Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Comparative Public Law

Patrick Yingling, Reed Smith LLP

In this new 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 Nepal rejected legislation that proposed amnesty for those responsible for serious rights abuses during the country’s civil war.
2. The Osage Nation Supreme Court ruled that proceedings initiated by the Osage Congress to remove the Principal Chief are constitutional, clearing a path for trial.
3. A French court rejected a plea to declare unconstitutional the country’s law banning women from wearing full-face veils in public.
4. The Hong Kong government will amend its Marriage Ordinance to implement the Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal’s order that a person who has undergone full sex reassignment surgery be identified as being of the sex to which the person has been reassigned.
5. The Canadian Supreme Court is preparing to hear a number of interesting cases this year. Here is Tobi Cohen’s preview of five of them.

New Scholarship

1. Haider Ala Hamoudi, Negotiating in Civil Conflict (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2013) (explaining that the capacious terms of the Iraq Constitution reflect its drafters’ awareness of the need for the country’s diverse ethnic and sectarian groups to develop their own methods of working with one another over time)
2. David S. Law and Mila Versteeg, Constitutional Variation Among Strains of Authoritarianism, in Constitutions in Authoritarian Regimes (Tom Ginsburg & Alberto Simpser eds., Cambridge Univ. Press, forthcoming 2014) (finding that constitutional candor is more common among monarchical and military regimes than civilian or party-based dictatorships and that this reflects the divergent strategic incentives faced by different types of authoritarian regimes)
3. Joel I. Colón-Ríos, Beyond Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy: The Doctrine of Implicit Limits to Constitutional Reform in Latin America, 44 Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 521 (2013) (arguing that the Latin American doctrine of implicit limits to constitutional reform goes beyond both parliamentary sovereignty and judicial supremacy, providing the constituent people with the final word on the validity of important constitutional changes)
4. Peter Platzgummer, Arms Trade Offsets and Cases of Corruption, International Public Management Review (2013) (analyzing the tools that various countries use to combat corruption in government arms acquisitions)
5. Uladzislau Belavusau, Historical Revisionism in Comparative Perspective: Law, Politics, and Surrogate Mourning, EUI Research Paper (2013) (exploring different models of legal engagement with historiography and concluding that the criminalization of historical revisionism constitutes a substantial impairment to freedom of expression)
6. Dana Raigrodski, What Can Comparative Legal Studies Learn from Feminist Legal Theories in the Era of Globalization, University of Baltimore Law Review (forthcoming 2014) (suggesting that lessons learned from the development of feminist legal theories can provide comparative law scholars with the tools to maximize the benefits of comparative legal studies in an era of increasing global interdependence)

In the News

1. Tunisian Members of Parliament have designated Islam the country’s religion, but not its main source of law, as they voted to establish a new constitution.
2. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law a media bill which journalist groups have condemned as “draconian” and an attack on democracy.
3. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee signed into law a landmark anti-graft bill that creates a corruption ombudsman with extensive power to prosecute politicians and civil servants to create a “bribe-free India.”
4. The International Olympic Committee clarified to nations competing in the Winter Games in Sochi that athletes will be free to speak out against Russia’s controversial anti-gay laws, as long as they do so away from accredited areas.
5. Thousands of African migrants protested this week in a Tel Aviv square against Israel’s new open-ended detention law.
6. Legal trailblazers opened the first female law firm in Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere on Blogs

1. Toby James, Voter ID in Britain? A Note of Caution from Academic Research, Eastminster
2. Jacob Gershman, New York’s Puzzling Medical Marijuana Plan, Wall Street Journal Law Blog
3. Dan Harris, China and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, China Law Blog
4. Arabella Mansfield, A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in the Digital Age, Ramblings on Appeal
5. Lyle Denniston, Mixed Signals on new Utah same-sex marriages, SCOTUSblog
6. Kevin O’Keefe, Federal Judge: Ethical concerns in law blogging vastly overblown, Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Calls for Papers

1. The Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law has issued a call for papers for its third annual conference, which will take place on May 10-11, 2014, at the University of Cambridge.
2. Organizers invite proposals for presentations and papers for the 2014 Mid-Year Workshop on Transnational Perspectives for Equality Law, which will be held on June 22-24, 2014 in Washington, DC.
3. The Editorial Board of the Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Quarterly invites submissions from legal academicians, professionals, and students.
4. The Italian Association of Comparative Law invites submissions for the Younger Scholars Conference “New trends in comparative law research” to be held on May 30-31, 2014 at the European University of Rome.
5. The editors of Comparative Legal History, the official publication of the European Society for Comparative Legal History, invite contributions.
6. The International Association of Labour Law Journals has announced a call for papers to doctoral students, advanced professional students, and academic researchers in the early stages of their careers.
7. The Global Journal of Comparative Law issued a call for submissions.


One response to “What’s New in Comparative Public Law”

  1. Richard Albert Avatar

    Patrick Yingling also reports that Thailand’s Constitutional Court has rejected the government’s bid to amend the constitution to authorize it to negotiate/sign international agreements/treaties without first obtaining parliamentary approval. See

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