Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Mohamed Abdelaal, Alexandria University (Egypt)

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 Supreme Court of Brazil accepted a plea agreement with the former Senate leader for the governing Workers’ Party, whose testimony in a corruption case includes allegations against the former president.
  2. The Slovak Constitutional Court ruled that the 2013 amendment to the country’s law on collective bargaining, which entitled the ministry to extend the binding force of collective contracts, was unconstitutional.
  3. United States President Barack Obama nominated Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
  4. The Constitutional Court of South Africa held that a law permitting the Speaker of the National Assembly to order security forces to remove a parliamentarian causing a disturbance in the House was invalid.
  5. A Brazilian judge issued an injunction to block the appointment of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as chief of staff to his successor and current president, Dilma Rousseff.

In the News

  1. The French Senate essentially blocked a proposed constitutional amendment that would strip French citizenship from dual nationals convicted of terrorism.
  2. United Nations experts declared that Russia’s list of banned jobs for women violates women’s rights.
  3. The Venice Commission, the legal advisory body of the Council of Europe, recommended changes to the crime of “insulting the president” in Turkey.
  4. In Pakistan, religious groups asked the government to retract a law that provides protection for female victims of abuse, referring to the law as “un-Islamic.”
  5. Thailand’s military government decided on August 7 as the date for a referendum on the controversial constitution it drafted after seizing power in a coup two years ago.
  6. The Nigerian Parliament will propose constitutional amendments in piecemeal fashion.
  7. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated that his ruling coalition will draft a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
  8. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution labeling Islamic State crimes “genocide.”

New Scholarship

  1. Patrick Yingling, Civil Disobedience to Overcome Corruption: The Case of Occupy Wall Street, Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality (forthcoming 2016) (proposing that the civil disobedience of Occupy Wall Street was justified as a corrective measure to overcome a “democratic deficit” caused by “institutional corruption”)
  2. Richard Albert, Temporal Limitations in Constitutional Amendment, 21 Review of Constitutional Studies (forthcoming 2016) (evaluating the use of time in the design of constitutional amendment rules)
  3. Amir Attaran, Commentary: The Limits of Conscientious and Religious Objection to Physician-Assisted Dying after the Supreme Court’s Decision in Carter v. Canada, 36(3) Health Law in Canada (2016) (assessing the Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous ruling that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right of every competent, consenting adult suffering from a grievous and irremediable medical condition to choose death, assisted by a physician)
  4. Gautam Bhatia, A Right to Faith: Individual, Community, State and Religious Freedom Under the Indian Constitution (2016) (examining the fraught relationships between individual rights, group rights, State intervention, and religious freedom under the Indian Constitution)
  5. Bradford C. Mank, Does a House of Congress Have Standing Over Appropriations?: The House of Representatives Challenges the Affordable Care Act, 19 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law (forthcoming 2016) (arguing in favor of institutional congressional standing by Congress, a house of Congress, or a duly authorized committee to defend core constitutional authority possessed by Congress)
  6. Haig Patapan, Towards a Cosmopolitan Constitutionalism: On Universalism and Particularism in Chinese Constitutionalism, 3(1) The Chinese Journal of Comparative Law (2015) (examining constitutional changes in China to investigate whether there is a convergent or divergent trajectory in modern constitutionalism)
  7. Ofer Raban, Is Textualism Required by Constitutional Separation of Powers?, 49 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review (2016) (exploring the functionalist approach of textualism and analyzing the claim that non-textualism is unconstitutional)
  8. Benjamin Schonthal, Environments of Law: Muslims, Buddhists and the State in Sri Lanka, 75 Journal of Asian Studies (2016) (using an important Sri Lankan Supreme Court case concerning religious sound as a starting point for thinking about the intersections of Islam, law, politics, and Buddhism in Sri Lanka)
  9. Erika Serfontein, The Nexus between the Rights to Life and to a Basic Education in South Africa, 18(6) Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal (2015) (exploring the nexus between the fundamental rights to life and to a basic education within the ambit of the legal framework created by both the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996)
  10. Mathias M. Siems, Comparative Law in the 22nd Century, Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law (forthcoming 2016) (suggesting that studying the future of the world is highly relevant for comparative law given its core interest in law from a global perspective as well as its aim to identify positive models from other countries for future legal reform)
  11. Chris Thornhill, The Mutation of International Law in Contemporary Constitutions: Thinking Sociologically About Political Constitutionalism, 79(2) The Modern Law Review 207 (2016) (arguing that the deficient account of politics undermines the theories of political constitutionalism and proposing a theory of politics based in a model of systemic inclusion as an alternative)
  12. Ozan O. Varol, Structural Rights, 105 Georgetown Law Journal (forthcoming 2016) (analyzing how individual-rights provisions in constitutions can serve the same functions as structural provisions of generating and distributing power)
  13. Diana R. H. Winters, Restoring the Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine, Ohio State Law Review (forthcoming 2016) (analyzing the consequences of the abandonment of primary jurisdiction in its advice referral manifestation)

Call for Papers

  1. The Vienna Journal on International Constitutional has issued a call for papers for its annual conference on International Constitutional Law to be held on September 23, 2016 at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU).
  2. The Utrecht Journal of International and European Law invites submissions for its summer 2016 edition.
  3. The Journal of Law, Religion & State has issued a call for papers for an international conference on “Rule of Law – Religious Perspectives” to be held at Bar-Ilan University School of Law, Ramat-Gan, Israel, on November 20-22, 2016.
  4. Loyola University Chicago School of Law is organizing its Seventh Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium on November 4 and 5, 2016.
  5. The Henry G. Manne Program in Law & Economics Studies at George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center invites applications for research funding for the production and presentation of original papers on The Economics and Law of Public Pension Reform.
  6. The Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology (Stanford LST) at Stanford Law School welcomes submissions for the 16th Annual Intellectual Property Scholars Conference (IPSC) on August 11 and 12, 2016.
  7. The Max-Planck Summer Academy for Legal History is now accepting applications for its summer program to be held on July 18-29, 2016 at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Richard Albert, A Constitution for Canada, and one for Quebec, Ottawa Citizen
  2. Kor Kian Beng, China wants to be global maritime judicial centre, The Straits Times
  3. Vrinda Bhandari & Renuka Sane, Analysing the Information Technology Act (2000) from the viewpoint of protection of privacy, Ajay Shah’s Blog
  4. Josh Chin, The Good—And Bad—About China’s New Charity Law, Wall Street Journal
  5. Brian Christopher Jones, Brexit, Rights, and the (Potential) Scrapping of the HRA, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  6. Gerard Magliocca, Some Thoughts on the Garland Nomination, Concurring Opinions
  7. Sandra Mantu, Citizenship Deprivation in France: Between Nation and the Republic, Jurist
  8. Evan M. Meyers & Paul Geske, Class Actions Back from the Brink: The Future of Mootness and “Pick-Offs” in Class Action Litigation Following Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, Jurist
  9. Ozan Varol, Turkey’s constitutional negotiations unravel before they even begin, ConstitutionNet


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