Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Mauricio Guim, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

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 Supreme Court of India upheld a forestry official’s plan to kill a man-eater tigress if a concerted effort to capture her fails.
  2. A High Court in South Africa ordered the state to pass legislation regulating Muslim marriages within 24 months. The order requires the state to balance the rights of women and children with traditional aspects of Sharia Law.
  3. A High Court in Egypt sentenced 75 people to death, including leaders of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, for their involvement in a 2013 sit-in protests that spiraled into violenceand resulted in the death of hundreds of demonstrators by security forces.
  4. The Supreme Court of India issued an interim order allowing a 25 percent safeguard duty on solar imports. Experts suggest that the Supreme Court’s decision will significantly benefit domestic producers of solar panels.
  5. The Supreme Court of India issued an injunction banning construction activities in several union territories until these states comply with solid waste management programs.
  6. India’s Supreme Court held the final hearings of the ongoing case between cryptocurrencies exchanges and the central bank concerning the latter’s blanket banking ban.
  7. The Supreme Court of Israel rejected a petition filed against the practice of using poultry a pre-Yom Kippur Ritual.
  8. The Supreme Court of Mexico joined elected President Lopez Obrador’s calls for austerity trimming its budget by more than 15 percent.
  9. The Mexican ruling party MORENA rejected the Supreme Court’s budget reduction as insufficient, and will ask that Court to make further budget cuts.

In the News

  1. The House of Representatives of Mexico approved a law that prohibits any official from earning more than the President.
  2. Justice Ranjan Gogoi has been appointed as the 46th Chief Justice of India Supreme Court.
  3. More than 16,200 ads hit airwaves to sway Senate vote on U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
  4. European lawmakers voted by a wide margin to begin a punishment procedure against Hungary for potentially breaching democratic norms, a measure never previously initiated by the European Parliament.
  5. Cubans can now join public debates on new Constitution through digital platforms.
  6. The National Security Advisor of the United States, John Bolton, made an excoriating attack on the International Criminal Court and threatened the institution with sanctions.
  7. José Eduardo dos Santos, the former president of Angola who was one of Africa’s longest-serving heads of state, stepped down on Saturday from the leadership of the country’s governing party, Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola.
  8. Venezuela and Bolivia accused the United States of plotting a coup to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, who has presided over the near collapse of that country.
  9. Cambodia’s imprisoned opposition leader, Kem Sokha, was freed on bail after spending a year locked up on charges of conspiring with the United States in a plot to bring down Cambodia’s government.
  10. Legal experts denounced that Australia has given “God powers” to its immigration ministers making Australia’s already opaque border control and immigration system even more vulnerable to cronyism, secrecy and abuse.
  11. Several of Israel’s European allies, among them France, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdon, requested Israeli authorities to call off the demolition of a Bedouin village in the West Bank, despite effective approval from the Supreme Court of court last week.
  12. Families of activists jailed during Nicaragua’s anti-government protests in April have marched in the capital, Managua, to demand their release.
  13. The state of Texas passed a law requiring embryonic and fetal remains, following abortion or miscarriage, be given a “proper” burial.
  14. The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, saying that the PLO “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.”
  15. The Palestinian Liberation Authority filed a war crimes claim against Israel at the International Criminal Court over the expected demolition of the West Bank Village.
  16. Exxon Mobil is taking to the United States Supreme Court a case against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey for authorizing a probe into whether Exxon Mobil hid from the public knowledge of climate change risks.
  17. The animal conservation group Fur-Bearers is challenging before the Supreme Court of Canada the British of Columbia conservation officers’ “unlimited authority” to kill wildlife.
  18. The Inkhata Freedom Party, following an increase in murders and sexual assaults, has called for a debate on whether the death penalty in South Africa should be revived.
  19. After twenty years of war, Ethiopia and Eritrea reopened crossing points on their shared border. The decision was part of a series of reconciliation moves that began in July when the two countries signed a peace agreement.
  20. Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales has launched a series of attacks against the International Commission against Impunity and its main prosecutor Iván Velasquez Gómez, leaving Guatemala at the brink of a constitutional crisis that threatens a backward slide into authoritarianism.
  21. Hundreds of thousands of pro-independence Catalans took over downtown Barcelona, in their largest show of force since a botched declaration of independence from Spain last October.
  22. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte dares military officers to rebel amid standoff over opposition senator’s arrest.
  23. Jailed leftwing leader Lula drops out of Brazil presidential race. Ex-president abandons campaign to reclaim country’s leadership, naming Fernando Haddad as Workers party candidate.

New Scholarship

  1. Ana Micaela Alterio & Francisca Pou Giménez, Transformative Constitutionalism in Latin America: The Emergence of Ius Commune, Verfassungs un Recht in Übersee.
  2. Heinz Klug, Decolonization, Compensation, and Constitutionalism: Land, Wealth, and the Sustainability of Constitutionalism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, South African Journal on Human Rights (reviewing the historical legacies of apartheid and the conditions of the country’s democratic transition, and exploring ways to address the continuing legacies of apartheid today).
  3. Theunis Roux, The Politico-Legal Dynamics of Judicial Review (2018) (proposing a typological theory of judicial review regimes and testing how countries, such as India, Australia and Zimbabwe, transition between these types).
  4. Cary Franklin, The New-Class Blindness, Yale Law Journal (forthcoming) (showing that a non-trivial number of fundamental rights came to be recognized as such because they are essential not only to liberty but also to the equal citizenship of people without financial resources).
  5. Gábor Attila Tóth, Constitutional Markers of Authoritarianism (arguing that contemporary authoritarianism is a sui generis system between constitutional democracy and dictatorship, and suggesting that features of contemporary authoritarianism can be identified with the help of constitutional markers contained in the text of a constitution and the deep structure of a constitutional system).
  6. Aziz Z. Huq, Article II and Anti-Discrimination Norms, Michigan Law Review (forthcoming) (arguing that there is not analytically defensible and practicably tractable boundary between Japanese-American Internment in WWII and President Trump’s travel ban, and suggesting that the failed Supreme Court’s effort to distinguish them can be understood as an allowing an “Article II discretion to discriminate”).
  7. Adam M. Samaha & Roy Germano, Is the Second Amendment a Second-Class Right? (comparing five fields of constitutional litigation in the United States and finding that success rates of gun rights are at the low end).
  8. Sean Butler, Visions of World Order: Multipolarity and the Global Constitutional Framework (analyzing how the coming transition to multipolarity will affect the operation and evolution of the international legal regimes).
  9. Manuel Cases, Functional Justiciability and the Existence of a Dispute: A Means of Jurisdictional Avoidance (examining the Court’s treatment of the existence of a dispute jurisdictional objection as a general means of avoiding cases).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Law Department at the University of Florence and the Eötvös Lorán University Faculty of Law are hosting the Sixth Comparative Law Workshop on November 23, 2018. The topic of the workshop is “the principle of legal certainty from a comparative perspective.” Paper proposals are due October 5, 2018.
  2. The Institute for Comparative Federalism of Eurac Research and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Innsbruck are hosting the 10th edition of their Winter School on Federalism and Governance. The course will take place in Austria and Italy from 4 to 15 February. Applications are due October 21, 2018.
  3. The University of Sofia is holding the Sofia “Erasmus” Legal Science Week. The topic of the conference is the Role of Courts in Contemporary Legal Orders. The deadline for application submissions is December 15, 2018.
  4. The University of Melbourne Law School is requesting papers for its Cities and Federal Theory Workshop, which will take place in Melbourne on June 20, 2019. Applications are due November 1, 2018.
  5. The American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy will host its annual Conference at Boston University School of Law on September 28, 2018. The topic of the conference is Democratic Failure. RSVP here.
  6. The Journal of Internal Displacement and Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre welcomes manuscripts for the call on ‘Getting to 2030: The Future of Internal Displacement and Sustainable Development’ (Special Issue January 2019). The deadline for the submission is November 8, 2018.
  7. The Journal of Constitutional Law, issued by the Constitutional Court of Georgia, welcomes contributions for its next volume. The deadline for the submissions is October 1, 2018.
  8. The City College of New York invites submissions for its “Critical Perspective on Human Rights Conference that will be held on March 13-15, 2019. Proposal of abstract should be submitted by October 31, 2018.
  9. Centre for Law and Culture St Mary’s University, Twickenham with the University of Westminster and GSM London will host the Conference “Race: Why can’t the law effect genuine equality?”. Submissions of abstract of paper are welcomed by September, 28 2018.
  10. The Research Area “Migration and Diversity” of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center invites submissions for a multi-disciplinary conference on minority and majority rights. The deadline for the submissions is October 1, 2018
  11. The Asian Law Institute (ASLI) at the National University of Singapore will host the 16th ASLI Conference in Singapore on 11 and 12 June 2019. The ASLI invites submissions of abstract of paper by December 3, 2018.
  12. The IV International Congress “Perspectives of contemporary constitutionalism. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Italian Constitution and the 40th Anniversary of the Spanish Constitution” that will be held in Murcia (Spain) on 28-30 November 2018, invites submissions of abstract of paper. The deadline for the submission is September 24, 2018.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Stephen Breyer, American Courts Can’t Ignore the World, The Atlantic.
  2. David R. Cameron, Gain for Sweden Democrats and parliamentary deadlock in Sunday’s election, Yale McMillan Center.
  3. Daniel Kelemen & Kim Lane Scheppele, How to Stop funding Autocracy in the EU, Verfassungsblog.
  4. Michael W. McConnell, Look past the politics–Kavanaugh superbly qualified for the U.S. Supreme Court, San Francisco Chronicle.
  5. Kanad Bagchid, Decriminalizing Homosexuality in India as a Matter of Transformative Constitutionalism, Verfassungsblog.
  6. Ilya Somin, Why Settled Law Isn’t Really Settled– and Why That’s Often a Good Thing, Reason.
  7. Simon Tisdall, Trump’s Attack on ICC is the unacceptable face of US exceptionalism, The Guardian.
  8. Ishaan Tharoor, The White House’s New Attack on the International System, Washington Post.
  9. Dimitry Kochenov, False Accountability, Elusive Rule of Law, Verfassungsblog.
  10. Greg Lukianoff & Adam Goldstein, Good New and Bad New about Campus Free Speech Codes, Reason.
  11. David Super, The Paradox of Liberal Fascination with an Article V Convention, Balkanization.
  12. Sandy Levinson, Abandon All Hopes, Why I Persist, Balkanization
  13. Benedict Douglas, The Fundamental Tension Underlying the U.K. Constitution, U.K. Constitutional Law Association.
  14. Madara Melnika & Julian Senders, Self-Protecting Democracy and Electoral Rights, Verfassungsblog.
  15. Kevin Hay, Canadians Need to Debate Judicial Activism, The Province.
  16. Gerald Magliocca, Our Civic Religion, Balkanization.
  17. Mark Tushnet, On “Magic Bullets” and a Constitutional Convention, Balkanization.
  18. Kahraman Altun & Johannes Müler, WTO Option in Practice: How No Deal Brexit Would Seriously Damage Key UK Industries, Verfassungsblog.
  19. Akeksandar Pavkovíc, How likely –and dangerous– is a Kosovo/Serbia “Land Swap”?


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