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 German Constitutional Court ruled that the Basic Law does not create specific rights for parliamentary opposition groups.
  2. Hungary’s Supreme Court ruled that the government may hold a referendum on whether it will accept the EU’s quota system on accepting migrants.
  3. Venezuela’s Supreme Court held that any constitutional amendment to reduce the presidential term could not be retroactive.
  4. A group of more than 750 detainees held on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea asked the Australian High Court to order their transfer to mainland Australia.
  5. The EU Court of Justice upheld EU rules that will require health warnings to cover 65 percent of a cigarette pack.

In the News 

  1. South Africa’s parliament invited public submissions on changes to the Constitution.
  2. Jordan’s parliament passed a constitutional amendment granting King Abdullah II the power to appoint or dismiss senior officials without consulting the government.
  3. The Guyana Steering Committee on Constitutional Reform handed over its final report to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.
  4. Tens of thousands poured out onto the streets of Tokyo on Constitution Day to protest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to change the country’s fundamental war laws in the coming months.
  5. Kenya’s parliament voted against a bill that would have given women more seats in the House.
  6. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that he does not plan to change the country’s anti-terrorism law, a requirement of a deal struck between Turkey and EU in March.

New Scholarship 

  1. Jonathan L. Marshfield, Amendment Creep, 115 Michigan Law Review (forthcoming 2016) (exploring how state and federal courts in the United States have looked to formal amendment rules for guidance when deciding constitutional disputes unrelated to formal amendment and suggesting that this technique may be normatively desirable).
  2. Bojan Bugarič, Protecting Democracy inside the EU: On Article 7 TEU and the Hungarian Turn to Authoritarianism, in Closa, Carlos & Kochenov, Dimitry (eds.) Reinforcing rule of law oversight in the European Union (2016) (addressing the current situation in the EU wherein a political club of democratic regimes established primarily to promote peace and prosperity in post-World War II Europe is now confronted with Hungary becoming an authoritarian illiberal political regime)
  3. Julio Ríos-Figueroa, Constitutional Courts as Mediators: Armed Forces, Civil-Military Relations, and the Rule of Law in Latin America (2016) (offering a new theoretical framework for understanding the mediator role played by constitutional courts in democratic conflict solving).
  4. Bui Ngoc Son, Confucian Constitutionalism in East Asia (2016) (exploring constitutionalist ideas and practices in Confucian tradition and advancing a mixed constitutional theory in East Asia).
  5. Anne Peters, Proportionality as a Global Constitutional Principle, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2016-10 (examining the principle of proportionality and its implications in the international law arena).
  6. Armin von Bogdandy, Comparative Constitutional Law as a Social Science? A Hegelian Reaction to Ran Hirschl’s Comparative Matters, 55 Der Staat 103-115 (2016) (reviewing Ran Hirschl’s book “Comparative Matters”).
  7. Justin Collings, Appealing to Congress, UC Davis Law Review (forthcoming 2016) (describing why the modern avoidance canon leaves much to be desired and pointing to a more attractive approached first developed in Germany)
  8. Stephen Gardbaum, Political Parties, Voting Systems, and the Separation of Powers, 65 American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming 2017) (arguing that whatever the formal arrangements on the separation or “fusion” of executive and legislative powers—whether presidential, parliamentary, or semi-presidential—the way any constitution operates in terms of concentrating or dispersing power is a function of the political party and electoral systems in place).
  9. Fleur E. Johns, The Temporal Rivalries of Human Rights, 23 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 39 (2016) (arguing that political intervention in an uneven temporal terrain may be occasioned by reading international human rights law anachronistically and reactivating the times and rhythms of the global economy, and of the nation-state, as political questions of the first order)
  10. Seth Barrett Tillman, Who Can Be President of the United States?: Candidate Hillary Clinton and the Problem of Statutory Qualifications, 5(1) Br. J. Am. Leg. Studies 95-121 (2016) (discussing the disqualification provision in Section 2071 of Title 18 of the United States Code and the possibility of Hillary Clinton being disqualified from the presidency).
  11. Robert A. Katz, The Role of Public Reason in Obergefell v. Hodges, FIU Law Review (2016) (exploring the role that public reason plays in the opinion of the Supreme Court’s 2015 landmark decision recognizing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage).

Calls for Papers

  1. The Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law invites submissions for its inaugural issue.
  2. Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law and the Nova Law Review seek submissions for a symposium on October 14, 2016. The theme will be “Regulating Innovation in Healthcare: Protecting the Public or Stifling Progress?”
  3. The Competition Law Scholars Forum and UCD Sutherland School of Law invite abstract paper proposals from researchers, scholars, practitioners and policy-makers for a workshop on “Competition Law and Enforcement Priorities” to be held on September 16, 2016 at UCD Sutherland School of Law.
  4. University of Bedfordshire School of Law and Finance has issued a call for papers for its annual conference under the theme of “Rebalancing International Agreements in Favour of Host States – Is it Time for an International Investment Court?” The conference will be held at the University of Bedfordshire School of Law and Finance on June 29, 2016.
  5. The International Review of Law is inviting submissions for its upcoming issues to be published in July 2016 and January 2017.
  6. A call for papers has been issued for a workshop on “Vulnerability and Social Justice” to be held at the University of Leeds, UK.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Review of Russian Constitutional Court Judgement No. 12-П in the case concerning the review of the possibility of enforcement of the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights of 4 July 2013 in the case of “Anchugov and Gladkov v. Russia”, Constitutional & International eJustice Portal
  2. Renáta Uitz, Hungary’s attempt to manage threats of terror through a constitutional amendment, ConstitutionNet
  3. Barbara Guastaferro, Disowning Edmund Burke? The Constitutional Implications of EVEL on Political Representation, UK Constitutional Association
  4. Ruthann Robson, Congressional Research Service on Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland, Constitutional Law Prof Blog
  5. Lyle Denniston, Constitution Check: Is an old anti-New Deal precedent getting new life again?, Constitution Daily
  6. Ronald K.L. Collins, FAN 107 (First Amendment News) FTC’s Power to curb misleading ads remains intact, Concurring Opinions
  7. Matthew Dresden, China’s Trademark Laws vs. the Biggest Company in the World, or Apple’s Cruelest Month, China Law Blog
  8. Owen Fung, Sedition laws could be unconstitutional, says Hong Kong National Party, South China Morning Post


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