Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Margaret Lan Xiao, Washington University in St. Louis

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. South Korea’s Constitutional Court dissolved a far-left political party for the threats brought up by it towards the democracy.
  2. The Federal Constitutional Court in Germany struck down a law allowing companies to be inherited tax-free.
  3. The Constitutional Court in South Africa upheld a previous order of the Western Cape High Court and ruled that a residential property development company is fully entitled to compensation.
  4. Sixteen potential candidates are competing for the post of chief justice on Indonesia’s Constitutional Court.
  5. The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed gay marriage to proceed in Florida next month.
  6. The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Arizona’s request to prohibit driver’s licenses for young illegal immigrants.

In the News

  1. CCTV Video Interview: “Neysun Mahboubi discusses China’s anti-corruption campaign,” CCTV, Dec 9, 2014.
  2. Hong Kong’s former No. 2 official, Chief Secretary Rafael Hui, has been found guilty of misconduct in public office and taking bribes from property development executives.
  3. The Kenyan Parliament passed a controversial bill on counter-terrorism and security which might enhance presidential power.
  4. Yemen’s Parliament approved a vote of confidence for Prime Minister Khaled Bahah’s new Cabinet.
  5. South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit sent a bill of national security back to the parliament.
  6. The European Parliament voted in favor of a motion to recognize Palestinian statehood in principle.
  7. The European Parliament has ratified the EU-Georgia Association Agreement.
  8. The Cambodian Parliament voted to constitutionally elevate the opposition party leader’s legislative rank.
  9. The Cohabitation Rights Bill has successfully passed through the UK House of Lords to Committee stage.
  10. Vancouver lawyer Aniz Alani publicly claimed that Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s delay in appointing and filling 16 empty Senate seats is “unconstitutional.”
  11. Canada Justice Minister Peter MacKay has appointed two conservative law professors as judges in Ontario.
  12. A civil-rights team formed by Northeastern University law and journalism students uncovers forgotten racially motivated killings.

New Scholarship

  1. Jan Komarek, Why National Constitutional Courts Should Not Embrace EU Fundamental Rights, LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 23/2014 (arguing that when national constitutional courts engage with EU fundamental rights, the former should not fully embrace the latter)
  2. Kai Moller, Authority and Intent in U.S. Constitutional Culture, Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies, (forthcoming, 2015) (commenting on Moshe Cohen-Eliya’ss and Iddo Porat’s book Proportionality and Constitutional Culture and tentatively suggesting that the morally sound proportionality-based model should also be considered as a candidate in terms of explaining US constitutional culture)
  3. Stephen F. Ross, Insights From Canada for American Constitutional Federalism, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, vol. 16, no. 4 (suggesting American Justices should learn from their Canadian counterparts to enhance the judicial manageability of federalism standards and help to defend national minorities from the majorities’ undue influence)
  4. Marlene Wind, Who is Afraid of European Constitiutionalism? The Nordic Distress with Judicial Review and Constitutional Democracy, iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 13 (arguing that one of the main rationales of the critical Nordic attitude towards the legitimacy of the European Court of Justice was related to a widespread hostility amongst majoritarian democracies towards supranational judicial review in general)

Call for papers

  1. Cahiers de Droit Européen invites paper submissions to a conference on the General Principles of European Union Law, which will be held on September 10, 2015 in Brussels, Belgium.
  2. The Graduate Law Students Association and the Department of Legal Studies, Faculty of Political Science and Law, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) invites paper submissions to a conference of “Law and Context,” to be held on May 14-15, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  3. The Journal of Law, Religion & State and the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law collectively invite paper submissions to an international conference on Religion and Equality, to be held on June 9-11, 2015 in Ramat-Gan, Israel .
  4. The National University of Singapore Faculty of Law invites paper submissions to the conference of In Pursuit of Pluralist Jurisprudence, to be held on February 5-6, 2015 in Singapore.
  5. The Graduate Institute Geneva’s International Law Department invites paper submissions to a conference of International Law and Time, to be held on June 12-13, 2015 in Geneva.
  6. Younger scholars may be interested in this Call for Papers on democratic standards of free trade agreements and investment treaties like TTIP or CETA, to be held in Berlin on April 24, 2015.

Elsewhere on the Web

  1. James T. Areddy, Lifestyles of the Corrupt and Famous: China Airs Anti-Graft Documentary, The Wall Street Journal
  2. Brian Fung, Congress wants to legislate net neutrality. Here’s what that might look like, The Washington Post
  3. Ali Watkins, Congress Just Tried To Legislate Against Torture, But Don’t Get Too Excited Yet, The Huffington Post
  4. John C. Goodman, What If The Supreme Court Drops A Bombshell On Obamacare?, Forbes
  5. Jeyup S. Kwaak, Conservatives Raise Funds for Alleged Attacker of Lecturer About North Korea, The Wall Street Journal
  6. Jacob Gershman, Nebraska, Oklahoma Sue Over Colorado’s Pot Legalization, The Wall Street Journal
  7. Robert Frank, Some of the Rich Collect Art. Others Collect Passports, The New York Times
  8. Vikram David Amar et al, The Year in Constitutional Review: Our Top 5 Constitutional Developments of 2014, Verdict


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