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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. Spain’s Constitutional Court rejected a Catalan regional parliament resolution setting a road map for independence from Spain by 2017.
  2. The European Court of Human Rights ruled unanimously that a Turkish court order blocking access to YouTube violated Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
  3. The high court of the Dominican Republic struck down a law that legalized abortions in certain cases, including fetal deformity.
  4. A high court judge in Belfast held that Northern Ireland’s ban on abortion breaches the human rights of women and girls, including rape victims.
  5. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a California woman injured in a train accident in Austria fell outside the commercial activity exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and was barred from recovery in the United States.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Turkey rejected the Migration Directorate’s request to deport an Iranian journalist and refugee.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Turkey ruled that the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) violated the freedom of expression of an owner of a radio station by halting its broadcasts on the grounds that it lacked the necessary permit from the RTÜK.
  8. The Constitutional Court of South Africa ordered the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to hold new by-elections in seven wards in the North West, because the elections had not been conducted freely and fairly.
  9. The Suriname High Court ruled that a trial of President Desi Bouterse in the killings of political opponents in 1982 must resume despite an amnesty law.

In the News

  1. President Francois Hollande expressed a desire for France’s constitution to be amended to allow dual nationals to be stripped of their French citizenship if they were convicted of terrorism and to be banned from entering France if they present a “terrorism risk.”
  2. Ecuador’s National Assembly passed a constitutional amendment lifting presidential term limits, beginning in 2021.
  3. The United Kingdom’s plan to scrap the Human Rights Act has been delayed due to “complex” proposals under which the supreme court might develop into a UK constitutional court.
  4. Poland’s Sejm voted to appoint new judges to the Constitutional Court amid constitutional controversy.
  5. Participants of the “New Armenia” Public Salvation Front engaged in a march against the proposed constitutional amendments.
  6. President Béji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia promulgated the organic law on the new Constitutional Court.

New Scholarship

  1. Sally Brown Richardson, Reframing Ameliorative Waste, American Journal of Comparative Law, Forthcoming (critiquing the value-based and the alteration-based approaches to ameliorative waste in property law and proposing an alternative framework that balances decision-making authority between interest-holding parties based on the particular context of their situation)
  2. Suryapratim Roy and Edwin Woerdman, Situating Urgenda Versus the Netherlands within Comparative Climate Change Law, Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, Vol 34, 2016, Forthcoming (situating the Urgenda judgment within the life of global climate change litigation by concentrating on the legal particulars of Dutch law, elements of “diffused” jurisprudence from other jurisdictions, and the reasoning of the judgement that is “diffusible”)
  3. Carlos Closa and Stefano Palestini Céspedes, Between Democratic Protection and Self-Defense: The Case of Unasur and Venezuela, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2015/93 (arguing that the performance of regional organizations’ democratic protection mechanisms is tied to the interests of governments)
  4. J. McIntyre, Judicial Oversight of Surveillance: The Case of Ireland in Comparative Perspective, chapter in Judges as Guardians of Constitutionalism and Human Rights, edited by Martin Scheinin, Helle Krunke, and Marina Aksenova, 2016, Forthcoming (examining how judicial oversight can regulate state surveillance, with a particular focus on Irish, European Convention on Human Rights, and European Union law)
  5. Stuart P. Green, Lying and Law, Jörg Meibauer (ed.), (OUP, forthcoming) The Oxford Handbook of Lying (examining the law’s treatment of deception)
  6. Eugene D. Mazo, The Upstream Problem in Constitutionalism, Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 50, 2015 (forthcoming); Wake Forest Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 568726 (arguing for a new approach to the study of constitutions, constitutionalism and a new understanding of how constitution-making should be studied)
  7. Daw-Yih Jang, and Kuo-Ching Hsu, Lorenz Von Stein and Chinese Constitutional Movement: A Reexamination of Legal History, SSRN Research Paper (exploring the relationship between Lorenz von Stein and Chinese constitutional movement through historical comparison with the drafting process of Japanese the Meiji Constitution)
  8. 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 implementation of Eritrea’s 1997 Constitution would likely bring Eritrea’s two large nationalities into conflict with its eight smaller nationalities with high risk for violent civil strife that could spill over into neighboring countries)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. ICON-S, the International Society of Public Law, invites paper and panel submissions for its Annual Meeting to be held at the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, on June 17-19, 2016. Submissions are due by 15 February 2016.
  2. The Editors of the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law (CJICL) welcome submissions for the CJICL 5th Annual Conference on “Public and Private Power” to be held at the University of Cambridge on April 8-9, 2016.
  3. The School of Law at the University of Portsmouth, the European University Institute (EUI), and the McCoubrey Centre for International Law at the University of Hull Law School issued a call for abstracts for a two-day conference on “Building Consensus on European Consensus” to be held at the European University Institute in Florence on June 1-2, 2016.
  4. Organizers Jacqueline Ross (University of Illinois College of Law), Maximo Langer (University of California at Los Angeles), and Kim Lane Scheppele (Princeton University) have issued a call for papers for the next annual Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop to be held on April 15-16, 2016 at the University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana-Champaign.
  5. Richard Albert (Boston College) and Menaka Guruswamy (Yale Law School) issued a call for abstracts for the Symposium on Founding Moments in Constitutionalism, to be held at Yale Law School on April 15-16, 2016.
  6. The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions in collaboration with Boston College Law School under the auspices of the Israeli Association of Public Law invite submissions for the Symposium on Constitutionalism under Extreme Conditions to be held at the University of Haifa in Israel on July 18, 2016.
  7. 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.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Ozan Varol, Presidentialism in Turkey: Is it Already Here?, ConstitutionNet
  2. Shubhankar Dam, Words and worth: Why Narendra Modi need not retake his prime ministerial oath,
  3. Stanley Lubman, China’s Criminal Law Once Again Used as Political Tool, The Wall Street Journal
  4. Sara Perria, Myanmar: Suu Kyi’s long haul towards constitutional reforms, ConstitutionNet
  5. Lissa Griffin, Pistorius III – The Appeal, Comparative Law Prof Blog
  6. Meg Russell, The Policy Power of the Westminster Parliament: The Empirical Evidence, UK Constitutional Law Association


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *