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

Development in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Indian government and Navy petitioned the Supreme Court requesting a review of the Delhi High Court’s judgment which declared that female naval officers must be granted ‘permanent commission’ in the Navy.
  2. The European Court of Human Rights declared that the Police Service of Northern Ireland infringed privacy rights of a person accused of a crime, by tapping his phone communications with his attorney.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Armenia ruled that media do not have a legal obligation to disclose confidential sources of information in cases not involving severe crimes.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Uganda ordered a High Court to decide on damages to a couple that was illegally arrested, held incommunicado and tortured by the police while detained.
  5. Bolivia’s Constitutional Court upheld the text of a ballot proposal seeking to amend the constitution to eliminate presidential term limits.
  6. Slovenian Constitutional Court allowed the referendum on same-sex marriages to take place despite a parliamentary ban.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Indonesia rejected an appeal against the government ban on domestic workers seeking employment abroad.
  8. Guinea’s Constitutional Court validated President Alpha Conde’s victory for a second term in office.
  9. The Georgian Constitutional Court held that imprisonment for purchasing or possessing marijuana for personal use is unconstitutional. 

In the News

  1. Bidhya Devi Bhandari was elected Nepal’s president, after securing 327 votes in the presidential elections which are conducted in the Parliament.
  2. In a referendum conducted in Congo, an overwhelming majority of the voters voted in favor of an amendment to the constitution which would allow the nation’s president, Denis Sassou Nguesso, to contest a ‘third consecutive term’.
  3. The European Parliament approved of a law which seeks to safeguard ‘net neutrality’.
  4. The Catalan Parliament passed a ‘resolution’ in favor of achieving independence for Catalonia from Spain. The Spanish Prime Minister criticized the resolution and stated that the ‘sovereignty of Spain’ would be protected.
  5. The European Parliament voted upon resolutions which call upon EU member states to accord protection to Edward Snowden.

New Scholarship

  1. William A. Schabas, The European Convention on Human Rights: A Commentary, Oxford University Press 2015 (a comprehensive analysis of each article of the European Convention on Human Rights)
  2. Michael R. Ulrich, The Impact of Law on the Right to Water and Adding Normative Change to the Global Agenda, 48 George Washington International Law Review 2015 (examining the importance of the right to water and its relation with other human rights, while proposing that in the architecture of international law the right to water should not be subject to ‘progressive realization’)
  3. Adèle Cassola, Amy Raub and Jody Heymann, Constitutional Protections in an Era of Increased Migration: Evidence from 193 Countries, The International Journal of Human Rights, 2015 (analyzing constitutions of 193 countries to determine the treatment extended by each of the constitutions to foreign migrants)
  4. Mary Sarah Bilder, Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention, Harvard University Press 2015 (historically examining the changes made by James Madison to his ‘Notes on the 1787 Constitution Convention’ and the events which had an influence on the Notes)
  5. Melvin I. Urofsky, Dissent and the Supreme Court: It’s Role in the Court’s History and the Nation’s Constitutional Dialogue, Pantheon Books 2015 (analyzing the important role of dissenting opinions and their potential in ushering constitutional change)
  6. Patricia Popelier, Koen Lemmens, The Constitution of Belgium, Hart Publishing 2015 (offering a contextual analysis of Belgian constitutional system)

Calls for Papers

  1. The Italian Association of Comparative Law (AIDC) invites papers for the ‘Fifth Young Scholars Conference’ on the theme of ‘New Topics and Methods in Comparative Legal Research and its Relations with Social Sciences’ to be held on May 27-28, 2016 at Università del Molise – Campobasso. Abstracts no longer than three hundred words should be sent in to by January 11, 2016.
  2. Papers and proposals for panels are called for a conference on ‘The Future of Refugee Law’ organized by the Refugee Law Initiative. The conference will be held from June 29 to July 1, 2016 at the Senate House, University of London. All entries must be sent in by January 8, 2016.
  3. The Asian Law Institute (ASLI) and Peking University Law School request for papers for the ‘13th ASLI Conference-Asian Perspectives on Legal Globalization’. The conference will be held at Peking University Law School on May 19-20, 2016. Abstracts of papers must be submitted by December 1, 2015.
  4. An international conference on ‘Justice and Penal Reform: Re-shaping the penal landscape’ will be held from March 16-18, 2016 at Keble College, Oxford. Interested participants are invited to submit abstracts of conference papers.
  5. The International Association for the Study of Forced Migration invite papers for a conference on ‘Rethinking Forced Migration and Displacement: Theory, Policy, and Praxis’ which will be held in Poznan, Poland. Abstracts of papers must be submitted by February 1, 2016.
  6. The Europa Institute and the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law announced a call for papers for a workshop on ‘The Age of Austerity: A New Challenge for State Powers’, to be held at the University of Edinburgh March 30, 2016.
  7. The National Security Law Research & Policy Initiative at The Dickson Poon School of Law will host the International Association of Constitutional Law’s ‘Constitutional Responses to Terrorism Research Group Annual Workshop 2016’, on March 10-11, 2016.
  8. An IACL Roundtable will be held in Melbourne on May 2-3, 2016 under the auspices of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at Melbourne Law School (co-sponsored by the Comparative Constitutional Law Project at the University of NSW). A small number of places in the Symposium are reserved for selections from a Call for Papers. Abstracts of 300 words should be submitted by November 30, 2015.

Elsewhere on the Internet

  1. Rahul Bajaj, Twenty Years on, Inclusion Remains a Distant Dream for India’s Disabled, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  2. Malavika Prasad, The Delhi High Court’s Decision on the CAG’s DISCOM Audit, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy
  3. Margaret Dore, California’s New Assisted Suicide Law: Whose Choice Will it Be?, Jurist
  4. Karen Poppeliers, Challenges to democracy in the 21st century – Interview with Yves Leterme, Belgian Constitutional Law Blog
  5. Jim Duffy, Shaker Aamer’s release: What happens next?, UK Human Rights Blog
  6. Meg Russell, The Lords, Politics and Finance, UK Constitutional Law Association
  7. Jan Amilcar Schmidt, Vision 2016 in Autumn 2015: What can still be achieved in the Somali peace- and state- building process?, ConstitutionNet 


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