Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

I-CONnect Symposium on “The Euro-Crisis Ten Years Later: A Constitutional Appraisal”–Part II: Budgetary Procedures under the Irish Constitution

[Editor’s Note: This is the second entry in our symposium on the “The Euro-Crisis Ten Years Later: A Constitutional Appraisal.” The introduction to the symposium is available here and Part I is available here.]

–Ailbhe O’Neill, Trinity College Dublin

Collins v. Minister for Finance [2016] IESC 73 required the Irish Supreme Court to explore for the first time since the founding of the State the role of the parliament in approving spending under Bunreacht na hÉireann. The case raised fundamental questions about the balance of power between institutions envisaged under the Constitution and the degree of discretion that can be validly delegated to and exercised by the executive in respect of expenditure.

The financial crisis in Ireland was precipitated by a property bubble and subsequent bursting of that bubble which left a number of systemically important banks insolvent. (For background, see Honohan, The Irish Banking Crisis Regulatory and Financial Stability Policy 2003-2008, 2010 Nyberg, Misjudging Risk: Causes of the Systemic Banking Crisis in Ireland).

In 2010, it became clear that there were significant capital shortfalls and that Anglo Irish Bank Corporation (“Anglo”) was unable to access liquidity funds from the Central Bank of Ireland’s emergency liquidity fund due to this insolvency. These shortfalls in Anglo’s funds had arisen as its assets (i.e. its property-backed loans) were transferred to the National Asset Management Agency, an entity established by the National Asset Management Agency Act 2008 with the express purpose of taking on such loans in an effort to work out the debt. Bearing in mind that the government had given a State guarantee of all debts of Irish banks pursuant to the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Act 2008 (“the Act”) in 2008, it was imperative that this situation be stabilised.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly
Published on February 21, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

I-CONnect Symposium on “The Euro-Crisis Ten Years Later: A Constitutional Appraisal”–Part I: The Eurozone Crisis and the Rise of the Portuguese Constitutional Court

[Editor’s Note: This is the first entry in our symposium on the “The Euro-Crisis Ten Years Later: A Constitutional Appraisal.” The introduction to the symposium is available here.]

–Teresa Violante, Goethe University Frankfurt and Max-Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

The story of how the Eurozone crisis was particularly harsh on Portugal is well known. Its most visible side concerns austerity policies particularly following the international loan agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB). As the government’s report on the execution of the Adjustment Programme claimed, «these were the years of the deepest and most wide-reaching reforms in the history of our democracy».

Poverty increased near the most vulnerable parts of the population such as children and youngsters. Despite the entrenched belief that the least-off had been spared to the harshest consequences, a recent study shows that it was the poor who were most severely affected: whereas the highest incomes suffered an average decrease of 13%, the 10% lowest incomes endured a reduction of 25%.[1] General welfare and the provision of public services were also affected by increase in costs and cuts in their direct provision. Unemployment raised to the highest level registered under a democratic regime. From 7.6% in 2008 the figure skyrocketed to 16.2% in 2013 whereas the GDP decreased 7%. The budget deficit, on the contrary, decreased from 11% of the GDP in 2010 to 3% in 2017, when the Excessive Deficit Procedure against Portugal was finally closed.

The effects of the crisis are still unfolding.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly
Published on February 20, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

I-CONnect Symposium–The Euro-Crisis Ten Years Later: A Constitutional Appraisal–Introduction

[Editor’s Note: I-CONnect is pleased to feature a one-week symposium on the 10-year anniversary of the Euro crisis. We are grateful to our conveners–Professors Pietro Faraguna, Cristina Fasone, and Diletta Tega–for assembling a diverse group of scholars to explore this important moment in European history.]

Pietro Faraguna, University of Trieste; Cristina Fasone, University of Rome «LUISS Guido Carli»;  and Diletta Tega, University of Bologna

This I-CONnect symposium stems from a special section forthcoming in Quaderni costituzionali and features four posts concerning the impact of the Euro-crisis, ten years after the start of the subprime mortgage crisis in the US, on the four Eurozone countries that probably have been affected the most.

In fact, the year 2018 marked the end of the financial assistance programmes activated between 2010 and 2015 in favour of Ireland, Portugal, Spain Cyprus and Greece (which benefited from three rescue packages). These programmes were primarily financed through funds established within the European Union framework at large, by means of international agreements and having the Eurozone Member State as shareholders, as occurred in the case of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). To a lesser extent, the rescue of those Eurozone countries depended on the contribution of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that has lent 26 billion euro to Portugal, 22.5 billion euro to Ireland, 1 billion euro to Cyprus and over 60 billion euro to Greece on the whole. Financial assistance was also conceded through bilateral loans (also by non-Eurozone countries): 80 billion euro in the framework of the first rescue package to Greece and 4.8 billion euro to Portugal. In comparison with the IMF and the bilateral assistance, the loans provided through the “European funds” was more generous by far. The European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM), the only fund purely financed by the Union budget and regulated by EU law, in particular by Council Regulation (EU) No 407/2010 of 11 May 2010, provided for financial assistance to Portugal and Ireland for 26 and 22.5 billion euro, respectively. The EFSF contributed to the rescue of Portugal with 26 billion euro, of Ireland with 17.7 billion and of Greece, in the context of the second package of financial assistance, for a good 144 billion euro. Finally, the ESM, still in operation unlike the other funds, lent Spain 41.3 billion, Cyprus 9 billion and Greece over 60 billion euro, just in between 2015 and 2018.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly
Published on February 19, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

What’s New in Public Law

Gaurav Mukherjee, S.J.D. Candidate in Comparative Constitutional Law, Central European University, Budapest

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

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Supreme Court of Pakistan concluded hearings in the politically sensitive ‘Memogate’ matter which had been brought under its suo motu jurisdiction.
  2. Kenya’s High Court will rule this month on the validity of Section 162 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes gay sex.
  3. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the nonconsensual filming of 27 students between the ages of 14 and 18 by a school teacher was illegal, despite arguments that the students did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in school.
  4. The Constitutional Court of South Africa commenced hearings on whether the South African President is under a constitutional obligation to disclose reasons and a record for constituting or changing Cabinet.
  5. Thailand’s Constitutional Court announced that it will consider a ban on a party that nominated princess for prime minister, raising the prospect of a further set-back for opposition chances in a general election.
  6. In a blow for its institutional integrity, the Supreme Court of India summarily dismissed two court officials for allegedly tampering with an uploaded judicial order that wrongly created an impression that the industrialist Anil Ambani had been exempted from personal appearance in a contempt case.
  7. The High Court of Australia rejected an attempt to reopen a controversial ruling which effectively enabled indefinite immigration detention in Australia.
  8. The Supreme Court of India refused to monitor an ongoing federal investigation into the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam in West Bengal, a state in Eastern India, which is being seen as a welcome development in a jurisdiction where judicial overreach is not unheard of.
  9. The German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) Germany’s supreme court for civil and criminal cases, held that booking cars for hire with professional drivers through the app Uber Black, the luxury chauffeur service, is prohibited.

In the News

  1. The Union Solidarity and Development Party in Myanmar put forward a bill to amend Article 261 of the Constitution that would, if approved, see regional chief ministers elected by local legislatures rather than appointed by the president.
  2. The Supreme Court of Spain began the trial of a dozen accused over their alleged roles in the Catalan independence crisis that pitched Spain into its worst political turmoil for four decades.
  3. Greece’s parliament voted to revise several articles in the country’s constitution, aiming to facilitate the prosecution of corrupt politicians, the prime minister’s office said.
  4. Donald Trump declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Constitutional analysis of this development can be found here.
  5. The Egyptian Parliament approved sweeping measures that would allow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to extend his rule until 2034 and enshrining in law the military’s dominance over the country.
  6. African National Congress MP Thoko Didiza was elected as chairwoman of the ad-hoc committee established to amend section 25 of the South African Constitution to explicitly allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
  7. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan adopted a concise plan for its goal of revising the nation’s pacifist Constitution at its annual convention, apparently in consideration of local and national elections later this year.
  8. Ukraine’s Parliament adopted amendments to the Constitution on Ukraine’s foreign policy on EU and NATO membership, providing for changes to the preamble of Ukraine’s Constitution, according to which, the parliament confirms the European identity of the Ukrainian nation and irreversibility of the European and Euro-Atlantic course of Ukraine.
  9. Human rights and education experts from around the world met in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire to adopt the Abidjan Principles which aim to “clarify existing legal obligations that States have regarding the delivery of education, and in particular the role and limitations of private actors in the provision of education”.
  10.  The Länd of Brandenburg became the first in Germany to pass an act on gender parity in politics, the goal of the Parity Act is to counter the current underrepresentation of women in the Parliament of Brandenburg, where they make up 38.6% of parliamentarians, even though they represent 51.02% of the population eligible to vote.

New Scholarship

  1. Vivek Maru and Varun Gauri (eds.), Community Paralegals and the Pursuit of Justice, 2018 (providing an account of community paralegals – sometimes called barefoot lawyers – who demystify law and empower people to advocate for themselves. The book focuses on paralegal movements in six countries, brings together rich, vivid stories of paralegals helping people to take on injustice, from domestic violence to unlawful mining to denial of wages).
  2. Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash, Of Synchronicity and Supreme Law, 132 Harvard Law Review 1220 (2019) (offering a comprehensive account of existing federal lawmaking practices as they relate to time. The article also considers how those timing practices have evolved over US history and argues that the Constitution requires some measure of synchronicity within each form of lawmaking.).
  3. Democracy Reporting International, La Mise en Oeuvre De La Constitution Tunisienne au Niveau du Cadre Juridique (2019) (reporting on the progress of the implementation of the Tunisian Constitution in the following areas: human rights, in particular civil and political rights; separation and balance of powers; the independence of the judiciary; accountability and transparency mechanisms; the establishment of independent constitutional bodies and decentralization) (in French and Arabic).
  4. Katharine S.E. Cresswell Riol, The Right to Food Guidelines, Democracy and Citizen Participation. Country case studies, 2019 (providing an an overview of the right to adequate food, accountability and democracy, and an introduction to the history of the development of the right to adequate food and the Right to Food Guidelines. The book also focuses on the effectiveness of the Right to Food Guidelines as both a policy-making and monitoring tool, based on the analysis of the guidelines and the BRICS states).
  5. Ellis M. West, The Free Exercise of Religion in America Its Original Constitutional Meaning, 2019 (providing a historic and jurisprudential analysis of the original meaning of the two religion clauses of the First Amendment of the US Constitution).
  6. The Harvard Law Review Board, An Abdication Approach to State Standing, 132 Harv. L. Rev. 1301 (2019) (putting forth an alternative approach to state standing in US constitutional law cases that would offer lasting access to judicial review in cases where the federal government has failed to meet its enforcement obligations under federal law, should the power of special solicitude be diminished).
  7. Panos Kapotas and Vassilis P. Tzevelekos (eds.), Building Consensus on European Consensus Judicial Interpretation of Human Rights in Europe and Beyond, 2019 (presenting essays based on three themes: a) conceptualization of European consensus, its modus operandi and its effects; b) critical evaluation of its legitimacy and of its outputs; c) comparison with similar methods of judicial interpretation in other legal systems).
  8. Pietro Faraguna, Regulating Religion in Italy. Constitution Does (not) Matter, 7(1) Journal of Law, Religion and State (2019) (focusing on state-church relations and on the peculiar implementation of the “idea of secularism” in Italy, while arguing that the transformation of the constitutional position of religion did not occur within the formal constitution, but in the “living constitution”).
  9. Jacques de Ville, Constitutional Theory: Schmitt after Derrida, Birbeck Law Press, 2019 (advancing a new reading of the central works of Carl Schmitt and, in so doing, rethinking the primary concepts of constitutional theory).
  10. The Harvard Law Review Board, Equal Dignity — Heeding Its Call, 132 Harv. L. Rev. 1323 (2019) (elaborating on the principles underlying equal dignity, discussing the specific doctrinal implications that equal dignity should have on substantive due process and equal protection inquiries, while also assessing whether lower courts have thus far properly heeded equal dignity’s call. The Note also argues that equal dignity should have particular salience to the growing judicial recognition of the rights of transgender individuals.
  11. B. C. Smith, Judges and Democratization. Judicial Independence in New Democracies, 2019 (examining the paradox of judicial activism arising from the independence endowed upon the judiciary by post-authoritarian constitutions. The book asks how, in the context of this endowed authority, such accountability can be made compatible with the preservation of judicial independence when the concept of an accountable, independent judiciary appears to be a contradiction in terms).
  12. Larry Barnett, Societal Agents in Law, 2019 (delving into the macro-sociological sources of law concerned with society, such as important social activities in a structurally complex, democratically governed nation. The book offers an alternative to the almost-total monopoly of theory and descriptive scholarship in the macrosociology of law, comparative law, and history of law, and underscores the value of a mixed empirical/theoretical approach).
  13. Kathryn McNeilly, Human Rights and Radical Social Transformation. Futurity, Alterity, Power, 2019 (seeking to reassess the radical possibilities for human rights and explore how rights may be re-engaged as a tool to facilitate radical social change via the concept of ‘human rights to come’. This idea proposes a reconceptualization of human rights in theory and practice which foregrounds human rights as inherently futural and capable of sustaining a critical relation to power and alterity in radical politics).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The annual conference of the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy (ASLP) will be hosted by the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney on 18 – 19 July 2019. The ASLP welcomes philosophical or theoretically-oriented papers from any field of legal inquiry. Further details here
  2. Applications are invited for a full-time Research Fellow for the Access to Justice for Social Rights: Addressing the Accountability Gap project funded by the Nuffield Foundation, in the School of Law, University of Stirling. The Fellowship offers early career researchers the opportunity to lead and conduct research on the future of social rights protection across the UK.
  3. The Comparative Constitutions Project announced that Constitute en español is now live.
  4. The American Society of Comparative Law has issued a call for proposals for concurrent panels, and a works in progress conference to be held in association with the ASCL Annual Meeting on “Comparative Law and International Dispute Resolution Processes”.
  5. The Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script” (SCRIPTS) at the Freie Universität Berlin, directed by Professor Tanja A. Börzel and Professor Michael Zürn, is offering up to four postdoctoral fellowships. Applications are sought in research areas in public law including challenges to global liberal constitutionalism from the rom European rightwing populism to African communitarianism to China’s economic system.
  6. The London School of Economics and Political Science, the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, and the European University Institute are pleased to invite submissions for the third European Junior Faculty Forum for Public Law and Jurisprudence to be held at the London School of Economics and Political Science on June 10-11, 2019. The deadline for submission is April 7, 2019.
  7. The WZB Berlin Social Science Center hosts on 6 July 2019 the Scholars Workshop: New Thinking Global Constitutionalism.
  8. Submissions are invited from comparative law scholars around the world for a works-in-progress roundtable on all subjects of comparative law at The University of Texas at Austin on May 21, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Kim Lane Scheppele, Trump’s Non-Emergency Emergency, Verfassungsblog, 15 February.
  2. Petra Bárd, To leave or not to leave? Viktor Orbán’s war against George Soros and the CEU dilemma, Reconnect Blog, 14 February
  3. Grégoire Webber and Paul Yowell, Legislated Rights: Symposium, Judicial Power Project, 14 February 2019 (all six posts from the symposium on the Webber- Yowell book can be found in the hyperlink).
  4. Leah Litman, The Substance of the Supreme Court’s Procedure, Take Care, 13 February.
  5. Mercy Muendo, Kenya plans to place public security above data privacy. That’s a bad idea, The Conversation, 12 February
  6. Yuvraj Joshi, Affirmative Action Is About to Face a Judicial Assault, Slate, 12 February
  7. Leah Litman, Justice Kavanaugh Said No On Roe, Take Care, 11 February.
  8. Federico Fabbrini, Brexit: Through the Looking Glass, Oxford Constitutional Law, February 2019
  9. Nancy Agutu, Why Kenyan Deputy President Ruto prefers an official opposition to the creation of post of prime minister, Constitution Net, 11 February
  10. David R. Cameron, EU doesn’t budge on Irish “backstop” but talks resume on future relationship, Yale MacMillan Centre, 11 February
  11. Joaquín Urías, The Spanish Model of Democracy Facing Trial, Verfassungsblog, 11February.
  12. National Constitution Center, How a national tragedy led to the 25th amendment, National Constitution Center, 11 February
  13. Colm McCarthy, Why Referendums in Ireland Work Better than in the UK, Verfassungsblog, 11February.
  14. Louis Menand, The Supreme Court Case That Enshrined White Supremacy in Law, The New Yorker, 4 February
  15. Trésor M. Makunya, An agenda for constitutional reform in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), ConstitutionNet, 5 February
  16. Zachary Elkins, Compared with what? How to Read the Cuban Constitutional Reforms, Medium, 6 February
Print Friendly
Published on February 18, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Invitation to Friends of I-CONnect: Conference on “The Future of Liberal Democracy” at the University of Texas Law School

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

Along with my faculty colleague Sanford Levinson, I am hosting an international conference on The Future of Liberal Democracy, later this week here at the University of Texas at Austin. All are invited to attend.

The program will feature many members of the International Society of Public Law, including a current Co-President, a former Co-President, and the current Deputy Secretary-General, in addition to many regular attendees at the ICON-S Annual Conference.

The conference is prompted by the observation that liberal democracy is under attack in many countries across the globe and under stress in several others. Thirty scholars from around the world will gather to diagnose what ails liberal democracy and also to discuss what can be done to save it.

Panelists will examine the erosion of constraints executive power, the growing practice of constitutional replacement by constitutional amendment, as well as legal and political strategies for managing difference and diversity. In addition, panelists will discuss two questions: (1) Is the Trump phenomenon an instance of American exceptionalism or is it part of larger global trend?; and (2) Is illiberal constitutionalism an oxymoron?

The full program is available here. The list of participants is available here. And details on travel and accommodation are available here.

All are welcome to attend.

Print Friendly
Published on February 17, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Developments

Constitutional Retrogression in Indonesia

–Abdurrachman Satrio, Researcher at the Center for State Policy Studies, Faculty of Law, Padjadjaran University

Constitutional retrogression, as defined by Aziz Huq and Tom Ginsburg, occurs when democratically elected rulers use formal legal measures to undermine democracy gradually.[1] In this post, I will argue that Indonesia – the most stable democratic country in Southeast Asia – has undergone constitutional retrogression in the era of President Joko Widodo’s government.[2]

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly
Published on February 15, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

Five Questions with Elaine Mak

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 Elaine Mak, Professor of Jurisprudence and Vice-Dean for Education at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance at Utrecht University. 

One of her most recent publications is her inaugural lecture as a chaired professor. It is entitled “The T-Shaped Lawyer and Beyond: Rethinking Legal Professionalism and Legal Education for Contemporary Societies,” available here.

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

Print Friendly
Published on February 14, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Reviews

Russia’s Contested Constitutional Review

William Partlett, Melbourne Law School

[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.]

In my posts over the course of this year, I will explore the significance of constitutionalism in post-Soviet Eurasia (previewing aspects of a book I am writing on this subject). This understudied region spans the fifteen independent countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. On the west, this region covers Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, and the three Baltic States.  To the south, it encompasses the five “stans” of Central Asia as well as the three countries of the Caucasus. And, to the north and the east, it comprises the successor state to the Soviet Union: Russia.  Although they share a common Soviet past, these countries have developed vastly different constitutional systems and approaches.   

To start this examination, I will explore the significance of constitutional review in post-Soviet Eurasia’s largest country: Russia.  I will do so by describing a recent Russian Constitutional Court (RCC) decision (17 January 2019) involving a dual Russian and Netherlands citizen, who owned a large share of a media company (link in Russian here). The lower courts ultimately held that he was unable to challenge an important corporate decision involving his media company because of a Russian law limiting the rights of foreign citizens (including dual citizens) to own shares in media companies. He challenged this decision in the RCC, arguing that the law’s legal restriction unconstitutionally limited his constitutional right to 1) property, 2) judicial protection, and 3) freely distribute information.

Read the rest of this entry…
Print Friendly
Published on February 13, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis

Book Review: Odile Ammann on “Constituent Assemblies” (Jon Elster et al., eds.)

[Editor’s Note: In this installment of I•CONnect’s Book Review Series, Odile Ammann reviews Constituent Assemblies (Jon Elster, Roberto Gargarella, Vatsal Naresh & Bjorn Erik Rasch, eds., Cambridge 2018)

–Odile Ammann, University of Zurich

In the legal history of a State (or, for that matter, of any political entity), the drafting of a new constitution is an exceptional occurrence. Given the important consequences of their work, as well as their significance for political, legal, and especially constitutional theory, constituent assemblies should not escape academic scrutiny.

It is precisely this challenging topic which this edited volume proposes to explore, in response to “a wave of studies of constitution-making that has gathered momentum over the last decades” (1). Most of the twelve contributors are political scientists; two are lawyers, and one (Thorvaldur Gylfason) is an economist who has been part of a constituent assembly.

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

What’s New in Public Law

Chiara Graziani, Ph.D. Candidate and Research Fellow in Constitutional Law, University of Genoa (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 Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights accepted referral of the Big Brother Watch v. the United Kingdom case, ruled by the First Section in September 2018.
  2. The European Court of Human Rights held that requiring a person to undergo DNA testing in the framework of an action to establish paternity does not amount to a breach of the right to respect for private life.
  3. The Supreme Court of Brazil overturned an injunction that had frozen a probe into suspicious cash payments involving President Jair Bolsonaro’s son, ruling that the investigation can restart.
  4. The UK Supreme Court ruled that not all miscarriage of justice victims are entitled to a payout.
  5. The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a Louisiana law imposing restrictions on abortion.
  6. The Supreme Court of India was asked by the government to allow land transfer near the town of Ayodhya.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Hungary was asked by opposition parties to investigate an overhaul of the justice system.
  8. The Canadian Supreme Court ruled that repeated attempts to destroy evidence can, in some cases, be used to infer intention to commit murder.
  9. The German Federal Constitutional Court held that automatic number plate recognition pursuant to the Bavarian Police Act is partially unconstitutional.
  10. A delegation of the German Federal Constitutional Court participated in a commemoration of the Weimar Constitution.

In the News

  1. The Australian Parliament agreed to act on financial recommendations made by the Royal Commission, bringing relevant changes in the financial sector.
  2. A judge of the District of New Jersey allowed a class action against Mercedes and Bosch over allegations of emissions cheating.
  3. A number of human rights groups called for a United Nations investigation into China’s mass detention of Muslims. 
  4. A U.S. judge dismissed a lawsuit by the state of Maryland on the Affordable Care Act.  
  5. The U.S. House Judiciary Committee launched an inquiry into the Trump Administration’s decisions on some voting rights lawsuits and on the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 U.S. Census.
  6. Two bills aimed at strengthening enforcement of antitrust law were introduced in the U.S. Senate.
  7. The U.S. announced that it will withdraw from arms control treaty with Russia, unless Russia ends alleged violations of the agreement.
  8. The Pentagon announced deployment of an additional 3750 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
  9. Constitutional amendments were proposed in Egypt that would allow the President to stay in power until 2034.
  10. New measures to improve data exchange between EU information systems to manage borders, security and migration were informally agreed between MEPs and EU ministers.
  11. The EU Parliament welcomed new Brexit plan.
  12. An ECOWAS Court dismissed a suit from a former Nigerian military officer, holding that Nigeria has not violated its human rights in compelling him to retire for being enrolled in a University degree without the authorization of the Chief of the Army Staff.
  13. France recalled its ambassador from Italy for consultations.

New Scholarship

  1. Michael J. Boyle (ed.), Legal and Ethical Implications of Drone Warfare (2019) (examining how and to what extent the drone technology is changing the rules surrounding the use of force and enabling new and unprecedented approaches by states)
  2. Giacomo Delledonne, Giuseppe Martinico (eds.), The Canadian Contribution to a Comparative Law of Secession (2019) (collecting essays discussing the impact of the Quebec Secession Reference, twenty years after its delivery by the Canadian Supreme Court)
  3. Sherif Elgebeily, The Rule of Law in the United Nations Security Council Decision-Making Process (2019) (dealing with concerns based on the rule of law regarding the decisional process of the UN Security Council, evaluating where and how the rule of law is neglected and arguing in favour of external regulation of the Security Council’s practice and judicial review of its decisions)
  4. Oliver Garner, The Existential Crisis of Citizenship of the European Union: The Argument for an Autonomous Status, 20(4) Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies (arguing for the recognition of European citizenship as an autonomous legal status)
  5. Damian A. Gonzalez Salzberg, Sexuality and Transsexuality Under the European Convention on Human Rights – A Queer Reading of Human Rights Law (2019) (analysing international human rights law through the lenses of the queer theory)
  6. Fady Khoury, Reinforcing Ethnic Hegemony: The Social and Expressive Harms of the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law, 23(4) Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture (2018) (providing an analysis of the constitutional norm’s social and expressive harms through employing expressive theories of law as the frame of reference)
  7. Christine Landfriend (ed.), Judicial Power. How Constitutional Courts Affect Political Transformation (2019) (discussing the impact of constitutional and supreme courts’ decisions on democratic governance)
  8. Miguel Nogueira de Brito et al. (eds.), The Role of Legal Argumentation and Human Dignity in Constitutional Courts (focusing on how the concept of human dignity is treated in constitutional courts’ argumentation)
  9. Patricia Popelier and Maja Sahadžić (eds.), Constitutional Asymmetry in Multinational Federalism (forthcoming 2019) (analysing the relationship between constitutional asymmetry in federal systems and multinationalism in countries in Africa, Asia and Europe)
  10. Geoffrey L. Stone and Lee C. Bollinger (eds.), The Free Speech Century (2019) (evaluating the development of the free speech doctrine in the U.S. since the Schenck decision)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC) released the seventh monthly update of its bibliography on democratic decay (February 2019 – available here), containing new research worldwide from January 2019; items suggested by DEM-DEC users; a rapidly expanding list of forthcoming research; and a list of new resources added to the Links section. A post introducing the Update will be published on the IACL-AIDC Blog on Monday 11 February, followed by publication on Verfassungsblog.
  2. Macquarie Law School invites applications to join its faculty. The Law School has a special priority interest in law & technology and health law & policy. More details are available here.
  3. The British Institute of International and Comparative Law is organizing the Conference “Should FDI be restricted on national security grounds?”, to be held in London on March 13, 2019.
  4. The Norwegian Center for Human Rights calls for submissions of abstracts for a Conference on “Protecting Community Interests under International Law: Challenges and Prospects for the 21st Century”, to be held in Oslo on June 3, 2019. Proposals are to be sent by March 15, 2019 to
  5. The Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong invites applications for its two-year Global Academic Fellow Program. Online applications can be submitted here by March 25, 2019. Any question should be addressed at
  6. The Centre for Privacy Studies of the Danish National Research Foundation invites applications for 3 fully funded Postdoctoral Fellowships. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2019.  
  7. The Leuven Centre for Public Law (LCPL) and RIPPLE (Research in Political Philosophy Leuven) invite the submission of abstracts along with CV to participate in the Conference “Democratic renewal in times of polarization. The case of Belgium”, which will be held in Leuven on September 19-20, 2019. The deadline to submit proposals (to is May 1, 2019.
  8. The DCU Brexit Institute is organizing the “Brexit Day Seminar”, to be held in Dublin on March 29, 2019.
  9. The Mouvement Jeune Notariat (French notaries) organizes its 50th annual conference on the practice of international estate planning that will be held in Lisbon (Portugal) on October 10-13, 2019.
  10. The American Association of Law Schools’ Section on Comparative Law announces the inaugural “Mark Tushnet Prize” for an untenured scholar who has made an important scholarly contribution in the field of comparative law. The deadline to submit nominations is August 1, 2019.
  11. Applicants are invited for a Special Workshop at the 2019 IVR World Congress on “Alternatives to Liberal Constitutionalism: Popular, Political, Deliberative.” More details are available here.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Ariel I. Ahram, The Stockholm Agreement and Yemen’s Other Wars, Lawfare
  2. Scott R. Anderson, What Does It Mean for the United States to Recognize Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s President, Lawfare
  3. Iryna Bogdanova, WTO Dispute on the US Human Rights Sanctions is Looming on the Horizon, EJIL:Talk!
  4. Marek Domin, A Part of the Constitution is Unconstitutional, the Slovak Constitutional Court has Ruled, IACL-AIDC Blog
  5. Steve Peers, The European Central Bank – judicial review of monetary policy and banking supervision, EU Law Analysis
  6. Eline Schaart, Citizens’ rights for Brits in the EU if there’s no Brexit deal, Politico
  7. Martin Scheinin, The EU Regulation on Terrorist Content: An Emperor without Clothes, Verfassungsblog
  8. Thomas Seibert, Efforts to write a new constitution for Syria grind to a halt, Constitutionnet
  9. Szilárd Gáspár-Szilágyi, AG Bot in Opinion 1/17. The Autonomy of the EU Legal Order v. the Reasons Why CETA ICS Might Be Needed, European Law Blog
  10. Anne Twomey, Can Standing Orders Prevent a Simple Majority of the House From Passing a Bill Against the Government’s Wishes?, Auspublaw
  11. Arianna Vedaschi and Chiara Graziani, Citizenship Revocation as a Counter-Terrorism Measure in Italy, Verfassungsblog
Print Friendly
Published on February 11, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Reviews