Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Angelique Devaux, French Licensed Attorney (Notaire)

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 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court holds that ‘Under God’ in Pledge of Allegiance is constitutional.
  2. The European Court of Justice holds that individuals can ask Google to remove certain links on request.
  3. A Delhi court (India) says that marital sex “even if forcible” is not rape.
  4. An Islamic Court in Sudan says that a Christian woman can have her child before she is executed for renouncing Islam.
  5. A court in Overrijissel (The Netherlands) says that bitcoin is not money, but rather a medium of exchange.
  6. A federal court in Buenos Aires (Argentina) declared that an agreement with Iran to probe AMIA bombing is unconstitutional.
  7. A German court says Dutch treatment of asylum seekers is inhumane.
  8. The US District Court for the District of Idaho struck down Idaho’s laws banning same-sex marriage.

In the news

  1. University of Toulouse 1 (France) has inaugurated the first European School of Law (TESL) to train students in European law right from their first year.
  2. The first edition of the Journal of Comparative Law in Africa has been published by the Center of Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Cape Town.
  3. Georgia passes law broadening rights of gun owners.
  4. Qatar has announced several changes to labor law to ease restrictions on foreign workers’ terms of employment.
  5. Iraq debates law that would allow men to marry 9 year-old girls.
  6. France extends veto power over foreign takeovers.
  7. In Switzerland, voters rejected the world’s highest minimum wage.
  8. In Morocco, six men jailed for homosexuality.
  9. Minnesota lawmakers approved limited legalization of medical marijuana.

New scholarship

  1. Bjoern Dressel, Marco Buente, Constitutional Politics in Southeast Asia (Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 36/1,  Institute of Southeast Asian Studies) (This special issue argues that four areas are particularly contested–constitutional drafting and design; individual and religious rights; the role of the military in constitutional politics; and the rule of law, courts and justice–and that how states in Southeast Asia resolve unfolding conflicts in these four areas will be critical to how constitutionalism evolves in the region. This edition seeks to advance the scholarly debate by delving deeply into the dynamics that underpin unfolding constitutionalism trajectories and assessing whether countries in the region are actually deepening constitutional  practice in a Western liberal sense or whether the model that seems to be emerging is quite different)
  2. Matej Avbelj, Filippo Fontanelli, Giuseppe Martinico, Kadi on Trial: A multifaceted Analysis of the Kadi Trial, (Routledge Research in EU Law) (This book offers a comprehensive view of the Kadi case, explores specific issues that are anticipated to resonate beyond the immediate case from which they derive, and discusses pressing topics such as the European Union’s objective of “the strict observance and the development of international law,” the EU as a site of global governance, constitutional pluralism and the protections of fundamental rights).
  3. Frank Emmert, Trade and Intellectual Property, (in Heng Wang (ed), International Trade Law, Law Press China, Beijing 2014) (Presenting the nature of Intellectual Property Rights and the connection to trade, the intellectual property protection under WIPO and bringing Intellectual Property under the umbrella of the WTO).
  4. Russell Sandberg, Religion, Law and Society, (Cambridge University Press as part of the Cambridge Studies in Law and Society series) (exploring whether, how and why law and religion should interact with the sociology of religion. It examines sociological and legal materials concerning religion in order to find out what lawyers and sociologists can learn from each other)
  5. Andrew T. Guzman, Timothy Meyer, Soft Law, (The research handbook on the Economics of Public International Law, E. Kontorovich ed. Elgar Publishing, 2014) (Summarizing the existing literature on international soft law and arguing that the move toward legislative soft law in international affairs reflects an effort to enhance international law’s effectiveness by weakening the status quo bias inherent in hard law rules to which each state bound must consent).

Call for Papers

  1. The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law has issued a call for participants for a symposium on “The Constitution of Conventions / Conventional Constitutionalism,” to be held on November 15, 2014 at Trinity College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.
  2. The American University in Cairo calls for papers and panel proposals for the first TWAIL conference in the Global South that will be held in Cairo (Egypt) from 22 to 24 February 2015.
  3. The George Mason Law & Economics Center (LEC) and the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) announce the LEC-PERC Workshop on Environmental Economics for Law Professors to be held at the Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key, Florida from December 6, to December 10, 2014.
  4. The European Commission calls for papers for the 9th Annual conference of the PIP (European Policy for Intellectual Property) Association held on Sept. 4-5, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium.
  5. The Vermont Law School calls for abstracts for the Fifth Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship to be held in South Royalton (Vermont) on October 4, 2014.
  6. Lasden, DFG and Point Sud call for papers for its workshop on “the African Courts: Actors, Institutional Developments and Governance” at the LASDEL Niamey, Niger on December 4-10, 2014.
  7. The School of Law and Government, Dublin City University calls for papers for its first annual Law and Government conference whose theme is Judges, Politics and the Irish Constitution to be held in Dublin, Ireland on September 4th 2014.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Jacob Gershman, Scalia: Law Schools are Charging Students and Paying Professors Too Much, The Wall Street Journal, Law Blog
  2. Rick Jervis, Texas Abortion Law Creates Obstacles for Valley Woman, USA Today
  3. Gautam Bhatia, Net Neutrality, Free Speech and the Indian Constitution – III: Conceptions of Free Speech and Democracy, The Center for Internet and Society
  4. The Editorial Board, South Sudan in Peril, The New York Times
  5. Clovis Casali, Economy Takes Centre Stage at European Commission Debate, France24
  6. Paresh Dave, Colorado Pot Law Bans Smoking in Public. But What’s Public?, Los Angeles Times


One response to “What’s New in Comparative Public Law”

  1. Laura | Dutch Law Firm AMS Avatar

    Thanks for sharing! Interesting to read these developments in constitutional courts. Always nice to be up to date when it comes to different jurisdictions.

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