Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

ICON Volume 21, Issue 2: Editorial

[Joseph Weiler’s Editorial on ChatGPT and Law Exams was previously published on the ICONnect blog and can be found here.]

In this issue

You are opening ICON issue 21-2, which is also the issue compiled with a view to the 2023 ICON-S conference in Wellington, New Zealand, on “Islands and Oceans: Public Law in a Plural World.” As you will see, the issue combines a focus on the Asia-Pacific region and on gender.

The Editorial by Joseph Weiler discusses constructive ways to react to the advent of ChatGPT in teaching law, and particularly in creating law exams. Just as the introduction of electronic calculators did not make mathematical education superfluous, he suggests, AI will not put law professors out of work—it will simply change the ways in which students learn and are tested. In her Editorial Reflection, Anna Śledzińska-Simon examines how the right to abortion exists and is framed in constitutions globally.

The Articles Section begins with an article by Rosalind Dixon and Mila Versteeg, which explores the gender gap in citations. A letter to the editors by Urška Šadl, which opens the issue, reacts to this article—perhaps the beginning of further discussion. Subsequently, there are a number of articles on Chinese constitutional developments. Alec Stone Sweet and Trevor Wan discuss the constitutional reforms in China, which situate human dignity as a foundational norm, against the background of the global constitutional discourse. Shiling Xiao takes a closer look at proportionality analysis in Chinese administrative litigation. Finally, Xin He sees a change “from hierarchical to panoptic control” in how judges are controlled in China.

In the Critical Review of Governance Section, Ming-Sung Kuo examines how China (re)imagined the geographical distribution of authority, looking in particular at the debate surrounding the constitutional status of Hong Kong.

This issue’s ICON: Debate! begins with Zhaoxin Jiang’s article on the history of China’s Constitutional Court, followed by a reply by Chien-Chih Lin.

The Symposium in this issue, titled “Trans Identity and the Law,” is edited by Daniela Alaattinoglu, Alice Margaria and Stefano Osella. Following their introduction, Stefano Osella and Ruth Rubio-Marín discuss four models of gender recognition. Daniela Alaattinoglu and Alice Margaria take a look at “Trans Parents and the Gendered Law,” with critical reflections on the Swedish regulation. Anniken Sørlie focuses on trans reproduction and Federica Coppola examines gender identity in the context of incarceration. Marco Wan concludes the Symposium with his article on law, film, and trans identity in Hong Kong.

The issue continues with a Book Review Symposium, focusing on Women and the Judiciary in the Asia-Pacific by Melissa Crouch. Following an Introduction by Chien-Chih Lin, contributions by Susan Glazebrook, Ayesha Malik, Wen-Chen Chang and Surbhi Karwa explore feminism and the judiciary in the Asian-Pacific region.

In this issue, we also publish four book reviews, which discuss a variety of topics in various jurisdictions, including democratic constitutionalism, constitutional monarchy, human dignity, and the impact of foreign judges on judicial legitimacy and effectiveness. In her book review on Democratic Constitutionalism in India and European Union, Raeesa Vakil analyzes the method of “slow comparison” as a practical comparison methodology established by Philip Dann and Arun Thiruvengadam. Graham Hassall reviews Foreign Judges in the Pacific and points out two potential limitations of this book notwithstanding its seminal contribution. In his review of Constitutional Bricolage: Thailand’s Sacred Monarchy vs. The Rule of Law, Khemthong Tonsakulrungruang urges the author to be more critical of Thai jurists’ understanding of constitutional theories. Finally, Erin Daly reviews Human Dignity in Asia, exploring the concept of dignity in other jurisdictions not covered by this book, such as Nepal and Pakistan.



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