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 Delhi High Court in India has ruled that birds have the fundamental right to fly and cannot be caged.
  2. Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council has declared unconstitutional a bill seeking to ban the dissemination to minors of information supporting homosexual relationships.
  3. The US Supreme Court recently struck down a Maryland Income Tax law as it was discriminatory in doubling the tax on income that residents earned in other states.
  4. The Himachal Pradesh High Court has ruled that a co-operative Bank it is not a State for the purpose of Article 226 of the Constitution.
  5. The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has struck down an abortion regulation in Arkansas that imposed a 12-week limit on seeking an abortion as an unconstitutional burden on women.
  6. The US Supreme Court has recently ruled that bankruptcy judges have the power to make final judgments in certain legal disputes.

New Scholarship

  1. Bruce Ackerman, Three Paths to Constitutionalism – and the Crisis of the European Union, British Journal of Political Science (May 2015) (advancing a new framework, drawn from a forthcoming two-volume book, to explain and evaluate the rise of world constitutionalism, and specifically in this paper to examine the cultural crisis confronting the European Union; here is the full abstract: “There are three paths to constitutionalism in the modern world. Under the first, revolutionary outsiders use the constitution to commit their new regime to the principles proclaimed during their previous struggle. India, South Africa, Italy and France have followed this path. Under the second, establishment insiders use the constitution to make strategic concessions to disrupt revolutionary movements before they can gain power. Britain provides paradigmatic examples. Under the third, ordinary citizens remain passive while political and social elites construct a new constitution. Spain, Japan and Germany provide variations on this theme. Different paths generate different legitimation problems, but the EU confronts a special difficulty. Since its members emerge out of three divergent pathways, they disagree about the nature of the union’s constitutional problem, not merely its solution. Thus the EU confronts a cultural, not merely an economic, crisis.”)
  2. Jurgen Goossens & Pieter Cannoot,Belgian Federalism after the Sixth State Reform, 7(2) Perspectives on Federalism (2015) (analyzing the recent sixth state reform and reflecting on the future of federalism in Belgium).
  3. Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, Reflections on the Supreme Court of Ghana (Wildy, Simmonds and Hill Publishing, UK) (Forthcoming, June 2015) (analyzing the role of a final and constitutional court and its significance to the governance in a developing country).
  4. Christer Karlsson, Explaining constitutional change: making sense of cross-national variation among European Union member states, Journal of European Public Policy (May 2015) (examining how European Union member states have undertaken constitutional change to adjust to the new conditions that follow from membership in this supranational organization).
  5. Theunis Robert Roux & Fritz Edward Siregar, Trajectories of Curial Power: The Rise, Fall and Partial Rehabilitation of the Indonesian Constitutional Court (April 2015) (analyzing the performance of the Indonesian Constitutional Court from its inception and argues that the Court’s power has indeed declined since its forceful start even though there are some signs, however, that the Court is on the rise again)
  6. Mohamed Abdelaal, Leadership Accountability in Islam: Islamic Standards for Holding the Executive Accountable for Official Misconduct, Global Journal of Comparative Law (Forthcoming) (refuting a common belief that the ruler in Islam is unchecked and that he serves for life regardless of any official misconduct he may commit by providing a religious basis for the concept of political accountability through the investigation of the concept of presidential impeachment in Islam).
  7. Ioanna Tourkochoriti, The Transatlantic Flow of Data and the National Security Exception in the European Data Privacy Regulation: In Search for Legal Protection Against Surveillance, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, 36, 2014 (analyzing the existing protection through the Safe Harbor Agreement and the Proposed Regulation, which strengthens the legal framework of privacy against collection of data by the private sector).
  8. Weitseng Chen, ‘Sir, We Suggest You Be Fired!’ — Lessons for China from Taiwan’s Judicial Reforms, Chinese Journal of Comparative Law (Oxford Journal), Vol. 2, No. 2, 2014 (pointing out that the judicial reforms in Taiwan concern not only independence but also another three dimensions — capacity, authority, and accountability; uncovering the dynamism of this process in Taiwan and the interaction between the key actors therein, and it provides useful lessons for China).

In the News

  1. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong has condemned the protests that destroyed social order conducted by radical activists against an undocumented boy’s effort to stay in the city.
  2. Greenland has enacted laws that will legalize same-sex marriage.
  3. Madagascar’s Parliament has voted in favour to remove President Hery Rajaonarimampianina from office for failing to deliver on promises, violating the Constitution and lacking respect towards the Government.
  4. The State of Nebraska has recently abolished death penalty.
  5. Ireland voted last weekend to legalize same-sex marriage through a national referendum with a majority of 62.1% of voters in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.

Calls for Papers

  1. The New Zealand Centre for Public Law and the International Law Association (New Zealand Branch) are inviting papers for the Workshop on ‘International Organisations and the Rule of Law: Perils and Promise’ to be held at Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law, from December 7th-8th, 2015. Participants must submit a one-page abstract of their paper and one-page curriculum vitae by July 15th, 2015.
  2. Amity Law School, Delhi is organizing the ‘International Conference on International Law Perspectives on Sustainable Development Goals’ on October 9th, 2015. Interested participants must submit the abstracts of their papers along with a short biography and research credentials by June 15th, 2015.
  3. Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law is organizing the ‘Global Rule of Law Exchange’ with a focus on ‘Development and the Rule of Law: From Research to Practice’ in London and United States by late 2015 or early 2016. Interested participants must submit a 150-300 word abstract of their paper by June 30th, 2015. For more details, visit
  4. The 11thAnnual Conference of the European Society of International Law will be organized by the PluriCourts Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, University of Oslo in Oslo, Norway, from September 10th-12th, 2015. Please read more information here.
  5. The Canadian Council on International Law will host its 44th Annual Conference on ‘International Law: Coherence or Chaos’, from November 5th-7th, 2015.

Elsewhere on the Internet

  1. David Landau, Honduras: Term Limits Drama 2.0 – how the Supreme Court declared the Constitution Unconstitutional,
  2. Gautam Bhatia, Horizontality under the Indian Constitution: A Schema, Indian Constitutional Law & Philosophy
  3. Helen Fenwick, Reform, Repeal, Replace? Helen Fenwick: Backing Down on HRA Repeal in the Queen’s Speech? De-railed Plans for Rapid Introduction of a British Bill of Rights, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  4. Douglas McDonald, Judges with Elected Experience, Law and Other Things
  5. Why a Sovereignty Act Makes no Legal Sense: A Short Response to Daniel Hannan Mep, Public Law For Everyone


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