Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

ICON Volume 19, Issue 5: Editorial

Editorial: Germany v Italy: Jurisdictional Immunities—Redux (and Redux and Redux); 10 good reads; I•CON Thematic Reading Lists; Behind the scenes—Our Managing Editor; In this Issue

Germany v Italy: Jurisdictional Immunities—Redux (and Redux and Redux)

[J.H.H. Weiler’s Editorial was previously published on the ICONnect blog at the following link.]

10 good reads

[J.H.H. Weiler’s list of 10 good reads was previously published on the ICONNect blog at the following link.]

I•CON Thematic Reading Lists

We are instituting a new I•CON feature, which consists of thematic reading lists drawn from the articles, reviews and essays published in the Journal over the years. We begin with the fields of administrative law, democracy, environment, gender and migration. The lists will be made available online at and will be freely accessible. We hope readers will find these collections useful for teaching, research and other purposes, and will enjoy revisiting these works.

JHHW and GdeB

Behind the scenes—Our Managing Editor

When watching a memorable movie, we tend to focus on the actors, the director and the screenwriter. But those in the business will tell you that absent an effective and talented Production Manager, no manner of talent will save the movie. This is just as true for scholarly journals where the Managing Editor is the person who is constantly vigilant to make sure that all the pieces come together as they should, from submission to final print. I•CON and EJIL owe a huge debt to our wonderful Managing Editor, Anny Bremnerher professionalism, talent and dedication have more than once saved us from disasters big and small. Indeed, any imperfections in the Journal you may find are despite her and not because of her. You may be thinking, as you read this, that it is the customary thanks that ensue when someone is leaving a team. Perish the thought! We are looking forward to many more years in her capable hands. The reason for taking this opportunity to acknowledge her invaluable contribution to the Journal is to enable our readers to share our appreciation of the person who keeps the ship sailing so smoothly.

JHHW and GdeB

In this issue

The issue comprises a Symposium on Cultural Heritage, no less than three ICON: Debates!, and several individual articles and book reviews.

The Articles section begins with a text in which Tom Ginsburg and Mila Versteeg, based on a comparative analysis, explore emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ming-Sung Kuo revisits the role of transnational judicial dialogue, drawing on Robert Cover’s thinking about nomos and narrative. Ezequiel Gonzalez-Ocantos and Wayne Sandholtz analyze judicial dialogue in the Inter-American System, and specifically examine which courts are cited by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Equally concerned with judicial dialogue are Jan Podkowik, Marek Zubik, and Robert Rybski, in their article in which they analyze how several national courts and the European Court of Justice reacted to the European Data Retention Directive. Peter Szigeti then argues that comparative law is at the heart of immigration law, as states regularly engage comparatively with criminal laws or family laws of immigrants’ states of origin. His article provides an overview of comparative methods used in the immigration laws of Canada and the United States.

The Critical Review of Jurisprudence Section this time features an article by Taís Penteado, in which she analyses the abortion jurisprudence in Brazil from feminist, equality-based perspectives.

Felicia Caponigri, Lorenzo Casini and Sabino Cassese introduce the Symposium on Cultural Heritage, which explores the structures and dilemmas of cultural heritage law. Elisa Bernard looks at the protection of archaeological heritage in Italy, considering how the pluralistic identity that archaeological objects can have sits uneasily with a cultural property nationalism/internationalism dialectic. Felicia Caponigri compares cultural property laws in the United States and in Italy around the case of the Balbo monument. Anna Ghezzi focuses on archives as cultural heritage, exploring the origin and development of the notion of historic archive. Anna Pirri Valentini concludes the Symposium with an article on the role of cultural heritage policies in the definition of a national identity.

An article by Stefan Voigt then starts off the ICON: Debate! on Empirical Constitutional Scholarship. Voigt points out the gap between constitutional text and constitutional reality, and asks how this gap can be researched. Niels Petersen and Konstantin Chatziathanasiou provide a critical overview of the quantitative-empirical literature in comparative constitutional law. Zachary Elkins and Tom Ginsburg react to that article, summarizing the phenomenon as “leximetrics” and pointing out some challenges as well as effects for legal scholarship more widely. Adam Chilton and Mila Versteeg also respond to the article by Petersen and Chatziathanasiou, arguing that several of the problems they identify with empirical constitutional scholarship are already being addressed. The Debate concludes with a Rejoinder by Niels Petersen and Konstantin Chatziathanasiou.

Another ICON: Debate! opens with an article by Ruiping Ye, who explores the “shifting meanings of fazhi and China’s journey toward a socialist rule of law,” followed by responses by Jerome A. Cohen and by Wen-Chen Chang.

A third Debate begins with an article by Emmett Macfarlane on the judicial amendment of the constitution, to which Kate Glover Berger as well as Erin F. Delaney and Christopher W. Schmidt react.

The Book Review Section comprises four reviews: Maria Moscati discusses Alice Margaria’s book “The Construction of Fatherhood. The Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights”; Pierfrancesco Rossi engages with Odile Ammann’s “Domestic Courts and the Interpretation of International Law: Methods and Reasoning Based on the Swiss Example”; Angelo Jr Golia reviews the book by Mariano Croce and Marco Goldoni: “The Legacy of Pluralism. The Continental Jurisprudence of Santi Romano, Carl Schmitt, and Costantino Mortati”. Finally, Zubair Abbasi writes about Rachel M. Scott’s book “Recasting Islamic Law: Religion and the Nation in Egyptian Constitution Making”.

JHHW and GdeB


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