Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Sandeep Suresh, Research Associate, Daksh India (Rule of Law Project)

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 the Dominican Republic struck down provisions of a defamation law that prescribed criminal penalties for journalists accused of defaming government bodies and officials.
  2. The French Constitutional Council upheld a provision of the state of emergency law permitting warrantless searches, but removed the police’s authority to copy data while conducting such searches.
  3. The Supreme Court of India sought the Central Government’s response regarding a petition to establish National Courts of Appeal in the country.
  4. Russia’s Constitutional Court held that women charged with murder have the right to apply for jury trial.
  5. The Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments in the case challenging validity of the Texas abortion law on March 2, 2016.
  6. The Czech Republic’s Constitutional Court Chairman supported the government’s move to curb presidential powers in the appointment of Czech National Bank members.
  7. The German Constitutional Court held unconstitutional a provision of the Federal Lawyers’ Act that prohibited lawyers from establishing professional partnerships with physicians and pharmacists.

In the News

  1. The Turkish government disregarded a Constitutional Court judgment that invalidated a law providing arbitrary powers to the government for punishing police officers.
  2. Latest developments in Georgia suggest that the country may ban same-sex marriages by introducing a constitutional amendment.
  3. A substantial majority of Irish citizens want abortions to be made legal in certain circumstances by repealing the 8th Amendment to the Constitution.
  4. China adopted a new law on deep sea exploration.
  5. Turkmenistan proposed a new constitution that increases the presidential term from 5 to 7 years and removes the age limit for the presidency.
  6. The Italian Senate passed a bill allowing civil unions for same-sex and heterosexual couples, but only after removing a provision that would have allowed for adoption by such couples.
  7. China indicated that it will reject an imminent ruling on the sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea by The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.

New Scholarship

  1. Ruth Mason, Citizenship Taxation, 89 Southern California Law Review (forthcoming) (discussing the arguments for and against the United States’ system of taxing its non-resident citizens).
  2. Pietro Faraguna, Regulating Religion in Italy: The Constitution Does (Not) Matter, University of Ferrara – Faculty of Law (December 2015) (examining the constitutional provisions regulating religion and religious freedom and focusing on the implementation of the “idea of secularism” in Italy).
  3. Prabhash Ranjan, National Contestation of International Investment Law and International Rule of Law, in Nollkaemper and M. Kanetake (eds), Rule of Law at the National and International Levels (forthcoming) (analyzing the impact of national contestation of international investment law (IIL) on international rule of law elements adopted by IIL in light of the debates on re-crafting bilateral investment treaties in order to balance investment protection with the host states’ right to regulate in the public interest).
  4. R.G. Murray and Aoife O’Donoghue, Towards Unilateralism? House of Commons Oversight of the Use of Force, International and Comparative Law Quarterly (2016) (considering the effect of the UK Parliament’s increasing degree of interventions in authorizing extraterritorial use of military force on the general relationship between domestic and UN mechanisms).
  5. Melissa Crouch, The Everyday Emergency: Between the Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure in Myanmar, in Constitutional Change and Legal Reform in Myanmar (forthcoming 2016) (examining the use of emergency powers in Myanmar and arguing that although the power to declare emergency in the Constitution appears to be extensive, the more immediate threat is the routine and pervasive use of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure by executive officials in addressing social unrest).
  6. Marco Lamandini, David Ramos Muñoz and Javier Solana, Depicting the Limits to the SSM’s Supervisory Powers: The Role of Constitutional Mandates and of Fundamental Rights’ Protection, 79 Quaderni di Ricerca Giuridica, pp. 1-119 (2015) (discussing the constitutional limits on the powers of the European Central Bank under the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and providing a theoretical framework for the lawful exercise of both regulatory and supervisory tasks within the SSM).
  7. Frederik J. Zuiderveen Borgesius, Singling Out People Without Knowing Their Names – Behavioural Targeting, Pseudonymous Data, and the New Data Protection Regulation, University of Amsterdam – IViR Institute for Information Law (2016) (arguing that data protection law should apply to behavioural targeting, a type of marketing that involves tracking people’s online behaviour for targeted advertising).
  8. Antoinette Muntjewerff and Kirsten Van Loo, Data Analysis as a Method to Gather Data to Study the Relation between Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law (2016) (analyzing the relationship between Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law by examining the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights).
  9. Wade K. Wright, Courts as Facilitators of Intergovernmental Dialogue: Cooperative Federalism and Judicial Review, 72 Supreme Court Law Review (2d), pp. 365-454 (2016) (critically examining the new role of Canadian courts as facilitators of cooperative federalism apart from being umpires or arbiters of the division of powers in the federal system of Canada).
  10. Aleksandra Klofat, Regulatory Competition within the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union – A Comparative Legal Analysis (2016) (comparing the legal structures of the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union and outlining the ways in which regulatory competition is embedded in each of the legal frameworks of these integration areas)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance announced a “Fellowship for Constitution Makers” to take place in The Hague, Netherlands over four weeks in February-March, 2017. Interested candidates may apply for the fellowship by mailing their resume and a short cover letter (2-4 pages) explaining their motivation in applying to before March 31, 2016.
  2. The Centre for Asian Legal Studies at NUS, Singapore is soliciting abstracts for the Asian Law and Society Inaugural Conference “Law and Society in Asia: Defining and Advancing the Field.” The conference will be held on September 22-23, 2016. The deadline for submission of abstracts of no more than 500 words is March 31, 2016.
  3. PluriCourts,WZB Social Science Research Center and Sydney Law School are inviting abstracts for their workshop on “Courts and Public Reason in Global Public Law.” The workshop will be held on July 11-12, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Authors must send abstracts of their papers between 500-750 words before April 1, 2016.
  4. The Global Law & Governance Summer School (GLGSS) of the European Public Law Organization has announced the programfor its fourth year. Located in Sounion, one hour away from Athens, Greece, the GLGSS will take place on July 25-29, 2016, and will also provide the opportunity for participants to take part in a conference on Fintech and the law. Interested students must send a scanned copy of the application form, evidence of application fee payment, and their curriculum vitae to admissions@glgss@eu before June 24, 2016.
  5. The Louis Favoreu Institute of Studies and Research Group compared on Constitutional Justice at the Aix-Marseille University, France is organizing the “International Conference on Freedom of Demonstration in the Public Space’ on March 18-19, 2016. The event will be held in the Hall of Acts, Faculty of Law and Political Science at the Aix-Marseille University. More details can be found here.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Richard Albert, No need for nine on the Supreme Court, The Boston Globe
  2. Upendra Baxi, How to govern dissent, The Indian Express
  3. Carl Gardner, Why the real danger to Parliamentary sovereignty isn’t Europe, Legal Business
  4. Cristiano d’Orsi, The idea of an African passport and the freedom of movement of persons in the continent: Only wishful thinking?, AfricLaw
  5. Evan Bernick, The Evolution of Constitutional Theory and the Future of Judicial Engagement: A Response to Professor Balkin, The Huffington Post
  6. Mathias Hong, Human Dignity and Constitutional Identity: The Solange-III-Decision of the German Constitutional Court, Verfassungsblog


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