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 Indian Supreme Court held that the 99th Constitutional Amendment establishing the National Judicial Appointments Commission is unconstitutional.
  2. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld British Columbia’s drunk driving laws.
  3. The Brazilian Supreme Court stayed the efforts by opposition parties to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.
  4. The Indian Supreme Court clarifies that the use of Aadhaar Card scheme is purely voluntary.
  5. The United States Supreme Court held that right to counsel only guarantees reasonable competence and not perfect advocacy.
  6. The Federal Court of Malaysia upheld a ban on cross-dressing by transgender Muslims.
  7. The Czech Constitutional Court ordered reopened a case pertaining to possible discrimination of Romani.

New Scholarship

  1. Theunis Robert Roux, A Sociological Response to Waldron on Judicial Review, September 29, 2015 (responding to Waldron’s critique of the moral justifiability of judicial review from a sociological perspective).
  2. Robert W. Emerson, Judges as Guardian Angels: The German Practice of Hints and Feedback, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, vol. 48, no. 709, p.709 (discussing the German practice of “Richterliche Hinweispflicht” – a judicial duty to give hints and feedback of judges in civil proceedings and arguing for an increased involvement of American judges in a similar fashion).
  3. Julian Arato, Deference to the Executive: The US Debate in Global Perspective, in The Interpretation of International Law by Domestic Courts (Helmut Philipp Aust & Georg Nolte, eds., Oxford University Press, 2016, forthcoming) (examining the practice of deference to the executive, by national courts, in the context of interpreting treaties).
  4. Anika Gauja and Graeme D. Orr, Regulating ‘Third Parties’ as Electoral Actors: Comparative Insights and Questions for Democracy, (2015) 4 Interest Groups and Advocacy 249 (examining through comparison what legal regulation of third-party actors in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia reveals about their ‘nature’, activities they perform and how the law conceives of them as electoral and political participants).
  5. Jack Tsen-Ta Lee, Equality and Singapore’s First Constitutional Challenges to the Criminalization of Male Homosexual Conduct, Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law, vol.16(1-2), p.150, 2015 (arguing against the deferential approach the High Court of Singapore adopted when deciding on the constitutionality of section 377A of the Penal Code of Singapore, which criminalizes acts of gross indecency between two men).
  6. Melissa Castan, Constitutional Recognition, Self-Determination and an Indigenous Representative Body, Indigenous Law Bulletin, vol.8, no.19, 2015 (analyzing the potential role a constitutionally established representative consultative indigenous body might play in constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians).
  7. Vivienne O’Connor, Mapping the Justice System and Legal Framework in a Conflict-Affected Country (August 17, 2015) (drawing a roadmap of a range of justice systems, institutions, organizations,actors and laws rule of law practitioners may encounter in conflict-affected countries).
  8. Juliano Zaiden Benvindo, The Seeds of Change: Popular Protests as Constitutional Moments, Marquette Law Review, vol. 99, 2016 (forthcoming) (challenging the Ackerman’s concept of “constitutional moments” by positing it against some of the contemporary popular protests around the world).
  9. Michal Bobek, Central European Judges under the European Influence: The Transformative Power of the EU Revisited, Hart Publishing (assessing the evolution of Central European judicial institutions under the influence of the EU membership). A conference will be held in Budapest to launch the book on November 2.

In the News

  1. The Chilean President made a statement that the national government will soon begin the process of drafting a new Constitution for the nation.
  2. The National Council of Churches of Kenya stated that the new bill designed to shield lawmakers from public scrutiny violates the Constitution.
  3. Amnesty International reports that Indonesian death row convicts are being tortured and denied the right to counsel.
  4. A new committee has been formed by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to make recommendations for framing a new Constitution for the nation.
  5. Tunisian national dialogue quartet awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to build a pluralistic democracy and saving the country from a civil war in 2013.
  6. Armenia’s National Assembly approved constitutional reforms proposing a shift from semi-presidential to a parliamentary form of government.
  7. South African President Jacob Zuma plans on withdrawing the country’s membership from the International Criminal Court.
  8. The European Court of Human Rights ruled conviction of Turkish politician Doğu Perinçek for comments denying that the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 was a genocide an infringement on his right to free speech.

Calls for Papers

  1. The Jindal Global Law Review invites submissions for a special issue ‘Transformations in Religious Family Laws in Comparative Perspective’. Interested authors must submit abstracts of their manuscripts by November 2, 2015.
  2. Abstracts of not more than 750 words are invited (due by November 1, 2015) for the ‘European Society of International Law Research Forum’ to be held from April 21-22, 2016 at the Koç University Law School and the Center for Global Public Law, Istanbul.
  3. Students from Central and Southeastern Europe are invited to submit their proposals for papers to be presented at the Central European Law Conference for Students, held in Maribor on 31 March – 2 April 2016.
  4. The Executive Council of the European Society for Comparative Legal History issued a call for papers for the upcoming conference to be held on 28 June – 1 July 2016 at the University of Gdansk (Poland) on: “Culture, Identity and Legal Instrumentalism”.
  5. 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.
  6. The Kabarak University School of Law in collaboration with Boston College Law School invite submissions for a Symposium on ‘Constitutional Change and Transformation in Africa’ to be held in Nakuru, Kenya from June 9-10, 2016. Interested scholars must submit their biographical information and an abstract by November 2, 2015.

Elsewhere on the Internet

  1. Richard Wong, Why China chose the German instead of English legal system, South China Morning Post
  2. Gautam Bhatia, The NJAC Judgment and its Discontents, Indian Constitutional Law & Philosophy
  3. Arvind Narrain, The Right Not To Be Mutilated: Intersex People and The Quest For Justice, The Jurist
  4. David Feldman, ‘England’ as a Legal and Constitutional Notion, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  5. Nic Cheesemanand Alexander Noyes, Here are five lessons for writing a constitution that can help prevent violence, The Washington Post
  6. Pierre De Vos, Changing powers and boundaries of provinces not a done deal, Constitutionally Speaking


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