Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Margaret Lan Xiao, Visiting Scholar, East Asian Legal Studies Center, UW-Madison Law School EALSC

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. Thailand’s Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the government’s ambitious yet controversial high-speed rail plan.
  2. In Uganda, activists filed a petition in the Constitutional Court challenging the country’s new “anti-homosexuality” law.
  3. In Algeria, the Constitutional Court has officially approved 6 candidates, including the incumbent, for April’s presidential election.
  4. In Belarus, Natalia Karpovich was sworn in as a judge of the Constitutional Court on March 14.
  5. In Ukraine, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Crimean accession to Russia and the Crimean plan of launching a relevant referendum are unconstitutional.
  6. In China, the head of the Supreme People’s Court recently emphasized that courts must improve their ability to exercise judicial power independently.

In the News

  1. In Australia, Victoria State passes legislation to expand police powers with respect to public protests.
  2. In Israel, there have been changes to the country’s conscription law.
  3. In Syria, the Parliament sets residency rules that may result in excluding many opposition leaders from the presidential election.
  4. In Indonesia, the Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo confirms that he will run for the presidency.
  5. In Finland, the law of registration of foreigners was amended to require a Finnish personal identity number to be issued simultaneously when a foreigner obtain her first residence permit.
  6. In Singapore, a new anti-harassment law has been passed with the unanimous endorsement from Members of Parliament in order to fight “social scourge”.

New Scholarship

  1. Bruce Ackerman, We the People, Volume 3: The Civil Rights Revolution (Harvard University Press, March 2014) (applying his theory of constitutional moments to the Civil Rights Era)
  2. Paul P. Craig, Accountability and Judicial Review in the UK and the EU: Central Precepts, Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 8/ 2014 (focusing primarily on the issue of judicial review of executive action and the essential characteristics that define and shape judicial review in a legal system, analyzing and comparing the UK and EU systems in regards of conceptual foundations, legitimacy, hierarchy of norms and rights)
  3. Michael T. Morley, Avoiding Adversarial Adjudication, 40 Florida State University Law Review 2014 (arguing that Courts should go beyond Article III’s theoretical prohibition on hypothetical lawsuits and thereby apply an “accuracy-centric approach” in deciding whether to issue requested relief when litigants seek to have the court avoid considering the merits and worth of a claim, issue, or argument in a case)
  4. Jeremy Waldron, Never Mind the Constitution, 127 Harvard Law Review 2014 (reviewing Louis Michael Seidman’s On Constitutional Disobedience)
  5. Aziz Z. Huq, Coasean Bargaining Over the Structural Constitution, 114 Columbia Law Review 2014 (systematically analyzing the phenomena of branches and states bargaining over structural entitlements within the Constitutional framework, such as  institutional negotiation over federalism and separation-of-powers)

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Shannon Tiezzi,  China’s Legal Reform: A Balancing Act, The Diplomat
  2. Brian Spegele, The Ghost That Haunted the Premier’s Press Conference, The Wall Street Journal
  3. E. J. Dionne Jr.,  The GOP’s Florida victory matters, The Washington Post
  4. Cynthia L. Fountaine, Dean Frank Wu on Cutting Law Schools, Law Deans on Legal Education Blog
  5. Lissa Griffin, When Science Moves Forward: Dealing with Post-Conviction Evidence in Shaken Baby Syndrome Cases, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  6. Andrew M. Ironside,  “Venerate, Amend … and Violate”, Civil Rights Law & Policy Blog

Call for Papers

  1. The Maastricht Centre for Human Rights of Maastricht University has issued a call for papers for its Conference on Denialism and Human Rights to be held in January 2015.
  2. Michigan State University College of Law and Michigan State Law Review collectively issue a call for papers for Persuasion in Civil Rights Advocacy Symposium to be held at MSU on April 10-11, 2015.
  3. University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and its LLM program have issued a call for papers for the conference of Foreign Investment in the Services Sector to be held in September 2014. 
  4. The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology announces a call for papers for the 2014 Intellectual Property Scholars Conference to be held August 7 and 8, 2014.
  5. IGLP Corporation in Global Society research group has issued a  call for papers for the conference of Corporate Power in Global Society: Explication, Critique, Engagement, Resistance to be held Monday, June 2, 2014.



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