Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Rohan Alva, Advocate, New Delhi

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 Colombia declared that same-sex marriages are deserving of constitutional protection.
  2. Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice rejected the political opposition’s efforts to reduce the term of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
  3. The Supreme Court of India expressed dismay over enormous sums of money given out as loans by banking institutions remaining unpaid and suggested that the Indian government take immediate steps to recover the monies.
  4. The U.S.Supreme Court refused to block the state of Texas from enforcing its controversial voter identification law.
  5. The Japanese Supreme Court issued an apology for having permitted subordinate courts to conduct trials of persons afflicted with leprosy in places other than the courtrooms.
  6. The Supreme Court of India invited the views of the Attorney General on Congress MP Jairam Ramesh’s petition challenging introduction of the Aadhaar bill in Parliament as a “money bill” accusing the BJP-led NDA government of committing a “Constitutional fraud.”

In the News

  1. At a conference of chief justices and chief ministers of the different Indian states, it was resolved that retired judges of the high courts should be appointed for a limited term as justices in the high courts, so as to reduce the pendency of cases.
  2. In China, under new legislation, law enforcement agencies have been conferred with wide powers to investigate the functioning of foreign non-governmental organisations.
  3. In the United States, Tennessee’s governor assented to a law that allows a counsellor or a therapist not to treat persons if the treatment would conflict with the practitioner’s “sincerely held principles.”
  4. The Austrian government has been conferred with wide powers to disallow asylum seekers from entering the country.
  5. Jordan’s lower house of Parliament passed constitutional amendments giving new powers to the King and allowing citizens with dual nationalities to occupy senior public posts and parliamentary seats.

New Scholarship

  1. Cormac S. Mac Amhlaigh, Pluralising Constitutional Pluralism, in In Pursuit of Pluralist Jurisprudence (N. Roughan and A. Halpin (eds.)) (forthcoming) (proposing that a plurality of models are needed to understand “interactions and conflicts between different legal orders” since the complexities of constitutional pluralism cannot be fully explained by a singular model)
  2. Dieter Grimm, Constitutionalism: Past, Present, and Future (2016) (exploring important issues in constitutional law such as the qualities a constitution must possess and constitutional interpretation)
  3. Aileen McHarg, Tom Mullen, Alan Page, and Neil Walker (eds.), The Scottish Independence Referendum (forthcoming 2016) (examining, from a cross-disciplinary perspective, the impact of the Scottish Referendum Process on UK constitutional law)
  4. Jonathan L. Marshfield, Improving Amendment, Arkansas Law Review (forthcoming) (suggesting that amendment politics in several U.S. states might be improved if amendment rules in those states were changed to require ratification of amendments by some majority of locally-elected governing bodies rather than at-large public referenda)
  5. Cass R. Sunstein, Antonin Scalia, Living Constitutionalist, Harvard Law Review (forthcoming) (examining opinions of Justice Scalia that suggest that he was an ardent believer of “living constitutionalism”)
  6. Norman P. Ho, Confucian Jurisprudence, Dworkin, and Hard Cases, Washington University Jurisprudence Review (forthcoming) (arguing that Confucian jurisprudence accurately can be analogized to Dworkin’s adjudicative theory of law, in particular, his interpretive theory of law)
  7. Dan Priel, Conceptions on Authority and the Anglo-American Common Law Divide, American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming) (seeking to explain the puzzle of the divergence of American law from the rest of the common law world through the lens of legal theory)

Announcements and Calls for Papers

  1. Abstracts of papers are invited for a conference on “Philosophical Foundations of Global Law,” which is being held at the University of Cartagena on August 24-27, 2016. Abstracts must be sent in by June 15, 2016.
  2. A symposium on “Regulating Innovation in Healthcare: Protecting the Public or Stifling Progress?” is being organised by the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law and the Nova Law Review on October 14, 2016. Interested participants are invited to submit abstracts of papers by May 15, 2016.
  3. The LSE Health & Social Care and the Department of Social Policy at the LSE have issued a call for papers for the “International Health Policy Conference 2017,” which will be held at the LSE on February 16-19, 2017. All abstracts must be sent in by October 1, 2016.
  4. The Faculty of Law, University of Trento, Italy, is organising a Summer School on the theme “Constitutional Legitimacy of Political Parties.” Applications for the Summer School should be submitted by May 12, 2016 (extended deadline).
  5. Professor Dominique Clément will deliver a public lecture on “Equality Deferred: Human Rights Law in Canada” on May 3, 2016. The lecture is organized by the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Ian McPherson, New Zealand on the Verge of Implementing Pay Equity, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  2. Dwight Newman, Indigenous Rights, Canada’s National Energy Board, and the Supreme Court of Canada, JURIST
  3. Howard M. Wasserman, Improper motive can violate the First Amendment, even with a factual mistake, SCOTUS Blog
  4. John Pfaff, A Mockery of Justice for the Poor, New York Times
  5. Douglas McDonald, GJ and Others: The UK Upper Tribunal on Post-Civil War Returnees to Sri Lanka, Law and Other Things
  6. Renáta Uitz, Hungary’s attempt to manage threats of terror through a constitutional amendment, ConstitutionNet


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