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. Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended a Catalan decree that attempted to create a regional foreign ministry.
  2. Zambia’s government is working to operationalize the Constitutional Court before the August elections.
  3. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is leaving his post to become chief of the country’s Constitutional Council.
  4. Indonesia’s Constitutional Court rejected three election lawsuits challenging poll results.
  5. Germany’s Constitutional Court is considering legal objections to the European Central Bank’s Outright Monetary Transactions scheme.
  6. Senegal’s Constitutional Council concluded that a proposal to reduce President Macky Sall’s term to two years is inconsistent with the spirit of the country’s constitution.
  7. Germany’s Constitutional Court upheld a ban on bestiality.

In the News

  1. UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the UK will hold a referendum on June 23 to vote on whether the nation will remain a part of the European Union.
  2. Kosovo opposition lawmakers used tear gas to block work from being done in Parliament.
  3. The center-right government of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov defeated a no-confidence vote in Parliament.
  4. The head of the Ukrainian Parliament Volodymyr Groysman announced the Samopomich fraction’s exit from the ruling coalition.
  5. The new Taiwanese Parliament began its new session, with 30 priority bills, seeking a reform of Taiwan’s political system.
  6. The Queensland Parliament in Australia passed new lockout laws to tackle alcohol-fueled violence.
  7. Venezuela’s Parliament approved an amnesty law that seeks to free jailed dissidents.
  8. Kizza Besigye, the opposition candidate for president of Uganda, was arrested as the election commission released early results that showed incumbent President Yoweri Museveni leading the election.
  9. The Federal Parliament of Somalia has resolved to subject amended clauses of the constitution to referendum.
  10. Two Turkish opposition parties have left a commission meant to draft a new constitution in protest at attempts by the ruling AK Party to strengthen the role of the presidency.
  11. According to the Human Rights Commissioner for the Council of Europe, Poland’s Constitutional Court is “paralyzed.”

 New Scholarship

  1. Heinz Klug, Towards a Sociology of Constitutional Transformation: Understanding South Africa’s Post-Apartheid Constitutional Order, Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1373 (2016) (considering how the social relations of governance are reflected in and shaped by the constitutional struggles that produce constitutional outcomes through the processes of popular participation, negotiated drafts, formal adoptions and continuing adjudication)
  2. Adrienne Stone and Elisa Arcioni, Australian Constitutional Culture and the Social Role of the Constitution, Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/01 (2015) (addressing the disinclination of Australians to treat their constitution as a source of shared values or aspirations and arguing that there is, nevertheless, a meaningful way that the Australian Constitution articulates the values of the Australian people)
  3. David Schneiderman, Dividing Power in the First and Second British Empires: Revisiting Durham’s Imperial Constitution, in Review of Constitutional Studies (forthcoming) (arguing that Lord Durham’s recommendation that “internal” government be placed in the hands of the colonists themselves and that a short list of subjects be reserved for Imperial control fell squarely within a tradition of distinguishing between the internal and external affairs of the colony)
  4. Tamas Gyorfi, A Theory of Weak Judicial Review, in Against the New Constitutionalism (forthcoming 2016) (distinguishing three forms of weak judicial review, each lacking one of the defining features of strong constitutional review)
  5. William Partlett, Courts and Constitution-Making, 50 Wake Forest Law Review 921 (2015) (examining the role of courts in improving constitution-making)
  6. Lunga Siyo and John Cantius Mubangizi, The Independence of South African Judges: A Constitutional and Legislative Perspective, 18 Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal (2015) (considering whether the existing constitutional and legislative mechanisms provide sufficient judicial independence to South African judges)
  7. Arnon Gutfeld and Yoram Rabin, The Judicial Review Controversy: Marbury v. Madison and Its Manifestations in the Israel Constitutional Revolution, 45 Israel Yearbook on Human Rights 191 (2015) (tracking the influences of the Marbury decision in Israeli constitutional law and the various contexts in which the Israeli Supreme Court has cited Marbury in its rulings)

Calls for Papers and Announcements 

  1. The International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law issued a call for papers for the conference on “Protecting Privacy – Domestic and International Criminal Justice Responses to Crimes against Personal Privacy and the Balance between Individuals Privacy and Collective Security” to be held on July 24-28, 2016, in Halifax, Canada.
  2. Universidad Icesi, School of Law and Social Sciences issued a call for papers for the Forum on “25 Years of the Colombian Constitution” to be held in September 2016.
  3. Mary’s University issued a call for papers for a conference on “Those who Tried and ‘Failed’ and the Quasi-Lawyers” to be held on June 30, 2016 in Twickenham, England.
  4. Washburn University School of Law issued a call for papers for the third annual Washburn Junior Legal Writing Scholars Workshop to be held on July 29-30, 2016.
  5. John-Mark Iyi (University of Johannesburg) and Avitus Agbor (North-West University, Mafikeng) issued a call for manuscripts for an edited volume titled “Seven Decades after Nuremburg: Developments in International Criminal Law and International Criminal Justice.”

Elsewhere Online

  1. Tom Ginsburg, After Scalia: A More Collegial Court?, The Huffington Post
  2. Adam Liptak, Deadlocks and Rearguments: What’s Ahead for the Supreme Court, The New York Times
  3. Jacob Gershman, Centuries-Old Law at the Center of Apple Phone Encryption Battle, The Wall Street Journal
  4. Dan Harris, China and the Internet of Things: A Love Story, China Law Blog
  5. Gregor Aisch, Josh Keller, K.K. Rebecca Lai, and Karen Yourish, Supreme Court Nominees Considered in Election Years Are Usually Confirmed, The New York Times


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