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

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Indian Supreme Court dismissed a public interest litigation petition, seeking a judicial declaration directing the Parliament to frame a ‘Uniform Civil Code’.
  2. In Poland, the Constitutional Tribunal invalidated portions of a law dealing with appointments to the Tribunal. President Andzrej Duda decided to defy the ruling.
  3. The Brazilian Supreme Court has suspended impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff until it can determine the constitutional validity of the ‘secret ballot’.
  4. The Indian Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a state law, which provides that to contest panchayat elections, one must fulfil ‘minimum educational qualifications’.
  5. In the Central African Republic, the Constitutional Court barred the exiled former President Francois Bozize from running for office in the December elections.
  6. The Constitutional Court in Kuwait awarded a female teacher the same allowance given to her male colleagues in an equal treatment lawsuit.
  7. France’s Conseil d’Etat upheld the government’s authority to put individuals under house arrest without judicial approval.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Indonesia granted a petition to allow indigenous people to cultivate forests for their living, against a prohibition on cutting down trees in forests without special permits.
  9. The Constitutional Court of Turkey ruled that it was a violation of media freedoms for a court to order the removal of an article from an online news portal. The Constitutional Court also held that it violated media freedoms to convict a Turkish author for a book about former President Abdullah Gül. The Court also nullified some of the provisions in the ‘Internet Law’ and overturned a decision against another journalist for allegedly libelous statements.
  10. The Palestinian Constitutional Court nullified a presidential decree issued by Mahmoud Abbas.
  11. Chile’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled a bill discriminatory because it would grant free tuition to students attending only some universities.
  12. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to adjudicate a constitutional challenge to a Chicago law imposing a firearms ban.

In the News

  1. In India, the Rajya Sabha approved of amendments to the Negotiable Instruments Act, which clarify the place at which a person can file a complaint in respect of cases of ‘cheque-bouncing’. The Lok Sabha had previously approved of the amendments
  2. In Italy, a joint session of Parliament failed for the 29th time to vote on a trio of judges to staff the bench of the Constitutional Court.
  3. Bulgaria’s Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov resigned after his judicial reform plan was rejected by Parliament.
  4. The Myanmar government formed a support committee to manage the transfer of power transfer.
  5. The Slovak Parliament passed a constitutional amendment giving authorities more powers to deal with terror suspects.
  6. Rwanda has set date for a referendum on constitutional amendment.
  7. The Security Council ‘adopted a resolution on youth, peace and security’. The Resolution impresses upon Member States to promote the participation of young persons at all ‘levels of decision-making’.
  8. A ‘new law’ in Russia, empowers the Constitutional Court to determine the enforceability of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, by deciding whether the decisions are compliant with the Russian Constitution.
  9. In France, the National Assembly passed a proposed legislation, which is aimed at curbing ‘food waste’.

New Scholarship

  1. Vesco Paskalev, Bulgarian Constitutionalism: Challenges, Reform, Resistance and … Frustration (European Public Law, forthcoming) (assessing some of the obstacles in the way of constitutional progress in Bulgaria).
  2. Jens T. Theilen, Towards Acceptance of Religious Pluralism: The Federal Constitutional Court’s Second Judgment on Muslim Teachers Wearing Headscarves (German Yearbook of International Law, 2015) (analyzing the decision of the German Constitutional Court in the ‘Head Scarves case’ announced in 2015, and the decision’s implications for broader constitutional change in Europe).
  3. Shalev Roisman, Constitutional Acquiescence (84 George Washington Law Review, forthcoming) (critically evaluating the concept of ‘past branch conduct’ as influencing the idea of separation of powers, and advancing a new methodology to appreciate it).
  4. Catherine Dupré, The Age of Dignity (Hart Publishing, 2015) (examining the development of the doctrine of dignity, and its importance in public law and comparative constitutional law).
  5. Christian Bjørnskov and Stefan Voigt, The Detriments of Emergency Constitutions (exploring the circumstances that influence how, whether and when constitutions provide for emergencies).

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Submissions are invited for a conference on ‘Building Consensus on European Consensus’, which will be held on June 1-2, 2016 at the European University (EUI), Florence, Italy. Abstracts should be sent in by January 31, 2016.
  2. The Concluding Conference of the MultiRights Project on ‘Reforms in UN Treaty Bodies and the European Court of Human Rights: Mutual Lessons?’ will be held from February 29, to March 1, 2016 at Professorboligen, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo.
  3. A workshop on ‘Perspectives on the Supranational Judiciary’ will be held on December 17-18, 2015 at the Faculty of Law, University of Trento, Italy.
  4. The ‘3rd Annual International and Comparative Urban Law Conference’ will be held by the University of Hong Kong and Fordham Urban Law Centre on June 29, 2016, at the University of Hong Kong. Abstracts are due by January 18, 2016.
  5. The ‘Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, 2016’ will be held on April 5-7, 2016 at the Lancaster University Law School. The call for papers will close on January 18, 2016.

Elsewhere Online     

  1. James Dwyer, A Child-Centered View of Foster Parenting by Same-Sex Couples, Jurist
  2. Peter Dunne, Advocating Legal Reform: The UK Transgender Equality Inquiry, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  3. Noah Feldman, Yes, the Justices Read the Headlines, Bloomberg View
  4. Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, Bruised, but not dead (yet): The Polish Constitutional Court has spoken, Verfassungsblog
  5. Lyle Denniston, The legal fate of Obamacare: Round 4, SCOTUSblog
  6. Pavlos Eleftheriadis, The EU Protects Liberty, but a British Bill of Rights Would Endanger It, UK Constitutional Association


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