Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Rohan Alva, Jindal Global Law School

In this new weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in comparative 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 comparative public law blogosphere.

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

Developments in Constitutional Courts
1. The death sentence given to the assassins of India’s former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, has been reduced to imprisonment for life by the Indian Supreme Court, on grounds of delay in the decision on presidential pardon.
2. The Supreme Court of Philippines has ruled that the Cybercrime Prevention Act is constitutional, but has imposed certain restrictions on the operation of the legislation.
3. Thailand’s Civil Court has prohibited the use of force against protestors and declared that the government could not impose certain restrictions, such as place and group size restrictions, upon the protestors.
4. The High Court of Australia has directed that the Senate elections for Western Australia be conducted again. The High Court annulled the previous election on finding that 1,370 ballots had gone missing during the re-count of votes.
5. The US Supreme Court is scheduled to decide whether it will hear three cases which pertain to the regulation of firearms.

New Scholarship
1. Mayur Suresh and Siddharth Narrain (eds.), The Shifting Scales of Justice: The Supreme Court in Neo-liberal India, Orient Black Swan (2014) (a collection of essays dedicated to understanding the adjudicative ideology of the Indian Supreme Court, with an emphasis on unpacking the reasons for the “conservative” shift in judicial thought).
2. Martin Loughlin, Constitutional Pluralism: An Oxymoron? 3 Global Constitutionalism 9 (2014) (analyzing the idea of “constitutional pluralism” and assessing the inability of such pluralism to transcend the particular pitfalls that earlier forms of “pluralist thought” faced).
3. Nitya Ramakrishnan, In Custody-Law, Impunity and Prisoner Abuse in South Asia, Sage Publications (2013) (evaluating the ability of the architecture of the normative orders in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, India, and Sri Lanka to confront issues of torture).
4. Denis J. Galligan, The Sovereignty Deficit of Modern Constitutions, 33 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 703 (2013) (exploring the space that modern day constitutions create for “self-government” and concluding that most constitutions do not substantially create the possibilities of citizens playing a greater role in governance).
5. Yasmin Dawood, Democracy and the Right to Vote: Rethinking Democratic Rights under the Charter, 51 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 251 (2013) (examining the Canadian Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on voting rights, and advancing a new theoretical approach to better understand the Court’s treatment of “democratic rights”).

In the News
1. The Indian Parliament’s Upper House has passed the Whistle Blowers Bill, a piece of legislation which endeavors to legally safeguard individuals who draw attention to corrupt practices or to the abuse of discretionary powers by public officials.
2. The Ukrainian Parliament has voted to remove the nation’s President, Viktor Yanukovich for having misused his presidential powers.
3. Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan, and the Afghan Cabinet decided to review a controversial statutory provision which had proposed to disallow the testimony of relatives in cases of gender based violence.
4. The Spanish Parliament, by a decisive vote, disallowed Catalonia’s bid of holding a referendum on the issue of whether it must continue to remain a part of Spain.
5. The Thai Prime Minister has been officially indicted for corrupt practices on account of her alleged carelessness in tackling the financial misdeeds in Thailand’s rice subsidy programme.
6. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has advised Haiti to discharge its responsibilities of probing instances of violations of human rights which have occurred in the nation.
7. A bill recently passed in the state legislature of Arizona permits for the denial of service by commercial establishments, to homosexual individuals, if the denial is in exercise of the proprietor’s religious liberty

Elsewhere on Blogs
1. Sean O’Grady, Whole-life sentences: Why ignoring the European Court of Human Rights was the only sensible option, The Independent
2. Riddhi Dasgupta, An Arab Spring Success Story: Tunisia’s New Constitution, CNN Money
3. Jacob Rowbottom, Laws, Miranda and Democratic Justification of Expression, UK Constitutional Law Blog
4. Jessie Hill, Symposium: The Contraceptives Coverage Controversy — What’s Old is New Again, SCOTUS Blog
5. George Sadek, Perspectives on Egypt’s 2014 Constitution, Library of Congress Blog

Call for Papers
1. The Department of Child Law at Leiden University has issued a call for papers for its “International Conference 25 Years of the CRC” which will be held from November 17-19, 2014 at Leiden Law School.
2. Papers are invited for the 2014 SLS Annual Conference (Public Law Section) on “Judging in the 21st Century,” which will be held at the University of Nottingham from September 9-12, 2014.
3. Jindal Global Law School invites papers for its conference “Postcolonial Conversations on Law, Neoliberalism and Queer-Feminist Futures” which is to be held from October 15-18, 2014.
4. Athens Institute of Education and Research invites papers for the “11th Annual International Conference on Law” which will be held at Athens from July 14-17, 2014.


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