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. The Seoul Administrative Court in South Korea ruled in favor of gay pride parade organizers, invalidating a police ban on the parade imposed last month.
  2. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of an Arizona pastor and his church in a challenge to an ordinance that imposed stringent restrictions on signs directing the public to the church’s services.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe held that the administration of corporal punishment to children by teachers, parents, and courts will remain in force for the time being.
  4. The Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled that President Aquino’s executive order revoking the Arroyo administration’s “midnight appointments” is constitutional.
  5. The U.S. Supreme Court held that state governments can restrict the kinds of messages printed on specialty license plates.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine approved a bill that sharply limits legal immunity for judges and members of parliament.

In the News

  1. Lawmakers in Hong Kong rejected a Beijing-backed reform package that would have forced voters to choose the city’s next leader only from a list of candidates approved by China’s government.
  2. Leaders in Myanmar have tabled two amendment bills that would give parliament a greater say over court appointments and reduce the tenure of court appointees.
  3. United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron renewed his call to repeal the Human Rights Act and institute a domestic bill of rights.
  4. The Belgian Privacy Commission announced that it is suing Facebook for alleged violations of Belgian and European privacy laws.
  5. Romania’s Superior Magistrates’ Council rejected 22 proposals that would have hindered the country’s ability to fight top-level corruption.
  6. Cardozo Law Professor Michel Rosenfeld has been appointed a University Professor at Yeshiva University, becoming one of a prestigious few to be granted this honor for achieving outstanding goals in teaching, publications, and research.

New Scholarship

  1. Douglas NeJaime & Reva B. Siegel, Conscience Wars: Complicity-Based Conscience Claims in Religion and Politics, 124 Yale Law Journal 2516 (2015) (giving the term “complicity-based conscience claims” to claims by persons of faith seeking religious exemptions from laws concerning sex, reproduction, and marriage on the ground that the law makes the objector complicit in the assertedly sinful conduct of others and highlighting the distinctive form and social logic of such claims)
  2. Claire Kilpatrick, Constitutions, Social Rights and Sovereign Debt States in Europe: A Challenging New Area of Constitutional Inquiry, EUI Department of Law Research Paper No. 2015/34 (2015) (examining the ways in which constitutions, social rights, and sovereign debt states in Europe expand and challenge existing constitutional and EU scholarship)
  3. Adam S. Chilton, Using Experiments to Test the Effectiveness of Human Rights Treaties, U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 533 (2015) (discussing the motivations behind experimental work on human rights, the mechanisms that are being tested, and the findings of emerging literature)
  4. Rivka Weill, Constitutional Statutes or Overriding the Court, Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies (Forthcoming) (reviewing Bruce Ackerman’s We the People: The Civil Rights Revolution and examining Ackerman’s work through the eyes of comparative constitutional law)
  5. Nico Krisch, Pluralism in International Law and Beyond, in Fundamental Concepts for International Law: The Construction of a Discipline (Jean d’Aspremont & Sahib Singh, eds., Forthcoming) (tracing the rise of the pluralist paradigm, its different variants, and the broader implications it holds for the study and practice of law)
  6. Thomas Bustamante, On the Difficulty to Ground the Authority of Constitutional Courts: Can Strong Judicial Review Be Morally Justified?, in Bustamante, T. et alli, “Democratizing Constitutional Law” (Forthcoming 2015) (adding to the current debates about the authority of constitutional courts, with a view to showing some of the difficulties present within systems of strong judicial review in constitutional democracies)
  7. Christopher Sargeant, Factortame Revisited and the Constitution Reimagined: The UK Supreme Court Takes its First Ride on the HS2 Rail-Line, 5 UK Supreme Court Annual Review 157 (2015) (considering the recent decision of the UK Supreme Court in the HS2 case and arguing that notwithstanding the importance of the individual conclusions reached on the specific questions raised, the primary significance of this decision derives from the welcome reasoning of the Justices concerning the relationship between the UK legal order and that of the European Union)
  8. Beatriz Pérez de las Heras, EU and US External Policies on Human Rights and Democracy Promotion: Assessing Political Conditionality in Transatlantic Partnership, Romanian Journal of European Affairs, Vol. 15, No. 2, June 2015 (examining recent changes to the foreign policies of the European Union and the United States with respect to human rights and democracy promotion and assessing the impact of these changes on the transatlantic partnership over the last five years)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. National Law University, Jodhpur invites submissions for Volume II, Issue 1 of its Journal on Corporate Law and Governance.
  2. The Utrecht Journal of International and European Law has issued a call for papers for its upcoming special issue on Intellectual Property in International and European Law.
  3. SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities will hold its International Conference on Law of Obligations Surrounded by Other Normative Systems on November 6-7, 2015—registration is open until June 30, 2015.
  4. Queen Mary University in London welcomes contributions for its inaugural conference of the Centre for Small States to be held on September 7, 2015.
  5. Tilburg Law and Economics Center, Tilburg University, The Netherlands invites submissions for a conference on “Competition, Standardization, and Innovation” to be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on December 10-11, 2015.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Douglas NeJaime and Reva Siegel, Conscience Wars and Complicity Claims, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  2. Victor Williams, Magna Carta’s 800th Anniversary, Jurist
  3. Daniel Marari, Consolidating Democracy in Tanzania: Presidential Powers under the Proposed Constitution, ConstitutionNet
  4. Andrew McLeod, Myanmar: Proposed amendments seek to entrench legislative supremacy and devolve marginal autonomy to local governments, ConstitutionNet
  5. Michael Addaney, Sexual violence against children: Are girls in Mozambique little angels or sex objects?, AfricLaw
  6. Franck Johannès, Faut-il réformer la Cour de cassation?, Le Monde


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