Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

The Courts Respond to Executive Tyranny in Sri Lanka

–Mario Gomez, Executive Director, International Centre for Ethnic Studies (Sri Lanka); previously Lecturer at the University of Colombo

The final three months of 2018 were challenging times for constitutional resilience and order in Sri Lanka. Almost four years since the peaceful political transition of 2015, the country plunged into a constitutional crisis when President Sirisena purported to sack Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on October 26, replacing him with former President Rajapakse.

Just hours before the sacking, Sirisena’s United People’s Freedom Alliance quit the coalition government with the Wickeremesinghe’s United National Front. The President contended that the collapse of the coalition meant that Cabinet stood dissolved and he could appoint a new Prime Minister. Sirisena prorogued Parliament to allow Rajapakse to cobble a majority amongst lawmakers.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly
Published on January 24, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

Announcement: ICON-S Committee on Junior Scholars

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

The Co-Presidents of the International Society of Public Law (ICON-S) have authorized the creation of a Committee on Junior Scholars. The charge of the Committee is to produce a report on what more ICON-S can do as an institution to support junior scholars.

As Chair of this Committee, I will work with a wonderful group of ICON-S members to deliver recommendations to the Co-Presidents. The full Committee appears below.

  • Richard Albert (Chair) (Texas)
  • Michaela Hailbronner (Muenster)
  • Aileen Kavanagh (Oxford)
  • Jaclyn Neo (NUS)
  • Mariana Velasco Rivera (Yale)
  • Juliano Zaiden Benvindo (Brasilia)

At this early stage, we ask you to please send us your suggestions on how ICON-S can support junior scholars. Please contact any one of us with your suggestions.

You may also wish to share your thoughts on how we should define junior scholars. We are beginning our work with this working definition of a junior scholar: a person holding a tenure-track faculty position for no longer than 5 years, including current students as well has post-doctoral fellows and faculty members.

We thank you in advance for your ideas about what more ICON-S can do to support junior scholars.

Print Friendly
Published on January 23, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments

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 Canada held that Canadian expats have the right to vote in federal elections regardless of how long they have remained abroad.
  2. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge against a Wisconsin drunk driving law that allows officers to take blood samples from an unconscious driver without a warrant.   
  3. The Indian Supreme Court ruled that Monsanto is entitled to claim patents on its genetically modified cotton seeds.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Lithuania declared that denying residence permits to foreign spouses of gay citizens who married abroad is unconstitutional.
  5. The Supreme Court of Pakistan asked the government to address the rise in the country’s population.       
  6. The Constitutional Court of Congo is hearing an appeal against the recent presidential elections, appeal that was filed by opposition candidate Martin Fayulu.
  7. The International Criminal Court acquitted former President of Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo. However, Gbagbo will remain in ICC custody.  
  8. The Supreme Court of Uganda heard a challenge against a decision of the Ugandan Constitutional Court that upheld an amendment that removed age limits to be President.
  9. The Russian Constitutional Court upheld a law that establishes restrictions on foreign ownership of media outlets, and clarified the rights of foreigners who currently own shares in media companies.    
  10. The Constitutional Court of Romania decided that the investigation protocols signed between the General Prosecutor’s Office and intelligence services are illegal.   
  11. The Supreme Court of Mexico struck down a state law that required migrants to show their identification documents to the authorities.
  12. The Constitutional Court of Moldova held that not only mothers, but also fathers of four or more children are entitled to state-sponsored health insurance.

In the News

  1. Venezuelan opposition leader and National Assembly speaker, Juan Guaido, declared that the National Assembly is ready to assume executive powers in order to guarantee a smooth transition to democracy, and called for massive demonstrations against Nicolás Maduro.
  2. The Government of Brazil recognized Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela.
  3. A U.S. Supreme Court spokesperson said that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recovery from her surgery is “on track”.
  4. Nicaraguan Supreme Court Judge, Rafel Solís Cerda, resigned to his post claiming that President Ortega and Vice-president Rosario Murillo were dragging the country towards a civil war.
  5. The Chief Commander of India’s army, General Bipin Rawat, maintained that gay sex and adultery won’t be tolerated in the armed forces.  
  6. The Parliament of Macedonia passed a constitutional amendment which changes the country’s official name to the Republic of North Macedonia. EU and NATO officials celebrated this amendment’s enactment.
  7. The Primer Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, called for and narrowly survived a confidence vote in Parliament after one of Syriza’s partners quit the governmental coalition due to the agreement reached between Greece and Macedonia over the latter country’s name change.        
  8. The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Korea, Yang Sung-tae, was summoned by state prosecutors who are investigating him for the alleged abuse of power he committed as Chief Justice.
  9. The Lower House of the Indian Parliament approved a bill that grants citizenship and residency rights only to non-Muslim undocumented immigrants, sparking protests in the northeast of the country.
  10. The President of the U.K. Supreme Court, Lady Hale, criticized the government’s austerity measures.
  11. The Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, warned that if the EU withdraws from the duty-free trading access over human rights concerns, this will cause the ‘death’ of the political opposition.
  12. The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, deplored a Chinese court’s decision that imposed the death penalty on a Canadian citizen accused of drug trafficking. As a response, the government of China characterized Mr. Trudeau’s remarks as “irresponsible”.
  13. In Thailand, protesters rallied against the looming postponement of the general election decreed by the military regime.   
  14. The British Parliament rejected the ‘Brexit’ plan proposed by PM Theresa May. As a consequence, a non-confidence motion was filed against her government, but it was finally defeated in Parliament.   
  15. Judge Jesse Furman, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, held that including a citizenship question in the forthcoming 2020 census is unlawful.
  16. The Government of Panama proposed a bill to the National Assembly to include an extra ballot in the May-2019 elections. Through this ballot, the Government aims to consult the people whether they agree to convoke a constituent assembly in charge of drafting a new constitution.  
  17. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, gave his assent to the recently-passed 103rd Amendment to the Constitution of India. This amendment establishes a 10% quota in government jobs and education seats for ‘economically weaker sections’ of the society.
  18. The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, signed an executive order that seeks to lift several restrictions to buy and own guns.
  19. In Hungary, opposition parties challenged before the Constitutional Court the constitutionality of the so-called ‘slave law’.    
  20. The President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, pledged not to run for a new term in office and rejected any potential amendment to remove presidential term limits.
  21. The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, asked President Trump to postpone his State of the Union address which is scheduled for January 29, 2019.   
  22. In Sri Lanka, a new constitution draft will be presented to Parliament before 4 February 2019.  

New Scholarship

  1. Rosalind Dixon, Proportionality & Comparative Constitutional Law versus Studies, Law & Ethics of Human Rights (2018) (calling on scholars and practitioners interested in the doctrine of proportionality to engage in a greater dialogue between themselves, and inviting them to use conceptual and more empirical forms of constitutional comparison)
  2. Isaac de Paz González, The Social Rights Jurisprudence in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (2018) (providing a thorough and complete examination of the Inter-American Court’s jurisprudence over its forty years of existence, within the framework of Economic and Social Rights)
  3. Catherine Valcke, Comparing Law. Comparative Law as Reconstruction of Collective Commitments (2018) (reconstructing comparative law scholarship into a systematic account of comparative law as an autonomous academic discipline)
  4. Yuvraj Joshi, Racial Indirection, UC Davis Law Review (2019—forthcoming) (demonstrating how racial indirection has allowed —and may continue to allow— efforts to desegregate America’s universities)
  5. Pia Letto-Vanamo & Ditlev Tamm, Nordic Legal Mind, in Pia Letto-Vanamo, Ditlev Tamm & Bent Ole Gram Mortensen (eds.), Nordic Law in European Context (2018) (discussing peculiarities of the Nordic legal systems and legal thinking)
  6. Cristina Narváez González & Katharine Valencia, Improving Human Rights in the Private Security Industry: Envisioning the Role of ICoCA in Latin America, Business and Human Rights Journal (2019) (claiming that adoption of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers –IcoC– by Latin American private security companies and states, coupled with civil society engagement, may help reduce negative human rights impacts)
  7. Amnon Lehavi, Property Law in a Globalizing World (2018) (identifying the paramount challenges that contemporary processes of globalization pose for the study and practice of property law, and offering a straightforward analysis of legal scenarios implicating cross-border property rights, covering a broad range of resources, from land, goods, and intangible financial assets to intellectual property, data, and digital assets.)
  8. Armin von Bogdandy & Davide Paris, Building Judicial Authority: A Comparison Between the Italian Constitutional Court and the German Federal Constitutional Court, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper (2019) (examining the foundations of the Italian Constitutional Court’s authority by comparing it with that of the German Federal Constitutional Court, and stressing a dynamic of “power in weakness” which explains important features of the Italian Constitutional Court)
  9. Xosé M. Núñez Seixas & Eric Storm (eds.), Regionalism and Modern Europe Identity Construction and Movements from 1890 to the Present Day (2018) (offering an overview of regionalism throughout Europe and exploring the historical roots of current regional movements)
  10. Valentina Rita Scotti, Constitutional amendments and constitutional core values: the Brazilian case in a comparative perspective, Revista de Investigações Constitucionais (2018) (focusing on the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court’s activism when reviewing the constitutionality of constitutional amendments)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Chinese University of Hong Kong calls for proposals for its forthcoming International Conference on ‘Unpacking the Complexity of Regulatory Governance in a Globalising World’, to be held on 4–6 July 2019. Interested scholars should submit their proposals by January 31, 2019.
  2. The Centre for Advanced Studies “Justitia Amplificata: Rethinking Justice – Applied and Global”, invites applications for three post-doctoral fellowships in political theory/political philosophy for the academic year 2019/2020. Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2019. 
  3. PluriCourts, the multidisciplinary Centre of Excellence for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, at the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, calls for applicants who are interested in an up-to-three-years post-doctoral fellowship. Fellows are expected to contribute to PluriCourts’ research agenda, by studying the functioning, effects and legitimacy of international courts and tribunals. The deadline for applications is January 25, 2019.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Colombia organizes its Annual Academic Conference which this year will focus on “the Colombian Constitutional Court from a global perspective”. The event will take place on January 24-25, 2019 in Bogota, Colombia.
  5. The Max Planck Institute for European Legal History invites applications for its 2019 Summer Academy to be held on August 5-16, 2019. This year’s theme is ‘Law and Texts in Contexts’. Applications are to be submitted by 31 January 2019.
  6. The editors of ‘Law & Social Inquiry’ invite graduate and law students to participate in their annual competition for the best journal-length paper in the field of law and social science written by a graduate or law student. Interested scholars are invited to submit their articles by March 1, 2019.
  7. The Stanford Center for Law and History at Stanford Law School welcomes fellowship applications for the 2019/2020 academic year. All applications should be submitted no later than February 15, 2019.
  8. The European Society of International Law convenes its ‘2019 ESIL Annual Conference’ and invites submissions from interested scholars. This year’s Conference theme is “Sovereignty: A Concept in Flux?” Abstracts must be sent on or before January 31, 2019.
  9. The Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC) released the sixth monthly update of its bibliography on democratic decay (January 2019 – available here), containing new research worldwide from December 2018; items suggested by DEM-DEC users; information on additional resources recently added to the DEM-DEC Links section; and forthcoming research. A post introducing the Update will be published on Verfassungsblog and the IACL-AIDC Blog shortly.
  10. The Department of Law of the University of Turin invites young scholars who are interested in conducting their research in Turin to apply for its three early-career fellowship grants. The deadline for applications is 11 March 2019.  
  11. The Young Researchers Office of the French Society for International Law calls for papers for its upcoming Conference on “Extraterritorialité et numérique” and “Extraterritorialité et migrations”. Proposals are due by February 15, 2019.  
  12. The Latin American Centre, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, and the Oxford Transitional Justice Research Network call for papers for their joint Conference “Justice for Transnational Human Rights Violations: At the Crossroads of Litigation, Policy and Scholarship”, to be held on June 19-20, 2019. The submissions deadline is February 4, 2019.    
  13. The Graduate Law Students Association (GLSA) of McGill University’s Faculty of Law welcomes proposals for its forthcoming 2019 annual Conference “Law: Reactive or Proactive?” The Conference will take place on May 8-9, 2019 in Montreal, Canada. Proposals should be submitted by 15 February 2019.    
  14. City University of Hong Kong invites applications for Research/Postdoctoral Fellowships on Hong Kong Basic Law and Comparative Constitutional Law and Local Government. Applications will be considered until the positions are filled.  
  15. The T.M.C. Asser Instituut invites applications for a Postdoctoral researcher position in Transnational Environmental Law. The deadline to submit applications is January 30, 2019.
  16. The Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton is seeking a student for a PhD Fellowship on the theme of “Global Constitutionalism in an Era of Resurgent State Sovereignty”. The closing date to submit applications is January 24, 2019.     
  17. The Jindal International & Comparative Law Review (JICLR) invites contributions of articles ranging between 15,000 and 20,000 words, as well as shorter pieces up to 10,000 words. Footnotes should conform to the 20th edition of the Bluebook. Submissions may be sent to

Elsewhere Online

  1. Lawrence Friedman, The Importance of Being Chief Justice, Interdependent Courts
  2. Giacomo Delledonne, Rationalising political representation within the European Parliament: the Italian Constitutional Court rules on the threshold for the European elections, Verfassungsblog
  3. Sofia Collignon, When do central governments decentralise? When it benefits the party in power, Democratic Audit
  4. Tetevi Davi, A Special Declaration: Towards a Culture of Accountability in The Gambia? Justice in Conflict
  5. David R. Cameron, Parliament rejects EU withdrawal agreement, Theresa May survives no confidence vote, the Brexit saga continues, and the Article 50 clock keeps ticking, Yale MacMillan Center
  6. Shoshana Levy, Between Ordinary and Extraordinary Justice – The Contentious First Steps of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia, Justice in Conflict
  7. Alfredo Ortega Franco, Guatemala on the edge of the abyss, Al Jazeera
  8. Gautam Bhatia, Is the 103rd Amendment Unconstitutional? Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy
  9. Alvin Y.H. Cheung, The Express Rail Co-location Case: The Hong Kong Judiciary’s Retreat, Lawfare Blog
  10. Jan van Zyl Smit, After Poland’s Attempted Purge of ‘Communist-era’ Judges, Do We Need New International Standards for Post-authoritarian Countries Reforming Their Judiciary? (Part I), U.K. Const. L. Blog
  11. Mary C. Murphy, What are the Irish government’s Brexit priorities? A united Ireland is not one of them, LSE Brexit Blog
Print Friendly
Published on January 21, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Five Questions with Antonia Baraggia

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

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

This edition of “Five Questions” features a short video interview with Antonia Baraggia, Assistant Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Milan. 

One of her most recent papers is “Conditionality Measures within the Euro Area Crisis: A Challenge to the Democratic Principle?,” available for download here.

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

Print Friendly
Published on January 18, 2019
Author:          Filed under: New Voices

Book Review: Yvonne Tew on Stefanus Hendrianto’s “Law and Politics of Constitutional Courts: Indonesia and the Search for Judicial Heroes”

[Editor’s Note: In this installment of I•CONnect’s Book Review Series, Yvonne Tew reviews Stefanus Hendrianto’s book Law and Politics of Constitutional Courts: Indonesia and the Search for Judicial Heroes (Routledge 2018).]

Yvonne Tew, Georgetown University Law Center

What shapes the role of constitutional courts in new democracies? What drives the rise of judicial power in emerging constitutional orders? Stefanus Hendrianto’s new book, Law and Politics of Constitutional Courts, explores these questions through providing an account of the importance of judicial leadership in explaining judicial empowerment, illustrated by the impact of individual chief justices on the Indonesian Constitutional Court.

The book offers a fascinating insight into the creation and development of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia and the judicial personalities behind its leadership, with a particular focus on the role of the founding chief justice Jimly Asshiddiqie. By bringing a “global south” perspective from the Southeast Asian context of Indonesia,[1] one of the world’s largest democracies, Hendrianto’s detailed exposition of the experience of Indonesia’s Constitutional Court valuably expands our comparative horizons. Importantly, it also contributes to broader debates in comparative constitutional studies on the emergence of constitutional courts and the consolidation of judicial power in new democratic orders.[2]

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly
Published on January 17, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Reviews

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 Supreme Court of India held that children born from void marriages are legitimate children and as such entitled to compassionate appointment.
  2. The Advocate General at the European Court of Justice suggested that the right to be forgotten should apply only to users within the European Union.
  3. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Azerbaijan violated a journalist’s right to privacy and to freedom of expression.
  4. The European Court of Human Rights found that Germany did not violate the rights of a German couple whose children were taken into custody because of the parents’ refusal to send them to school.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Guatemala ordered the UN Commissioner charged with investigating corruption in the country.
  6. The European Court of Justice held that all EU countries must recognize residency rights of same sex partners, even when not allowing same sex marriage.

In the News

  1. The Constitutional Court of Madagascar confirmed the election of President Andry Rajoelina.
  2. Some Italian mayors have been opposing the application of the security decree backed by the Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini.
  3. President Maduro of Venezuela was sworn in for his second term.
  4. President Trump declared he’s ready to declare the state of emergency.
  5. The US military announced the beginning of troops withdrawal from Syria.
  6. The defeated candidate in the recent DR Congo elections will challenge the results in court.
  7. The Israeli High Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Jewish Nation-State Law.

New Scholarship

  1. M.L. Duarte, B. Menezes Queiroz, R. Tavares Lanceiro and T. Fidalgo de Freitas (eds.), The Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Judicial Activism of the Court of Justice of the European Union (2018) (offering a comprehensive and deep analysis of the protection of fundamental rights within the EU legal system, specifically focusing on the activity of the Court).
  2. P. Auriel and P. Weil, Political Asylum and the European Union. Proposals to Overcome the Impasse (2018) (outlining the current state of art on asylum and migration policies within the EU legal system in order to offer possible solutions to overcome the crisis it’s facing).
  3. M. Hailbronner, Constructing the global constitutional canon: Between authority and criticism (2018) (dealing with global constitutionalism and the necessity to build a canon responding to three main functions).
  4. S. Sivaprasad Wadhia, National Security, Immigration and the Muslim Ban (2019) (focusing on the so called plenary power doctrine and its use to permeate immigration law with national security concepts).
  5. N.S. Chapma, Due Process of War (2019) (offering a comprehensive study on the application of the due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to government’s deprivation of rights during war).
  6. N.W. Barber, M. Cahill and R. Ekins (eds.), The Rise and Fall of the European Constitution (2019) (providing an interesting analysis of the reasons behind the failure of the Constitutional Treaty).
  7. G.R. Stone and L.C. Bollinger (eds.), The Free Speech Century (2019) (evaluating the development of free speech doctrine since the landmark decision of Schenck v United States of 1919).
  8. J. Contesse, Settling Human Rights Violations (2019) (offering a study on the practice of friendly settlements and the challenges they raise in settling human rights violations).
  9. We are pleased to share a partial bibliography of scholarship in comparative constitutional law in 2018, provided to us by Professor Mark Kende (Drake): Partial Bibliography of 2018 Comparative Constitutional Law Books and Articles.

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law welcomes submissions for its 8th Global Conference which will be held in Montreal on May 10-11, 2019. Abstracts of between 500 and 740 words must be submitted by January 31, 2019.
  2. LUISS Guido Carli University is hosting a workshop on “Re-Conceptualizing Authority and Legitimacy in the EU: New Architectures and Procedures to Reconnect the Union with its Citizens” on 1 February 2019 (9h00-17h30) in the framework of the Horizon 2020 ProjectRECONNECT. A detailed program is available here.
  3. The University of Melbourne welcomes contributions for the “Constitutional Resilience in South Asia” workshop on December 2019, 5-7. Abstracts proposals of no more than 1000 words, alongside a CV and a relevant bibliography should be submitted within the end of April 2019.
  4. The American Constitution Society is proud to host the Constance Baker Motley Writing Competition, open to law students. Papers should be submitted within February 10, 2019.
  5. The American Constitution Society is proud to host the Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law, open to lawyers and law students. Papers should be submitted within February 3, 2019.
  6. The European University Institute (Florence, Italy) welcomes contributions for a one-day Doctoral Forum on International Law. The forum will be held on June 10, 2019. PhD candidates who would like to participate shall submit abstracts of maximum 600 words by February 15, 2019.
  7. Odile Ammann convenes a workshop on “Lobbying and Domestic Lawmaking Processes: Do Lobbies Strengthen or Undermine Dignity, Democracy and Diversity?” at the 29th World Congress of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, to be held on July 7-13, 2019. Researchers interested in participating in this workshop can send a short abstract to by March 1, 2019.
  8. The IACL Research Group on “Algorithmic State, Society and Market – Constitutional Dimensions” welcomes submissions for its inaugural conference on “Constitutional Challenges in the Algorithmic Society” to be held in Florence (Italy) on May 9-11, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 800 words should be submitted by February 15, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. G. Delledonne, Rationalizing political representation within the European Parliament, the Italian Constitutional Court rules on the threshold for the European elections, Verfassungsblog
  2. J. Simson Caird, Brexit and the Speaker of the House of Commons: Do the Ends Justify the Means?, Verfassungsblog
  3. A. Weale, Could an “indicative vote” break the Brexit logjam?, The Constitution Unit
  4. A. Deb, Privacy International: A Matter of Constitutional Logic and Judicial Trust?, UK Constitutional Law Association
  5. P. Allott, The Problem of Direct Democracy: Brexit and the Tyranny of the Majority, UK Constitutional Law Association
  6. D. Hovell, Reforming the World in Our Own Image: A Critique of Liberal Constitutionalism, EJIL: Talk!
  7. M. Donaldson, International Organizations and the Making of Modern Legal Histories, EJIL: Talk!
  8. J.W. Lucas, The Anti-Constitutional Legal Campaign against Gerrymandering Reaches the Supreme Court, National Review
Print Friendly
Published on January 14, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Conference Report–The State of Liberal Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe

–Boldizsár-Szentgáli Tóth, Junior Research Fellow, HAS Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies

The HAS Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies hosted a workshop on the state of liberal democracy in Central and Europe on 6 December 2018, co-organised with the International Society of Public Law Central and Eastern European Chapter (ICON-S CEE).

The workshop was based on the 2017 Global Review of Constitutional Law, a common project of I·CONnect and the Clough Center. It contains country reports from 61 jurisdictions in the world, authored by constitutional scholars and judges. In the framework of the workshops, the authors of the country reports from the Central and Eastern European region had an opportunity to have intense debate on the constitutional situation of the region, the common tendencies, and problems.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly
Published on January 12, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Five Questions with Catarina Santos Botelho

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

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

This edition of “Five Questions” features a short video interview with Catarina Santos Botelho, Assistant Professor and Department Chair of Constitutional Law at the Porto Faculty of Law at the Catholic University of Portugal.

One of her most recent papers is “Constitutional Narcissism on the Couch of Psychoanalysis: Constitutional Unamendability in Portugal and Spain,” available for download here.

Print Friendly
Published on January 11, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Reviews

Book Review: Karin Loevy on Jocelyn Stacey’s The Constitution of the Environmental Emergency

[Editor’s Note: In this installment of I•CONnect’s Book Review Series, Karin Loevy reviews Jocelyn Stacey, The Constitution of the Environmental Emergency (Hart 2018).]

Karin Loevy, NYU School of Law

Jocelyn Stacey’s book, The Constitution of the Environmental Emergency, is an ambitious and original project in the intersection between emergency powers theory and environmental law. It suggests that we should view environmental law through the lens of emergency powers; it then spells out an approach to the rule of law that is relevant for emergencies and applies it to environmental governance.

In that the book jumps through two fire hoops. First it makes an argument about the meaning of emergency powers debates to our understanding of the rule of law, an argument that presents itself as a full-blown response to Carl Schmitt’s emergency paradox. Then, it applies this conceptual framework to debates in and about environmental law.

This is undoubtedly a great ambition and Stacey manages to walk the reader through both dangerous hoops with determination and clarity. In the following I will outline the argument and the structure of the book as well as its undoubted value. I will then ask whether and to what extent the model she suggests successfully responds to Schmitt’s critic of liberal law and politics.

Read the rest of this entry…

Print Friendly
Published on January 10, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Reviews

Conference Report–The Inaugural ICON-S-IT Conference (Rome, November 23-24, 2018)

Maria Stella Bonomi, Post-Doctoral Scholar in Administrative Law, University of Roma Tre

The Inaugural Conference of the Italian Chapter of ICON-S was held in Rome on November 23-24, 2018 and focused on the theme of Unity and fragmentation within and beyond the State. The event was organized in cooperation with the National School of Public Administration (Scuola nazionale della Pubblica Amministrazione – SNA) – which hosted the Conference – and the Institute for research on public administration (Istituto di ricerche sulla pubblica amministrazione – IRPA).

The Inaugural Conference Organizing Committee was comprised of: Sabrina Bandera; Alessandro Baro; Stefano Battini; Maria Stella Bonomi; Marta Cartabia; Lorenzo Casini; Pietro Faraguna; Cristina Fasone; Angelo Mari; Giulio Napolitano; Marta Morvillo; Diletta Tega.

The conference had a remarkable success in terms of both participation and quality and attracted scholars from most Italian universities and research institutes, embracing all branches of public law. In particular, it featured:

  • 400 participants, both scholars and practitioners
  • 85 universities, both Italian and foreign
  • 2 plenary sessions
  • 65 parallel panels, with more than 250 papers presented, by both seniors and junior scholars.

The first plenary session concerned the independence of central banks as a constitutional principle, with the participation of Joseph H.H. Weiler (New York University), Chiara Zilioli (European Central Bank) and Roberto Bin (University of Ferrara). The second plenary session focused on the history of Italy and its connection with global culture, with the participation of Sabino Cassese (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), Andrea Giardina (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa) and Maria Rosaria Ferrarese (University of Cagliari).

The parallel panels dealt with a wide range of topics, among which the evolution of the concept of sovereignty; the relationship between international and domestic legal systems; migration, identification of national borders and border control; freedom of movement within and beyond the State; nationalism, populism and constitutional powers; the proliferation and fragmentation of the sources of law and regulation. The panels had a great success and participation. After the paper presentations, stimulating discussions between panelists and auditors allowed a fruitful exchange.

Here is the link to the conference programme:

Print Friendly
Published on January 10, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments