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 agreed to hear a petition suo moto to decide whether Muslim women are facing gender discrimination under the Muslim Women Act.
  2. The South African Constitutional Court refused to hear a sexual orientation discrimination case against the Methodist Church.
  3. The Indian Supreme Court observed that lawyers do not have the right to strike.
  4. The Constitutional Court in Italy urged the government to pay disability allowance for deafness for immigrants even if they don’t have a residence permit.
  5. The Supreme Court of India held that women have inalienable rights over ‘stridhan’ and can claim it even after separation from their husband.
  6. The Supreme Court of India barred indiscriminate killing of stray dogs.
  7. The Slovak Constitutional Court held pay freeze of judges unconstitutional.
  8. Bosnia’s Constitutional Court ruled the official holiday of Republika Srpska, January 9, discriminates against other ethnic groups.
  9. Georgia’s Constitutional Court temporarily blocked an organ transplant law allowing only close family members to be organ donors.
  10. The Constitutional Court of Uganda ruled that it is unconstitutional for MPs to determine their own pay.
  11. The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily halted the Native Hawaiian election.
  12. The Supreme Court of Japan has declared last December’s Lower House election “in state of unconstitutionality,” but will not nullify its results.

In the News

  1. November 26 will be celebrated as the Constitution Day from this year onwards in India.
  2. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that the new government intends to shift to a presidential system.
  3. Ruling and opposition parties in Nepal agreed to amend the newly drafted Constitution to meet Madhesi parties’ demands.
  4. Vietnam’s National Assembly approved several new human rights-related laws, the most prominent of which are those on referendum, temporary custody and detention.
  5. The Constitution Drafting Commission in Thailand agreed on the composition of the new Constitutional Court.

New Scholarship

  1. Daniel M. Brinks, Varun Gauri and Kyle Shen, Social Rights Constitutionalism: Negotiating the Tension between the Universal and the Particular, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, vol. 11, pp. 289-308, 2015 (noting the increasing importance of social rights language in constitutional texts and exploring how it affects possibilities for subordinate groups in a given polity to challenge the status quo).
  2. Evan Rosevear, Ivar Alberto Hartmann and Diego Werneck Arguelhes, Disagreement on the Brazilian Supreme Court: An Exploratory Analysis, (October 31, 2015) (examining the decision-making process of the Brazilian Supremo Tribunal Federal using a novel dataset of individual-level votes in collegiate decisions issued between 1992 and 2013).
  3. Bojan Bugaric, The Rule of Law Derailed: Lessons from the Post-Communist World, Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, pp 1-23 (November 3, 2015) (analyzing the current crisis of the rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe, holding responsible a failure of institutionalization of the rule of law and effective state institutions).
  4. Scott Skinner-Thompson, Outing Privacy, Northwestern University Law Review, vol. 110, no. 1, 2015 (examining the informational privacy theory and jurisprudence to better understand the U.S. judiciary’s reluctance to fully embrace a constitutional right to informational privacy).
  5. Jean-Philippe Derosier, La loi renseignement : de l’état de surveillance à un Etat de bienveillance, NOTE n° 16 – Fondation Jean-Jaurès, Thémis – Observatoire justice et sécurité, November 2015 (analyzing French Constitutional Court’s decision on the surveillance legislation and the tension between respect for fundamental freedoms and needs of security for citizens).
  6. William Conklin, The Utilitarian Theory of Equality Before the Law, (November 26, 2015) (arguing that the two main tests used by Canadian courts to interpret the concept of ‘equality before the law’ are based on utilitarian political theory enunciated by John Stuart Mill).
  7. Andrew Harding & Mark Sidel, Central-Local Relations in Asian Constitutional Systems, Hart Publishing, Oxford (examining territorial governance in Asia in the context of central-local relations).
  8. Kimana Zulueta-Fulscher, Interim Constitutions: Peacekeeping and Democracy-Building Tools, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (examining conceptual framework of interim constitutions, their structure, role, design and process of their drafting in conflict-affected states).
  9. Curtis A. Bradley and Jean Galbraith, Presidential War Powers as a Two-Level Dynamic: International Law, Domestic Law, and Practice-Based Legal Change, (forthcoming) New York University Law Review (examining a two-level dynamic between the international and domestic legal regimes governing the use of force).
  10. Robert Leckey, The Harms of Remedial Discretion, (forthcoming) International Journal of Constitutional Law (arguing against the widespread scholarly view on discretion in remedying legislative infringement of rights).

Calls for Papers

  1. The Harvard Law School, and SHARIAsource issued a call for papers for a workshop on ‘Courts and Judicial Procedure in Early Islamic Law’ to be held on May 6, 2016. Proposals are due by December 15, 2015.
  2. The University of Michigan Law School issued a call for papers for its 2016 Young Scholars’ Conference to be held on April 8-9, 2016, in Ann Arbor, Michigan under the theme “Law on the Move”.
  3. Seoul National University School of Law and Korean Law and Economics Association will host the 12th Annual AsLEA Conference on June 24-25, 2016, in Seoul. Those interested in presenting papers are invited to submit their drafts along with a short abstract by February 15, 2016.
  4. The School of Law at Queen Mary University of London invites postgraduate law students and academics to the Seventh Annual Postgraduate Legal Research Conference on the theme ‘Embracing New Approaches’.
  5.  The Stanford Program in Law and Society (SPLS) at Stanford Law School announced its Third Conference for Junior Researchers on ‘The Impact of Law on Behavior’. Abstracts and CVs should be submitted by January 17, 2016.
  6. The University of Milan and the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law invite abstracts for the Conference on ‘Fundamental Rights Protection in Europe: Theory and Practice’ to be held on February 26-27, 2016.
  7. The University of Cambridge invites submissions for the 2nd Biennial Public Law Conference on the theme ‘The Unity of Public Law?’. The conference will be held on September 12-14, 2016.
  8. The Program on Economics and Privacy at the George Mason University School of Law invites papers from interested participants for the Scholars Conference on ‘Economics of Digital Information Policy’ to be held on April 29, 2016.
  9. PluriCourts invites scholars to apply for a Visiting Research Fellowship focusing on international courts and tribunals preferably in areas within Trade, Criminal Law, or Environment. The duration of the fellowship is 3-12 months and candidates must possess a doctoral degree in political science, philosophy or law.

Elsewhere on the Internet

  1. Brian Christopher Jones and Paolo Sandro, The Conservatives’ 2015 Fiscal Charter: A Wanting Desire for Constitutional Change, VerfassungsBlog
  2. Rohan Kothari, The Colonial Antecedents of the Supreme Court’s Jurisprudence on the Rights to Vote and Stand, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy
  3. Bartosz Marciniak, Poland: constitutional crisis or coup d’etat?, Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change Blog
  4. Ingar Solty and Davit Stepanyan, Post-democracy in Armenia? How the new Constitution will depoliticize Armenian society, Open Democracy
  5. Pavlos Eleftheriadis, The EU protects liberty, but a British Bill of Rights would endanger it, The Conversation
  6. Wissam Benyettou, Will Algeria start 2016 with a new constitution? Long-awaited constitutional revision and the road to democratic transition, ConstitutionNet


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