Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Simon Drugda, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford (UK)

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 Zimbabwe will hear the opposition’s challenge to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election victory. The Court agreed to a live broadcast of the hearing.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Georgia released a statement defending its recent decision on marijuana consumption after public criticism.
  3. Judges of the Indian Supreme Court contribute to the Kerala flood relief fund.
  4. The Supreme Court of Iraq ratified the results of the May parliamentary election, setting in motion a 90-day constitutional deadline for the winning parties to form a government.
  5. The Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that the removal of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) by former President Jacob Zuma was unlawful and invalid. The appointment of his successor was, therefore, also invalid.
  6. The Supreme Court of Costa Rica found unconstitutional the legislation banning same-sex marriage.

In the News

  1. Malaysia repeals “fake news” legislation used to stifle free speech.
  2. The US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against a motion challenging the constitutionality of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment.
  3. The International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh (ICTB) sentenced five people to death for crimes against humanity during the country’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.
  4. The West Virginia House of Delegates voted to impeach the whole state Supreme Court. The Articles of Impeachment against the four justices list accusations of wasteful spending of taxpayer funds and improper use of resources and property.
  5. The Supreme Court of Florida hears a petition to block state constitutional amendments. The case centers on the decision of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission to put together multiple issues into single ballot proposal.
  6. Polish President Andrzej Duda vetoed a European Parliament reform that would increase the mandatory threshold of the vote needed for parties to enter the EP in the 2024 elections.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Formal Amendment Rules: Functions and Design, in Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou (eds), Routledge Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Change (forthcoming 2019) (explaining the functions of formal amendment rules and critiquing their existing classifications)
  2. David Landau, Constituent Power and Constitution-Making in Latin America, in Hanna Lerner and David Landau (eds), Comparative Constitution-Making (forthcoming 2019) (surveying and classifying constitution-making in Latin America since 1990 and classifying instances of)
  3. Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, The International Legal Personality of the Individual (2018) (scrutinizing the relationship between the concept of international legal personality as a theoretical construct and the position of the individual as a matter of positive international law)
  4. Brian Christopher Jones, Constitutional paternalism: the rise and (problematic) use of constitutional ‘guardian’ rhetoric, 51 NYU Journal of International Law & Politics (forthcoming 2018) (empirically tracking the contemporary popularity of ‘constitutional guardian’ language and arguing that its use is unhealthy for democracies)
  5. Gautam Bhatia, Offend, Shock, or Disturb: Free Speech under the Indian Constitution (2018) (exploring Indian free speech jurisprudence from a doctrinal, comparative, and philosophical perspective)
  6. Jamie Cameron, The Right to Protest, Freedom of Expression, and Freedom of Association, in Peter Oliver, Patrick Macklem and Nathalie Des Rosiers (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution (examining the level of protection for freedom of expression and freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms)
  7. Elaine Fahey, Introduction to Law and Global Governance (2018) (introducing the idea of a law existing, operating, and functioning beyond the nation state)
  8. Vito Breda, Constitutional Law and Regionalism: A Comparative Analysis of Regionalist Negotiations (2018) (analyzing the practice of negotiating constitutional demands by regional and dispersed national minorities in eight multinational systems)
  9. Nicholas W Barber, The Principles of Constitutionalism (2018) (exploring how the principles of constitutionalism structure and influence successful states)
  10. Robert Schütze and Takis Tridimas, Oxford Principles of European Union Law: Volume 1: The European Union Legal Order (2018) (examining constitutional principles governing the EU as well as the history of the Union, its foundations, framework, legislative and executive governance, judicial protection, and external relations)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The University of Glasgow School of Law invites submission for a workshop on “Constitutional Legacies of Empire.” Proposals for papers are due by October 31, 2018.
  2. Melbourne Law School invites submissions for the 11th Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory on “Facts, Law and Critique.” The deadline for submission of abstracts is September 5, 2018.
  3. The Melbourne Institute of Comparative Constitutional Law invites applications from junior scholars who wish to submit a paper for discussion in a workshop on the final day of the Institute. The Institute is a gathering of scholars, taking place over three days at the end of November, with the aim to develop the study of comparative constitutional law through exchange between leaders and emerging scholars in the field. The deadline for applications is September 1.
  4. The Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies at the University of Luzern invites applications for the 2019 Visiting Fellows Program for young researchers. The deadline for applications is October 30, 2018.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Yaniv Roznai, Limits to Basic Law, The Jerusalem Post
  2. Yonatan Fessha, Secessionism, Federalism and Constitutionalism in Ethiopia, Verfassungsblog
  3. Pierre de Vos, Con Court judgment on the NPA finds former President Zuma abused his power, Constitutionally Speaking
  4. Karoli Ssemogerere, Uganda’s age limit petition: Constitutional Court demurs on substance, cautious on procedure, Constitution Net
  5. Urias Teh Pour, Freedom of expression: Hopes, anxieties and skepticism in Liberia’s nascent democracy, AfricLaw
  6. Rangin Pallav Tripathy, Tenure of SC Judges getting shorter-Intentional or Incidental?, Law and Other Things
  7. Gautam Bhatia, The Indian Supreme Court Reserves Judgment on the De-criminalisation of Homosexuality, OxHRH
  8. Jorge Contesse, The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ Advisory Opinion on Gender Identity and Same-Sex Marriage, ASIL Insights
  9. Colin PA Jones, The Kanpo: Where everything in Japan goes to happen (officially), The Japan Times
  10. Nicholas Bagley and Abbe R Gluck, Suing the President for ACA Sabotage, The New York Times
  11. Noah Feldman, The First Amendment Protects Plans for 3-D Guns, Bloomberg
  12. Marty Lederman, What’s the deal with 3-D plastic guns — and what’s the Freedom of Speech got to do with it?, Balkinization
  13. Kirsten Anker, Between a Rock and a Sacred Place: the Limits of Aboriginal Rights and Freedom of Religion in Ktunaxa v BC (2017), Blog of the IACL-AIDC
  14. Jack Sheldon, Intergovernmental relations and the English question: options for reform, The Constitution Unit
  15. Chris Ronalds and Craig Longman, The Northern Territory Court of Appeal Goes Off the Beaten Track, AUSPUBLAW
  16. Henrique Choer Moraes, The turn to managed interdependence: a glimpse into the future of international economic law?, EJIL: Talk!


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