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

Development in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Catalonian President, Artur Mas, along with two other Catalonian ministers will be subjected to an ‘investigation’ by the High Court of Justice, Catalonia, on grounds of having conducted an informal vote on the question of Catalonia separating from Spain, in violation of a ruling of the Spanish Constitutional Court which had prohibited such a vote.
  2. A three judge panel of the Irish High Court allowed a claim of a family to withdraw ‘life support’ to a woman who is pregnant but ‘brain-dead’, holding that such withdrawal was compatible with the principles of dignity
  3. The Indian Supreme Court has asked the central government as well as the government for the state of Maharashtra to respond to a public interest litigation which has sought financial compensation for those Maharashtrian farmers who face agricultural failure.
  4. The political opposition in Kenya moved the High Court in Nairobi, requesting the Court to review a recent piece of legislation purportedly passed as a measure against terrorism. The challengers argue that the law is constitutionally infirm and violates several liberty rights.
  5. The High Court at Islamabad, Pakistan, has temporarily enjoined the trial of Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani dictator, for treason by a specially created tribunal, in light of three individuals challenging their addition as defendants in the trial.

New Scholarship

  1. Michael Boylan, Natural Human Rights: A Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (evaluating the importance of human rights through the medium of natural law, and proposing that individuals require access to a bundle of entitlements which in turn necessitates wise and methodical ‘resource allocation’)
  2. Ruth Dukes, The Labour Constitution: The Enduring Idea of Labour Law (Oxford University Press, 2014) (elaborating on the idea of a ‘labour constitution’, and seeking to outline and analyse the best methods to safeguard labour welfare in the era of globalisation)
  3. Fergel F. Davis & Fiona de Londras (editors), Critical Debates on Counter-Terrorism Judicial Review (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (a collection of essays in which the different authors seek to investigate the virtues and limits of a court reviewing the propriety of a ‘counter-terrorism’ measure)
  4. Ronald J. Colombo, The First Amendment and the Business Corporation (Oxford University Press, 2014) (analysing the idea of corporate entities exercising free speech and religious rights, and positing that in American constitutional law, the question of corporate entitlement to such freedoms must be assessed on an individualised basis)
  5. Sudha Pai and Avinash Kumar (editors), The Indian Parliament: A Critical Appraisal (Orient BlackSwan, 2014) (a volume dedicated to understanding the workings of the Parliament of India, including issues of parliamentary performance in times of unsteady governments, and developments which have impacted the conduct of business in the Parliament)

In the News

  1. In a bid to ensure equality of treatment based on sexual orientation in Taiwan, a Taiwanese legislative committee discussed the need for changing the nation’s Civil Code, in order to accord marriage as well as child adoption rights to same-sex couples. This amendment bill, however, is yet to be subjected to a detailed examination, and has to undergo several stages of discussion before it can be considered for presidential assent.
  2. The Constitution Drafting Committee in Thailand has proposed key recommendations in order to reform the nation’s political climate. Some of these recommendations include authorizing for the nomination of a prime minister who is not an elected parliamentarian, and pertain to the structuring the constitution of the Senate and streamlining the process of senate elections.
  3. According to activists in Saudi Arabia, the cases of two women who were charged with violating rules which disallow women from driving cars, have been sent for trial to a ‘terrorism court’ on account of them having made certain statements on ‘social media’ against the action taken against them.
  4. The Food and Drug Administration in the U.S.A., is moving towards substantially lifting prohibitions, in force since 1983, which disallowed donation of blood by homosexual men. The new policy in this regard is expected sometime in 2015.
  5. Facing legislative deadlock in Parliament, the President, on the advice of the Indian government, has issued ordinances on the subjects of foreign investments in the insurance sector, and for the re-allocation of coal mines. The political opposition, wary of such ordinances being issued had called upon the President to let these probable laws be debated in Parliament.

Elsewhere on the Web

  1. Shivani Mishra, Revisiting Mass Sterilisation in India: Population Management or Menace? Oxford Human Rights Hub
  2. Juliano Zaiden Benvindo, Between “Juristocracy” and the “Court for the One Percent”: The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court and the Narrative of Economic Inequality, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  3. Venkatesan, Justice at heart, Frontline
  4. Chiara Sangiorgio, Good news and bad news on the death penalty as 2014 draws to a close, Live Wire
  5. Michal Kutlík, Case, C-261/13 P Schönberger v Parliament: Petitioners behold, European Law Blog

Events and Call for Papers/Conferences

  1. The Lumen Christi Institute and the Law Professors’ Christian Fellowship invites scholars and students to attend a programme on ‘The Vocation of a Christian Law Professor’. The event, which will coincide with the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, 2015, will be hosted at the University Club, Washington D.C., U.S.A., on the 2nd of January, 2015.
  2. Submissions are called for by the International Journal of International Law, which may be in the form of case comments, articles, or book reviews. Interested authors must submit their pieces by the 15th of February, 2015.
  3. The DCS journal invites authors to submit manuscripts for being considered for publication in the first issue of its magazine. For being so considered, all manuscripts must be sent in by the 30th of May, 2015.
  4. Entries are invited by the Israel Democracy Institute for a workshop on ‘The Consideration of Rights in the Policy Making Process: What Enhances their Influence and What Leads to their Disregard?’ to be held in Madrid, Spain, from the 14th to the 15th of June, 2015. Abstracts of papers are due by the 1st of February, 2015.
  5. A day-long conference on ‘Law and the Older Person’ is being organized at NUI Galway, Ireland, on the 24th of January, 2015. The conference is jointly being organized by the Mental Health Rights Group, LL.M. class in International and Comparative Disability Law, NUI Galway, and the Employment Law Association of the Law Society, Ireland.


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