Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Chiara Graziani, Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Constitutional Law, University of Genoa (Italy)

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 condemned Belgium for not allowing the applicant to exercise his right to legal assistance at the initial stage of the criminal proceedings against him.
  2. The General Court of the European Union annulled a decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office revoking the rights of the proprietor of a trade mark.
  3. The European Court of Justice will decide on 27 November whether the UK can reverse its decision to leave the EU regardless of whether other EU member states agree.
  4. The European Court of Justice ruled that Hungary’s monopoly over mobile payment services is incompatible with EU law.
  5. The European Court of Justice held that the taste of food is not covered by copyright.
  6. The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka will rule whether or not the President’s decision to sack the Parliament is illegal.
  7. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany rejected an application by two political parties seeking an injunction against statements made by the Federal Minister of the Interior.
  8. The Constitutional Court of South Africa ordered the reinstatement of workers retrenched by their company 6 years ago.
  9. The UK Supreme Court dismissed an application on the indexation of pensions.
  10. The French Conseil Constitutionnel has been asked to determine whether the offence punishing the exploitation of prostitution violates the right to private life, the right to economic freedom and the principle of proportionality.

In the News

  1. The United Nations lifted sanctions on Eritrea.
  2. The General Court of the European Union will apply new rules enabling procedural documents to be lodged and served electronically as of December 1, 2018.
  3. The Scotland’s Court of Session ruled that the UK government cannot stop the case, brought by Scotland before the European Court of Justice, seeking to determine whether the UK can unilaterally reverse its decision to leave the EU.
  4. The EU denounced the dissolution of the Sri Lanka Parliament as it could undermine public confidence in democratic institutions and exacerbate the economic crisis.
  5. A Spanish audit office ordered former Catalan leaders to repay public money spending in the 2014 non-binding independence ballot.
  6. EU observers said that anomalies in Madagascar presidential elections were marginal.
  7. The Macedonian police issued an arrest warrant for the former Prime Minister on corruption-related charges.
  8. The state of Maryland challenged the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General before a federal judge.

New Scholarship

  1. Rosalind Dixon and Adrienne Stone (eds.), The Invisible Constitution in Comparative Perspective (2018) (analyzing the “invisible” dimension of constitutions, such as unwritten or conventional underpinnings, social and political dimensions not apparent to certain observers, from a comparative perspective focused on Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Indonesia, Ireland and Malaysia)
  2. Oran Doyle, The Constitution of Ireland. A Contextual Analysis (2018) (providing a contextual analysis of constitutional governance in Ireland, starting from the 1937 Constitution as a seminal moment in an ongoing constitutional evolution and examining how the constitutional structure of Ireland revolved around a bipartite separation of powers)
  3. Todd A. Eisenstadt, Carl LeVan, Tofigh Maboudi, Constituents Before Assembly. Participation, Deliberation, and Representation in the Crafting of New Constitutions (forthcoming 2018) (analyzing increasing participation in the forming of constitutions and demonstrating its positive impact on the level of democratization)
  4. Mark A. Graber, Sanford Levinson, Mark Tushnet, Constitutional Democracy in Crisis (2018) (analyzing the forces weakening constitutional democracy around the world and the concepts of “constitutional crisis” and “constitutional degeneration”)
  5. Michael Head, Kristian Boehringer, The Legal Power to Launch War. Who Decides? (forthcoming 2018) (discussing legal and political issues arising from the decision to declare war or authorize military action in democratic countries)
  6. Desmond Johnson, Institutional Balance as a Constitutional Dialogue: A Republican Paradigm for the EU, in Mattias Derlén and Johan Lindholm (eds.), The Court of Justice of the European Union: Multidisciplinary Perspective (2018) (exploring how a republican understanding of EU governance that promotes an ongoing dialogue on the institutional balance, between a range of public and private societal forces, can enhance the legitimation of the EU constitutional order)
  7. Valsamis Mitsilegas, EU Criminal Law after Lisbon. Rights, Trust and the Transformation of Justice in Europe (2018) (discussing the impact of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on EU criminal law, with a focus on key areas and procedures)
  8. Juss S. Satvinder, Beyond Human Rights and the War on Terror (2018) (focusing on post 9/11 measures and how they impacted on human rights in countries across the world)
  9. Jason NE Varuhas, NA Moreham, Remedies for Breach of Privacy (2018) (analyzing how courts approached privacy actions from a comparative perspective, taking into consideration also the nature of such actions)
  10. Timothy Zick, The Dynamic Free Speech Clause. Free Speech and its Relation to Other Constitutional Rights (2018) (discussing the relationship between freedom of speech and other rights, with a focus on current constitutional controversies)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. ICON-S invites submissions of panel proposals and abstracts for the 2019 Annual Conference on “Public Law in Times of Change”, which will take place on July 1-3 in Santiago de Chile. Abstracts or panel proposals must be submitted through the ICON-S website by March 9, 2019.
  2. The Inaugural Conference of the ICON-S Italian Chapter will be held in Rome on November 23-24, 2019.
  3. The European Journal of International Law is calling for paper proposals for its 30th anniversary Symposium on “International Law and Democracy Revisited”. Abstracts of 350-500 words must be send to by January 15, 2019.
  4. The King’s Law Journal is calling for abstracts for a Special Issue on Environmental Justice and Anthropocene. The deadline for submission of abstract (to and is November 19, 2019.
  5. A Seminar on “Surveillance and the Prevention of Terrorism” will be held at Bocconi University on November 27, 2018.
  6. The University of Exeter invites submission of abstracts for the Conference “Legal Resilience in an Era of Hybrid Threats”, to be held on April 8-9, 2019. Abstracts (max 600 words) must be sent along with a short CV to by November 30, 2018.
  7. The Asian Law Institute of the National University of Singapore invites submissions of abstracts for the 16th ASLI Conference on “The Rule of Law and the Role of Law in Africa”, to be held in Singapore on June 12-13, 2019. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is December 3, 2018.
  8. The T.M.C. Asser Instituut is seeking applications for an internship in public international law with a focus on new technologies. Applications must be sent to NYIL@asser.nlno later than December 3, 2018.
  9. The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law is seeking applications for a residential fellowship beginning as early as February 1, 2019. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, beginning December 3, 2018. All documents must be sent to
  10. The University of Illinois College of Law, The University of Bologna School of Law and the John Hopkins Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic development welcome proposals for the Conference “Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives”, to be held in Chicago on April 29-30, 2019. The deadline for sending proposal ( is December 15, 2018.
  11. The Research Group on Constitutional Responses to Terrorism within the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) encourages submissions of abstracts for its 2019 Annual Workshop, to be held at Bocconi University, Milan (Italy) on June 13-14, 2019. Abstracts of max. 500 words, along with a CV, must be sent no later than December 15, 2018 to
  12. The International Academy of Comparative Law is launching the Ius Comparatum Journal. The editorial board welcomes abstracts for articles, to be submitted by January 6, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Philip Allot, UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement: A Legal Speculation, UK Constitutional Law Association
  2. Alexander Hoogenboom, CJEU Case Law on EU Citizenship: Normatively Consistent? Unlikely! – A Response to Davies’ ‘Has the Court Changed, or Have the Cases?’, EU Law Analysis
  3. Emilio Peluso Neder Meyer and Felipe Guimarães Assis Tirado, Brazil Reckoning with its Past in Present Days: Will Judges Check Bolsonaro’s Government?, I-CONnect Blog
  4. Kim L. Scheppele, Laurent Pech, Daniel Kelemen, Never Missing an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity: The Council Legal Service Opinion on the Commission’s EU Budget-Related Rule of Law Mechanism, Verfassungsblog
  5. Erik Shaw, Mandatory Reselection: Lessons from Labour’s Past, The Constitution Unit
  6. Marco Antonio Simonelli, Quod Licet Iovi Non Licet Bovi. The Appointment Process to the Court of Justice and the Reform of Judiciary in Poland, European Law Blog
  7. Arianna Vedaschi and Chiara Graziani, Extraordinary Renditions: Old Stories, New Trends, IACL-AIDC Blog
  8. Tom G. Daly, Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC): Fourth Monthly Update November 2018, Verfassungsblog
  9. Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC), Bibliography Update, November 2018, DEM-DEC
  10. Lila Margalit, Israel’s Supreme Court Hands a Victory to Lara Alqasem, But the Future of Foreigners’ Free Speech Remains Uncertain, Lawfare


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