Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Patrick Yingling, Reed Smith LLP

In this 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 Constitutional Court of Indonesia upheld a law requiring political parties to win at least 20 percent of seats or 25 percent of the popular vote in order to field a presidential candidate.
  2. Thailand’s Constitutional Court declared the country’s recent general election to be unconstitutional because all votes were not cast on the same day.
  3. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany upheld the constitutionality of the European Stability Mechanism.
  4. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a California law allowing authorities to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested on a felony charge.
  5. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a temporary stay of a judge’s order striking down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage.
  6. The Illinois Supreme Court struck down a state eavesdropping law that made it illegal to record audio of conversations unless all parties consented.

New Scholarship

  1. David S. Law, Judicial Comparativism and Judicial Diplomacy, Washington University in St. Louis Research Paper (2014) (examining the reasons why courts engage in comparativism by looking to three leading courts in East Asia) 
  2. Anne Twomey, The Application of Constitutional Preambles and the Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians, 62 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 317 (2013) (drawing upon various constitutional preambles to challenge assumptions underlying proposals for a new preamble to the Australian Constitution designed to recognize indigenous Australians)
  3. Albert H.Y. Chen, The Discourse of Political Constitutionalism in Contemporary China (2014) (discussing political constitutionalism in contemporary China by introducing and commenting on the scholarship of Professor Gao Quanxi)
  4. Comparative Constitutional Law in Asia (Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg eds.) (illuminating material from Asian jurisdictions on matters such as freedom of religion, constitutional courts, property rights, emergency regimes, and the drafting process of constitutions)
  5. Comparative Law and Society (David S. Clark ed.) (offering a history of the field of comparative law and society and an exploring its methods, disciplines, and major issues)
  6. Corruption and Conflicts of Interest, A Comparative Law Approach (Jean-Bernard Auby, Emmanuel Breen & Thomas Perroud eds.) (highlighting the difficulties of devising global legislative and judicial responses to corruption and conflicts of issues)

In the News

  1. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan obtained a court order banning Twitter ahead of Turkish elections.
  2. The Myanmar legislature approved a new media law affording greater press freedoms to local media outlets.
  3. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation making Crimea officially part of Russia.
  4. The High Court of Kenya ruled that journalist Walter Barasa can be extradited to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on accusations of using bribes to disrupt the ICC prosecution of William Ruto, Kenya’s deputy president.
  5. Human rights groups criticized an Iraqi draft law that would legalize marital rape, enshrine a guardianship role for men over wives, and allow girls as young as nine to marry.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Lissa Griffin, Progress for China’s Criminal Justice System?, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  2. Eugene Volokh, Belgium Bans a Wide Range of Sexist Speech, The Volokh Conspiracy
  3. David Firestone, Want to Vote? Show Us Your Papers, N.Y. Times – Taking Note Blog
  4. Benjamin Ng’aru, In Defence of these “Disgusting and Unnatural”, AfricLaw
  5. Gerard Magliocca, Secession from a State, Concurring Opinions

Calls for Papers

  1. Organizers have issued a call for papers for “Constitution Writing, Religion and Human Rights – An International Workshop” in Bielefeld, Germany.
  2. Organizers invite proposals on “Human Rights and Memory” for the Fourth Annual Conference of the Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory Network at Lund University, Sweden.
  3. Oxford Transitional Justice Research welcomes submissions pertaining to “Borders and Boundaries in Transitional Justice” for its biennial summer conference at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
  4. The International Journal of Transitional Justice invites submissions for its 2015 special issue entitled “Transitional justice: Does it have a future?” to be guest edited by Dean Makau Mutua.
  5. Organizers invite submissions describing original and unpublished results of conceptual, constructive, empirical, experimental, or theoretical work in all areas of Law and Society for the ICLS 2015: International Conference on Law and Society in London, United Kingdom.


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