Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Simon Drugda, Nagoya University Graduate School of Law (Japan)

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 South Africa ruled on Guateng school admissions regulations in a case revolving around feeder zones for public schools, ordering for their redetermination.
  2. The Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled that a decree issued by President Nicolas Maduro declaring a state of emergency is constitutional, while the opposition continues to campaign for a recall referendum.
  3. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany announced that it will deliver its decision on the European Central Bank OTM program in June and confirmed that it received a separate complaint against the European Central Bank quantitative-easing program.
  4. The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Constitution’s guarantee of a speedy trial does not protect one from sentencing delays.
  5. The U.S. Supreme Court clarified that immigrants can qualify for removal from the U.S. even if they lack an element in corresponding federal laws that trigger deportation.

In the News

  1. The President of Mexico proposed legalizing same-sex marriage nationally.
  2. The President of Ukraine called for a constitutional amendment on self-determination of Crimean Tatars.
  3. Austria held a presidential run-off election vote.
  4. The Macedonian Parliament called off national election amidst protests and a ruling of the Constitutional Court suspending
  5. The Parliament of Turkey approved a constitutional bill to amend the constitution and strip MPs of immunity from prosecution. The PM-elect said that the government’s priority would now be a new constitution to create an executive presidency.
  6. The National Assembly of Pakistan passed a constitutional amendment changing the power and composition of the Electoral Commission.
  7. The government of Poland indicated that it might be open to a compromise concerning the deadlock at the Constitutional Tribunal in exchange for constitutional reforms. At the same time, the European Commission threatened to continue its investigation into the disputed court reforms, unless Poland makes progress on the situation by the end of the week.
  8. Tajikistan held a nationwide referendum on changing its constitution that consisted of 41 proposed wide-ranging amendments.
  9. The National Diet of Japan enacted a voting reform law that will reduce the Lower House by 10 seats and rezone electoral districts to address a national vote weight disparity, introducing the Adams electoral method.
  10. France extended its state of emergency for another two months to cover the EURO 2016 football tournament.

New Scholarship

  1. Pietro Faraguna, How Does the EU Challenge Bicameralism? First Reflections from the Italian Constitutional Experience (2016) (examining the main rationales of and justifications for bicameral legislatures, testing these hypotheses on the case study of Italian bicameralism, and mapping the patterns of change in the Italian experience with bicameralism in light of the European integration processes)
  2. Federico Fabbrini, The Principle of Subsidiarity, in Oxford Principles of EU Law, Takis Tridimas and Robert Schütze eds. (forthcoming 2016) (providing an in depth, updated legal analysis of the principle of subsidiarity in EU law and underlining some significant risks associated with the practical enforcement of the judicial and political safeguards of subsidiarity)
  3. Neil Walker, Federalism in 3D: The Reimagination of Political Community in the European Union, Catolica Law Review (forthcoming 2016) (examining the mixed virtue of the federal perspective in relation to certain key recent developments in the 3D – sub-state, state, supranational – territorial politics of the EU, with a particular focus on the sub-state dimension of the EU “federated” structure)
  4. Mila Versteeg and Emily Zackin, Constitutions Un-Entrenched: Toward an Alternative Theory of Constitutional Design, American Political Science Review (forthcoming) (challenging the traditional consensus that a central purpose of constitutionalism is the entrenchment of principles against future change, drawing on data from democratic national and state constitutions in different geographic regions)
  5. Vassilis P. Tzevelekos and Lucas Lixinski, Towards a Humanized International ‘Constitution’?, 29 Leiden Journal of International Law (2016) (arguing that due to a number of changes of systematic proportions in the order of international law, the internalization of national constitutional human rights law has led to the “constitutionalisation” of international law)
  6. Michaela Hailbronner, Transformative Constitutionalism: Not Only in the Global South, American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming 2016) (examining the German and Indian approach to transformative constitutionalism and the concept of transformative constitutionalism itself, in an attempt to move away from the traditional North-South ideological categories)
  7. Sébastien Grammond, Compact Is Back: The Revival of the Compact Theory of Confederation by the Supreme Court, 53 Osgoode Hall Law Journal (2016) (examining the recent use by the Supreme Court of Canada of the “compact theory” of Canadian confederation in cases involving constitutional amendment and indigenous rights and its implications)
  8. James R. May and Erin Daly eds., Environmental Constitutionalism (2016) (assembling key writings from around the world to expound the idea of “environmental constitutionalism,” a new concept that focuses on protection of local and global environmental conditions by invoking national and subnational constitutional law)
  9. Turkuler Isikel, Europe’s Functional Constitution: A Theory of Constitutionalism Beyond the State (2016) (critically evaluating the European Union and its legal system and proposing the idea of “functional constitutionalism” to describe its distinctive configuration of public power)
  10. Maria Tzanakopoulou, Social Consensus in the EMU: The Constitutional Tenets of a Currency Union, in European Yearbook of International Economic Law, Akbar Rasulov and John Haskell eds. (forthcoming 2016) (discussing the constitutional tenets of the European Monetary Union and examining the possibility of transformation of the EMU into a politically integrated constitutional order)
  11. Andrea Simoncini, The Constitutional Dimension of the Internet: Some Research Paths (2016) (analyzing the impact of Internet technology on constitutional law along the dimensions of Democracy and Citizenship and proposing a non-linear perspective of the relationship between these and the rise of the Internet)
  12. Bojan Bugaric, Neoliberalism, Post-Communism, and the Law, 12 The Annual Review of Law and Social Science (forthcoming) (tracing the role of law during the first 25 years of transition and its relationship with neoliberal policies and institutions that were put in place in Central and Eastern European countries)
  13. Mario Alberto Cajas Sarria, The Building of Colombian Constitutional Justice: A Historical and Political Perspective, 1910-1991, Precedente Journal of Law (2015) (tracing the path of reforms and attempts to reform the Colombian Constitutional Justice and revealing how political actors and scholars, with different purposes and strategies, under certain political contexts and legal doctrines, built it between 1910 and 1991)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. Yale Law School will host its Sixth Annual Doctoral Scholarship Conference, which will be held on November 11-12, 2016.
  2. Duke Law School will host the 11th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies (CELS), to be held on November 18-19, 2016. All submissions will be peer-reviewed. The submission deadline is July 10, 2016.
  3. The University of Cartagena will host a conference on “Philosophical Foundations of Global Law,” which will take place on August 24-27, 2016. The deadline for abstracts is June 15, 2016.
  4. Loyola University Chicago School of Law is organizing its Seventh Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium on November 4-5, 2016. The deadline for abstracts is June 20, 2016.
  5. The Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto will host the third Labour Law Research Network (LLRN) Conference, to be held on June 25-27, 2017. The submission deadline for abstracts and proposals is October 15, 2016.
  6. The Faculty of Law of the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar in cooperation with Centre for Economic Law Studies (CEDE) of the Law Faculty of Laval University of Quebec will hold a conference on “le droit des procédures judiciaires: perspectives comparative et transnationale,” on July 28-29, 2016 in Senegal. The deadline for submission of abstracts is June 10, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Douglas McDonald, Restrictions on Constitutional Amendments in Papua New Guinea and India, Law and Other Things
  2. Saul Leal, Happiness as constitutional empowerment in Nigeria, AfricLaw
  3. Pedro Montano, Conscientious Objection or Oppression: That is the Question, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  4. Magna Inácio, Collapse of Brazilian coalitional presidentialism?, Presidential Power
  5. Lucy Moxham and Jan van Syl Smit, Developing a Guide to Administrative Law for Civil Servants: From the UK to Kenya, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  6. John Pyke, Reasons Not to Be Scared of a New Constitutional Preamble, AUSPUBLAW
  7. Graeme Cowie, Prisoners to Devolved Fortune? The Right to Vote and the Scotland Act 2016, UK Constitutional Law Association
  8. Mark Elliot, The 2016 Queen’s Speech and the Constitution, Public Law for Everyone
  9. Jack M. Balkin, Judicial Constraint, Judicial Restraint, and the New Originalism, Balkinization
  10. You can read contributions by Chad Flanders, Erin Morrow Hawley, Nelson Tebbe, Micah SchwartzmanRichard C. Schragger, Leslie C. Griffin, Caroline Mala Corbin, and Richard W. Garnett to an online symposium on the SCOTUS decision in Zubik v. Burwell at SCOTUSblog.


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