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. Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ban on YouTube is a violation of Turkey’s freedom of speech laws.
  2. Russia’s Constitutional Court ruled against a suit that questioned the law on the post-prison administrative supervision of offenders.
  3. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Florida law that prevented death penalty defendants from presenting evidence of mental disability if they had an IQ score even slightly higher than 70.
  4. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that a Missouri state law prohibiting desecration of an American flag is unconstitutional.
  5. A judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order allowing the military to resume force feeding a Syrian prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.

New Scholarship

  1. Ran Hirschl, Dysfunctional? Dissonant? Démodé? America’s Constitutional Woes in Comparative Perspective, 94 Boston University Law Review 939 (2014) (placing America’s constitutional shortcomings in a broader comparative context by considering them in light of four types of constitutional gridlock and dysfunction that are prevalent around the world)
  2. Brian Z. Tamanaha, Insights About the Nature of Law from History, Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper (2014) (using a genealogical approach that examines law in different social-political groupings to ultimately answer the question of “What is Law?”)
  3. Jaap Hage, Comparative Law as Method and the Method of Comparative Law, Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper (2014) (addressing both the justificatory role of comparative law within legal research (comparative law as method) and the method of comparative law itself)
  4. Concepts of Law – Comparative, Jurisprudential, and Social Science Perspectives, Seán Patrick Donlan ed. (2014) (combining theoretical analyses with case studies to explore various legal concepts and contexts from diverse national and disciplinary perspectives)
  5. Imke Harbers & Matthew C. Ingram, Democratic Institutions Beyond the Nation State: Measuring Institutional Dissimilarity in Federal Countries, Government and Opposition 49(1): 24-46 (2014) (developing new measures of the unevenness of democratic institutions within individual countries, and illustrating these measures with an original data set on electoral rules in Mexico at the federal level and across 32 subnational units)
  6. Stella Burch Elias, Comprehensive Immigration Reform(s): Immigration Regulation Beyond Our Borders, Yale Journal of International Law, Vol. 39, No. 1 (2013) (broadening the immigration regulation debate by contrasting recent developments in immigration regulation in the United States with those in other countries with federal systems)

In the News

  1. A judge in the southern Iranian province of Fars ordered Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in court regarding complaints that his company’s Instagram and Whatsapp applications have violated individuals’ privacy.
  2. Voters in Ukraine handed chocolate tycoon Petro Poro­shenko a commanding victory in the country’s presidential election.
  3. Malawi President Joyce Banda announced that, due to extreme irregularities in the voting process, she is nullifying the national tripartite results for the presidential, parliamentary, and local elections.
  4. The U.S. Departmental Appeals Board of Health and Human Services revoked a National Coverage Determination barring Medicare payment for gender reassignment surgeries.
  5. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law that requires abortion clinics to have a physician with admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile radius present when an abortion is performed; Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is expected to sign a similar bill this week.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Andy Xie, Only the rule of law can ensure sustained prosperity in China, South China Morning Post
  2. David Hacker, It’s Time to End Public University Speech Zones, Jurist – Hotline
  3. Lissa Griffin, Extradition: A New Perspective on the US Plea Bargaining Process, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  4. Jacob Gershman, Alito’s Statistics Lesson Misses the Mark in Death-Penalty Dissent, Experts Say, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
  5. Christopher Kuner, The right to be forgotten and the global reach of EU data protection law, Concurring Opinions

Calls for Papers / Conferences

  1. The Law and Society Program at Philadelphia University and The Antitrust Bulletin invite paper submissions for presentation at a symposium on Capitalism, Antitrust, and Democracy on November 8, 2014.
  2. Seminar organizers seek abstract submissions for the third Dean Maxwell & Isle Cohen Doctoral Seminar in International Law titled “International Law: Between Internationalism, Transnationalism and Cosmopolitanism,” which will take place on August 23, 2014 at the Faculty of Law of McGill University.
  3. A conference on the “Legal Remedies for Corruption” will take place at the Said Business School of Oxford University on June 28, 2014.
  4. The Law and Development Institute along with the Payson Center and the School of Law of Tulane University welcome contributions for the 2015 Law and Development Conference: New Directions for Law and Development Studies to be held on April 10, 2015 in New Orleans.
  5. The Institute for Global Law and Policy’s 2015 Conference will take place in early June 2015 at Harvard Law School.


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