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 Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments on whether the country’s ban on euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  2. Justice Edwin Cameron of South Africa’s Constitutional Court spoke recently about the symbolism and importance of the high court’s art collection and the need to preserve it.
  3. Pakistan’s Lahore High Court upheld the death sentence for Aasiya Noreen (better known as Asia Bibi), who was convicted of blasphemy for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed while working in a field with several Muslim women.
  4. The U.S. Supreme Court blocked key parts of a 2013 law in Texas that had closed all but eight facilities providing abortions in America’s second most-populous state.
  5. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that an Arizona law that acted to deny bail to individuals in the U.S. illegally and charged with a range of felonies was unconstitutional.

In the News

  1. Shiite muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was convicted of sedition and other charges in Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court and sentenced to death, raising fears of unrest from his supporters in neighboring Bahrain.
  2. The president of Spain’s Catalonia region called off an independence vote that was scheduled for November 9.
  3. Uber Technologies Inc. challenged a French court ruling that deems one of its fastest-growing services to be illegal in France, escalating a fight amid the car-hailing company’s broader battles in Europe.
  4. The Nigerian House of Representatives voted to make 71 amendments to 1999 Constitution.
  5. The French Conseil d’Etat suspended the Ministry of National Education’s decision to abolish aid based on merit to non-beneficiary students. [Link in French]

New Scholarship

  1. Elisa Arcioni, Section 53 of the Constitution: An Overlooked Reference to the Constitutional People, Australian Law Journal, Vol. 87, pp. 784-792, 2013 (exploring the meaning of “the people” in the third paragraph of section 53 of the Australian Constitution)
  2. Theunis Robert Roux, Constitutional Courts as Democratic Consolidators: Insights from South Africa 20 Years On, 2014 (attempting to correct pessimistic and overoptimistic views on constitutional courts as democratic consolidators)
  3. Hamid Harasani, Islamic Law as a Comparable Model in Comparative Legal Research: Devising a Method, 3 Global Journal of Comparative Law (2014) 186-202 (formulating a methodology for comparative legal studies where religious law is one of the comparative models)
  4. Sebastian Jilke, Bart Meuleman & Steven Van de Walle, We Need to Compare, But How? Measurement Equivalence in Comparative Public Administration, Public Administration Review, Forthcoming 2014 (examining the concept of cross-national measurement equivalence in public management and suggesting how to establish equivalence)
  5. Samuel R. Olken, The Decline of Legal Classicism and the Evolution of New Deal Constitutionalism, Notre Dame Law Review, Vol. 89, No. 5, 2014 (concluding that although certain external changes help explain the constitutional transformation of the New Deal era, internal changes in terms of dissenting opinions and the intrinsic nature of Legal Classicism also played significant roles in the evolution of New Deal constitutionalism)

Elsewhere Online

  1. Mohamed Abdelaal, Can The Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court Extend its Jurisdiction?, JURIST – Academic
  2. Yves Boisvert, What our Supreme Court can teach Spain about secession, The Globe and Mail
  3. Thato Motaung, Child marriage as ‘security’?, AfricLaw
  4. Lissa Griffin, Scrutinizing the Basis for Jury Verdicts, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  5. Jennifer Duncan, Women in Tanzania set for equal land rights – let’s make sure it happens, ConstitutionNet

Calls for Papers / Conferences

  1. The University of Michigan Law School invites submissions for its 2015 Young Scholars’ Conference to be held on March 27-28, 2015, at the University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  2. The Institute for Global Law and Policy will host an international conference at Harvard Law School to showcase innovative thinking about global law and policy on June 1-3, 2015.
  3. The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law will host its 2015 Symposium, “This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters” on February 13, 2015 at Vanderbilt Law School.
  4. The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School has issued a call for abstracts for its 2015 annual conference, entitled: “Law, Religion, and American Health Care.”
  5. Glocalism has issued a call for papers for its 2015 issue on Global Polity and Politics.


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