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 Indian Supreme Court observed that the ban on entry of women into temples cannot be justified on the basis of traditions that violate constitutional principles.
  2. The High Court in Kuala Lampur held that Malaysia’s Sedition Act of 1948 is constitutional.
  3. The Indian Supreme Court held that it is not possible to categorise the persons who will have locus standi to file a special leave to appeal under Article 136 of the Indian Constitution.
  4. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a challenge to President Barack Obama’s executive action to defer deportation of certain immigrant children and parents who are in the country illegally.
  5. Venezuela’s Supreme Court declared an amnesty law for jailed opposition leaders unconstitutional.

In the News

  1. The President of India warned the judiciary not to dilute the doctrine of separation of powers by resorting to judicial activism.
  2. The Kenyan National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission challenged the nation’s anti-gay law before the High Court.
  3. Palestine established a new Constitutional Court to act as the nation’s top court.
  4. The Indian Supreme Court decided to sit for hearings on Saturdays for the first time.
  5. The Prime Minister of Japan asserted that his country can legally possess nuclear weapons even though the Constitution prohibits the country from maintaining a military.

New Scholarship

  1. Nicola Lupo and Cristina Fasone (eds.), Interparliamentary Cooperation in the Composite European Constitution (2016) (discussing developments in interparliamentary cooperation and its implications for the organisation and procedures of national parliaments and the European Parliament, for the fragmented executive of the EU, and for the democratic legitimacy of the overall EU composite Constitution).
  2. David Kosař and Lucas Lixinski, Domestic Judicial Design by International Human Rights Courts, 109 The American Journal of International Law 713-760 (2015) (explaining how the European and Inter-American Human Rights courts have increasingly moved beyond their original mandates and have made determinations about the design of national courts).
  3. Martijn Van den Brink, The Origins and the Potential Federalising Effects of the Substance of Rights Test, in Dimitry Kochenov, EU Citizenship and Federalism: The Role of Rights (forthcoming 2016) (examining the potential ability of the substance of rights test introduced by the European Court of Justice to change the federal balance of competences within the EU, but also questioning whether it would be desirable to use this test in such a far-reaching manner).
  4. Jaclyn L Neo, Equal Protection and the Reasonable Classification Test in Singapore: After Lim Meng Suang v. Attorney-General, Singapore Journal of Legal Studies (2016) (arguing that there are at least three areas regarding the equality clause that need further judicial elucidation and that the reasonable classification test as it now stands is sufficiently capacious for the courts to read substantive content into the equality provision should a suitable case arise in the future).
  5. Xiaodan Zhang, The Modification of the Legislation Law of the People’s Republic of China and the new “Normality” of the Legislation in China, VRU – Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America (2015) (analysing the amendment to thelegislation law of the Republic of China and the possible influences of the reforms on law-making in China and rule of law).
  6. András Jakab,European Constitutional Language (2016) (mapping out and analysing the grammar and vocabulary on which the core European traditions of constitutional theory are based).
  7. Mesenbet Assefa Tadeg, Freedom of Expression and the Media Landscape in Ethiopia: Contemporary Challenges, Journal of Media Law and Ethics (forthcoming) (analysing the current state of media freedom in Ethiopia, in particular the normative problems related to the regulation of freedom of expression and the media in light of both the general theory of freedom of expression and international human rights law).
  8. Franziska Maria Oehm, Land Grabbing in Cambodia as a Crime Against Humanity – Approaches in International Criminal Law, VRU – Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America (2015) (questioning whether land grabbing might be qualified as an international crime against humanity and whether international criminal law is a proper protection mechanism in cases where domestic legal proceedings are unable to prosecute alleged perpetrator).

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Transnational Law and Justice Network at the University of Windsor, Canada is hosting a Workshop on “Contextualizing Social Justice in International and Transnational Law” on August 8, 2016. Interested scholars are required to submit their abstracts (300 words) and a short biography by May 6, 2016 to
  2. The Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law is inviting submissions for its inaugural Issue in November, 2016. The deadline for sending submissions is May 31, 2016.
  3. The Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law is inviting abstracts for a one day Conference on September 23, 2016 that will focus on “International Constitutional Law.” Abstracts (300 words) and CV of participants must be submitted to by May 15, 2016.
  4. The Tel Aviv University Buchmann Faculty of Law is inviting submissions for its 4th Annual Workshop for Junior Scholars in Law with the theme “Law in a Changing Society” on November 21-23, 2016. Interested participants must submit abstracts of their papers (700 words) with a short biography to by May 16, 2016.
  5. Abstracts are invited for the 2nd Business and Human Rights Scholars Conference to be held on September 16-17, 2016 at the University of Washington School of Law, Seattle. Interested authors must submit their abstracts (250 words) to by May 15, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Graham John Wheeler, The British Overseas Territories and “Direct Rule”, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  2. Michael Gyan Nyarko, Ghana’s Human Rights Court gives life to the right to information, AfricLaw
  3. R N Bhaskar, The Supreme Court and Religion in India: A blinkered perspective?, Firstpost India
  4. Editorial Board, A Challenge to Poland’s Anti-Democratic Drift, New York Times
  5. SC Yeung, Why the idea of having two HK chief executives is being floated, Ejinsight
  6. Tony Blackshield, Death of a Ghost; or, SCOTUS Sans Scalia, Occasional Pieces – Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law


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