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 Supreme Court of Colorado rejected a constitutional challenge to the state governor’s Day of Prayer proclamation. The Court would rule that the petitioner, who had brought forth the challenge, was unable to demonstrate standing to sue as they could not show directness of harm caused as a result of this gubernatorial proclamation.
  2. Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, announced that the government would nominate Suzanne Côté to the Canadian Supreme Court, in light of Justice Louis LeBel’s retirement.
  3. In Maharashtra, India, a former minister from the Congress Party has instituted a constitutional challenge, in the Bombay High Court, questioning the continuance of the state’s government on the ground that the government is a ‘minority government’ and does not enjoy majority support in the legislature.
  4. Justice Mahmud Mohammad took oath as the Chief Justice of Nigeria’s Supreme Court. Justice Mohammad succeeds Justice Mariam Khatour who recently retired as Chief Justice.
  5. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals declined to stop the administration of capital punishment to Scott Panetti, a death row inmate who suffers from schizophrenia. Amnesty International has been critical of the impending execution of Panetti, arguing that this particular case exhibits ‘manifest injustice’.

New Scholarship

  1. András Jakab, Application of the EU Charter by National Courts in Purely Domestic Casesin András Jakab & Dimitry Kochenov (eds), The Enforcement of EU Law and Values: Ensuring Member States’ Compliance (Oxford: Oxford University Press Forthcoming) (arguing that the most promising way to conceptualize the values of European constitutionalism in a judicially enforceable manner is to widen the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights via a creative re-interpretation of Article 51(1))
  2. Chien-Chih Lin, Majoritarian Judicial Review: The Case of Taiwan (9 National Taiwan University Law Review, 2014) (revising the notion of a counter-majoritarian court, and positing that the Taiwanese Constitutional Court is a majoritarian institution inasmuch that it often sides with the voice of the majority)
  3. Kelley Loper, Holning Lau, and Charles Lau, Public Attitudes towards Gays and Lesbians and towards Sexual Orientation Anti-discrimination Legislation (Centre for Comparative and Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, 2014) (evaluating the nature of public opinion in Hong Kong towards homosexuality and the responses received towards probable legislation which seeks to end sexual orientation based discrimination).
  4. Mary Donnelly, Healthcare Decision-Making and the Law: Autonomy, Capacity and the Limits of Liberalism (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (evaluating, through a comparative exercise, the legal position in the United Kingdom regarding liberal principles which inform decisions in the matter of healthcare, and arguing that human rights can provide a stronger foundation for medical law in respect of health choices)
  5. Manisha Sethi, Kafkaland: Prejudice, Law and Counterterrorism in India (Three Essays Collective, 2014) (examining the conduct of the investigating authorities towards individuals accused of acts of terror, and the several instances in which the judiciary has refrained from inquiring into acts of custodial violence as well as permitting for trials of terror cases to take place without compliance with recognised due process norms)
  6. Gabriel Appleby, Nicholas Aroney, & Thomas John (editors) The Future of Australian Federalism: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (a volume of collected essays in which the authors evaluate the current nature of federalism in Australian, including aspects such as the impact of constitutional interpretation on the meaning of federalism, and the adoption of a comparative study to understand how to improve the Australian federal structure)

In the News

  1. A court in Cairo, Egypt, ruled that the nation’s erstwhile president Hosni Mubarak could not be held criminally liable, on jurisdictional grounds, for the ‘deaths of hundreds of protestors during the 2011 revolt’. The decision of the court came on a re-trial, after Hosni Mubarak successfully challenged a 2012 verdict which had held him guilty for the deaths.
  2. Artur Mas, the president of Catalonia, Spain, publicly announced that he would demand a ‘plebiscite election’ in the event that the Spanish government does not organise a referendum on the question of Catalonia being separated from Spain. The ‘non-binding’ vote that had been conducted recently witnessed nearly eighty percent of the voters voting in favour of separation.
  3. Jiang Yi-huah stepped down as Prime Minister of Taiwan after the political party in power in Taiwan was unsuccessful in securing a victory in the local elections. In the aftermath of the elections, China is seeking to convince Taiwan on the importance of the latter nation safeguarding and sustaining the relationship between the two nations.
  4. In the past week, the two Houses in the Indian Parliament passed several important pieces of legislation. Some of the important legislative steps taken include amendments to labour welfare legislations, and amendments to the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act in order to modify the appointment process of the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
  5. The Smith Commission in the United Kingdom has suggested that the Scottish Parliament must be accorded greater decision-making authority for aspects such as the determination of taxation laws, and the fixation of the eligibility age for casting votes.
  6. According to initial reports from the Namibian presidential elections, Hage Geingob, who is also the nation’s prime minister, is leading the race and has already garnered over seventy five percent of the polled votes.

Elsewhere on the Web

  1. Paige Winfield Cunningham, The coming wave of anti-abortion laws, Politico
  2. Rebecca Carr, The Uncertain Status of Child Rights in the UK, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  3. Smaran Shetty, Unwelcome Lawyers, Law and Other Things
  4. Joe Palazzolo, Ferguson Grand Jury Documents: The Witnesses that Weren’t, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
  5. Gautam Bhatia, The Supreme Court’s Make-Up Artist’s Decision and its Discontents, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy

Call for Papers/Conferences/Workshops

  1. The Melbourne Journal of International Law invites entries for the first issue of the journal’s sixteenth volume. Submissions may be either in the form articles, book review or case notes. All entries are due by the 31st of January, 2015.
  2. The Association of Law, Property & Society will be holding its ‘6th Annual Meeting’ on the 1st and 2nd of May, 2015, at the University of Georgia Law School. Interested participants may submit papers no later than the 1st of February, 2015.
  3. Applicants are invited to apply for a LEC Workshop for Law Professors on the Economics of Litigation and Civil Procedure which is organised by the Law and Economics Center at the George Mason University School of Law. The workshop will run from the 29th of January, 2015 to the 1st of February, 2015.
  4. Submissions are called for by Princeton University for its annual ‘Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop’ to be held on the 6th and 7th of March, 2015. All papers must be submitted by the 5th of January, 2015.
  5. A call for papers has been issued for a conference to be organised by the Journal of Private International Law at the University of Cambridge from the 3rd to the 5th of September, 2015. Abstracts of papers are due by the 20th of February, 2015.


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