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 Indian Supreme Court held that in matters of affirmative action in the promotion of government employees, courts could not compel either the government or state entities to mandatorily provide for such affirmative action policies.
  2. The Supreme Court of Connecticut declared that ‘Cassandra C.’, a seventeen year old girl must be administered chemotherapy, after the Court found that she was unable to demonstrate that as a minor she had the requisite level of mental maturity to decide on the best course of treatment for her cancer.
  3. The German Constitutional Court refused to interfere with the ban imposed upon Uber in Hamburg, Germany, dismissing Uber’s case on the preliminary point of ‘admissibility’.
  4. The Argentine Supreme Court approved the extradition of a man to the U.S.A., whom the state of Denver intends on prosecuting for causing the death of his wife. The extradition was approved in light of the American prosecutors undertaking that capital punishment will not be pursued in this case.
  5. Hearings in the case of Khemer Rouge leaders committing genocide re-commenced at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. The hearings resumed after a brief hiatus owing to non-participation of the defence who were preparing an appeal against a previous decision.

In the News

  1. The Thai Legislature commenced impeachment hearings against Yingluck Shinawatra, the former Thai prime minister. The impeachment proceedings stem from allegations made against her for mishandling a ‘rice subsidy scheme’ which resulted in serous financial loss.
  2. The American president, Barack Obama is understood to have declared that he would exercise veto powers over any legislative move seeking to put in place a ‘40 hour work week’ for health insurance, instead of the ‘30 hour work week’ which is currently in place under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
  3. The President of Pakistan assented to an amendment to the Pakistani constitution which authorises the creation of special ‘military courts’ to proceed against individuals charged with perpetrating acts of terror. This amendment means that such defendants will not have the privileges and liberties associated with trials in ordinary courts.
  4. The sparring political groups in Libya have consented to entering discussions, supported by the United Nations, in a bid to rid the nation of political instability. The discussions will be aimed at seeking the creation of a new constitutional order, and setting up a stable government.
  5. The new Criminal Procedural Code of Kazakhstan in seeking to reform the realm of criminal law has incorporated provisions which obligate law enforcement officers to inform arrestees of their rights, and also includes provisions which pertain to ‘plea bargaining’.

New Scholarship

  1. Yan Lin and Tom Ginsburg, Constitutional Interpretation in Law-Making: China’s Invisible Constitutional Enforcement Mechanism (American Journal of Comparative Law, forthcoming) (positing that the Chinese constitution plays an important role through the medium of the legislature, and that principles of constitutionalism assist the legislature to solve areas of tension between governmental branches, and demands grounded in rights)
  2. Grainne De Burca, International Law before the Courts: The European Union and the United States Compared (Virginia Journal of International Law, forthcoming) (surveying the jurisprudential approach of the American Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice towards the appreciation of international sources of law, and exploring the points of convergence in the jurisprudence of the two courts)
  3. Kai Möller, The Global Model of Constitutional Rights (Oxford University Press, 2015) (presenting a theoretical analysis of rights based in constitutional principles, and elaborating on the idea of a ‘global model’ for rights, through a comparative analysis of the development of constitutional rights in several nations)
  4. William Partlett, The American Tradition of Constituent Power (seeking to ‘recover’ the meaning of constituent power in American law and proposing that the power of the people to replace a ‘constitutional order’ can be well channelled through the judicial branch)
  5. Evelyn Ellis and Phillipa Watson, EU Anti-Discrimination Law (Oxford University Press, 2015) (critically evaluating the applicable legal principles in the European Union which disallow discrimination such as gender and religious based discrimination, and advancing recommendations for improving their overall framework)

Elsewhere on the Web

  1. Venkatesan, Tyranny of the majority, Frontline
  2. Kate Stone, Human Rights and the Arms Trade Treaty, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  3. Murali Krishnan, 2014- What happened at the Supreme Court of India, Bar and Bench
  4. Ruthann Robson, Ninth Circuit declines en banc review of same-sex marriage case and updates, Constitutional Law Prof Blog
  5. Angelo Marletta, The Ceju and the Spasic case: Recasting mutual trust in the area of freedom, security and justice? European Law Blog

Call for Papers/Conferences

  1. The University of Milan’s Department of National and Supranational Public Law and the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law welcome the submission of papers for a full-day workshop on comparative constitutional law, to be held on the campus of the University of Milan on Monday, May 4, 2015 from 10h00 to 16h00.
  2. Boston College Law School and the International Association of Constitutional Law’s Research Group on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change invite submissions for a full-day workshop on comparative constitutional amendment, to be held on the campus of Boston College Law School on Friday, May 15, 2015.
  3. The Younger Comparativists Committee (YCC) of the American Society of Comparative Law (ASCL) invites nominations, including self-nominations, for the first annual Richard M. Buxbaum Prize for Teaching in Comparative Law by younger scholars.
  4. A call for papers has been issued by The International Journal of Transitional Justice for a special issue on ‘Reconsidering Appropriate Responses to Victims of Conflict’ scheduled for 2016. All papers must be sent in by the 1st of July, 2015.
  5. Journal of Alternative Dispute Resolution at the Institute of Law, Nirma University, requests articles, case studies, and book reviews for being considered for publication in its 2014-2015 volume. All entries are due by the 15th of February, 2015.
  6. Papers are invited by the Birbeck Institute for Social Research and Birbeck Institute for the Humanities for a conference on ‘Reflections on Social Change: Metamorphosis or Transformation?’ to be held at Birkbeck, University of London on the 15th and 16th of May, 2015. Abstracts of papers must be submitted by the 24th of February, 2015.
  7. The Utrecht Journal of International and European Law invites papers for an issue on ‘General Issues’ within International and European law.’ Papers are due by the 30th of April, 2015.
  8. The School of Law at the University of Dundee and K. G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, University of Tromsø, invite participants for a conference on ‘The European Union and the Arctic’ to be held on the 29th and 30th of May, 2015 at Dundee, Scotland. Abstracts of papers are to be submitted by the 15th of January, 2015.


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