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. In the European Court of Human Rights, Privacy International has challenged the British government’s secret “Five Eyes” spy pact—which allegedly outlines UK security services’ collaboration with the US National Security Agency and other foreign intelligence agencies—arguing that the pact should be made transparent.
  2. The High Court of Australia defined the constitutional limits on immigration detention, holding that the government can lawfully detain someone only for certain purposes (i.e., to consider whether to let someone apply for a visa, to consider an application for a visa, or to remove someone) and that detention is only lawful if these purposes are being “pursued and carried into effect as soon as reasonably practicable.”
  3. The Indian Government has filed objections to the Supreme Court’s April ruling on transgender rights.
  4. The US Supreme Court listed gay marriage petitions from five states–Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin–for consideration at its September 29, 2014 private conference.
  5. The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a ban on gay conversion therapy in New Jersey.

New Scholarship

  1. Ran Hirschl, Comparative Matters: The Renaissance of Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press 2014) (examining the analytical foundations, historical origins and antecedents, epistemology, and methodologies of comparative constitutional law, and providing a roadmap for the development of the field; a must-read for all scholars of comparative public law)
  2. Ligia M. De Jesus, Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis of Domestic Laws and Relevant Jurisprudence Following the Adoption of the American Convention on Human Rights, ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 20, No. 36, 2014 (examining whether recent trends in legislation and jurisprudence favor recognition of abortion rights in Latin America and the Caribbean)
  3. Peter L. Lindseth, Reconciling Europe and National Parliaments: Reflections on Technocracy, Democracy, and Post-Crisis Integration, Amministrazione In Cammino: Parlamento, Note e Commenti, 2014 (arguing for caution in using the idea of Europeanization to describe the changes in national parliamentary responsibilities and procedures as a consequence of integration and asserting that there is a risk of understating the “legitimacy resources” possessed by national parliaments as the constitutional expression of self-government in the European system)
  4. Engy Abdelkader, Animal Protection Theory in U.S. and Islamic Law: A Comparative Analysis with a Human Rights Twist, UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law, 2015, Forthcoming (highlighting the compatibility of Islamic and Western ideals vis-à-vis a comparative analysis of animal protection principles and arguing that the Islamic legal duty to respect, protect, and care for nonhuman animals underscores the heightened legal duty to fellow human beings)
  5. Joseph Wright, James Honaker, and Barbara Geddes, The Latent Characteristics That Structure Autocratic Rule, APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper (using historical data on 30 features of autocracies to estimate the latent dimensions of autocratic rule)
  6. Suryapratim Roy, Privileging (some Forms of) Interdisciplinarity and Interpretation: Methods in Comparative Law, International Journal of Constitutional Law, Issue 3, 2014, Forthcoming (addressing how comparative law scholars should engage with other disciplines)

In the News

  1. Both houses of Trinidad and Tobago’s Parliament have approved constitutional reform, which now awaits assent from the country’s president, Anthony Carmona, before it becomes law.
  2. Tanzania’s Constituent Assembly process aimed at producing a new constitution has been postponed until after the country’s 2015 general election.
  3. Thousands have already cast their votes in Scotland’s independence referendum.
  4. President Cristina Fernandez signed into a law a bill authorizing payments on foreign-held bonds, circumventing a US court ruling that prohibited Argentina from paying bondholders until Argentina resolves its legal dispute with a group of New York hedge funds over unpaid debt from Argentina’s 2002 default.
  5. President Benigno Aquino III urged the Philippines Congress to enact a draft law that would create an autonomous Muslim region in the south of the country.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Claudia E. Haupt, Speaking Professionally, The Huffington Post
  2. Shawn Marie Boyne, Vatican Injustice, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  3. Sheriff Kumba Jobe, Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa, AfricLaw
  4. Lauren Carasik, Haiti’s Fragile Democracy, JURIST – Forum
  5. Graeme Reid, International Law and the Uncertainty of Rights of LGBT People, JURIST – Hotline

Calls for Papers / Conferences

  1. The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law invites submissions for its fourth annual conference, to be held on April 16-17, 2015, at Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, Florida.
  2. The American Society of Comparative Law and the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University invite submissions for the annual Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, March 6-7, 2015, at Princeton University.
  3. Boston College Law School and the International Association of Constitutional Law’s Research Group on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change invite submissions for a full-day workshop on comparative constitutional amendment, to be held on the campus of Boston College Law School on Friday, May 15, 2015.
  4. Editors of the Spanish Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 18 (2013-2014), have issued a call for papers on any topic in the field of public and private international law and international relations.
  5. LatCrit, Inc. and the Society of American Law Teachers invite interested participants to the Twelfth Annual Junior Faculty Development Workshop to be held at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas on October 9, 2014.


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