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 European Court of Human Rights upheld an Italian law banning the donation of human embryos for scientific research.
  2. Rwanda’s Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging a constitutional amendment that would allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third seven-year term.
  3. The Brazilian Supreme Court is considering the decriminalization of marijuana and other illegal drugs.
  4. The Supreme Court of Japan ruled that Korean victims of the 1945 Hiroshima and Nakasaki atomic bombings are fully eligible for medical subsidies from the Japanese government.
  5. In the United States, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that a voter-approved initiative, which allowed for the establishment of 40 public charter schools across the state, is unconstitutional.

In the News

  1. Thailand’s 247-member National Reform Council rejected a draft constitution by 135 votes to 105.
  2. Spain’s foreign minister opened the door to talks on constitutional reform and greater fiscal powers for Catalonia.
  3. The President of Libya’s Constitutional Drafting Assembly reported that Libya’s draft constitution will be finalized and published before October 20, 2015.
  4. Tens of thousands of Moldavans rallied in the capital Chisinau to demand the resignation of President Nicolae Timofti and the election of a new head of state.
  5. The Judicial Council of Ghana announced the suspension of 22 judges and magistrates on suspicion of corruption.

New Scholarship

  1. Patrick McKinley Brennan, An Essay on Christian Constitutionalism: Building in the Divine Style, for the Common Good(s), Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, (Forthcoming) (addressing the question of “What would a Christian constitution, in a predominantly Christian nation, look like?” and arguing that a Catholic understanding of the demands of divine law would require making the Catholic religion the religion of the state; tolerating practice of other religions so long as such practice does not endanger the common good; and creating lawmaking and enforcing institutions that acknowledge that the supreme law of the land is higher law in contrast to human positive law)
  2. Jeremy Waldron, Immigration: A Lockean Approach (2015) (examining possible cultural and economic arguments for the putative right of individuals and informally organized communities to drive outsiders away and concluding that such arguments do not succeed in establishing any such right)
  3. Mark Rahdert, Exceptionalism Unbound: Appraising American Resistance to Foreign Law, Catholic University Law Review (Forthcoming) (addressing whether limitations that prevent state courts from applying foreign law are constitutional, and if so, whether they represent a desirable restriction on the judicial process)
  4. Jenia Iontcheva Turner, Plea Bargaining and Disclosure in Germany and the United States: Comparative Lessons, William & Mary Law Review (2016 Forthcoming) (analyzing recent trends in plea bargaining and disclosure of evidence in Germany and the United States)
  5. Eric S. Fish, Judicial Amendment (2015) (explaining a “judicial amendment model” for analyzing judicial review: when courts engage in judicial review they do not merely invalidate or “strike down” unconstitutional statutes; instead, they rewrite such statutes in order to make them constitutionally valid)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The University of Brasilia Law School, Boston College Law School, Macquarie Law School, and the International Society of Public Law invite submissions for a two-day Symposium on constitutional amendment and replacement in Latin America, to be held on the campus of the University of Brasilia Law School on September 29-30, 2016.
  2. The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law invites submissions for the Fifth Annual YCC Global Conference, to be held on March 18-19, 2016, at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The University of Cambridge Faculty of Law’s Centre for Public Law has issued a call for papers for its 2016 Conference on the theme “The Unity of Public Law?” to be held in Cambridge on September 12-14, 2016.
  6. The Law and Society Association has issued a call for submissions for its 2016 Conference on the theme “AT THE DELTA: Belonging, Place and Visions of Law and Social Change” to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 2-5, 2016.
  7. The Centre for Research in Language and Law invites submissions for its 4th International Conference on the theme “Law, Language and Communication: negotiating cultural, jurisdictional and disciplinary boundaries” to be held at the Royal Palace in Caserta, Italy on May 26-28, 2016.
  8. Organizers have issued a call for papers for a conference on the topic “On Legal Discourses, Narratives and Representations: Trials, Court Coverage and Fiction” to be held in Toulouse, France on March 10-11, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Craig Martin, Questioning US Support for Japan’s National Security Moves, Jurist-Forum
  2. Michael Addaney and Gertrude Mafoa Quan, Respecting the rights of urban refugees in East Africa through a human rights approach to urbanisation, AfricLaw
  3. Miguel Calmon Dantas, Forgive us, little Aylan Kurdi! Human rights could not save him, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  4. Patrick O’Brien, Judges and Select Committees: A Developing Accountability Culture, UK Constitutional Law Association
  5. Jesse Wegman, God vs. the Constitution in Kentucky, The New York Times – Taking Note Blog


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