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 Indian Supreme Court declined to form a bench of eleven justices to adjudicate the challenge to the new method for judicial appointments to constitutional courts. The Court concluded that the current constitution bench, composed of five justices, was sufficiently capable of adjudicating the challenge.
  2. The President of Singapore appointed a new justice and a judicial commissioner to the Supreme Court of Singapore.
  3. Mohamed Morsi, the former Egyptian president, was handed the death penalty for escaping from prison in 2011 at a time when there was a groundswell of protest against the rule of Hosni Mubarak.
  4. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the arrest and subsequent custody of three individuals under Northern Ireland’s ‘anti-terrorism legislation’ was legally firm.
  5. Coming to the aid of the homeless, the U.K. Supreme Court declared that ‘councils’ must exercise a greater degree of care when determining if assistance is to be extended to homeless individuals.

In the News

  1. The Lok Sabha in the Indian Parliament effected legislative changes to the Whistleblowers Protection Act of 2011. Unhappy with the way in which the changes were effected, members of the political opposition exited the Lok Sabha when the bill was to be voted on.
  2. David Granger was sworn in as Guyana’s president. His appointment marked an end to the People’s Progressive Party’s rule, which had lasted for twenty-three years.
  3. Ukraine’s Parliament agreed upon a piece of ‘martial law’ legislation, which authorizes law enforcement agencies to ‘detain and relocate’ foreign nationals whose actions constitute as ‘acts of aggression against Ukraine’.
  4. The House of Representatives in U.S.A. approved legislation which prohibits abortions after the twentieth week of pregnancy. President Obama, however, is considered unlikely to sign such a bill into law.
  5. A referendum on the question of making gay marriage legal will be conducted in Ireland. If the referendum succeeds, same-sex couples will be entitled to a constitutional right to marry. 

New Scholarship

  1. Felice Batlan, Women and Justice for the Poor: A History of Legal Aid: 1863-1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2015) (assessing how groups composed of women in the U.S.A. began extending legal aid to the needy in the 19th century, and that the rise of male lawyers in legal aid in the 20th century meant that women were excluded from the site of legal aid, and to counter such exclusion, a ‘social work model’ was created for women to extend legal aid)
  2. Wojciech Sadurski, Is there Public Reason in Strasbourg? (Sydney Law School Research Paper, No. 15/46, 2015) (adopting the Rawlsian idea of public reason to inquire into the manner in which the European Court of Human Rights investigates questions of infringement of rights)
  3. Fiona De Londras, Constitutionalizing Fetal Rights: A Salutary Tale From Ireland [22 Michigan Journal of Gender & Law (forthcoming, 2015)] (critically evaluating the conception of constitutionally vesting unborn children with rights, and exploring the deleterious effects the existence of such rights may have upon the rights of women to access abortion procedures)
  4. David Thór Björgvinsson, The Role of Judges of the ECtHR as Guardians of Fundamental Rights of the Individual (iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 23, 2015)(examining the apparent reduction in the intensity of the European Court of Human Right’s assessment of claims of human rights violations in the face of opposition to the Court’s functioning, and arguing that the Court stands to lose its ‘moral capital’ if it changes its jurisprudence be viewed more approvingly)
  5. Mark A. Graber, A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism (Oxford University Press, 2015) (adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluate the novelty of the American constitution, and seeking to answer fundamental questions that the functioning of the constitution has raised)

Elsewhere on the Internet

  1. Pierre De Vos, Dying with Dignity judgment- moral views of some cannot justify infringement of rights of others, Constitutionally Speaking
  2. Meredith Dost, Dim public awareness of Supreme Court as major rulings loom, Pew Research Center
  3. Douglas McDonald, Judges with Elected Experience, Law and Other Things
  4. Phillipe Sands, The British bill of rights could end the UK, The Guardian
  5. Michael Ford, USDAW v Ethel Austin in the ECJ, Oxford Human Rights Hub


  1. The Devolution Club, Italian Cultural Institute and the UK Constitutional Law Association are organizing an Italian-British Constitutional Conversation on ‘The Constitutional Heritage of the Magna Carta’ on the 8th of June, 2015 at the Italian Cultural Institute in London.
  2. A call for papers is issued by the Zvi Meitar Center for Advanced Legal Studies, Tel Aviv University for the 3rd Annual TAU Workshop for Junior Scholars on ‘Theory Coming to Life’ to be held on the 26th and 27th of October, 2015. All abstracts must be sent in by the 15th of June, 2015.
  3. Abstracts are invited for a conference on ‘In Search of Basic European Values’ which will be held on the 20th and the 21st of November, 2015 at the Graduate School of Government and European Studies and the European Faculty of Law. All abstracts are due by the 1st of September, 2015.
  4. Entries are called for the ‘Tenth Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies’ to be held on the 30th and 31st of October, 2015 at the Washington University School of Law. Papers should be sent in by the 26th of June, 2015.
  5. Entries are invited for the Nova Law Review Symposium on ‘Shutting Down the School to Prison Pipeline’, which will be organized on the 18th of September, 2015. Abstracts of papers should be sent in by the 1st of June 2015.


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