Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Rohan Alva, Jindal Global Law School

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 Moldova has ruled that the Moldovan Parliament does not have the competence to pass legislation authorizing it to remove the justices of the Court. At issue in this case was ‘Law No. 109’, which sought to empower Parliament to remove the Court’s justices on grounds of ‘loss of confidence’. At the heart of the decision lay a concern for judicial independence and a concern for the ability of the justices to act in an unbiased manner under threat of possible removal by Parliament.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Portugal has declared unconstitutional portions of Portugal’s ‘austerity measures’. The Court determined that it would violate the Constitution if the government reduced, as planned in its 2014 budget, the wages paid in the public sector and if it rolled backed the payment of pensions and sickness and unemployment benefits.
  3. As a measure for protecting the ‘personal rights’ enshrined in the Hungarian Constitution, the Constitutional Court of Hungary has ruled that internet content providers will also be held responsible if they fail to ‘moderate third party comments’ on their websites. The decision of the Court arose out of a complaint filed by a group of realtors who were the subject of uncharitable comments filed by readers of an article, published online, which had been critical of the realtors.
  4. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to interfere with an Oregon District Court judgment, which had overturned Oregon’s prohibition on same-sex marriage.
  5. The Supreme Court of Philippines dismissed a petition which had challenged Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson’s selection for the post of ‘presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery of areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda’, finding no improper exercise of presidential discretionary powers in the matter of this selection.

New Scholarship

  1. Abhinav Chandrachud, The Informal Constitution: Unwritten Criteria in Selecting Judges For the Supreme Court of India (Oxford University Press, 2014) (seeking to establish how ‘three informal criteria’ currently govern judicial appointments to the Indian Supreme Court, and exploring the historical and political reasons leading up to the creation of the ‘collegium system’ which now determines all Supreme Court appointments)
  2. Klemen Jaklic, Constitutional Pluralism in EU (Oxford University Press, 2014) (presenting a theoretical analysis to appreciate the importance of constitutional pluralism for Europe and also to demystify some of the misconceptions about the concept, and unpacking some of the critiques made against it)
  3. Suzie Navot, The Constitution of Israel: A Contextual Analysis (Hart Publishing, 2014) (engaging in an historical and contemporary analysis of the basic laws as well as of the constitutional law principles which are applied in Israel, and providing a critique of the ‘development of Israel’s constitution and local projects aimed at enacting a single and comprehensive text.’)
  4. Albert Chen (editor), Constitutionalism in Asia in the Early Twenty-First Century, (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (a collection of essays in which the authors analyze key developments in constitutional culture in different Asian nations, providing also, through different lenses, an account of ‘Asian constitutionalism’)
  5. Melissa Crouch, Rediscovering ‘Law’ in Myanmar: A Review of Scholarship on the Legal System of Myanmar, 23(3) Pacific Rim Law and Policy Review 543-575 (2014) (analyzing several areas in which legal scholarship on Myanmar has focused on, and delineating the path that future legal inquiries on Myanmar must take, and the particular factors of Myanmar that such inquires must be cognizant of)

In the News

  1. The National Council of Slovakia by way of a constitutional amendment has defined marriage to be a union possible only between a woman and a man. The amendment also mentions that no other form of marriage can have the same privileges as a heterosexual marriage.
  2. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won the Egyptian presidential elections by securing an overwhelming mandate of 96% of the total votes polled.
  3. The decision of the Portuguese Constitutional Court on the ‘austerity measures’ has received strong criticism from the Portuguese Prime Minister, who has charged the Court’s decision with destabilizing governmental efforts and asked the Court for a ‘political clarification’ of its decision.
  4. Bashar al-Assad emerged victorious in the Syrian presidential elections. Questions, however, abound on the integrity of the elections with critics alleging that the election process was not free from manipulation.
  5. In light of the abdication by King Juan Carlos I, the government of Spain has begun the process of formulating special legislation, as mandated by Article 57 of Spain’s Constitution, to ‘facilitate the succession.’

Elsewhere on the Web

  1. Shraddha Kulhari & Sujoy Chatterjee, Killing the Suspense over the Delhi Assembly, Part I and Part II (Law and Other Things)
  2. Jan Wetzel, Executions in Belarus: More of the Same?, Livewire (Amnesty’s Global Human Rights Blog)
  3. Stephen Cragg QC, McDonald v. UK: The ECTHR on Social Care Provisions, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  4. Peter Widulski, Special Tribunal for Lebanon Confronts a Challenge to Its Legitimacy, Pace Criminal Justice Center Blog
  5. Ilya Shapiro, What We Can Expect from the Supreme Court in the Next Month, Cato Institute

Call for Papers/Conferences

  1. A seminar on ‘Latin-American Constitutionalism: Between Law and Politics’ will be held on July 2, 2014 at Glasgow University. Amongst the activities, Hans Lindhal, Mariana Mota Prado, and David Restrepo Amariles are scheduled to present lectures at the seminar.
  2. The Department of Public Law (Oslo University) in association with the International Association of Constitutional Law will be hosting the 9th World Congress. The Congress is scheduled to be held from June 16 to June 20, 2014 at the Main Building of Oslo University.
  3. The Russian Law Journal invites submissions for a ‘Special Issue’ on the theme of ‘Judicial Reforms of Alexander II’ in celebration of the reforms’ 150th anniversary. Papers are due by July 1, 2014.
  4. Papers are called for by the Hastings Law Journal for a symposium on ‘forum selection after Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court which will be held on September 19, 2014. Abstracts of papers are to be submitted by June 23, 2014.
  5. Entries are invited for the 2014 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/ Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize. The submitted work must investigate ‘the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American Society’. Submissions may be made by July 1, 2014.


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