Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Margaret Lan Xiao, SJD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University

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 Moldova upheld the decision of President Nicolae Timofti to nominate Ion Sturza for the position of prime minister.
  2. Turkey’s Constitutional Court canceled a court ruling that sentenced a man on charges of being a member of the outlawed Turkish Communist Workers Party on the grounds that the man’s testimony had been taken under torture.
  3. The Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia stated that the Court will settle regional election disputes in March.
  4. Turkey’s Constitutional Court approved the bulk of a law granting sweeping powers to the National Intelligence Organization.
  5. Turkey’s Constitutional Court decided that vaccinating children without parents’ consent would contradict the constitution.
  6. Poland’s President Andrzej Duda approved legislation that regulates the Constitutional Tribunal, the nation’s highest court.

In the News

  1. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that the country’s new parliament will convene on January 10, 2016.
  2. Poland’s parliament approved new legislation that gives the government control of state media.
  3. Gambia’s parliament passed a bill banning female genital mutilation and setting strict penalties for offenders.
  4. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika approved a long-awaited constitutional reform package to “strengthen democracy” in the country.
  5. Croatia’s parliament chose a new speaker, ending weeks of political deadlock.
  6. The Indian National Congress Party blamed the Modi government for recent parliament disruptions.
  7. Greece’s parliament approved a resolution calling on the government to recognize the state of Palestine.
  8. Japan and South Korea reached an agreement over the long-standing issue of “comfort women,” a term that describes sex slaves used by the Japanese military during World War II.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, The Progressive Era of Constitutional Amendment, Eficiência e Ética na Administração Pública (Luiz Alberto Blanchet et al. eds., 2015) (demonstrating that the United States Constitution was not always thought too difficult to amend, with reference to the Progressive Era)
  2. Marco Cappelletti, Punitive Damages and the Public/Private Distinction: A Comparison Between the United States and Italy, 32 Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law (2015) (criticizing the Italian rejection of punitive damages by offering a comparative analysis of the treatment that punitive damages receive in the U.S. and the Italian legal discourse, with a special focus on the relationship between this tort law remedy and the public/private distinction)
  3. Oran Doyle, Conventional Constitutional Law, 38 Dublin University Law Journal 311 (2015) (explaining that judges share conventional understandings about what a constitution requires, both of themselves and of other constitutional actors, and that these informal conventions lead to formal decisions, which are then centrally enforced by the state in the same manner as all other judicial decisions)
  4. Shay Lavie, Discretionary Review and Undesired Cases, European Journal of Law and Economics, forthcoming (examining how courts that have discretionary dockets deal with cases that may result in adverse post-judgment reactions)
  5. Fundamental Labour Rights in China – Legal Implementation and Cultural Logic, Springer (Ulla Liukkunen and Yifeng Chen, eds.) (analyzing the cultural logic that informs implementation of fundamental labour rights and mapping the roles of different actors in this process, paying heed to existing societal and normative structures, mandates, and resources for implementing fundamental principles and rights at work)
  6. Reijer Passchier and Maarten Stremler, Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments in European Union Law: Considering the Existence of Substantive Constraints on Treaty Revision, Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol 5(1) (forthcoming 2016) (exploring whether arguments being used to justify a doctrine of unconstitutional constitutional amendments in national systems can be
    used to justify such a doctrine in EU law)
  7. Rivka Weill, Holey Union: The Constitutional Paradox of Secession (arguing that while political actors and scholars traditionally believe that bans on political parties and constitutional eternity clauses are used and justified to protect democratic values alone, these bans are in fact also used to fight against secession, and that this fact reveals weak spots in democracies)
  8. Jacob Weinrib, The Modern Constitutional State: A Defence, Queen’s University Legal Research Paper No. 066 (2015) (arguing that modern constitutionalism is a systematic response to a moral problem involving public authority that every legal system must address, but that modern constitutionalism cannot be addressed apart from the legal and institutional structure of a modern constitutional state)

Calls for Papers

  1. The University of Birmingham’s Institute of European Law has issued a call for papers for the 5th Conference on European Law and Policy in Context to be held on June 23-24, 2016.
  2. The University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies has issued a call for papers for the 2016 W G Hart Legal Workshop, “Valuing Expertise: Legal, Normative and Social Dimensions,” to be held on September 20-21, 2016.
  3. The Journal of Property Law at the Texas A&M University School of Law has issued a call for papers for its Asset Forfeiture Symposium to be held on April 22, 2016.
  4. The Northwestern University Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth has issued a call for papers to be presented at the Ninth Annual Conference on Innovation Economics, to be held on June 23-24, 2016.
  5. The editors of the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law have issued a call for papers for the journal’s 5th Annual Conference, “Public and Private Power,” to be held on April 8-9, 2016.
  6. The University of Illinois College of Law has issued a call for papers for its Annual Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop, which will be held on April 15-16, 2016, at the University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana-Champaign.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Jacob Gershman, Japanese Law Schools Facing ‘Unprecedented Crisis’, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
  2. Grace Yang, China Employment Law: Local and Not So Simple, China Law Blog
  3. Peter J. Henning, Shkreli, Volkswagen and Other Stars in White-Collar Crime, The New York Times
  4. Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, Polish Constitutional crisis goes to Europe – or does it?, Verfassungsblog
  5. Ian Johnson, China Grants Courts Greater Autonomy on Limited Matters, The New York Times
  6. Civitarese, Austerity and Social Rights in Italy: A Long Standing Story, U.K. Constitutional Law Blog
  7. Adam Liptak, Chief Justice’s Report Praises Limits on Litigants’ Access to Information, The New York Times
  8. James Tugee,Drastic Changes to Requirements for Registration of Foreign Companies in Kenya, Jurist


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