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. Slovenia’s Constitutional Court has ordered a re-trial in the former Prime Minister’s graft case.
  2. In South Africa, the Judicial Service Commission has extended the deadline for Constitutional Court judge nominations.
  3. In Uganda, the Constitutional Court dismissed the case against Uganda Law Society annual general elections.
  4. The Chilean Constitutional Court upheld an electoral reform bill that would overturn a Pinochet-era version of that law.
  5. The president of Colombia’s Constitutional Court accused predecessor of corruption.
  6. Turkey’s Constitutional Court upheld the constitutionality of an obscenity law that prescribes prison terms for so-called “unnatural” porn.
  7. Kenya’s High Court ruled that the government can no longer block gay rights groups.
  8. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a defendant’s conviction because the arresting officer violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights by prolonging a traffic stop without reasonable suspicion.

In the News

  1. Greece’s parliament adopted a decree ordering all public institutions to hand over their cash reserves to the central bank.
  2. The parliament of Bulgaria adopted a declaration on the Armenian genocide; the Canadian parliament has adopted a similar declaration.
  3. South Africa suspended parliament to enable lawmakers to spread the anti-xenophobia messages.
  4. The Mozambican parliament approved its budget for 2015.
  5. A Tunisian parliamentary committee called for a stricter intelligence oversight law.
  6. The French Supreme Court for Civil and Criminal matters (Cour de cassation) upheld its decision in Rothschild and ruled that an asymmetrical jurisdiction clause might not be enforceable in France.

New Scholarship

  1. Bosko Tripkovic, Judicial Comparativism and Legal Positivism, (2014) 5(2) Transnational Legal Theory 285–313 (exploring the relation between legal positivism and the use of foreign law in courts and arguing that even if foreign consensus were our law, this would not undermine legal positivism and, moreover, foreign law should be understood and treated as a facultative theoretical authority instead of “our law”).
  2. Neil Walker, The Jurist in a Global Age, Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper 2015/13 (exploring some of the general and enduring divisions and tensions within normal understanding of law as an academic discipline and arguing that the challenge to state-centered legal authority accompanying the intense development of transnational and global law in the contemporary age has enhanced the role of jurists as “co-producers” of authority frameworks and legal norms).
  3. Karen J. Alter, James Thuo Gathii, and Laurence L. Helfer, Backlash Against International Courts in West, East and Southern Africa: Causes and Consequences, iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 21 (discussing three credible attempts by African governments to restrict the jurisdiction of three similarly-situated sub-regional courts in response to a politically controversial rulings and explaining why variations in mobilization efforts led to different results)
  4. Eyal Benvenisti and Alon Harel, Embracing the Tension between National and International Human Rights Law: The Case for Parity, Law & Society: International & Comparative eJournal, Vol. 10, No. 77: Apr 22, 2015 (arguing that the traditional conviction that either constitutional law or international law is superior to the other is false and that scholars should embrace competition between constitutional and international norms).
  5. Carolina Arlota and Nuno M. Garoupa, Do Specialized Courts Make a Difference? Evidence from Brazilian State Supreme Courts, European Business Law Review, Forthcoming (studying specialized courts’ performance and exploring possible variations in terms of constitutional review across Brazilian state supreme courts).
  6. Martin Gelter, Centros, the Freedom of Establishment for Companies, and the Court’s Accidental Vision for Corporate Law, Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2564765 (explaining a short intellectual history of the debate of whether EU member states can effectively apply the real seat theory to companies from other Member States or take other measures to avoid the circumvention of their own laws by foreign incorporation).
  7. Melissa Crouch, Ethnic Rights and Constitutional Change: The Constitutional Recognition of Ethnic Nationalities in Myanmar/Burma, UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2015-11 (exploring the constitutional arrangement of central-local relations and its implications for the transitional regime in Myanmar and focusing on why and how the current Burma Constitution recognizes the rights of ethnic minorities compared to past constitutions).

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Association of Constitutional Law Research Group on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change will be hosting a Workshop on Comparative Constitutional Amendment on May 15, 2015 at Boston College.
  2. The AALS Section on Commercial and Related Consumer Law has issued a call for papers for a special program during the AALS 2016 annual meeting; the papers will be published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.
  3. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has issued a call for papers for a Global Workshop for Junior Empirical Legal Scholars to be held on December 17-18, 2015 in Jerusalem.
  4. The Siddhartha Legal Research Society has issued a call for papers for a virtual conference “Contemporary Legal Issues and Developments of Aviation and Space Industry” to be held on June 20, 2015.
  5. The University of California, Irvine School of Law has issued call for papers for the Eighth Annual Junior Faculty Federal Courts Workshop to be held on September 11-12, 2015 at the UC-Irvine School of Law.
  6. CREATe, the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, has issued a call for papers for the 10th annual conference of the European Policy for Intellectual Property Association (EPIP Association) to be held on September 2-3, 2015 at the University of Glasgow.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Deborah Gage and Jeff Elder, Kleiner Perkins Is Seeking Nearly $1 Million in Legal Fees From Ellen Pao, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog.
  2. Grace Yang, Short Work Stays In China: Work Visa Now Probably Required, China Law Blog.
  3. Jacob Gershman, Law School Applicant Pool Still Shrinking, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog.
  4. Eugene Volokh, Now there’s a court filing that’s unlikely to get granted, The Washington Post


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