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 European Court of Human Rights held that France’s non-recognition of a relationship between a father and his biological children born following surrogacy arrangements abroad was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

2. Shortly after France’s top court ruled to allow doctors to stop a patient’s life support, the European Court of Human Rights blocked the decision, ordering that medical treatment continue.

3. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President Obama exceeded his constitutional authority by making high-level government appointments in 2012 when he declared the Senate to be in recess and unable to act on the nominations.

4. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Massachusetts law creating a 35-foot protester-free buffer zone around the entrance or driveway of an abortion clinic is unconstitutional.

5. A judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado upheld two Colorado gun control statutes that expanded mandatory background checks and banned high capacity magazines.

New Scholarship

1. Ronald A. Brand, Federal Judicial Center International Litigation Guide: Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, 74 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 491 (2013) (prepared as a guide for federal judges on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, this publication covers applicable law in federal courts, issues raised in foreign judgment recognition cases, grounds for non-recognition, and recent developments that may lead to future adjustments in the rules)

2. Wojciech Sadurski, Rights Before Courts: A Study of Constitutional Courts in Postcommunist States of Central and Eastern Europe (Springer 2014) (exploring many aspects of constitutional courts, including their democratic legitimacy and success in protecting constitutional rights)

3. Marco Arnone and Leonard S. Borlini, Corruption, Economic Analysis and International Law (Edward Elgar 2014) (reviewing ongoing research on corruption and showing the value of integrating an economic understanding of its consequences and a critical assessment of the legal instruments promoted by major intergovernmental organizations)

4. Kenneth Anderson, Through Our Glass Darkly: Does Comparative Law Counsel the Use of Foreign Law in U.S. Constitutional Adjudication?, 52 Duq. L. Rev. 115 (2014) (considering the question what comparative law as a scholarly discipline suggests about the use of foreign or unratified international law by U.S. courts in U.S. constitutional adjudication)

5. Frank W. Munger, Scott L. Cummings, and Louise G. Trubek, Mobilizing Law for Justice in Asia: A Comparative Approach, Wis. Int’l L. J., Vol. 31, No. 3 (2014) (offering a comparative framework for studying why and how law is mobilized to advance justice claims by marginalized groups in Asia)

In the News

1. The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution establishing a commission of inquiry to investigate alleged human rights abuses in Eritrea.

2. Argentine federal judge Ariel Lijo charged Amado Boudou, the country’s vice president, with bribery and abusing his position in negotiations with the objective of obtaining benefits for himself and others.

3. Amidst political crisis, Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah promised that he would not accept any decisions made by the country’s election commission after it rejected a list of his demands.

4. Spanish lawmakers approved controversial new legal protections for former king Juan Carlos after he lost his total immunity when he abdicated the throne last week.

5. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande held talks with Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, and Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the expiry of a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine.

Elsewhere Online

1. Angelique Devaux, Harmonization of Law is the Key in Europe, Jurist – Hotline

2. Linda Tashbook, Living in a Vehicle, Jurist – Forum

3. Amy Howe, Court strikes down abortion clinic “buffer zone”: In Plain English, SCOTUSblog

4. David Arkush, Pragmatism and Formalism in Noel Canning, Concurring Opinions

5. Rebecca Mkhize,Eritrea: They leave because their government has failed them, AfricLaw

Calls for Papers / Conferences

1. Abstracts are invited for the 7th Central and Eastern European Forum for Young Legal, Political and Social Theorists to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria on March 27-28, 2015.

2. Organizers invite abstract submissions for the 4th Doctoral Scholarship Conference on Law and Responsibility, which will be held on November 14-15, 2014 at Yale Law School.

3. The Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge will host a conference on “Process and Substance in Public Law” on September 15-17, 2014.

4. The Irish Jurisprudence Society invites abstracts for its Autumn/Winter Workshop Series to be held at the Law School of Trinity College Dublin.

5. The City Law School in London will host the International Legal Ethics Conference VI on July 10-12, 2014.


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