Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

–Margaret Lan Xiao, SJD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University

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 Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that Alberta is not constitutionally required to enact its laws in both English and French.
  2. The Azerbaijani Central Election Commission decided to submit the documents on the results of the Azerbaijani parliamentary election, held November 1, 2015, to the Constitutional Court.
  3. Hungary’s Constitutional Court scrapped parts of a law offering compensation for clients of failed brokerage Quaestor.
  4. Romania’s Constitutional Court unanimously ruled that the country’s postal voting law is constitutional.
  5. Kosovo police detonated a hand grenade was found in the courtyard of the Constitutional Court.
  6. Thailand Constitutional Court judge Charan Phakdithanakun voiced support for the idea to separate Constitutional Court from a chapter pertaining to independent organizations.
  7. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the constitutionality of the military justice system.

In the News

  1. Tunisia’s House of the People’s Reprsentatives began to discuss the draft law on the creation of the Constitutional Court.
  2. A majority of parliamentarians in Tanzania approved Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa as the new prime minister to lead the government’s business in the lawmaking body.
  3. Members of the State Duma and Federation Council in Russia approved a joint statement calling for stricter criminal liability for terrorism and any actions that support terrorism.
  4. Greece approved a reform bill to secure further bailout funds from its international lenders but Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ parliamentary majority shrank to just three seats after two dissenting lawmakers were expelled.
  5. Lawmakers of all four Russian parliamentary parties have jointly drafted the bill would give more powers to the Constitutional Court, allowing Russia to legally ignore the decisions of foreign justice bodies.
  6. Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi attended Parliament’s closing meeting and met with the parliament speaker.
  7. The French Parliament extended emergency powers put into effect following terrorist attacks in Paris.

New Scholarship

  1. Joseph Magnet, Constitution Making in Eritrea: Why It’s Necessary to Go Back to the Future, Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2015-32 (arguing that the 1997 Eritrea Constitution creates a highly centralized Stalinist structure that experience teaches does not work in deeply diverse democracies and that Eritrea requires a power sharing constitution, created through a proper negotiated process)
  2. Jerg Gutmann and Stefan Voigt, The Rule of Law: Measurement and Deep Roots (proposing a new de facto indicator for the rule of law and using this indicator to shed new light on the relationship between the rule of law and the political system of a country; arguing that Presidential governments tend to score significantly lower on the rule of law indicator than parliamentary ones and that many presidential democracies are even outperformed by dictatorships)
  3. Maximo Langer, Strength, Weakness or Both? On the Endurance of the Adversarial-Inquisitorial Systems in Comparative Criminal Procedure, Research Handbook on Comparative Criminal Procedure, Jacqueline Ross & Stephen Thaman eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016, Forthcoming (arguing that contemporary comparative criminal procedure is an heir of the classical adversarial-inquisitorial and common law-civil law tradition that have been at the center of this field for a very long time)
  4. Liam Thornton, Socio-Economic Rights and Ireland, UCD Working Papers in Law, Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14/2015 (arguing that while the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights focuses exclusively on socio-economic rights, within other UN rights treaties’ on racial discrimination, rights of women, rights of children and rights of persons with disabilities, civil and political rights, along with economic, social and cultural rights are dealt with side by side)
  5. M. W. Dowdle and M. A. Wilkinson, On the Limits of Constitutional Liberalism: In Search of a Constitutional Reflexivity, Michael W. Dowdle and Michael A. Wilkinson, eds., Constitutionalism Beyond Liberalism, Cambridge University Press, 2016 (arguing that the structural-liberal vision is but one of a number of ways of conceptualizing constitutionalism; it is essentially the product of a particular time and place, and reflects the particular concerns and experiences of that time and place)
  6. Lex Gill, Dennis Redeker and Urs Gasser, Towards Digital Constitutionalism? Mapping Attempts to Craft an Internet Bill of Rights, Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2015-15 (proposing a unified term to describe the efforts on the initiatives of the “Internet Bill of Rights,” by using the umbrella of “digital constitutionalism” and conduct an analysis of thirty initiatives spanning from 1999 to 2015)
  7. John Finnis, Prisoners’ Voting and Judges’ Powers, Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 58/2015 (reviewing decisions of courts in Australia, Canada, and South Africa, and in Strasbourg under the European Convention on Human Rights, with some reference to judicial decisions in the United Kingdom and arguing that the decisions manifest a deeply flawed conception of constitutional governance and law)

Call for Papers

  1. Paris Legal Publishers has issued a call for papers for the Journal of Trafficking and Human Exploitation (JHTE).
  2. The University of Illinois College of Law has issued a call for papers for the next annual Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop to be held on April 15 and 16, 2016 in Urbana-Champaign.
  3. The University of Miami School of Law has issued a call for proposed papers for the We Robot 2016 conference on law and policy relating to Robotics to be held on April 1-2, 2016.
  4. The University of Washington School of Law‘s Center for Advanced Study and Research on IP (CASRIP) has issued a call for papers for the 13th Annual Works-in-Progress IP Colloquium (WIPIP) to be held on Feb. 19-20, 2016.
  5. The Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth (Northwestern Univ. Pritzker School of Law) has issued a call for papers for the Seventh Annual Conference on Internet Commerce and Innovation to be held on June 9-10, 2016.

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Jacob Gershman, Daily Fantasy Sports: Games of Luck or Skill?, The Wall Street Journal
  2. Eugene Volokh, Professional-client speech and the First Amendment, The Washington Post
  3. Adam Liptak, Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court to Save Immigration Plan, The New York Times
  4. Jonathan H. Adler, The metadata collection program is constitutional (at least according to Judge Kavanaugh), The Washington Post
  5. Vicky Vanhoutte, Kris Merckx, Laurent De Clercq, Hannes Speeckaert, Pieter Cannoot, and Juan Benjumea Moreno, Recent developments in Scotland’s and Catalonia’s struggle for independence, BelConLawBlog
  6. General the Lord Dannatt, Parliament must vote to let Britain help crush Isil, The Telegraph


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