Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Margaret Lan Xiao, SJD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University

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 Korea declined to consider whether the National Assembly speaker’s refusal to bring bills to a vote because of the National Assembly Advancement Act violated the authority of National Assembly lawmakers.
  2. Macedonia’s constitutional court ruled that a decision to dissolve parliament to pave the way for early general elections was unconstitutional, and has formally annulled the move.
  3. Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev asked the Constitutional Court to rule whether three of the questions planned for a national referendum in autumn 2016 are permissible under the country’s constitution.
  4. In Turkey, the Republican People’s Party and the Peoples’ Democratic Party made applications to the Constitutional Court against the recently passed bill to lift some deputies’ parliamentary immunities.
  5. Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court appointed judge Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razek as the successor to the court’s current head, Adly Mansour.
  6. The High Court of Kenya at Nairobi declared Section 29 of the Kenya Information and Communication Act unconstitutional.

In the News

  1. Jordan’s King Abdullah appointed veteran politician Hani Mulqi as caretaker prime minister after dissolving parliament as its four-year term nears its end, and charged him with organising new elections by October.
  2. Turkey’s new government, led by the current president’s loyal ally, won a vote of confidence in parliament.
  3. Iran’s moderate conservative parliament leader was re-elected despite the gains made by reformists in elections held previously.
  4. The European Parliament approved a proposal for a task force dedicated to digital currencies and blockchain technology.
  5. Sweden’s parliament ratified a deal granting NATO more access to the neutral Nordic country for training exercises and in the event of a war in the region.
  6. Greece’s parliament approved fresh austerity measures to secure bailout cash.
  7. Taiwan’s new government dropped a lawsuit against 126 protesters who stormed the cabinet headquarters in 2014.
  8. The Council of the European Union formally adopted the Network and Information Security Directive.
  9. The European Commission issued a study on a comparative analysis of non-discrimination law in Europe.

New Scholarship

  1. Mohamed Abdelaal, Entrenchment Illusion: The Curious Case of Egypt’s Constitutional Entrenchment Clause, 16 Chicago-Kent Journal of International and Comparative Law (2016) (examining the paradoxical language of Egypt’s constitutional entrenchment clause)
  2. Bojan Bugarič and Tom Ginsburg, Courts vs. Autocrats in Post-Communist Europe, Journal of Democracy (forthcoming 2016) (examining the institutional fragility of constitutional courts in the face of illiberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe)
  3. Jack Tsen-Ta Lee, The Limits of Liberty: The Crime of Male Same-sex Conduct and the Rights to Life and Personal Liberty in Singapore: Lim Meng Suang v Attorney-General[2015] 1 SLR 26, 46 Hong Kong Law Journal (2016) (examining the analyses of the provision of rights to life and personal liberty guaranteed by Art 9(1) of the Singapore Constitution by the Court of Appeal in Lim Meng Suang v. Attorney-General (2014), and by the High Court in Tan Eng Hong v. Attorney-General (2013))
  4. R. G. Murray, Shifting Emergencies from the Political to the Legal Sphere: Placing the United Kingdom’s Derogations from the ECHR in Historical Context, in The International Human Rights Judiciary and National Parliaments: Europe and Beyond (Matthew Saul, Andreas Follesdal, and Geir Ulfstein eds.) (2016) (examining whether the arrangements under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights have actually conditioned particular emergency responses by UK governments, based not on security rationale, but on expediency)
  5. Jeff King, The Doctrine of Odious Debt in International Law: A Restatement (2016) (reaffirming the original doctrine of odious debt through a meticulous and definitive examination of state practice and legal history)
  6. Philipp Hacker and Bilyana Petkova, Reining in the Big Promise of Big Data: Transparency, Inequality, and New Regulatory Frontiers (2016) (proposing a new regulatory framework and research agenda to put the powerful engine of Big Data to the benefit of both the individual and societies adhering to basic notions of equality and non-discrimination)
  7. Farrah Ahmed, Remedying Personal Law Systems, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family (forthcoming) (proposing a way out of the stalemate in India that has dogged efforts to reform the personal law system)
  8. Josephine Dawuni, African Women Judges on International Courts: Symbolic or Substantive Gains?, iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 60 (2016) (documenting the substantive contributions that women judges make to international courts)
  9. Richard S. Kay, Constitutional Construction and the (In)Complete Constitution (2016) (providing a critical examination of the concept of “constitutional construction”)
  10. Sally Engle Merry, The Rule of Law and Authoritarian Rule: Legal Politics in Sudan, Law and Social Inquiry (2016)(explaining how historical and social conditions shape the way rule of law mechanisms work in practice)
  11. Rachel Ellett, Rethinking Law and State Building in Sub-Saharan Africa, Law & Social Inquiry (2016) (arguing that contextualized analyses of courts are critical to understanding judicial decision making and judicial empowerment)
  12. Mark Fathi Massoud, Ideals and Practices in the Rule of Law: An Essay on Legal Politics, Law & Social Inquiry (2016) (describing the sociolegal study of the rule of law as an investigation into both a set of ideals and a set of practices)
  13. Martin Krygier, The Rule of Law Between England and Sudan: Hay, Thompson, and Massoud, Law & Social Inquiry (2016) (arguing that Mark Fathi Massoud’s book oscillates between two interpretive modes of the rule of law, as represented by the work of legal historians Douglas Hay and E.P. Thompson)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The American Society of International Law (ASIL) issued a call for paper proposals for the ASIL Research Forum to be held on November 11-12, 2016, at University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, Washington.
  2. The University of Washington School of Law’s Graduate Tax Program issued a call for papers for its Fourth Annual Tax Symposium to be held on October 7, 2016.
  3. The University of Surrey, Brunel University of London, and NEMODE collectively issued a call for papers for the SRIBE Legal Workshop titled “To Score and to Protect? Credit Risk Analysis using Big and Open Data meets Privacy” to be held on June 23, 2016 at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, UK.
  4. The AALS Section on East Asian Law & Society issued a call for papers for its “research in progress” program at the AALS Annual Meeting to be held on January 3-7, 2017 in San Francisco.
  5. The AALS Section on Law and Anthropology issued a call for papers for its program titled “Qualitative Data and Legal Advocacy, Research, and Teaching” at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco to be held on January 3-7, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Derek O’Brien, Jamaica’s drift towards republicanism: Possible consequences for the Caribbean, ConstitutionNet
  2. Sufian Obeidat, Jordan’s 2016 constitutional amendments: A return to absolute monarchy?, ConstitutionNet
  3. Garrett Epps, Why Legislate When Judges Will Do It for You?, The Atlantic
  4. Thabang Mokgatle, The imminent mass exodus from the ICC by African member states: A turning point for justice in Africa?, AfricLaw
  5. Robert Barnes, Eight ‘is not a good number’ for the Supreme Court, Ginsburg says, The Washington Post
  6. The Editorial Board, Congress Moves, Finally, on Toxic Chemicals, The New York Times
  7. William Egginton, Letter From Austria: Is Europe’s ‘Tolerant Society’ Backfiring?, The New York Times
  8. Jacob Gershman, Proposed Bill Could Help Facebook Quash Privacy Lawsuit, The Wall Street Journal
  9. Stian Øby Johansen, EU law and the ECHR: the Bosphorus presumption is still alive and kicking – the case of Avotiņš v. Latvia, EU Law Analysis


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