Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Patrick Yingling, Reed Smith LLP

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. Togo’s constitutional court declared Faure Gnassingbe president for a third five-year term after tallying votes.
  2. A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Washington dismissed a lawsuit challenging a state law requiring universal background checks for all gun transfers, including noncommercial, online, or gun show sales.
  3. A judge for the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr can be released on bail while he appeals his US war crimes conviction.
  4. Burundi’s constitutional court approved President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term, brushing aside more than a week of deadly protests and the refusal of the court’s deputy president to sign its ruling.
  5. The High Court of South Africa ruled that a man who was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 2013 could allow a doctor to help him end his life.

In the News

  1. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski was pushed into a surprise second place spot by a conservative challenger in the presidential election and must now face him in a run-off on May 24, an exit poll showed.
  2. The lower house of the French Parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill that could give the authorities their most intrusive domestic spying abilities ever, with almost no judicial oversight.
  3. The Italian Parliament approved a controversial electoral overhaul designed according to some to bring increased political stability to the country.
  4. Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an executive order legalizing medical marijuana.
  5. Guatemala’s vice president resigned to face an investigation over her alleged involvement in a customs corruption racket amid a scandal that has hurt the ruling party ahead of elections.

New Scholarship

  1. Joshua C. Gellers, Environmental Constitutionalism in South Asia: Analyzing the Experiences of Nepal and Sri Lanka, Cambridge University Press 2015 (using qualitative content from interviews conducted in Nepal and Sri Lanka to address why some countries adopt constitutional environmental rights while others do not)
  2. Stephan Gardbaum, The Indian Constitution and Horizontal Effect, Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution, Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla and Pratap Mehta eds., Oxford University Press, 2016, Forthcoming (analyzing the application of the Fundamental Rights provisions of the Indian Constitution to non-state actors and concluding that the Supreme Court’s well-known expansion of the writ petition/public interest lawsuit has limited the reach of Fundamental Rights into the private sphere)
  3. Shai Dothan, Why Granting States a Margin of Appreciation Supports the Formation of a Genuine European Consensus, iCourts Working Paper Series no. 22, 2015 (examining the competing doctrines of Emerging Consensus and Margin of Appreciation in the European Court of Human Rights)
  4. Maxime St-Hilaire, Global Standards of Constitutional Law: Epistemology and Methodology, 2015 (undertaking, both at a methodological and an epistemological level, the development of a model for ascertaining global standards of constitutional law)
  5. Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, European Consensus and the Legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights, Cambridge University Press 2015 (providing in-depth analyses on whether European consensus is capable of enhancing the legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights)

Elsewhere Online

  1. Lissa Griffin, Hearsay and Confrontation: Recorded Victim Statements in the US and UK, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  2. Dunia Mekonnen Tegegn, Call for a corruption-free Africa: A rights based approach, AfricLaw
  3. Olga Razumovskaya, Russia and China Pledge Not to Hack Each Other, Wall Street Journal Law Blog
  4. Saksith Saiyasombut, Thailand’s next post-coup constitution: Uncharted territory to ‘true democracy’ or same old trodden path back to authoritarianism?, ConstitutionNet
  5. Kimberly Mutcherson, Dignity in Life as in Death, Jurist

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. European Commission calls for input to its first Annual Colloquium on fundamental rights in the EU to be held on October 1-2, 2015, in Brussels, Belgium.
  2. The ABA Section of International Law invites articles for the International Law News.
  3. The Society of Empirical Legal Studies and the Center for Empirical Studies of Decision Making and the Law have issued a call for papers for the first international workshop for junior empirical legal scholars to be held on December 17-18, 2015, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  4. The Centre Perelman de Philosophie du Droit will run the first edition of the Brussels Global Law Week on May 18-22, 2015.
  5. The International Journal of International Law invites submissions for vol. 2 issue 1; the deadline is June 30, 2015.


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