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 Indian Supreme Court has called upon the Law Commission of India to deliberate over the necessity of enacting special legislation to streamline the process by which courts are able to assess ‘tortious liability’ of the government and its instrumentalities, as well as to outline the proper methodological approach for determining the quantum of monetary recompense that must be paid for the damage inflicted.
  2. The Slovakian Constitutional Court declined to entertain a petition, brought by some members of Parliament, which impugned certain changes made to the State Citizenship Act effectively denying Slovakians the right of holding dual citizenship.
  3. The Constitutional Court of South Africa denied granting relief to a resident of Cape Town who raised a challenge to her being evicted from her home, ruling that the process of eviction adopted by the City of Cape Town was legally compliant.
  4. Nine justices who were recently elevated to the Constitutional Court of Togo have been sworn into office. Each of the justices will serve for 7 years on the Court.
  5. The Judges Selection Committee nominated for appointment two new justices to the Supreme Court of Israel, one of whom is Menachem Mazuz, the former Attorney-General.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Amending Constitutional Amendment Rules, International Journal of Constitutional Law (forthcoming 2015) (arguing that formal amendment rules should be more difficult to amend than other constitutional provisions)
  2. Jacco Bomhoff, Balancing Constitutional Rights- The Origins and Meanings of Postwar Legal Discourse (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (offering a jurisprudential analysis of the meaning of ‘balancing constitutional rights’ and contrasting the varied approaches to such balancing)
  3. Mathias Siems, Comparative Law (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (presenting a critique of the standard forms of inquiries in comparative law as well of emerging methods of comparative analysis, and using illustrations from different disciplines to holistically analyse comparativism)
  4. P. de Vos, W. Freedman (eds.) South African Constitutional Law in Context (Oxford University Press, 2014) (an introductory analysis of the development of the Constitution of South Africa, in which the authors adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to assess the nature and state of constitutional progress)
  5. Scott Stephenson, The Supreme Court’s Renewed Interest in Autochthonous Constitutionalism, Public Law (forthcoming 2015) (evaluating a series of recent decisions which indicate the shifting inclination of the English Supreme Court in favour of retaining English constitutional principles and safeguarding them, rather than freely implementing EU legal doctrines)
  6. Yuichiro Shimizu and Sochi Naraoka, Shaping the Diet: Competing Architectural Designs for Japan’s Diet Building (Australian Political Studies Association, Sydney University, 2014) (examining the importance of architecture of legislative houses for democratic progress, and engaging in a historical analysis of the architectural design of the Japanese Diet as well as evaluating the contemporary design of the Diet and its similarities with its German counterpart)

In the News

  1. Ashraf Ghani has been declared winner of the presidential elections held recently in Afghanistan, ending months of speculation over the election results. In accordance with a ‘power-sharing agreement’ signed previously between the two presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah, the other presidential candidate, now reserves the right to nominate a ‘chief executive officer’ in the new president’s administration.
  2. A constitutional amendment backed by Senate members belonging to the Democratic Party, which sought to accord powers to the US Congress to regulate the role of money in elections, met with rejection in the Senate. The proposed amendment would have reversed a series of US Supreme Court decisions which have permitted for the unhindered flow of money in election campaigns.
  3. Elections were recently conducted in Fiji for electing members to the nation’s Parliament. Voreqe Bainimarama who leads the Fiji First Party and who had led the coup in 2006, claimed that his party has won the elections and that he will now serve as the democratically elected head of the government.
  4. The Catalonian Parliament has voted upon legislation which permits for a ‘non-binding consultation’ on the question of Catalonia separating from Spain. Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister of Spain, however, has opposed the holding of any consultation on Catalonia’s independence and declared that he will raise the question of the law’s tenability in the Constitutional Court. The consultation is being held to sense the mood of Catalonians on the question of independence.
  5. The Bangladeshi Parliament passed an amendment to the Constitution which now empowers Parliament to commence impeachment proceedings against the justices of the Bangladeshi Supreme Court. Prior to the amendment, the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice in consultation with a panel of judges would inquire into acts of judicial impropriety.

Elsewhere on the Web

  1. Meghan Campbell, Recognising Maternity Leave as a Human Rights Obligation, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  2. Amrita Nandy, Ticking outside the box, The Indian Express
  3. Stoyan Panov, The Tales of Two Transitional Constitutions, Jurist
  4. Sean Fine, Legal observers worry future of judicial appointments will be done in secret, The Globe and Mail
  5. Gautam Bhatia, Privacy, Self-Incrimination and Article 20(3)- I; Privacy Self-Incrimination and Article 20(3)- II: Kathi Kalu Oghad, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy

Call for Papers/Conferences

  1. Entries are invited by Projections for its issue on ‘Rethinking the Role of Law in Urban Planning: Policy and Development.’ Abstracts of papers are due by the 30th of October, 2014.
  2. A call for papers has been issued by the Commonwealth Legal Education Association for a conference on ‘Transnational Legal Education: Commonwealth Perspectives’ to be held at Glasgow Caledonian University on the 9th and 10th of April, 2015. Abstracts for the second round of selection are due by the 28th of November, 2014.
  3. Abstracts of papers are invited for an international conference on ‘Legal argumentation and the rule of law’ to be hosted at the Erasmus School of Law on the 26th of June, 2015. Abstracts are due by the 1st of October.
  4. The Centre of Legal and Institutional Translation Studies is hosting a conference on ‘Law, Translation and Culture’ from the 24th to the 27th of June, 2015. Abstracts are due by the 18th of October, 2014.
  5. Submissions are invited by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics for its conference on ‘Law, Religion, And American Health Care’ to be held on the 8th and 9th of May, 2015 at Harvard Law School. Abstracts must be sent in by the 1st of December, 2014.


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