Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Patrick Yingling, Reed Smith LLP

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 Ukraine declared unconstitutional the limits on the lifetime allowance for retired judges.
  2. Thailand’s Constitutional Court accepted a petition seeking a ruling on the legality of the country’s referendum law, which states that propagation of information that is inconsistent with the truth and aims to influence voting shall be seen as disrupting the voting process.
  3. The Samoan Federation of America petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a century-old law that denies American Samoans the right to be U.S. citizens at birth.
  4. Justices of the Constitutional Court of South Africa Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta applied to their own court to reopen a case they are litigating, after the court had refused them leave to appeal.
  5. Former U.S.Central Intelligence Agency operative Sabrina de Sousa will be extradited to Italy to serve a four-year prison sentence following a ruling by Portugal’s Constitutional Court.

In the News

  1. Nigeria’s House of Representatives is considering a constitutional amendment to lower age limits for political office and allow independent candidacy.
  2. Kenya’s National Assembly committees met to set a countrywide programme for collecting views from citizens on potential constitutional and electoral reforms.
  3. Hungarian lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment granting the government extended powers, including the possibility of deploying the armed forces, in case of terror acts or threats.
  4. Germany and China agreed to set up an “early warning system” to avoid problems for German non-governmental organizations from a new Chinese law that restricts such groups.
  5. A Canadian-Iranian professor researching women in the Muslim world has been arrested by Iranian intelligence officers, the latest in a series of detentions of Iranians holding dual citizenship.

New Scholarship

  1. Engineering Constitutional Change, A Comparative Perspective on Europe, Canada and the USA (Xenophon Contiades ed.) (2016 paperback edition) (providing a holistic presentation of the reality of constitutional change in 18 countries (the 15 old EU member states, Canada, Switzerland and the USA))
  2. Holning Lau, Comparative Perspectives on Strategic Remedial Delays, Tulane Law Review (forthcoming) (expanding upon on the understanding of remedial grace periods—the periods of time that courts sometimes grant the government to correct a rights violation)
  3. Catherine Dupré, The Age of Dignity, Human Rights and Constitutionalism in Europe (2015) (providing a critical investigation of human dignity’s origins, development and above all its potential at the heart of European constitutionalism today)
  4. Mark S. Brodin, The British Experience with Hearsay Reform: A Cautionary Tale, Fordham Law Review (2016) (exploring the British experience with the Civil Evidence Act of 1995 and the Criminal Justice Act of 2003, which significantly reformed the common law treatment of hearsay and substitute a discretionary approach to admission)
  5. Yota Negishi, The Pro Homine Principle’s Role in Regulating the Relationship between Conventionality Control and Constitutionality Control, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2016-13 (2016) (conducing a comparative analysis of the American and European Conventions on Human Rights to review the relationship between conventionality control and constitutionality control assumed by domestic courts)
  6. Silvia Suteu and Ibrahim Draji, ABC for a Gender Sensitive Constitution (2016) (comprehensively covering all aspects of engendering constitution-making, from substantive provisions to process requirements)
  7. Tom G. Daly, The End of Law’s Ambition: Human Rights Courts, Democratisation and Social Justice, iCourts Working Paper Series No. 67 (arguing that the expansion of regional human rights courts’ ambitions is just part of a century-long constitutional story that has pushed law’s transformational ambitions to its limits, and that this increase in ambition appears to raise acute dangers for regional human rights courts when viewed against wider trends)
  8. Warren Binford, Comparative Constitutional Rights of Children, Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law (2016) (providing a comparative overview of the constitutionalization of children’s rights around the world over the past century)
  9. Legal Grounds III Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts (Godfrey Kangaude ed.) (forthcoming 2016) (summarizing and analyzing court decisions from Sub-Saharan Africa)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Arab Association of Constitutional Law, which is the first regional association of constitutional law in the region, is looking to recruit a Secretary General and a Coordinator. More information is available here.
  2. The University of Essex issued a call for participation for a conference and research workshops on “Comparative Public Law and European Legal Identity.” The programme includes two workshops for presenting on-going work: one on September 29-30 2016 at the University of Essex and one in mid-December 2016 in Brussels; and one conference in March 2017 in London.
  3. The AALS Africa Section, in cooperation with their co-sponsor the AALS East Asia Law & Society Section, announced a call for papers for their 2017 Annual Meeting program: “China in Africa: Legal, Political and Development Issues in the Africa-China Relationship” to be held on January 3-7, 2017 in San Francisco.
  4. The American Society of International Law issued a call for papers for its 2016 Research Forum, to be held on November 11-12, 2016, at the University of Washington School of Law.
  5. Faulkner Law Review at the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University invites proposals for its 5th Annual Law Review Symposium, “The Role of the Judge in the Anglo-American Tradition,” to be held on September 22-23, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Fiona de Londras, Ireland needs constitutional referendum as UN committee finds abortion law indefensible, ConstitutionNet
  2. Clara Burbano-Herrera, Why has the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive not been applied during the migration crisis in order to receive Syrians and other asylum seekers?, AfricLaw
  3. Michelle Everson, An Ideal, not a Place: A Euro-Critic’s Case for the UK Remaining in the EU, Verfassungsblog
  4. Nadia Motraghi, Brexit: What would be the timetable for leaving?, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  5. Scarlet Kim, ECHR Jurisdiction and Mass Surveillance: Scrutinising the UK Investigatory Power Tribunal’s Recent Ruling, EJIL: Talk! – Blog of the European Journal of International Law


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