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

Special Announcement: Supreme Court Fellows Program

The Supreme Court Fellows Commission invites applications from individuals interested in a one-year fellowship in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, the Federal Judicial Center, or the United States Sentencing Commission.  The fellow based at the Supreme Court will be assigned to the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice and have primary responsibility for briefing foreign jurists, court administrators, and other dignitaries on the operation, procedures, and history of the Court.  Applications must be postmarked or submitted online by November 6, 2015.

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The European Court for Human Rights dismissed the claims of three students who asserted that their nearly two weeks of detention without charges violated their human rights.
  2. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a U.S. citizen’s claim that FBI agents tortured him in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya and violated his constitutional rights.
  3. Mexico’s highest court plans to discuss a proposal that could effectively legalize the consumption and production of marijuana for recreational use.
  4. The European Court of Human Rights ordered Hungary to pay 10,000 Euro to a citizen for failing to adequately investigate a racist attack.
  5. The Bahrain Court of Appeals convicted rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja on charges related to her ripping up a photo of the Bahraini king during a court hearing.

In the News

  1. Hong Kong Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan has drafted a bill calling on the government to extend bribery laws to cover gifts and advantages offered to the chief executive.
  2. Argentina opened the first round of voting in its presidential election.
  3. Canada voted in its first new leader in nearly a decade, handing Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party an absolute majority.
  4. The Kenyan Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution has requested that Parliament either extend the Commission’s term or establish a new institution to take over from it before the December 31 term limit.
  5. Two Brazilian lawyers filed a petition in a renewed attempt to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, alleging she forged accounts in 2014.

New Scholarship

  1. Markus Jachtenfuchs & Nico Krisch, Subsidiarity in Global Governance, Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 79, 2016, Forthcoming (situating subsidiarity among competing principles, evaluating its appeal from a normative perspective, and developing a number of conjectures about its prevalence, potential, and limitations based on insights from comparative politics)
  2. Keith G. Banting & Will Kymlicka, The Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2015/73 (focusing on the political sources of solidarity and advancing a framework for analysis that incorporates the sense of political community, the role of political agents, and impact of political institutions and policy regimes)
  3. Ronald A. Brand, The Continuing Evolution of U.S. Judgments Recognition Law, U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-37 (reviewing the history of U.S. judgments recognition law, summarizing current substantive law on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, highlighting decisions that demonstrate problem areas, and proposing an approach to eliminate the current problems of non-uniformity and inefficient use of the courts)
  4. Haider Ala Hamoudi, Sex and the Shari’a: Defining Gender Norms and Sexual Deviancy in Shi’i Islam, Fordham International Law Journal, Vol. 39, 2015 (demonstrating that modern authoritative jurists working within the Shi’i tradition have developed rules respecting sex regulation to serve certain primary commitments)
  5. Andrea Pin & Erik Longo, Don’t Waste Your Vote (Again!). The Italian Constitutional Court’s Decision on Election Laws: An Episode of Strict Comparative Scrutiny, ICON·S Working Paper – Conference Proceedings Series 1, no. 10/2015 (investigating the sources of inspiration for the Italian Constitutional Court’s recent decision on election laws, its hidden implications, and the manner in which it resonates with globalized trends in constitutional law)
  6. Xiangyang Qian, Understanding Culture for Comparative Law (highlighting misunderstandings of culture as causing difficulties in comparative law)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Centre for Asian Legal Studies is accepting registrants for the 6th Asian Constitutional Law Forum on “Constitutionalism in the Courts: Judicial Review and the Separation of Powers in Asia at Faculty of Law” to be held at the National University of Singapore on December 10 & 11, 2015.
  2. Organizers have extended the deadline for the call for papers to November 2, 2015 for the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law’s Second Workshop on Comparative Business and Financial Law to be held on February 5-6, 2016 at UC Davis School of Law.
  3. The Center for Parliamentary Studies at LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome in cooperation with the University of Milan’s Department of National and Supranational Public Law, the International Society of Public Law, and the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law have issued a call for papers for a symposium on “Bicameralism under Pressure: Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures” to be held in Rome, Italy on May 2-3, 2016.
  4. Organizers Maximo Langer (University of California at Los Angeles), Jacqueline Ross (University of Illinois College of Law), and Kim Lane Scheppele (Princeton University) have issued a call for papers for the next annual Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop, which will be held on April 15-16, 2016, at the University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana-Champaign.
  5. The Organising Committee of the 4th Biennal Conference and the Executive Council of the European Society for Comparative Legal History have issued a call for papers for a conference on “Culture, Identity and Legal Instrumentalism” to be held on June 28-July 1, 2016 at the University of Gdańsk in Poland.
  6. Organizers have issued a call for papers for the Juris Diversitas Annual Conference on “Unity and/or Diversity: An International, Interdisciplinary Conference on Comparative Law” at Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  7. 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 Online

  1. Arvind Narrain, The Right Not To Be Mutilated: Intersex People and The Quest For Justice, JURIST – Professional Commentary
  2. Emmanuel A. Nkea, State response to political killings in Cameroon and its impact on the rule of law, AfricLaw
  3. Artak Galyan, Gearing towards Consensualism or Unrestrained Majoritarianism? Constitutional Reform in Armenia and its Comparative Implications, ConstitutionNet
  4. Saksith Saiyasombut, Thailand’s post-coup constitution: Draft punked or ‘Once more with feeling’?, ConstitutionNet
  5. Andrés Guzmán Escobari, Bolivia’s First Triumph in The Hague, Opinio Juris


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