Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Angélique Devaux, French Qualified Attorney (Notaire Diplômée), LL.M American Law (IUPUI Robert H. McKinney School of Law)

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. South Africa: Constitutional Court hears ‘down syndrome’ case.
  2. Texas: Federal court struck down Texas anti-abortion provision.
  3. Colombia: Constitutional Court ruled that sexual orientation cannot be applied as a discriminatory factor in second-parent adoption cases.
  4. Germany: Constitutional Court rules that the complaint filed by former MP in child porn case was both inadmissible and unsubstantiated.
  5. Canada: Ontario’s top court rules that a Roman Catholic man cannot challenge a royal succession law that he argues discriminates against his religion.

In the News

  1. Canada: Federal Court of Canada Chief Justice Paul Crampton is pushing back against suggestions of bias in the government’s favour following Justice Marc Nadon’s failed nomination to the Supreme Court of Canada.
  2. Singapore: Malaysian Drug courier spared death now challenges caning sentence.
  3. Germany has published new draft cybersecurity law.
  4. Uzbekistan: The Senate of Uzbekistan has elected the Constitutional Court’s chairman.
  5. Texas: A County district court rules Texas School Financial system unconstitutional.
  6. California: Legislature bans plastic grocery bags.
  7. Europe: Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk became president of the European Council and Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini was appointed diplomacy chief at a Brussels summit.
  8. Japan: A court in Fukushima has ruled that Tokyo Electric Power Co., the Japanese nuclear power plant operator, can be held responsible for the suicide of a woman who became depressed after the 2011 meltdown.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Primus, Enumeration and Continuity, University of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 416,  (detailing the principle of enumerated powers of Congress, developing the idea of continuity tenders, showing that the survival of the enumeration principle in the face of its practical unreality can be understood as a ritual method of asserting continuity with America’s constitutional past, and arguing that present conditions require this ritual to be retired)
  2. Lucia Dalla Pellegrina, Nuno M. Garoupa, Fernando Gomez-Pomar, Estimating Judicial Ideal Points in the Spanish Supreme Court: The Case of Administrative Review, SSRN working paper series, (presenting an estimation of ideal points for the Justices of the Supreme Court of Spain in the specific area of administrative review for the period 2000-2008. The estimated ideal points allow the authors to identify political clusters in the Supreme Court which seems inconsistent with the formal and traditional views that a career judiciary is not strongly politically aligned and favors consensus, formalism and dissent avoidance.)
  3. Rosalind Dixon, Partial Constitution Codes, University of New South Wales Research Paper No. 2014-37 (arguing that the benefit of codified drafting constitutions’ approach is that it provides a stronger constraint on judges to give indirect attention to the aims and understandings of the drafters, regardless of their legal or political ideology. The potential cost, however, is that almost any constitutional code will inevitably be incomplete as a constraint on judges; and for some judges, the mere attempt at constitutional codification by drafters may discourage the kind of sympathetic, purposive approach to interpretation necessary to fill relevant gaps. The article makes these arguments using case-studies from South Africa and India relating to the rights to property and freedom of expression.)
  4. Christopher McCrudden, State Architecture: Subsidiary, Devolution, Federalism and Independence, University of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 417 (This chapter examines the current ‘architecture’ of the British state, in particular the way in which governmental power is distributed among the nations of the United Kingdom: showing how the continuing tension between centripetal and centrifugal forces can be usefully applied to power relations between the various nations of the United Kingdom, and between these nations and Europe, providing a basis for analyzing how these nations are drawn or impelled by some forces towards a centralized unitary polity, whilst at the same time other forces tend towards dispersion of power.)
  5. Benjamin Alarie, Andrew James Green, Docket Control at the Supreme Court of Canada: What’s Behind the Screen?, SSRNworking paper series (The authors investigate how the institutional structure for deciding which cases to hear affected the agenda of the Supreme Court of Canada over the period from 1990 to the present. The authors examine whether the justices’ participation in the leave to appeal process suggests that there has been ideological agenda setting at the Supreme Court of Canada)
  6. Nicola Lupo and Lucia Scaffardi, Comparative Law in Legislative Drafting, The Increasing Importance of Dialogue among Parliaments (Eleven, International Publishing) (examining whether contemporary parliaments use foreign law in the legislative process)
  7. Christina Mulligan, Michael Douma, Hans Lind, Founding-Era Translations of the United States Constitution, SSRNworking papers series (Before its ratification, the United States Constitution was translated into German and Dutch for the German- and Dutch-speaking populations of Pennsylvania and New York. Although copies of both the German- and Dutch-language translations have been preserved, they have largely escaped analysis — and public awareness — until now. This paper provides historical context for these translations and analyzes how they might aid our interpretation of the U.S. Constitution in the present day)

Call for Papers

  1. The Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society  Call for papers for its Annual Meeting to be held in Seattle on May 28-31, 2015.
  2. The NLS Business Law Review is now accepting submissions for its inaugural issue.
  3. The Center for Law, Economics and Finance (C-LEAF) at The George Washington University Law School Call for papers for its fifth annual Junior Faculty Business and Financial Law Workshop and Junior Faculty Scholarship Prizes to be held on February 27-28, 2015 at GW Law School in Washington, DC.
  4. The Northern Kentucky Law Review seeks submissions for its symposium, “The New Era in Gaming Law,” on March 20, 2015.
  5. Asia Pacific Law Review welcomes submission of papers for publication.
  6. The American Society for Law, Medicine and Ethics (ASLME) invites submissions for the first annual bioIP New Scholars Workshop, which will take place May 7, 2015, at Boston University School of Law.
  7. Transnational Dispute Management invites submissions for a special issue on Dispute Resolution from a Corporate Perspective.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. David Schultz, Amend the Constitution to restore the democracy the Roberts court killed, The
  2. Jonathan Kendall, Florida’s same-sex couples could start marrying on September 22 if Rick Scott team lets Courts ruling stand,
  3. Richard Javad Heydarian, Indonesia and The Philippines: A tale of two democracies: The Philippines and Indonesia are moving in opposite directions along their democratic paths,
  4. Lyle Denniston, Constitution Check: Who decides who gets to vote?,
  5. Lauren Carasik, Haiti’s Fragile Democracy,


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