Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Angelique Devaux, French Licensed Attorney (Notaire)

In this new 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 refused to review its decision to reinstate a 153-year-old law that criminalizes homosexuality.
  2. Germany’s Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has ruled the existing subsidies for film productions are legal.
  3. Nicaragua lawmakers approved unlimited presidential terms.
  4. A New Jersey court upheld a dismissal of the public sector workers’ complaints regarding their challenges to changes made in pension and healthcare benefits systems.
  5. A federal judge ruled Connecticut’s gun control law constitutional.
  6. The European Court of Human Right has ruled that Ireland failed to protect students from child abuse.
  7. The Constitutional Court of South Africa has announced that the last will and testament of Nelson Mandela will be made public.

In the News

  1. The French Parliament debates gender equality bill.
  2. The Indiana House approves a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
  3. Three years after the “Arab  Spring,” the Tunisia Assembly approves a new constitution and appoints a government.
  4. The Ukrainian Parliament passes a conditional amnesty law for protesters.
  5. Portugal’s president sent to the Constitutional Court a proposal to hold a referendum on adoption and co-adoption of children by same-sex couples.
  6. Libya’s interim parliament set Feb. 20 as the date for a national election to choose a panel to draft the country’s new constitution.
  7. The Florida Supreme Court has approved language for a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana for medical use, guaranteeing the measure a spot on the state’s November ballot.
  8. France has approved a bill making abortion easier.
  9. Malawi churches call for a referendum on homosexuality laws.
  10. Costa Rica holds presidential elections.
  11. The Saudi Arabia king ratifies counterterrorism law stating that any act which undermines the state or society can be tried as an act of terrorism.

New Scholarship

  1. Nuno M. Garoupa & Tom Ginsburg, Judicial Roles in Nonjudicial Functions, Washington University Global Studies Law Review, (2013) (providing a theory of judicial demand and judicial supply for non-judicial functions by showing the potential market failures and the need for regulation).
  2. Mathias Siems, Comparative law, Law in Context, Cambridge University Press (May 2014) (discussing established approaches to comparative law, and presenting more modern ones, such as socio-legal and numerical comparative law; the contextualized approach of the book draws on examples from politics, economics and development studies to provide an original contribution to topics of comparative law).
  3. Jose A. Cheibub, Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg, Beyond Presidentialism and Parliamentarism, British Journal of Political Science (forthcoming 2014) (investigating whether the defining attributes that separate presidential and parliamentary constitutions predict other attributes are stereotypically associated with these institutional models).
  4. Joseph E. Miller,  Changing Our Approach to Changing the World: Encouraging and Enhancing American Engagement in International Philanthropy Through Tax Law Reform,  the Council on International Law & Politics (December 2013) (focusing on the legal issues of international philanthropy and recommending changes to tax law that would drive international philanthropy by encouraging Americans to give directly to foreign charities and simplifying the international grant-making process for American private foundations).
  5. Norikazu Kawagishi, Japonese Supreme Court: An introduction (NTU Law Review 2013) (analyzing of the Japanese Supreme Court as a constitutional court and its constitutional interpretations since the promulgation of the peace constitution. the discussion underlines the function of the Supreme Court and  proposes comparisons between the various jurisdictions).

Calls for Papers

  1. The Lisbon Centre for Research in Public Law has issued a call for papers for its “International Conference on Social Rights in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the ‘Second Bill of Rights,’” which will take place on May 19th and 20th at the University of Lisbon School of Law.
  2. The German Society of International Law (DGIR) in cooperation with the Working Group of Young Scholars in Pubic International Law invites submission for “Proportionality in International Law Conference,” which will take place at the Georg-August-University in Gottingen from 12th to 13th of September 2014.
  3. The Transnational Legal Theory a Quaterly Journal issued a call for papers spring 2014 for a symposium on Transnational Criminal Law.
  4. The Urban Law Center at Fordham Law School in New York City invited for a call of participation  for the Comparative Urban Law Conference, which will be held on Monday, June 30, 2014 at Loyola Hall, University of London.
  5. The Queen Mary University of London invites submissions for postgraduate Legal Research Conference which will be held on 5 June 2014 in London.
  6. The University of British Columbia invites for a call for paper for its 19th Annual UBC Interdisciplinary Legal Studies Graduate  Student Conference in May 8-9, 2014.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Eugene Kontorovich, How to Judge the Constitutionality of President Obama’ State of the Union Ideas, The Washington Post
  2. Christine Hauser, Yemen Takes a Step Toward Law Ending Child Marriage, The New York Times
  3. Mark Elliott, Will the Scottish referendum (whatever the outcome) lead to a federal constitution for the UK?, Public Law for everyone
  4. Keepod Unite and LiveInSlums launched a crowdfunding campaign to implement the first Keepod Unite Project to bridge the digital divide in the slums of Mathare in Nairobi, Kenya
  5. Associated Press, Amanda Knox: heading for an extradition fight?, The Washington Post
  6. Gamal Essam El-Din, Egypt proposes new presidential election law, ahramonline


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