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 ruled that France’s law banning women from wearing face-covering veils in public is not discriminatory.

2. Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s president did not breach the constitution when he described a far-right party as “nutcases.”

3. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that native peoples of British Columbia have the right to “use and control” lands where they have lived, hunted, and fished—and where governments and developers want to build pipelines and grant licenses to clear-cut forests.

4. The New York Court of Appeals ruled that a criminal cyberbullying statute enacted by the Albany County Legislature violates the First Amendment.

5. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia erred in concluding that it lacked jurisdiction over a case of alleged torture in the Abu Ghraib prison because the alleged abuses occurred in Iraq.

New Scholarship

1. Wojciech Sadurski, Searching for Illicit Motives: Constitutional Theory of Freedom of Speech, Equal Protection, and Separation of State and Religion, Sydney Law School Research Paper (applying the idea of unconstitutional motivations as a test of constitutionality to three areas of constitutional law: freedom of speech, equal protection, and separation of state and religion)

2. Roberto Scarciglia, Dynamic Reflections on Constitutional Justice, Beijing Law Review (2014) (reflecting critically on historical models of constitutional review in light of legal traditions, positive law within legal systems, and comparative methodologies)

3. David Landau, A Dynamic Theory of Judicial Role, Boston College Law Review (forthcoming 2014) (critically examining the democracy-improving model of judicial review in the “Global South”)

4. Richard Albert, Constitutional Amendment by Constitutional Desuetude, American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming 2014) (illustrating and theorizing the phenomenon of amendment by constitutional desuetude—the informal repeal of a constitutional provision as a result of a new constitutional convention)

5. Richard Albert, The Structure of Constitutional Amendment Rules, Wake Forest Law Review (forthcoming 2014) (illustrating that formal amendment rules are conceptually structured in three tiers–foundations, frameworks and specifications–and demonstrating how they may be deployed to manage federalism, express values and pursue democratic outcomes)

In the News

1. Akil Mochtar, the former chief justice of the Indonesia Constitutional Court, was jailed after being found guilty of selling election disputes to the highest bidder.

2. Pakistan’s parliament passed a new anti-terrorism bill that detractors are claiming grants excessive power to police.

3. The European Union called on Afghanistan to conduct a more extensive investigation into vote-rigging in their presidential election.

4. The two main factions in the Central African Republic’s conflict have taken a tentative step towards ending violence that has killed thousands and forced more than a million people to flee their homes.

5. The German government summoned U.S. Ambassador John B. Emerson after the arrest of a man who is claimed to be a U.S. spy working surveillance throughout the country.

Elsewhere Online

1. Lissa Griffin, Comparative Constitutionality of Warrantless Cell Phone Searches, Comparative Law Prof Blog

2. Haider Ala Hamoudi, Sistani and the Jihad, Jurist – Forum

3. Neal K. Katyal, The Supreme Court’s Powerful New Consensus, N.Y. Times

4. Vikas Bajaj, Scrubbing the Past, One Link at a Time, N.Y. Times Taking Note Blog

5. Lindsey A. Zahn, The New Chinese Trademark Law In Effect: The Wine Version, On Reserve – A Wine Law Blog

Calls for Papers / Conferences

1. The Editorial Board of the BioLaw Journal has issued a call for papers on “the Italian law 40/2004 ten years later.”

2. The Juris Diversitas Annual Conference will take place on July 17-19, 2014 at the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France.

3. Organizers invite submissions for the Sixth ASE International Conference on Privacy, Security, Risk and Trust to be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts on December 13-16, 2014.

4. Organizers invite proposals for papers and panels for a conference on “Traditions, Borrowings, Innovations & Impositions: Law in the Post-Colony and in Empire” to be held at the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Accra, July 2-4, 2015.

5. The University of Illinois College of Law, the University of Bologna School of Law, the Johns Hopkins SAIS Bologna Center, and the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development are accepting summaries of proposed papers for a conference on “Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives” to be held in Bologna, Italy on October 6-7, 2014.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *