida State Judge Grants Writ of Habeas Corpus to Immigration Detainee on Tenth Amendments Grounds, Constitutional Law Prof Blog
  4. Thomas Verellen, Opinion 3/15 on the Marrakehs Treaty: ECJ Reaffirms Narrow ‘Minimum Harmonisation’ exception to ERTA principle, European Law Blog
  5. Linda Greenhouse, Outsourcing the Constitution, The New York Times
  6. Catherine Bond, Constitutional and community aspects of flag burning in Australia, AUSPUBLAW
  7. Laura Cahillane, The Resurrection of Tribunals in Ireland? Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Disclosures Tribunal, Constitution Project
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Published on March 6, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Five Questions with Allan Hutchinson

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

“Five Questions with … ” is a brand new feature at I-CONnect. We will periodically invite a public law scholar to answer five questions about his or her research.

This edition features Allan Hutchinson, Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School. His full bio follows below:

A member of Osgoode’s faculty since 1982, Professor Allan Hutchinson served as Associate Dean from 1994 to 1996 and later, in 2003, he was named Associate Dean (Research, Graduate Studies and External Relations). Professor Hutchinson is a legal theorist with an international reputation for his original and provocative writings. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2004 and named a Distinguished Research Professor by York University in 2006.  His research interests are law and politics; legal theory; the legal profession; constitutional law; torts; jurisprudence; civil procedure; and racism and law. As well as publishing in most of the common-law world’s leading law journals, he has written or edited many books. Much of his work has been devoted to examining the failure of law to live up to its democratic promise. His latest publications are Evolution and the Common Law (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and The Companies We Keep: Corporate Governance for a Democratic Society (Irwin Law, 2006). In 2007, he received the University-wide Teaching Award and was a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School.

1. Tell us about something you are working on right now.

I am pulling together essays–old, new and revised–as part of a project entitled “Too Late to Stop Now: Life, Law and Lore.”  It is an effort to see the connecting threads, if any, in my work. I want to take seriously my own challenge to others to look “where they stand” and to examine the link between (auto)biography and scholarship.

2. How and when do you write? Do you have a routine or do you write whenever and wherever you find the time?

Whenever I get the chance. No routine really other than me, my laptop and the music of Van Morrison.

3. Whose scholarship jumps to the top of your reading list when she or he publishes something new? 

I suppose it has to be Richard Posner–he is never less than provocative in all the right ways. I try to keep up with new twists and turns in legal theory.

4. Is there an article or book that influenced you as a student and that continues today to be an important reference point for you?

No question, it was by “What is History?” by Edward Hallet Carr. I was given it by a high school teacher and its theme that what you see depends on why you look and where you stand has influenced and shaped my approach to law, teaching and scholarship. There is no “view from nowhere” and any claim to appropriate that is misleading and often self-serving.

5. What are some of the big questions ripe for inquiry in your area of research interest?

Why do we keep asking “what is law?”? Trying to understand that project and why it has such a tenacious hold on the jurisprudential imagination remains top of the list. It is much better to generate and answer a very different set of practical questions about law, justice and their workings–legal theory is simply another form of situated practice.

BONUS Question

6. Do you have any advice to share with younger scholars in public law, say a doctoral candidate or a junior faculty member?

Avoid perfectionism, know that your views will change, treat writing as a daily practice, and never read one more piece simply to put off writing.

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Published on March 3, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Reviews

Judicial Backlash in Inter-American Human Rights Law?

Jorge Contesse, Assistant Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School

Argentina has one of the strongest monist constitutional practices in Latin America—a region where incorporation of international human rights law into domestic constitutional arrangements is already the norm.  In 1994, its legislature granted constitutional status to a number of international human treaties.  A decade later, relying on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ interpretation of international norms, the Supreme Court of Argentina ruled that its domestic amnesty law, adopted in the mid-1980s by a military junta but now in violation of Argentina’s international treaties, was null and void.  In this way, Argentina served as an example to its peers in its commitment to the inter-American human rights system.

On February 14, 2017, however, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that could send shock waves into the field of regional human rights law.  The ruling concerned the implementation of a 2011 Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ decision against Argentina, in which the Court found the state in violation of the American Convention on Human Rights.  The reason?  In 2001, Argentina’s Supreme Court affirmed a civil judgment against two publishers, Fontevecchia and D’Amico, for running stories about an unacknowledged child of then-president Carlos Menem.[1]  The journalists filed a case against Argentina before the inter-American human rights system.  Ten years later, the Inter-American Court ordered the state to “revoke the decision in its entirety.”[2]  Argentina’s executive branch requested the Supreme Court to comply with the Inter-American Court’s remedy—that is, to revoke its 2001 ruling.

The Supreme Court, however, declined to do so.  It reasoned that the Inter-American Court lacked the authority to order the revocation of a domestic judgment, as doing so exceeded its powers under the American Convention.[3]  Legal scholars and commentators quickly scrutinized the Court’s judgment.[4]  Human rights organizations decried the decision, claiming that the Court had “unlatched” Argentina from the inter-American human rights system.[5]  And a current member of the Inter-American Court, an Argentinean national who also served on the country’s Supreme Court, rebuked the decision in the press.[6]

These criticisms suggest that Argentina, a country once so supportive of the international system, is now abruptly compromising it.  Yet, to fully understand the reasoning and impact of Argentina’s Supreme Court’s decision, we must consider its crucial aspects in greater detail.

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Published on March 2, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Russian Supreme Court Quashes Conviction of Ildar Dadin

–Dimitry Mednikov, Litigation Unit, Institute for Law and Public Policy

On 22 February 2017, the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (hereinafter – “Supreme Court of Russia”), enforcing the judgment of the Constitutional Court of Russia (hereinafter – “RCC”) of 10 February 2017 No. 2-П, heard a motion to reopen a criminal case against Russian activist Ildar Dadin. Mr. Dadin had been convicted on 7 December 2015 under Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code for repeated violations of statutory rules on holding public assemblies, and thereafter sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.

The Presidium of the Supreme Court of Russia held that:

  1. The criminal case against Mr. Dadin was to be reopened in the light of new circumstances;
  2. Mr. Dadin’s conviction by the Basmanny District Court of Moscow of 7 December 2015, upheld by the Moscow City Court on 31 March 2016, was to be quashed;
  3. The criminal case against Mr. Dadin was to be dismissed;
  4. Mr. Dadin was to be released and granted a right to compensation.

Mr. Dadin participated in the hearing via a video link. At the beginning of hearing, he petitioned the Supreme Court of Russia to grant him a right to be physically present at the hearing. The Supreme Court declined to do so.

Read the rest of this entry…

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Published on March 1, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Announcing the Admin Law Blog

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

I-CONnect is pleased to welcome the Admin Law Blog to the blogosphere. The blog is edited by Farrah Ahmed (Melbourne), Swati Jhaveri (NUS) and Adam Perry (Oxford).

The Admin Law Blog will be online starting tomorrow–on Wednesday, March 1. Here is an announcement about the blog and what it will cover:

The Admin Law Blog is a forum for the discussion of ideas and developments of interest to scholars of administrative law across the common law world. It aims to connect administrative law scholars to each other and to contribute to the growing field of comparative administrative law. The blog is edited by Farrah Ahmed (Melbourne Law School), Swati Jhaveri (National University of Singapore), and Adam Perry (University of Oxford).

This blog is an incubation site for scholarly projects and legal reform proposals. It will feature both analysis pieces as well as a regular ‘roundup’ of developments in the field.  We launch the blog with a topical post by Susan Rose-Ackerman on ‘Administrative Law, the Common Law and the US Presidential System’ comparing separation of powers and checks and balances in the US to other common law parliamentary democracies. Paul Daly’s post on ‘Voidness, Voidability and Values‘ offers an account of the distinction between unlawful decisions that are void and those that are voidable.

We hope that this blog is a useful tool for exchange between communities of comparative administrative law scholars. We welcome submissions, replies and comments on posts.

Submissions are very welcome at Follow us on Twitter at @adminlawblog.

Please join us in welcoming the Admin Law Blog to the world!

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Published on February 28, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments

What’s New in Public Law

–Sandeep Suresh, LL.M in Comparative Constitutional Law (Central European University, Budapest)

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in public law. “Developments” may include a selection of links to news, high court decisions, new or recent scholarly books and articles, and blog posts from around the public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Indian Supreme Court ordered search engines like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to set up in-house committees to block keywords and advertisements related to prenatal sex determination.
  2. The North Gauteng High Court in South Africa held that the national government cannot issue a notice of withdrawal from the International Criminal Court without parliamentary approval.
  3. The Constitutional Court of South Korea has set February 27, 2017 as the date for final hearing in the impeachment trial of the President.
  4. The Bulgarian Constitutional Court rendered unenforceable a legal provision in the nation’s Electoral Code that introduced compulsory voting.
  5. The United States Supreme Court reversed the death sentence of a black person convicted for murder because sentencing was influenced by racial bias. The apex court has sent the case back for re-trial.

In the News

  1. The German Constitutional Court judges drafted a non-binding Code of Conduct to govern the post-retirement assignments of the Court’s judges.
  2. Members of the French National Assembly referred the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada to the French Constitutional Council because the Agreement violates the nation’s Constitution.
  3. The Brazilian Federal Senate confirmed the nomination of Alexandre de Moraes (the current Justice Minister) to the Supreme Court.
  4. The Theresa May Government in the United Kingdom indicated that a new Bill of Rights will be drafted only after the completion of Brexit.
  5. Malawi amends its Constitution to ban child marriages.

New Scholarship

  1. Luis Roberto Barroso, Reason Without Vote: The Representative and Majoritarian Function of Constitutional Courts, in Democratizing Constitutional Law: Perspectives on Legal Theory and Legitimacy of Constitutionalism (Springer 2016) (discussing the importance of the representative role played by constitutional courts, a subject that has been neglected by constitutional scholars in general, with few exceptions)
  2. Vlad Perju, Proportionality and Stare Decisis: Proposal for a New Structure, in Vicki Jackson and Mark Tushnet eds., Proportionality: New Frontiers, New Challenges (Cambridge University Press 2017) (arguing that a change in the formal structure of proportionality analysis can increase the chance of proportionality test’s successful transplant into American constitutional law)
  3. Eric Posner, Liberal Internationalism and the Populist Backlash, University of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 606 (explaining how populists around the world have targeted international law and see international law as a device used by global elites to dominate policy making and benefit themselves at the expense of the common people)
  4. Harry Hobbs, Andrew Lynch and George Williams, The High Court Under Chief Justice Robert French, 91 Australian Law Journal 53 (2017) (examining the constitutional law jurisprudence evolved by the High Court of Australia under Chief Justice Robert French, who retired in January, 2017).
  5. Katie R. Eyer, The Canon of Rational Basis Review, Notre Dame Law Review, 2017 (rorthcoming) (elucidating the problems with the current understanding of the real role of rational basis review)
  6. Reva Siegel, Same-Sex Marriage and Backlash: Consensus, Conflict, and Constitutional Culture, Yale Law School (February 9, 2017) (examining claims about backlash in the debate over same-sex marriage, and the popular and academic assumptions about courts on which they are based)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Columbia Law School is inviting student papers for its inaugural ‘Human Rights Student Paper Symposium’ to be held on April 7, 2017. Students must submit their papers or works-in-progress to by March 1, 2017.
  2. The Jean Monnet Network LAWTTIP is inviting paper proposals for the ‘First Joint Conference’ on ‘The TTIP and Beyond: Negotiating and implementing the EU’s Free Trade Agreements in an uncertain environment’ to be held in Rennes on June 15-16, 2017. Proposals must be sent to by March 15, 2017.
  3. The WZB Berlin Social Science Center, the European University Institute and the London School for Economics and Political Science are inviting submissions for the ‘Inaugural Annual European Junior Faculty Forum for Public Law and Jurisprudence’ to be held on June 28-29, 2017. Interested scholars must submit their CV, draft article and its abstract to by April 15, 2017.
  4. The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law is inviting paper abstracts for the Second Annual Administrative Law New Scholarship Roundtable on June 27-28, 2017. Interested scholars must submit abstracts to Chris Walker at by March 17, 2017.
  5. The International Journal of Transitional Justice is inviting submissions for its 2-18 Special Issue on ‘Transitional Justice from the Margins: Intersections of Identities, Power and Human Rights’. Interested scholars must submit their papers online by July 1, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Gautam Bhatia, Upsetting a very fine balance, The Hindu
  2. Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, In Judges We Trust? A long overdue Paradigm Shift within the Polish Judiciary (Part I), Verfassungsblog
  3. Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, In Judges We Trust? A long overdue Paradigm Shift within the Polish Judiciary (Part II), Verfassungsblog
  4. George Letsas, The Constitution and the Folly of Majoritarianism, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  5. Janet Albrechtsen, There is no room for section 18c in a truly liberal Australia, The Australian
  6. Alok Prasanna Kumar, Jayalalithaa DA case: Supreme Court judgment shows judges’ tendency to be verbose in ‘visible cases’, Firstpost
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Published on February 27, 2017
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Of the Politics of Resentment and European Disintegration: Are the European Peoples Ready to Keep Paddling Together? Part I

Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, Professor of Law and Director of the Department of European and Comparative Law at the University of Gdańsk, Poland*

The Politics of Resentment. What is in a Name?

It is trite to say that today “resentment” sweeps across Europe. Yet beyond this sweeping statement, the concept itself, its consequences and modus operandi, are far from clear. We continue to lack conceptual framework to deal with it. We tend to adopt an intuitive understanding of the term and equate it with the politics of protest, contestation and revolt against mainstream politics. In this traditional sense resentment is often analyzed together with populism and the two are even used interchangeably.

Just like populism, resentment is not only anti-elitist, but also anti-pluralist.[1] Populism appeals to resentment to exclude others from “the people” and claim that only “We” represent the real “We the People.” My argument is that for resentment to obtain, it must be qualified and be more than just a critique of the elites and the status quo.

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Published on February 26, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

Catalan Political Representatives Stand Criminal Trials

Antoni Abat i Ninet, Chair of Comparative Constitutional Law, University of Copenhagen – Denmark

The former President of Catalonia (sub-state entity) in Spain, Artur Mas, faces a criminal trial in Barcelona for organising a symbolic popular consultation on independence on 9 November 2014. The non-binding consultation was opposed by the Spanish government that challenged the Catalan Government’s decree calling for a consultation vote on independence in Spain’s Constitutional Court. The highest tribunal decided two articles of the decree were unconstitutional. The first one related to the regulation of calling the referendum and the second one, because according to the Court, the popular participatory consultation was indeed a referendum and therefore the Catalan Government could not go beyond its competencies. The decision was made unanimously by the 12 members of the Court, which is controlled by a conservative majority of members appointed by the currently-ruling People’s Party–a Court that has been particularly hostile on distinctive identity claims. (Abat Ninet – Gardner, Int J Const Law (2016) 14 (2): 378-410).

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Published on February 25, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Developments