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 European Court of Human Rights found that a conviction for insulting Muhammed was not in violation of freedom of expression.
  2. The Constitutional Court of South Africa directed the government to rectify apartheid-era legislation preventing African women from owning property.
  3. A regional Constitutional Court in Russia ruled that the border law tracing new borders with Chechnya is unconstitutional.
  4. The Supreme Court of South Korea found for the first time a right to conscientious objection to military service on religious and political grounds.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Moldova held that the law conditioning children’s admission to schools and other communities upon vaccination does not violate the constitution.
  6. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Republicans’ challenge to Pennsylvania electoral map.
  7. The Italian Constitutional Court urged Parliament to amend the current law prohibiting assisted suicide.

In the News

  1. Ireland removed blasphemy from the constitution through popular vote.
  2. Far-right candidate Bolsonaro won the presidential elections in Brazil.
  3. Armenia on its way to approving amendments to the electoral law.
  4. Georgia is to hold a runoff vote for presidential elections on November 6.
  5. UK High Court ruled that that pension plans under the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) scheme should be gender equalized.
  6. Former Bangladesh Prime Minister was found guilty of corruption.
  7. Slovakia rejected a constitutional amendment on the election of the Constitutional Court judges.
  8. Ukraine scheduled a constitutional amendment where it pledges to join the EU and NATO.
  9. A Chinese Arbitration Court held that Bitcoins can be legally held and transferred.

New Scholarship

  1. David Boonin (Ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) (offering a rich collection of philosophical papers on public policy issues such as abortion, punishment, gene editing, military drones)
  2. Asem Khalil, State of Necessity, in The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press, 2018) (exploring the use of the category of state of necessity across different areas of law, such as constitutional, criminal and international law)
  3. Judith Resnik, The Functions of Publicity and of Privatization in Courts and their Replacements (from Jeremy Bentham to #MeToo and Google Spain), in Burkhard Hess and Ana Koprivica (eds), Open Justice: The Role of Courts in a Democratic Society (Nomos, 2019) (exploring the procedures to balance the right to ready access to information and the right to be forgotten, and the proposed reforms to such procedures)
  4. Joseph Raz, The Law’s Own Virtues, available on SSRN (providing a new elaboration of the rule of law)
  5. Manoj Mate, Constitutional Erosion and the Challenge to Secular Democracy in India, in Mark Graber, Sanford Levinson & Mark Tushnet (eds.), Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? (Oxford University Press, 2018 Forthcoming) (exploring the process of “constitutional erosion” of secularism caused by religion and religious rhetoric in India’s elections)
  6. Robert Leckey, Judging in Marriage’s Shadow, 26 Feminist Legal Studies (2018) (parsing out the Canadian case law on cohabitation and contending that it risks revitalizing traditional ideals of the good marriage)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Boston College Law School, with support from the Institute for Liberal Arts Submissions, invites faculty and graduate students to participate in a two-day conference on “Amending America’s Unwritten Constitution,” a timely subject of importance in history, law and politics. Interested scholars should email a CV and abstract no longer than 750 words by November 15, 2018 to on the understanding that the abstract will form the basis of the pre-conference draft to be submitted by April 15, 2019.
  2. Paper proposals are solicited for the Fourth Illinois-Bologna conference on Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives, to be held in Chicago on April 29 & 30, 2019.
  3. The Law and Society Association welcomes paper proposals to participate in the Annual Meeting, to be held on May 30-June 2, 2019 in Washington DC. This year’s theme is “Dignity,” and the deadline for individual papers is November 7, 2018.
  4. The ASLI has issued a call for Papers for the 16th ASLI Conference on “The Rule of Law and the Role of Law in Asia,” to be held on June 11-12, 2019 in Singapore. The deadline for submitting abstracts is December 3, 2018.
  5. The ASLI and the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law welcome papers for the Asian Law Junior Faculty Workshop to be held on June 13, 2019 in Singapore, opened to scholars who have been in a full-time academic or research position for less than 7 years. The deadline for submission is 12 November 2018.
  6. The North-West University has issued a call for papers for the conference “Law, Roots and Space” to be held in Potchefstroom, SA on April 15-17, 2019. Proposals should be sent by November 30, 2018.
  7. The ICRC has launched a call for papers on “Historical perspectives on medical care in armed conflict.” Authors are invited to send short research proposals (2 pages) at at any time, and complete papers by April 31, 2019.
  8. Bocconi University invites applicants for the PhD in Legal Studies – Curriculum in International Law and Economics. Applications are due by January 16, 2017.
  9. The Faculty of Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong invites applications for several positions as Professor/Associate Professor/Assistant Professor, especially in the following areas: Oil & Gas Law; Comparative Constitutional Law; International/Comparative Criminal Justice; International Economic Law; Property Law; Common Law. Applications close on November 15, 2018.

Elsewhere Online

  1. David R. Cameron, After another defeat in state election, Merkel announces she will step down as CDU leader, Yale Macmillan Center
  2. Paul Dermine, The Italian Budget Drama – Brussels and Rome on Collision Course, Verfassungsblog
  3. Francisca Pou Giménez & Ana Micaela Alterio, Book Review: Transformative Constitutionalism in Latin America, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  4. Bernard Bell, Mandating Drug Price Transparency (Part II), Notice & Comment
  5. Priya Singh Nelson, Between Narratives and Borders, The Völkerrechtsblog
  6. Alastair Richardson, Ireland Votes to Remove Blasphemy Offence from Constitution, OxHRH Blog
  7. Matthew Dresden, Did China Really Create a New Trademark Office?, China Law Blog
  8. Sarah Morales, Supreme Court of Canada should have recognized UNDRIP in Mikisew Cree Nation v. Canada, Canadian Lawyer
  9. Renáta Uitz, What Being Left Behind by the Rule of Law Feels Like, Part II, Verfassungsblog
  10. Oliver Patel, The EU’s negotiating strategy has worked so far, but it’s playing a risky game, The Constitution Unit
  11. Anurag Deb & Conor McCormick, The Bradley Bill and the cessation of constitutionalism in Northern Ireland, Admin Law Blog


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