Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

The Game of Thrones, Courts, and the Democratic Process in Indonesia

Dian A H Shah, National University Singapore Faculty of Law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sonia Human, Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Law

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

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Published on June 18, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

What’s New in Public Law

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

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

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

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

In the News

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

New Scholarship

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

Calls for Papers and Announcements

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

Elsewhere Online

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

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

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

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

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Published on June 16, 2019
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Symposium–Introduction: Reconciling with the Past, Looking to the Future: The 2017 Croatian Constitutional Court’s Abortion Ruling

[Editor’s Note: I-CONnect is pleased to feature a three-part symposium on the Croatian Constitutional Court’s 2017 ruling on abortion. The symposium is kindly organized by Professor Djordje Gardasevic, who has written today’s Introduction to the symposium.]

Djordje Gardasevic, Associate Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law

Twenty-six years after it received the first in a series of motions for constitutional review, the Croatian Constitutional Court delivered its ruling on the constitutionality of the Act on Health Measures on the Exercise of the Right to the Freedom of Decision-Making on Giving Birth on February 21, 2017.[1] In this post, I discuss the Act, the Court’s judgment on it, and I introduce the symposium on the ruling.

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Published on June 15, 2019
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The Ties that Bind: Thailand’s Constitutional Court & the Military Junta

Khemtong Tonsakulrungruang, Chulalongkorn University and Björn Dressel, ANU

After five years of dormancy, the Thai Constitutional Court (CC) is alive again. As the 2019 election unfolded, it decided a series of high-profile cases, which confirm that the CC does not judge political cases impartially and is closely tied to the military establishment that has overseen Thailand’s democratic transgression.

Since 2006, Thailand is divided between the urban royalist ‘yellow shirts’ who support a military intervention and the pro-democratic ‘red shirts.’ Over the following tumultuous decade, most of the CC’s decisions were criticized for being anti-democratic, toppling red-shirt governments and consolidating military rule. 

How well-founded are these allegations? Legal scholars identify problematic readings of law and bending of legal doctrine towards the yellow shirts. Scholars of Thai politics have concluded that the judiciary is aligned with royalist elites. Yet the empirical evidence for either view is scant.

Drawing on our previous work, we draw attention to how the ideology of judges is embedded in the pro-authoritarian elite network. There have been deliberate attempts to recruit judges from a conservative elite coalition, thus diminishing the CC’s ability to be an impartial arbiter.

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Published on June 12, 2019
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What’s New in Public Law

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

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

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Supreme Court of Israel stayed an order to deport a Human Rights Watch official from the country. 
  2. The Constitutional Court of Romania postponed, for the fifth time, a decision on a controversy between the Parliament and the High Court regarding the makeup of the three-judge panels in charge of adjudicating corruption lawsuits.
  3. The U.S. Supreme Court placed a new limitation on the Chevron doctrine after reviewing a decision issued by the Social Security Administration.
  4. The Supreme Court of Canada held that over-policing of racial minorities without any reasonable suspicion constitutes a breach of the Charter.
  5. A submission to the International Criminal Court calls for the prosecution of some of the EU and its member states’ officials for the deaths of thousands of migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean.  
  6. The Constitutional Council of Algeria cancelled the next presidential election scheduled for July 4 2019, right after rejecting the presidential candidates’ applications.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Colombia struck down some provisions that prohibited the consumption of alcohol and certain drugs in public areas (such as public parks and the like). The Court held this measure was unreasonable as it unduly restricted consumers’ right to individual freedom. One Justice dissented, while two of them filed concurring votes.  
  8. The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland temporarily suspended the International Association of Athletics Federations’ ruling that prevented Caster Semenya from running some distances races.
  9. The Supreme Court of Argentina upheld a law that seeks to protect the country’s glaciers after a challenge was filed against the law by a mining company.
  10. The Supreme Court of Spain temporarily suspended the exhumation and transfer of the remains of former dictator Francisco Franco. 
  11. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the government’s request to speed up the review of DACA.
  12. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine is set to hear a petition to evaluate the constitutionality of the recent dissolution of the country’s Parliament.
  13. The Constitutional Council of Mozambique declared the nullity of the acts inherent to the loan contracted by Ematum SA, and the respective sovereign guarantee granted by the government in 2013.
  14. The Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong ruled that a same-sex couple has the same right to employment and tax benefits as an opposite-sex couple.
  15. The Supreme Court of Brazil held that state-owned companies do not require congressional authorization to sell their subsidiaries.        

In the News

  1. The presidents of the two chambers of the Brazilian Congress are confident that the pension reform, supported by President Jair Bolsonaro, will pass in the near future. 
  2. The President of the Supreme Court of Israel Esther Hayut and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked exchanged critical remarks against each other over their stances on the independence of the judiciary.  
  3. The Minister of Defence of Canada, Harjit Sajjan, expressed his disappointment about China’s detention of several Canadian citizens and called for their immediate release.
  4. In India, the Punjab and Haryana High Court declared that all animals in the state of Haryana are “legal persons.”
  5. In light of the recent Colombian Constitutional Court’s ruling that confirmed the congressional override of President Duque’s veto on the peace jurisdiction bill, a congressman filed a constitutional complaint to overturn Congress’ President’s decision to sink the granting of 16 congressional seats to representatives of victims.
  6. The Constitutional Review Commission, in charge of drafting a new Constitution for Gambia, met with key stakeholders to know their views on specific constitutional provisions.
  7. In Nepal, leaders of the Samajbadi Party Nepal announced that they will withdraw from the governmental coalition should the government continue to ignore their calls to amend the Constitution.
  8. The Indigenous Australians Minister, Ken Wyatt, recognized that the achievement of constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution will be a long and delicate process which he wants to “get it right.”
  9. The Prime Minister of Slovakia, Peter Pellegrini, stated that the 1968 Soviet-led invasion to Czechoslovakia was illegal and expressed his disagreement against an attempt on the part of the Russian Duma to legitimize it.
  10. In Myanmar, the Tatmadaw (military) and Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) submitted an amendment bill to the Assembly of the Union. This proposal seeks to curtail the powers of the President.
  11. A trial Court in Sweden rejected a petition to have WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange detained in absentia.
  12. Opposition parties in Japan introduced a bill to recognize same-sex marriages.
  13. Thousands of people in Honk Kong gathered to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.
  14. The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, called political parties to amend the Constitution in line with the anticorruption referendum held previously. The main opposition party, the National Liberal Party, supported this petition.
  15. A massive demonstration calling for PM Andrej Babiš’s resignation was held in Czech Republic.   
  16. The citizens of San Marino voted to amend the Constitution and ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, according to a referendum that took place on Sunday, June 2 2019.
  17. The government of Hungary postponed the introduction of the new administrative court system.
  18. The government of France banned the publication of statistical information about judges’ decisions, and established a maximum punishment of five years in prison for anyone who breaks the new law.
  19. The new parliament of Thailand elected former Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army, Prayuth Chan-ocha, as the country’s Prime Minister.
  20. After dozens of demonstrators were shot in Sudan, the African Union suspended Sudan’s participation in the organization.
  21. In Thailand, the Future Forward Party (FFP) asked the Constitutional Court to suspend 30 MPs, mostly from the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) due to their alleged ownership of shares in media companies.
  22. The Department of Commerce and the Department of the Treasury of the United States of America released new limitations on non-family travel to Cuba.   
  23. In Denmark, the Social Democratic Party won the parliamentary elections held last Wednesday.    
  24. The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development of Ghana, Hajia Alima Mahama, set December 29 as the day for a referendum on the election of Chief Executive Officers of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
  25. The Lower House of Brazil passed a constitutional amendment that grants Congressmembers more control over public spending.

New Scholarship

  1. Kristīne Krūma & Sandijs Statkus, The Constitution of Latvia – A Bridge Between Traditions and Modernity, in Anneli Albi & Samo Bardutzky (eds.), National Constitutions in European and Global Governance: Democracy, Rights, the Rule of Law (2019) (analyzing the amendments introduced to the Constitution of Latvia in 1996 and 1998, and discussing the role of the Constitutional Court thereafter)
  2. Helena Alviar García, Neoliberalism as a form of authoritarian constitutionalism, in Helena Alviar García & Günter Frankenberg (eds.), Authoritarian Constitutionalism: Comparative Analysis and Critique (2019) (arguing that the term “authoritarian constitutionalism” should encompass the set of provisions that fix neoliberal orthodoxy as the only policy choice available to public officials)
  3. Alison L Young, Populism and Parliamentary Sovereignty: The Goldsworthy Solution, in Lisa Burton Crawford, Patrick Emerton & Dale Smith (eds.), Law Under a Democratic Constitution. Essays in Honour of Jeffrey Goldsworthy (2019) (claiming that Jeffrey Goldsworthy’s account of parliamentary sovereignty may be better able to ensure that referendums do not provide a means for populist movements to destabilize democracy)
  4. Richard Albert, Carlos Bernal & Juliano Zaiden Benvindo (eds.), Constitutional Change and Transformation in Latin America (2019) (exploring the complexity of the vast topography of constitutional developments, experiments and perspectives in Latin America, offering a deep understanding of modern constitutional change in the region, and evaluating its implications for constitutionalism, democracy, human rights and the rule of law)
  5. Bríd Ní Ghráinne & Aisling McMahon, Abortion in Northern Ireland and the European Convention on Human Rights: Reflections from the UK Supreme Court, International & Comparative Law Quarterly (2019) (critically assessing the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom’s treatment of international law and the European Convention on Human Rights in review of the abortion ban in Northern Ireland )
  6. Mikael Madsen, Resistance to the European Court of Human Rights: The Institutional and Sociological Consequences of Principled Resistance, (2019 forthcoming) (exploring the sociological dimensions of resistance to international courts, the paper suggests that what in practice ends up as principled resistance to the ECtHR does not necessarily involve higher order normative clashes in a legal sense)
  7. Juan Sebastián Villamil Rodriguez, The Internationalization of Judicial Review in the Colombian High Courts, Constitutional Review (2019) (examining the influence of Inter-American Law on Colombian Apex Court’s adjudication, and discussing how the relationship of national judiciaries with international law is best understood as reflecting the development of a pluralist legal dynamic)
  8. Cláudia Ribeiro, Mercedes Araújo & Sónia Rodrigues, The legislative role of Iberian parliaments, in Jorge M. Fernandes & Cristina Leston-Bandeira (eds.), The Iberian Legislatures in Comparative Perspective (2019) (analyzing and assessing the performance of the legislative process in Spain and Portugal, and reflecting on a number of initiatives aimed at making the legislative process more transparent and accessible)
  9. Sharon Yadin, Saving Lives Through Shaming, Harvard Business Law Review Online (2019) (suggesting new ways for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to harness regulatory shaming to reduce workplace injuries, and developing the theory of regulatory shaming)
  10. Christopher Sundby & Suzanna Sherry, Term Limits and Turmoil: Roe v. Wade’s Whiplash, Texas Law Review (2019 forthcoming) (trying to estimate the level of doctrinal instability that would ensue with the introduction of term limits for justices of the U.S. Supreme Court)
  11. William Phelan, Great Judgments of the European Court of Justice: Rethinking the Landmark Decisions of the Foundational Period (2019) (offering a fresh look at the ECJ’s famous early judgments in the light of comparative analysis and the writings of influential French ECJ judge, Robert Lecourt)
  12. Nicola Lacey, Populism and the Rule of Law (2019) (examining the ways in which contemporary populist discourse challenges the rule of law and assessing how many of the factors producing “penal populism” or “overcriminalization” are truly a product of populism)
  13. Jens Theilen, Subversion Subverted: Developments in German Civil Status Law on the Recognition of Intersex and Non-Binary Persons, in Eva Brems, Toon Moonen & Pieter Cannoot (eds.), Protecting trans* rights in the age of gender self-determination (2019 forthcoming) (exploring various possible rationales behind the expansion, in German Law, of legal gender markers beyond the binary categories of “male” and “female” and their implications)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The European Journal of English Studies calls for papers for the three issues of the journal to be published in 2020. Interested scholars should submit their contributions by October 31, 2019.
  2. The African Network of Constitutional Lawyers (ANCL) in collaboration with the University of Nairobi, School of Law, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Rule of Law Program for Sub Saharan Africa), the Democratic Governance & Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town and the Faculty of Law at Stellenbosch University invite interested scholars, researchers and lawyers to submit abstracts and panel proposals for its upcoming biennial conference in 2020. The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2019.
  3. Yale Law School invites submissions from current doctoral candidates and recent doctoral graduates for its Ninth Annual Doctoral Scholarship Conference to be held on November 8-9, 2019. The deadline for submissions of abstracts is July 8, 2019.
  4. The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Legal History announces a call for papers for its section program, which will be held during the 2020 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The program is entitled “A Century of Women’s Suffrage.” Submissions must be sent by July 31, 2019.
  5. The National University of Singapore (NUS) calls for applicants from ASEAN universities and research institutes who are interested in its NUS Fellows Program (Southeast Asia). The deadline to send applications is June 30, 2019, but early applications are strongly encouraged.
  6. The Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin welcomes graduate student submissions for the sixth annual Graduate Conference in Public Law, to be held on October 24-25, 2019. Proposals must be sent by August 15, 2019.   
  7. The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Law School invites candidates to apply for a PhD Scholarship under the supervision of Profs. Rosalind Dixon, Theunis Roux and Melissa Crouch. The topic is “A Liberal Response to Populist Constitutionalism.”
  8. UCL Faculty of Laws organizes a conference on “Foundational Concepts in Constitutional Theory,” which will take place on July 10-12, 2019. This conference will be the occasion for discussing the first set of papers to be included in a major forthcoming volume, The Cambridge Handbook of Constitutional Theory (CUP, forthcoming 2021).
  9. The Law Faculty of Maastricht University convenes a conference on “National constitutional identity 10 years on,” to be held on June 24-25, 2019. This event aims to offer a reflection on the use of the National constitutional identity clause ten years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.
  10. The International Association of Constitutional Law Research Group on Constitutional Interpretation invites submissions for an international conference on “Constitutional interpretation in European populist regimes ‒ new methods or old tools for new purposes?,” to be held in Budapest, on December 5-6, 2019. Interested scholars should send an abstract of no more than 500 words by July 31, 2019.
  11. Melbourne Law School cordially invites interested person to attend its forthcoming “Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies 2019 Constitutional Law Conference.” This conference will be held at Melbourne Law School on Friday July 26, 2019.
  12. UCL Faculty of Laws funds two three-year PhD studentships to commence in 2019/2020 in the following areas: The Philosophical Foundations of Contractual Duress, Copyright Law and the Challenges of the Digital Age, and Non-Appearance before International Courts and Tribunals. Applications must be submitted by July 4, 2019.    

Elsewhere Online

  1. Edward Lemon, Authoritarian Influence in International Organizations: The Case of Interpol, Power 3.0
  2. Başak Çalı, No Going Nuclear in Strasbourg. The Infringement Decision in Ilgar Mammadov v. Azerbaijan by the European Court of Human Rights, Verfassungsblog
  3. Priya Pillai, Enforced Disappearances: A Global Scourge, Increasingly Under the Radar, OpinioJuris
  4. Lénárd Sándor interviewed Professor Thomas Berg who spoke about the relation between law and religion: “Human dignity is at the core of Catholic legal education” conversation with Thomas C. Berg, Precedens.Mandiner   
  5. Alan Renwick, Taking stock: what have we learned from the European elections? The Constitution Unit
  6. Ander Errasti-Lopez, Basque Country and Catalonia: Different Paths to Recognition, Centre on Constitutional Change
  7. Laurent Pech, Vlad Perju & Sébastien Platon, How to Address Rule of Law Backsliding in Romania, Verfassungsblog
  8. Sami Abdelhalim, The Need for a Transitional Constitutional Framework for Post-al Bashir’s Sudan, ConstitutionNet
  9. Yangyang Cheng, Four Is Forbidden. Finding My Way to the Truth about Tiananmen, ChinaFile
  10. Graham Fox & Daniel Béland, Federal-provincial tensions loom over 2019 campaign, Policy Options
  11. Konrad Lachmayer & Lukas Wieser, Entering into New Constitutional Territory in Austria. From a Conservative Minority Government to a Transitional Expert Government, Verfassungsblog
  12. Lynda Collins, The Unwritten Constitutional Principle of Ecological Sustainability: A Lodestar for Canadian Environmental Law? IACL-AIDC Blog
  13. Peter Gregoire, Deciding Which “Traditional Rights” Are Constitutionally Protected in Hong Kong: The Role of Judicial Review, Admin Law Blog
  14. Insa Koch, Everyday authoritarianism: an anthropology of citizenship and welfare in austerity Britain, LSE British Politics and Policy
  15. Anjana Prakash, The Gogoi Case And After: Wake Up Call For Indian Judiciary,
  16. Gilbert Achcar, The seasons after the Arab Spring, Le Monde diplomatique
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Published on June 10, 2019
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I-CONnect Virtual Roundtable: Wojciech Sadursky on “Poland’s Constitutional Breakdown” (OUP 2019)

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

In this Virtual Book Roundtable at I-CONnect, we engage in conversation with Wojciech Sadursky on his brand new book–just published last month–entitled Poland’s Constitutional Breakdown (OUP 2019).

The book is the first in the new Oxford Series in Comparative Constitutionalism, co-edited by Richard Albert and Robert Schütze (Durham). Future books in the Series have been contracted with Ran Hirschl (Toronto/Göttingen), Silvia Suteu (UCL), and Bui Ngoc Son (CUHK).

The full interview runs for 26 minutes. It is available below and also here.

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Published on June 5, 2019
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 US Supreme Court held 7-2 that if the police can show probable cause, the arrest cannot be regarded as a retaliation for exercising free speech.
  2. The US Supreme Court upheld the Indiana abortion law that mandates clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains, while staying the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals decision banning the prohibition on abortions motivated by race, sex or disability.
  3. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Spanish judges did not violate the rights of Catalan secession leaders.
  4. The Court of Justice of the European Union held that German public prosecutors lack the required independence to issue European arrest warrants.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine will determine the form of constitutional proceedings regarding the presidential decree dissolving Parliament.

In the News

  1. The President of Austria appointed Brigitte Bierlein, the President of the Constitutional Court, as Chancellor. Bierlein would have left the office at the end year because of the 70-year compulsory retirement age for constitutional judges.
  2. The EU Commission requested Italy to provide clarifications on the lack of progress regarding debt reduction.
  3. Following the European Parliament elections, the European People’s Party, the S&D, the Liberals and the Green party are focused on the appointment of the President of the EU Commission.
  4. The UK Prime Minister resigned and will leave office on June 7, 2019.
  5. The governor of Louisiana signed a bill banning abortion after the first six weeks into law.
  6. President Trump announced new tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico in an effort to solve the immigration problem.
  7. Egils Levits, a judge of the Court of Justice of the European Union, has been elected President of Latvia by the Parliament.
  8. The Supreme Court of Ireland denied Facebook a request to halt the referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the transfer of EU citizens’ data to the US.

New Scholarship

  1. Tawhida Ahmed and Elaine Fahey, On Brexit: Law, Justices and Injustices (2019 forthcoming) (exploring the variety of methodological approaches within the legal field to Brexit and outlining why the phenomenon is challenging to explore)
  2. Petra Bárd and Anna Śledzinska-Simon, Rule of law infringement procedures. A proposal to extend EU’s rule of law toolbox, CEPS Papers in Liberty and Security in Europe (2019) (proposing a “rule of law infringement” procedure that has both a fast-track and a freezing component, as a tool to effectively address rule of law violations by Member States in the European Union)
  3. William Partlett, Criminal Law and Cooperative Federalism, 56 American Criminal Law Review (2019) (arguing that cooperative federalism, largely resorted to in drug and gun crimes in the US, presents a variety of constitutional issues by both threatening constitutional rights of the individual and by weakening states’ ability to operate as political entities)
  4. Jeremy Pilaar, Assessing the Gig Economy in Comparative Perspective: How Platform Work Challenges the French and American Legal Orders, 27 Journal of Law and Policy (2019) (analyzing whether platform work amounts to a challenge for the legal system by means of two comparative theories elaborated within the French and the US legal systems)
  5. Richard M. Re and Alicia Solow-Niederman, Developing Artificially Intelligent Justice, Stanford Technology Law Review (2019 forthcoming) (examining the potential effects AI might have on judicial adjudication, especially in those areas where “equitable justice” or discretionary judgments are vital)
  6. Laura Grenfell, Legal Pluralism and the Rule of Law in East Timor, 19 Leiden Journal of International Law (2019) (arguing that legal pluralism must be properly turned in favor of the establishing of the rule of law in transitional countries, of which East Timor represent a fitting example)
  7. Nicholas W. Barber, Populist Leaders and Political Parties, 20 German Law Journal (2019) (reflecting on the interaction between populism and political parties, arguing that political parties should act as a medium between politics and the people and that populism represents a threat to their proper functioning)
  8. Anna Jonsson Cornell and Marco Goldoni, National and Regional Parliaments in the EU-Legislative Procedure Post-Lisbon. The Impact of the Early Warning Mechanism (2019) (examining the new role of national parliaments in the EU legislative procedures and how this new role has impacted on their relationship with EU institutions)
  9. Mtendeweka Owen Mhango, Justiciability of Political Questions in South Africa: A Comparative Analysis (2019) (arguing that South African courts should develop a political question doctrine in comparison to the US, Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria)
  10. Jeff King, The Democratic Case for a Written Constitution, Current Legal Problems (2019) (setting out the democratic case for a written constitution and contrasting it with the rights-based and clarity-based cases)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The City Law School invites interested participants to the 2019 Global Law Research Dialogue Series that will be held on June 18, July 3 and July 16, 2019 in London.
  2. The Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, University of New South Wales, welcomes submissions for its 2019 Postgraduate Workshop in Public Law, to be held in Sydney on September 23-24, 2019. Abstract of no more than 400 words should be submitted by July 31, 2019.
  3. Yale Law School welcomes submissions for its 9th Annual Doctoral Scholarship Conference, to be held in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 8-9, 2019. To apply, abstracts of up to 1500 words and a brief biographical note must be submitted by July 8, 2019.
  4. The University of Salerno (Italy) welcomes application for its Jean Monnet Summer School on Human Rights and Health that will take place in Salerno, on July 1-5 2019.
  5. The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals (published by Brill) welcomes submissions for the Rosalyn Higgins Prize. Unpublished articles between 6500 and 8000 words should be submitted by August 31, 2019.
  6. The University College of London invites participation to the Conference: Foundational Concepts in Constitutional Theory, that will take place on July 10-12, 2019.
  7. Bocconi University (Milan, Italy), invites participation to the 2019 IACL Workshop on “Counter-Terrorism at the Crossroad between International, Regional and Domestic Law,” that will take place on June 13-14, 2019.
  8. The National Research University (Moscow) welcomes submissions for the Conference on “Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property: Emergence of New International Customary Law Rules – by Whom?” that will take place on October 3-4, 2019. Abstracts of 400-600 words, alongside a CV, must be submitted by July 1, 2019.
  9. The T.M.C. Asser Institute, the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER) and the ESIL Interest Group on the EU as a Global Actor invite submissions of abstracts for a workshop on “EU Trade Agreements and the Duty to Respect Human Rights Abroad,” that will take place in The Hague, on December 11, 2019. Abstracts of max 500 words must be submitted by July 15, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. David R. Cameron, European Council takes stock of Parliament election, starts selection of new EU leaders, Yale Macmillan Center
  2. Bertil Emrah Oder, A Do-Over for Istanbul: Gripping Electoral Law and Democratic Resilience, Verfassungsblog
  3. Or Bassok and Ruth Gavison, It’s not the Supreme Court’s job to fix the Nation-State Law, The Times of Israel
  4. Başak Çalı, No Going Nuclear in Strasbourg. The Infringement Decision in Ilgar Mammadov v. Azerbaijan by the European Court of Human Rights, Verfassungsblog
  5. Mark Dawson, Should the EU Think Twice Before Dumping its Spitzenkandidaten?, Verfassungsblog
  6. Yurika Ishii, The Distinction between Military and Law Enforcement Activities: Comments on Case Concerning the Detention of Three Ukrainian Naval Vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), Provisional Measures Order, EJIL: Talk!
  7. Eleni Frantziou, Administrative Formalities and Collective Disenfranchisement: The Situation of EU Citizens in the UK #DeniedaVote during the European Parliament Elections 2019, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  8. Matt Floro and Jasper Brown, Judicial Review and Inferences about Briefing Notes, AUSPUBLAW
  9. Vanessa MacDonnell, Se-shauna Wheatle, Contemporary Perspectives on Unwritten Constitutional Principles, IACL-AIDC Blog
  10. Kate Glover Berger, The Demands of Unwritten Constitutionalism on Institutional Design, IACL-AIDC Blog
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Published on June 3, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments