Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Nausica Palazzo, Ph.D. Researcher in Comparative Constitutional Law, University of Trento

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in 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 public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Constitutional Court of Bulgaria found that a European treaty to combat violence against women runs against the domestic constitution.
  2. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom held that families no longer need courts’ approval to withdraw “clinically assisted nutrition and hydration” (CANH).
  3. The Constitutional Court of Georgia abolished administrative sanctions for cannabis consumption.
  4. The Constitutional Court of South Korea ruled that the law prohibiting protests nearby a judicial court impermissibly violates the freedom of assembly.
  5. The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic extended the right of a witness or person being interrogated not to incriminate a family member to “close friends”.
  6. The French Constitutional Council declared the law on trade secrets constitutionally permissible.
  7. The Romania’s president challenged the Administration Code before the Constitutional Court on procedural and substantive grounds.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Turkey rejected the application of a jailed deputy of main opposition party for habeas corpus.

In the News

  1. Poland’s Supreme Court ruled that the Supreme Court’s judges should stay, pending the CJEU’s decision on the judicial reform.
  2. Zimbabwe’s former President wins highly contested presidential elections.
  3. The Pennsylvania AG sought a temporary injunction to block the download of 3D printed gun files from a company’s website.
  4. The Comoros referendum on allowing the incumbent President to seek another term passed.
  5. A superior court in South Africa ruled unconstitutional the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe after she allegedly assaulted a person.
  6. The ANC in South Africa declared its intention to amend the Constitution to expropriate land without compensation.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, The Expositor and Guardian of Our Constitutional Values, in Daniel Jutras & Marcus Moore (eds.), The Chief: Essays in Honour of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin (forthcoming 2018) (examining the essential role of recently-retired Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, in articulating and defending Canadian constitutional values during her tenure)
  2. Dacian C. Dragos, Polonca Kovač & Albert T. Marseille (eds.), The Laws of Transparency in Action. A European Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) (offering a comparative and empirical analysis of the implementation of Freedom of Information laws – FOIAs – across Western, Southern Central and Eastern Europe)
  3. Emilio Peluso Neder Meyer, Judges and Courts Destabilizing Constitutionalism: The Brazilian Judiciary Branch’s Political and Authoritarian Character, 19 German Law Journal (2018) (analyzing the role of courts in Brazil as “political” actors slowing down the transition to democracy and constitutionalism)
  4. Douglas NeJaime & Reva Siegel, Religious Exemptions and Antidiscrimination Law in Masterpiece Cakeshop, 128 Yale Law Journal Forum (forthcoming, 2018) (parsing out some overlooked aspects of the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, especially those concerning the relationship between religious exemptions and antidiscrimination law in cases of sexual orientation and race)
  5. Rory O’Connell, Law’s Majestic Equality? Article 14, the First Protocol and Political Equality, in Marco Balboni (ed.) The European Convention on Human Rights and the Principle of Non-Discrimination (Editorale Scientifica, 2018) (inquiring into whether the European Court of Human Rights’ case law on political rights promotes more of a substantive notion of equality, rather than a formal one)
  6. Meg Russel, Attempts to change the British House of Lords into a second chamber of the nations and regions: explaining a history of failed reforms, 10 Perspectives on Federalism (2018) (retracing the history of the failed reforms of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, aimed to convert it into a chamber representing its territories)
  7. Benjamin Schonthal, Litigating Vinaya: Buddhist Law and Public Law in Contemporary Sri Lanka, 3 Buddhism, Law & Society (2018) (arguing that public law contributes to the destabilisation and transformation of religious law among Buddhists in Asia)
  8. Robin Fretwell Wilson, Divorcing Marriage and the State Post-Obergefell, in Robin Fretwell Wilson (ed.), The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law (Cambridge University Press, 2018) (examining the reaction of both commentators and public authorities to the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage and the different proposals to abolish civil marriage)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. McGill University’s Faculty of Law and the Peter Mackell Chair in Federalism announce the second edition of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism. Participants are invited to submit an original essay related to any aspect of federal theory or practice by January 14, 2019, at 12h00 (EST).
  2. The issue no. 2/2018 of the Italian Journal of Public Law, devoted to “Constitutional adjudication in Europe between unity and pluralism,” and edited by Pietro Faraguna, Cristina Fasone and Giovanni Piccirilli is now out.
  3. The IACL-AIDC launches its call for expressions of interest to form new Thematic Research Groups.
  4. The Ewha University’s Institute for Biomedical Law & Ethics has launched a call for papers for the 2018 Annual Conference on “New Opportunities and Risk of the Genomic Era,” to be held on held December 14, 2018, in Seoul, South Korea. The deadline for submissions is August 20, 2018.
  5. The LUISS University in Rome has issued two calls for a three-year and one-year post-doc position. The deadline for both applications is set on September 28, 2018. Italian and non-Italian scholars are warmly welcomed to apply.
  6. The Faculty of Law at Queen’s University invites applications for a Tenured/Tenure-track position in the areas of International Economic Law at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. Further information can be found here.
  7. The Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen offers a post-doc position on the practices of the Rule of Law (RECONNECT project) to candidates with a Ph.D. in Comparative Constitutional Law. The deadline for applications is 9 September 23:59h / before 10 September 2018 Dutch local time. Further information can be found here.
  8. The City University of Hong Kong invites applications for the position of Research Fellow/Postdoctoral Fellow in Hong Kong Basic Law and Comparative Constitutional Law, and Judicial Reform in Mainland China. Further information can be found here or by directing questions to
  9. The Bocconi University School of Law is pleased to host the annual conference of “Diritti comparati” on judicial independence (“L‘indipendenza delle corti nel diritto costituzionale, comparato ed europeo”), to be held in October 18-19, in Milan.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Gabor Halmai, Fidesz and Faith: Ethno-Nationalism in Hungary, EUI Blog on Constitutionalism and Politics
  2. Chris Walker, Would a Justice Kavanaugh Overturn Humphrey’s Executor and Declare Independent Agencies Unconstitutional?, Notice & Comment
  3. Suzie Navot, A new chapter in Israel’s “constitution”: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People, Verfassungsblog
  4. Kristof Jacobs, The stormy Dutch referendum experience: Social media, populists and post-materialists, The Constitution Unit
  5. Janne Mende, Which Business? Controversies about the Scope of Application of a Future Treaty on Business and Human Rights, The Völkerrechtsblog
  6. José Ramón Bohon Sosa, Part I: Mexican Democracy: a Divergent Road, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  7. Lucas Minich, Europe’s Clean Energy Ambitions: Revolution or Evolution?, Michigan Journal of International Law online edition
  8. Cynthia Farid, Administrative Law in Postcolonial South Asia – Some Thoughts on Legal History, Admin Law Blog
  9. Sofia Mirandola, European arrest warrant and judicial independence in Poland: Where can mutual trust end?, European Law Blog
  10. Anik Bhaduri, The restitution of conjugal rights in Indian law violates the right to privacy, OxHRH Blog
  11. Radosveta Vassileva, Bulgaria’s Constitutional Troubles with the Istanbul Convention, Verfassungsblog
  12. Dan Harris, The U.S.-China Trade War: What You Need to Do NOW, China Law Blog


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