Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Sandeep Suresh, National Law University, Jodhpur, India

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 struck down a ban on physician assisted suicide.
  2. The Supreme Court of India held that suppression of criminal records can lead to disqualification of lawmakers.
  3. The Supreme Court of India held that historical objects preserved at museums come under the ambit of Article 49 and its preservation is a constitutional mandate.
  4. Shirani Bandaranayake, the former Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, who was impeached 2 years ago, has been reinstated by President Maithripala Sirisena.
  5. The Constitutional Court of South Africa pronounced a judgment declaring a proclamation of the President bringing certain sections of the National Health Act into operation as invalid.

New Scholarship

  1. Wojciech Sadurski, Supranational Public Reason: Part One – A Theory, Comparative & Non-U.S. Constitutional Law eJournal, Vol.10, No.16 (The paper discusses the legitimacy of supranational authorities and the relationship between constitutional and international law).
  2. Jule Mulder, How to Compare European Harmonised Law? A Culturally Informed Three-Step Approach to Disentangle the Complexities of Comparing Harmonised Law, Comparative Law eJournal, Vol.15, No.13 (The method developed in this article provides clearer understanding of how harmonised law interacts with national contexts and European influences once it reaches the national arena).
  3. Tonja Jacobi, Sonia Mittal and Barry R. Weingast, Creating a Self-Stabilizing Constitution: The Role of the Takings Clause, Northwestern University Law Review (Forthcoming) (This paper examines the role of the federal Takings Clause in helping to create a self-stabilizing constitution in the United States).
  4. James Stellios, Australian Constitutionalism and the UK-Style Dialogue Model of Human Rights Protection, ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 14-47 (January 28, 2015) (This paper considers the constitutional obstacles in Australia to the effective operation of a UK-style dialogue model of human rights protection).
  5. Castaldi – G. Martinico (Eds.), The Never-Ending Reform of the EU: Another Chain in the Semi Permanent Treaty Revision Process?, A Special Issue. Perspectives on Federalism, Vol. 6, Issue 3, 2014 (Project of the working group on the ‘EU and its institutional reforms’ created at the Centre for Studies on Federalism, Turin).

In the News

  1. Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has announced that his nation will change its flag and dispense with its colonial symbols.
  2. Former President Lee Teng-hui urges certain fundamental constitutional reforms for Taiwan.
  3. Debate in India on whether the words secular and socialist should be removed from the Preamble of the Constitution.
  4. Chinese President Xi Jinping makes statements hinting that there can be no judicial independence in China.
  5. Hong Kong Law Society president seeks senior counsel status for solicitors.

Calls for Papers and Conference Announcements

  1. Registration is now open for the summer course on “Constitution Building in Africa” at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, on July 20-31, 2015. The course will feature distinguished faculty including Zaid Al-Ali, Babacar Kante, Christina Murray, H. Kwasi Prempeh, Jill Cottrell and Yash Ghai. More information is available here. The course description follows: History has seen several waves of constitution-building in the 20th century with an unparalleled boom starting in the 1990s after the fall of the Berlin wall. And while experts recently announced the end of this boom in new constitutions after the Cold War, the world is witnessing another wave of constitution-building, this time predominately in Africa. This burst of activity has given rise to a range of new ideas about the nature and purpose of constitutions and constitution-making, constitutional solutions to contemporary problems, and the proper role of international actors. The two-week research course intends to tackle complex societal, political and legal problems in constitution-building from an interdisciplinary perspective, informed by field experience. We seek to combine different disciplines (mostly comparative law and political science) and perspectives (comparative governmental systems; electoral systems; decentralization; human rights; comparative constitutional law; good governance; etc) to offer new insights on a classic subject of the highest academic and practical relevance.
  2. The Spanish Association of Professors of International Law and International Relations (AEPDIRI) is inviting submissions for its International Conference on ‘The Extraterritorial Application of EU Law’ to be held in Vigo, Spain on June 18 – 19, 2015.
  3. Koç University Law School, Boston College Law School and the International Society of Public Law invite submissions for a full-day workshop on unamendable constitutional provisions, to be held on the campus of Koç University Law School in Istanbul on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.
  4. Glocal Law School is inviting paper proposals for its Two-Days National Conference on ‘Judicial Dissents’. The conference will be held in April, 2015 at Saharanpur, UP, India.
  5. Abstracts of papers are being invited for the Third Annual Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference on May 2-3, 2015. The conference will be held at Yale Law School.
  6. The University of Oxford, University of Melbourne and National Law University, Delhi are jointly organizing a conference on ‘Contemporary Issues in Indian Public Law: Transnational Perspectives’. The conference will be held on the 12th of April, 2015 at National Law University, Delhi, India. To attend the conference, please register here.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Daniel Marari, Tanzania’s Proposed New Constitution and the Fate of Social and Economic Rights, AfricLaw.
  2. The future of Belgian federalism, BelConLawBlog.
  3. Arvind Narrain, The death wish of the Constitution?, Law and Other Things.
  4. Linda Greenhouse, The Supreme Court at Stake, The New York Times.
  5. Lisa Hill, Compulsory voting, much like democracy, beats the alternatives, Public Law Blog.


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