Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Patrick Yingling, Reed Smith LLP

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 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. A court in Nice, France struck down the ban on full-body “burkini” swimsuits in the city of Nice after the city authorities continued with the ban, defying last week’s ruling by France’s highest administrative court.
  2. Three German organizations submitted a complaint against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Germany and Canada to Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court.
  3. Zambia’s Constitutional Court threw out a preliminary application by presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema to compel the court to keep custody of election materials including ballots.
  4. Georgian Constitutional Court Chairman Giorgi Papuashvili asked governmental officials to refrain from interfering in judicial activities.
  5. Poland’s government stepped up criticism of judges after a congress of 1,000 Polish judges called on the government to respect the constitutional division of power and said the justice system was the target of a smear campaign.

In the News

  1. The Egyptian Parliament passed a new law regulating church building, purportedly to support the nation’s Christian minority.
  2. A series of little-noticed moves has given new momentum to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to revise the nation’s pacifist constitution, potentially allowing Japan’s military to use offensive force against other nations for the first time since World War II.
  3. The Puducherry Legislative Assembly ratified the Goods and Services Tax constitutional amendment passed by the Parliament of India earlier this month amid a walkout staged by various parties.
  4. Ireland’s cabinet agreed to join Apple in appealing the European Commission’s €13 billion ruling against the tech giant.
  5. The joint commission set up by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and by the leader of the Renamo rebels Afonso Dhlakama reached an agreement in principle on a package of decentralisation, including the appointment of several provincial governors from Renamo.
  6. The European Union urged the Zimbabwe government to speed up alignment of laws to the new constitution that was adopted in 2013.

New Scholarship

  1. Derek M. Powell, State Formation After Civil War, Local Government in National Peace Transitions (forthcoming 2017) (mining evidence from 19 peace processes, including South Africa, to argue that the starting point for building a systematic theory is to explain a distinct pattern to state formation that can be observed in practice)
  2. Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff, Constitutional Courts and Democracy. Facets of an Ambivalent Relationship (2016) (addressing the ambivalence of judicial review as a safeguard for and constraint on democracy)
  3. Rafal Mańko, Cosmin Sebastian Cercel and Adam Sulikowski, Introduction: Law and Critique in Central Europe: Laying the Cornerstone, in: Law and Critique in Central Europe: Questioning the Past, Resisting the Present (Rafał Mańko, Cosmin Sebastian Cercel and Adam Sulikowski eds.) (2016) (explaining that legal cultures of Central Europe—caught within the dynamics of the global present—cannot escape law’s recent history of contestation and intellectual struggle)
  4. Jacob Weinrib, When Trumps Clash: Dworkin and the Doctrine of Proportionality (2016) (exploring the relationship between Ronald Dworkin’s rights as trumps model and the doctrine of proportionality)
  5. John T. Holden, Ryan M. Rodenberg, and Anastasios Kaburakis, Esports Corruption: Gambling, Doping, and Global Governance, Maryland Journal of International Law(forthcoming) (examining esports growth and the evolving integrity challenges being faced by players, tournament organizers, gamblers, sponsors, politicians, and fans)
  6. Thomas Spijkerboer, Wasted Lives. Borders and the Right to Life of People Crossing Them, Nordic Journal of International Law (forthcoming 2017) (analysing the way in which states protect the right to life in the field of aviation law, maritime law, and the law on migrant smuggling)
  7. Eric Biber, Law in the Anthropocene Epoch (2016) (explaining that human responses to the Anthropocene will ineluctably lead to greater government involvement in a wide range of human activities and corresponding pressures on a wide range of legal doctrines in public and private law, including torts, property, constitutional law, administrative law, and criminal law)
  8. Björn Ahl, China’s New Global Presence and Its Position Towards Public International Law: Obeying, Using or Shaping?, in Legal Dimensions of One Belt One Road (Lutz-Christian Wolff and Chao Xi eds.) (forthcoming 2016) (investigating how the Chinese legal system positions itself in relation to international treaties and how China interacts with the international human rights regime of the UN Human Rights Council)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The University of Sydney’s Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence will host the Legitimacy and the State Conference on October 14-15, 2016.
  2. The First-Year Legal Research & Writing program at Harvard Law School is currently hiring Climenko Fellows to teach in the program from summer 2017 to summer 2019.
  3. The Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center seeks to hire tenure-track or tenured faculty members—including a civil law professor, preferably with a comparative law/international law profile, to teach civil law classes in the bi-jural, civil law and common law curriculum—with a starting date in August 2017.
  4. The Wisconsin International Law Journal has issued a call for papers for its Annual Symposium on Regional Human Rights Systems in Crisis to be held on March 31, 2017. The submission deadline for abstracts is September 15, 2016.
  5. The University of Houston Law Center will be hosting the 5th Annual State & Local Government Law Works-in-Progress Conference on October 7-8, 2016.  The deadline for registration is September 9, 2016.
  6. The European Society of International Law, Granada Law School will be hosting a workshop on Neutrality in the History of International Law – Myths and Evolving Realities on March 30-31, 2017. The submission deadline is December 15, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, Constitutional justice in Handcuffs? Gloves are off in the Polish Constitutional Court, Verfassungsblog
  2. Fali S. Nariman, Resolving the ‘Standoff’ Over Judicial Appointments Will Take Two to Tango, The Wire
  3. Špela Kunej, Constitutionalizing the right to water through popular initiative in Slovenia, ConstitutionNet
  4. Tim Sahliu Braimah, A shift towards culture and skills development: A solution for internally displaced persons in Nigeria, AfricLaw
  5. Kenneth Campbell, Constitutional Discourse Post-referendum: Where Are We, and Where Are We Going Next?, UK Constitutional Law Association


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