Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Rohan Alva, Advocate, 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. In a rare move, the Indian Supreme Court heard a petition, at 3 A.M., filed on behalf of Yakub Memon, seeking review of the death sentence awarded to him. The Supreme Court ultimately came to dismiss the petition.
  2. The Supreme Court of Russia observed that ‘minor offences’ must no longer remain criminal acts. These observations came about when Vyacheslav Lebedev, the Chairman of the Supreme Court met with the Russian President. Such ‘decriminalization’ would see a reduction in approximately 300,000 cases.
  3. The U.S. Department of Justice formally petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to ‘reverse’ a federal court’s decision, which made it harder for prosecutors to pursue ‘insider trading charges’.
  4. The Ukrainian Constitutional Court ruled that probable constitutional amendment legislations aimed at achieving division of power are consistent with the nation’s constitution.
  5. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany declared that the German Parliament did not possess the necessary ‘legislative’ competence to effect legislation which provided for payments to ‘stay-at-home parents’.

In the News

  1. A court in Tripoli, Libya, handed down capital punishment to Saif Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
  2. The Moldovan Constitution celebrated its twenty first anniversary on the 29th of July.
  3. The Maldivian Parliament, by a majority of 78-2, impeached the nation’s vice president.
  4. Three hundred and nine new legislations will come into force in North Dakota, U.S.A. Some of the laws include making the presentation of a voter ID mandatory, and laws which promote the expression rights of ‘student journalists’.
  5. A non-governmental organisation has been allowed to sue corporations responsible for an ‘oil spill’. This is the first suit filed under the revised Environment Protection Law which permits non-governmental organisations to commence actions against individuals who cause environmental pollution.

New Scholarship

  1. John R Morss, The International Legal Status of the Vatican/Holy See Complex (European Journal of International Law, forthcoming) (critically evaluating the status of the Vatican city as a state entity)
  2. Richard Moon, Conscientious Objections by Civil Servants: The Case of Marriage Commissioners and Same Sex Civil Marriages (proposing that, under the Canadian Charter, marriage commissioners are not entitled to avoid same sex marriage solemnisations on religious grounds)
  3. Jeffrey Jowell, Dawn Oliver and Colm O’Cinneide (eds.) The Changing Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2015) (a collection of essays in which the authors critique ‘UK’s constitutional development’ and address issues such as the exercise of governmental power in the U.K.)
  4. Eyal Benvenisti and Alon Harel, Embracing the Tension between National and International Human Rights Law: The Case for Parity (Global Trust Working Papers 04/2015) (suggesting that stronger protection of freedoms requires the existence of healthy ‘tension’ between municipal legislation and international law, rather than the subordination of one code to the other)
  5. Katie Sykes, The Appeal to Science and the Formation of Global Animal Law (European Journal of International Law, forthcoming) (tracing the international development of ‘global animal law’, and analysing the jurisprudential development of ‘animal welfare’)

Elsewhere on the Internet

  1. Jim Rutenberg, A Dream Undone, New York Times
  2. Fabiana Di Lorenzo, The Seafood Industry and Its Sustainability Challenge – Why the Government of Thailand and Global Retailers Will Work Towards Sustainability and Human Rights, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  3. Manoj Mate, A Challenge to Judicial Independence in India: The National Judicial Appointments Council (NJAC), Jurist
  4. William Partlett, Agendas of Constitutional Decentralization in Ukraine, Constitution Net
  5. Pierre De Vos, Why do dominant religions so often get a free pass from courts? Constitutionally Speaking

Call for Papers/Conferences

  1. A call for papers has been issued for an international conference on ‘What budget resources, fiscal and borrowing powers for the EU? to be held on the 12th and 13th of November, 2015. Interested participants must submit a 500 word abstract by the 30th of September, 2015.
  2. The Centre for Law and Policy Research invites applications for the position of Associate Editor in relation to a project on the Constituent Assembly Debates.
  3. The Centre for Gender Studies at the National Law University, Jodhpur invites papers for a seminar on ‘Capacity Building Among Women in India: Entrepreneurship & Estate’ to be held on the 2nd and 3rd of October, 2015. Abstracts no longer than 250 words should be sent in by the 25th of August, 2015.
  4. The New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty Law, Boston College Law School, and The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) invite submissions for a two-day symposium on quasi-constitutionality and constitutional statutes, to be held on the Pipitea campus of Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law (Old Government Buildings) on Thursday & Friday, May 19-20, 2016.
  5. Kabarak University School of Law, Boston College Law School and the International Society of Public Law invite submissions for a two-day Symposium on Constitutional Change and Transformation in Africa, to be held on the campus of Kabarak University in Nakuru on Thursday and Friday, June 9-10, 2016.
  6. The AALS Section on Poverty Law invites entries for a programme on ‘New Directions in Poverty Law’ to be held on the 8th of January, 2016. Abstracts or draft of papers must be sent in by the 1st of September, 2015.
  7. The Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland and the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice invite papers for a conference on ‘War, Peace and International Order? The Legacies of The Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907’. Abstracts are to be submitted by the 2nd of October, 2015.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *