[Editor’s Note: In this installment of I•CONnect’s Book Review Series, Alicia Pastor y Camarasa reviews Eneida Desiree Salgado’s book “Reforma Política” (Editora Contracorrente 2018)
–Alicia Pastor y Camarasa, PhD candidate, Centre de recherche sur l’Etat et la Constitution (CRECO), University of Louvain (Belgium)
The demographics of Brazil’s
parliament, overwhelmingly white and male, is at odds with its deeply diverse
society. Improving the quality of representative democracy in Brazil through
modifying the composition of the parliament has been a central project over the
past two hundred years, largely occurring through both constitutional and legal
reform. Eneida Desiree Salgado explores this topic in her book, Reforma Política. Throughout
the text, Salgado undertakes a comprehensive legal analysis of reforms to political
rights in Brazil – from the days of the Empire to the present – and explores the
challenges that surround democratization. The central thesis of the text is
that the fight for liberty in Brazil has always been exclusive, and that legal reforms
have often in effect reduced the possibility of radically changing the power
structures at play.[i]
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.
Court of the United Kingdom ruled that the Prime
Minister suspended Parliament illegally.
Constitutional Court of Italy ruled that it
should not always be punishable to help someone “under intolerable physical and
psychological suffering” to commit suicide.
Court of South Africa set to rule
on “common purpose” in rape cases. The legal question is whether or not people
who share the intent to rape can be convicted even if they did not all
physically rape the victim.
Constitutional Court of South Africa found that
moderate and reasonable chastisement by a parent is unconstitutional.
Constitutional Court of Romania decided that the
president must appoint interim ministers.
Constitutional Court of Montenegro instituted preliminary proceedings to consider non-working Sundays.
Constitutional Court of Thailand decided that the Prime
Minister was not a state official when he ruled a decision that secures his
position as prime minister.
Constitutional Court of Ecuador rejected a
petition for local consultation on a mining ban.
Court of Spain ruled in favor
of exhumation of Francisco Franco.
The EU General Court overturned a European Commission decision that Starbucks benefited from illegal tax
breaks in the Netherlands.
In the News
The Slovak Parliament ended
the long series of votes and selected the four missing
candidates of the Constitutional Court of Slovakia.
The speaker of the US House
of Representatives announced a
formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
The Austrian Parliament declared a “climate emergency” making
climate change a priority issue just four days from elections.
The European Union appointed the
first head of the newly-created EU Public Prosecutor’s Office.
A Haitian senator opened fire outside the Parliament
injuring a photojournalist.
The Parliament of the
United Kingdom returned a day after the Supreme
Court ruled that the decision to suspend sittings for five weeks was unlawful.
The Israeli’s Prime Minister
asked to form a new government
after a post-election deadlock that has paralyzed the country’s political
Francesco Palermo, Alice Valdesalici and Annika Kress (eds.), Comparing Fiscal Federalism (2018) (investigating intergovernmental financial relations and the current de jure and de facto allocation of financial and fiscal powers in compound states from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective).
Michael D. Gilbert, Mauricio Guim and Michael Weisbuch, Constitutional Locks, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper (2019) (studying constitutional “locks” as forced waiting periods for amendments).
The Review of Constitutional Studies invites submissions of manuscripts in English or French for its issues 24(2) and 25(1). The deadline for submissions in 1 November 2019.
The Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) Law Review welcomes submissions for its seventh volume.
The University of Bologna Law Review invites applications for new Associate Editors. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2019.
The Institute for Immigration and Social Integration at Ruppin Academic Center, the Association for Canadian Studies and the International Metropolis Project, invite proposals for the 6th Ruppin International Conference on “Immigration and Social Integration: Migration and Diasporas,” to be held in Ruppin on 18-20 May 2020. The deadline for submissions is 10 November 2019.
The Maastricht Centre for European Law and the Maastricht European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity invite papers for the workshop on “Digitalisation, Ethics and EU Fundamental Rights,” to be held in Maastricht on 9-10 January 2020. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2019.
In 2012, the Institute of Advanced Studies in Nantes held a seminar on “Droit et Langage”, within the framework of the ‘Indian-European Advanced Research Network’. The strength of the ensuing book – La loi de langue: Dialogue euro-indien – is its engagement with questions concerning the relation between language and law with a transdisciplinary approach. Nine authors from different disciplinary backgrounds – law, philosophy, philology, linguistics, sociology – investigate this relation in light of the European and Indian legal and political system, including a tertium comparationis, with contributions concerning China and Japan. With this comparative framework, the value of the book is to serve as a ‘wake-up call’. It does not only address canonical themes for scholars working on questions of linguistic diversity, linguistic rights, and linguistic regime, but proposes exploration outside of the classic paths of legal positivism and mainstream Western modes of legal thought.
To order this book at the discount rate, enter code RALB35 at checkout here.
Here is the book’s description:
What makes bicameral reform so difficult? Why choose bicameralism over unicameralism? What are the constitutional values of bicameralism? This innovative book addresses these questions and many more from comparative, doctrinal, empirical, historical and theoretical perspectives.
Featuring contributions from leading and emerging scholars in the field, this book provides a timely account of the tensions between bicameralism and its reform, demonstrating for the first time how this relates to the protection of liberal democracy and the rule of law. Contributors analyse the pressures that contemporary constitutional politics exert on bicameralism in an array of countries and legal systems, including the complex relationships between the EU and national second chambers.
And here are the contents of the volume:
Bicameralism in an Age of Populism Meg Russell
1. The Challenge of Reforming Bicameralism Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia and Cristina Fasone
Part I–Theories and Challenges to Bicameralism: Multi-tiered Government Systems and the EU
2. Bicameralism. Multiple Theoretical Roots in Diverging Practices Maria Romaniello
3. ‘Visible’ and ‘Invisible’ Second Chambers in Unitary States. ‘Territorialising’ National Legislatures in Italy and the United Kingdom Barbara Guastaferro
4. How Does the European Union Challenge Bicameralism? Lessons from the Italian Case Pietro Faraguna
5. The Scrutiny of EU Documents in Bicameral System. Opportunity or Weakness? Wouter Wolfs and Caterina Cigala
6. The House of Lords faces up to Brexit Peter Leyland
7. Bicameralism in Multi-tiered Systems Patricia Popelier
Part II–Challenging Unicameralism
8. The Shadow of Bicameralism in a Unicameral State: Dispersed Functional Bicameralism in Bulgaria? Mihail Vatsov and Polina Vakleva
9. Defending Bicameralism and Equalizing Powers: the Case of Peru Diego Serra
10. The Failed Referendum to Abolish the Ireland’s Senate: Rejecting Unicameralism in a Small and Relatively Homogenous Country David Kenny
11. Unicameralism and “Masked” Bicameralism Cristina Fasone
Part III–Reforming or Abolishing the Upper House?
12. The Sénat Français of the Fifth Republic: The Permanent Paradox Priscilla Jensel Monge
13. The Future of Poland’s Second Chamber: Is the Senate Still Needed? Katarzyna Granat
14. Reshaping the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia Dušan Štrus
15. Bicameralism(s) in the Age of Ethnicity: Prospects for Reform of Legislatures in Bosnia and Herzegovina Nedim Kulenović
16. Bicameralism As a Normative Choice In the Tension Between Its Reform and Its Passing Giovanni Piccirilli
What Are We To Make of Bicameralism in the Twentieth-First Century? The Reform Trap Cristina Fasone
Miller / Cherry legal battle last week lingered between the tectonic plates
of the political and the legal. It was three days of carefully defined legal
terms, extended and masterful advocacy combined with awkward pauses, grimaces
of disbelief, and phrases that baffled non-lawyers. Both prior and during the
hearing we heard from the Prime Minister that the Supreme Court must not
involve itself in the political. A barrage of questions was accordingly hurled
at the Miller appellants and Cherry respondents by Sir Eadie (on behalf of the
Prime Minister) and Lord Keen (AG for Scotland) that must have made even the
best of law students query what relevant principles of public law should apply
in these appeals. Both barristers skillfully warned the Supreme Court not to
trespass into forbidden territory and question proceedings in Parliament out of
Parliament. To do so would be in breach of Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689
expressly prohibiting such intervention. Millions of members of the public
watching on live-stream or in the overflown courts must have wondered whether
it is perhaps too abstract (or academic) to ask judges to determine how long is
too long when the Prime Minister decides to suspend Parliament? Similarly, can
we expect judges in their wisdom to deduce the motive (malign or not) behind
the Prime Minister’s advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament for five weeks?
–Nausica Palazzo, Lecturer in Public Law, Bocconi University
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 email@example.com.
Developments in Constitutional Courts
UK Supreme Court is to rule next week on Parliament shutdown.
The Court of Justice of the EU started hearing Apple and Ireland’s appeal against the EU Commission’s 14 billion tax bill.
Romania’s Constitutional Court ruled that the President of the Republic must accept the nominations of interim ministers by PM Dancila, as within the PM’s prerogatives.
Turkey Constitutional Court ruled that the broadcast ban on news related to the criminal investigation against former ministers violates freedom of press.
The Constitutional Court of Thailand dismissed a constitutional challenge against the PM for his failure to recite the full oath, especially the sentence whereby he commits himself to abide by the constitution.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation lodged a constitutional complaint against AfriForum’s “provocative” tweet of an apartheid flag, whose display constitutes hate speech following last week’s Equality Court’s decision.
The Constitutional Court of Jordan ruled that a contract entered by a national company and Israel does not require parliamentary approval.
The Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that parents cannot use corporal punishment at home.
Zimbabwe’s law on the functioning of the Constitutional Court, implementing the 2013 constitution, goes into effect.
The President of Albania explains to the Venice Commission the reasons for the 18 months long inactivity of the Constitutional Court.
In the News
Turkey, Russia and Iran announced that an agreement on the committee that will rewrite Syria’s constitution was reached.
Algeria’s interim president called the presidential elections with a view to overcoming the political crisis.
The ICC prosecutor appealed the ICC’s decision to acquit former Ivory Coast president, accused of starting a civil war after losing the elections. Notice of appeal here.
An Armenian court rejects former President Kocharian’s motion to end pretrial detention.
Former Italy’s PM Renzi formed a breakaway party, thereby potentially engendering the stability of the new coalition government.
Liberia’s President endorses a war crimes court to investigate the crimes committed during Liberia’s civil wars.
The US sued Snowden for breaking non-disclosure agreement with CIA and NSA when writing his book.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern introduced a bill to strengthen the nation’s gun laws, after the Christchurch attacks.
A US same-sex couple sued the US State Department for treating them as “unmarried” thereby denying their child, born in Canada through surrogacy, US citizenship.
Ingrid V. Eagly, The Movement to Decriminalize Border Crossing, 61 Boston College Law Review (forthcoming) (exploring the growing resistance to border criminalization in the United States and the proposed reforms that would reconstitute border crossing as a civil violation of immigration law)
Laura M. Henderson, The Promise and Peril of Designing a Radical Democratic Populism, in Ingeborg van der Geest, Henrike Jansen & Bart van Klink (eds.), Vox Populi: Populism as a Rhetorical and Democratic Challenge (Edgar Elgar, forthcoming) (analyzing radical democracy’s turn to a populist rhetorical strategy, and what populist politics should do to be compatible with radical democracy)
Lewis D. Sargentich, Liberal Legality: A Unified Theory of our Law (Cambridge University Press, 2019) (exploring what rule-based law and policy-based law have in common and proposing a novel conception of the rule of law based on a commitment to what the Author calls “liberal legality”)
Calls for Papers and
The Constitution Unit set up a Working Group on
unification referendums on the Island of Ireland examining how any future
referendum on Northern Ireland’s status would be conducted. The members of the
Working Group are keen to hear from anyone with views on the matters they are
UCD Sutherland School of Law is seeking one
post-doctoral fellow and six PhD students for a forthcoming European Research
Council-funded project on the socio-political factors leading to populism in
selected case studies. The deadline for the post-doc position is September 27, 2019. The deadline for PhD positions Oct. 1,
Emory University School of Law seeks to fill a named professorship
in international law beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year. Applications
will be considered on a rolling basis.
European University Institute seeks to hire a Director for its
School of Transnational Governance (deadline for receipt of applications:
October 30, 2019) and chairs in transnational governance (deadline for receipt
of applications: October 28, 2019).
The Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center is seeking
applicants for two tenure-track appointments to its full-time faculty starting
in August 2020. Subject areas of particular interest include Constitutional Law,
Evidence, Property, and Torts. The application must be submitted here.
The Common Market Law Review invites scholars to attend the
conference “A Cultural and Identity-related Shift in European Union Law?”, to
be held on October 11, 2019 in Paris. The conference program can be found here.
The Federalist Society launched this year’s Article I
Initiative Writing Contest on the on Nondelegation Doctrine in the United
States. The contest is open to individuals under age 40. Entries
must be received on or before Monday, January 7, 2020.
The editor of the book “Personal Data Protection and
Legal Developments in the European Union” (Maria Tzanou) issued a call for chapters. The book
will be published by IGI Global, an international publisher of progressive
academic research. The deadline to submit chapter proposals is October 18,
[Editor’s Note: This is the seventh entry in an eight-part Showcase on new ideas in administrative law theory. The introductory post is available here.]
–Sarah Nason, Prifysgol Bangor University
Studies examining empirical
dimensions of administrative law have grown up in parallel too, but largely
disconnected from, theoretical work. Some suggests that contemporary preoccupation
both with theory and empiricism is
part of a trend away from traditional doctrinal scholarship in administrative
law, perhaps due to dissatisfaction
with the limits of common law method.
Elsewhere I have developed a constructivist
methodology that attempts to meaningfully bring
together administrative law theory and empirical evidence. The facts relied
upon have largely been those about who issues cases and defends them, who their
lawyers are, the topics of claims and their outcomes. Here I begin to examine
how we can use judgments as empirical evidence, and what this might contribute
to administrative law theory.
[Editor’s Note: This is the sixth entry in an eight-part Showcase on new ideas in administrative law theory. The introductory post is available here.]
–J.G. Allen, Humboldt University of Berlin Centre for British Studies, University of Tasmania Faculty of Law
nature and source of non-statutory executive powers has increased in importance
in recent decades in many constitutional orders, not least in response to the
changing modalities of administration (particularly “contracting out”), risk
politics, and emergency.
the UK and Commonwealth context, the question of non-statutory powers is
couched in terms of the capacities of the Crown; in other contexts, it is
framed in terms of the State, for which the Crown has (for better or worse)
been a stand-in. While the core question is
the similar, the UK and Commonwealth context demands a unique,
historically-inflected idiom. This makes the debate obscure in certain
respects, but in others provides a welcome link to the some of the classical
sources in political theory. Prerogative, raison d’Etat, and emergency
are never remote.
view is that we should approach this difficult area of law by first addressing
the problem of official action. When we speak of the Crown (or the
State) doing anything, what we actually mean is that some individual occupying
a certain type of institutionalised social role has done something, in
circumstances such that we attribute her actions to the Crown (or the State). In
my contribution to this workshop, a chapter in a forthcoming book The
Judicial Review of Official Action, I
set out why I think this starting point helps to avoid muddled thinking about
On My Way Out – Advice to Young Scholars
VI: WeakPoint, On the Uses and Abuses of PowerPoint
I have most certainly reached the
final phase of my academic and professional career and as I look back I want to
offer, for what it is worth, some dos and don’ts on different topics to younger
scholars in the early phases of theirs. This is the sixth instalment and
regards that staple of academic life: PowerPoint.
There is a concept in Jewish law
called “Fencing.” (Seyag). It is a
prophylactic; a new prohibition is decreed, which is not, in and of itself,
biblically based but is introduced in the interest of protecting people from
inadvertently committing an infraction of a divine commandment or in order to
prevent people from entering into a danger zone of temptation. Here is a
trivial example: the recitation of one’s nightly prayers can (and should) take place
during the night. Night time lasts, surely, until daybreak – just before dawn.
One o’clock in the morning is surely still night time. The Rabbis decreed a “Fence”
and fixed a deadline of midnight. “A man”, they reasoned, “will return home,
and say to himself: I’ll eat a little bit, and drink a little bit, and sleep a
little bit – and then recite my prayers. [After all, I have all night ahead of
me]. He ends up sleeping all night and missing his nightly prayers.”
I have imposed on myself a Fence: No PowerPoint at all (for that matter, no FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram). It is an extreme (im)position, which I am not suggesting others should adopt. However, I am advocating a far more prudent and discerning use of PowerPoint.
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.
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