Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Davide Bacis, PhD Student in Constitutional Law, University of Pavia (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 Constitutional Court of South Africa held that the provision making it a criminal offence for more than fifteen people to gather without notifying authorities is unconstitutional.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine found that the bill amending the Constitution in order to allow Ukrainian participation in the EU is compliant with the Constitution itself.
  3. The Israeli High Court of Justice upheld a ruling by the Great Rabbinical Court denying adulterous women property rights on the marital house.
  4. The UK Supreme Court is considering whether to hold a full hearing on a case concerning the right to die.
  5. The Supreme Court of Costa Rica ruled that the same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional and discriminatory.
  6. The Supreme Court of Kentucky upheld the constitutionality of the right-to-work law.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Moldova held that the provision of the Criminal Code preventing legal entities from appointing their representative at trial is unconstitutional.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Moldova ruled that the general retirement age does not constitute a limit to the application of unpaid community service to individuals convicted of domestic violence.
  9. The European Court of Human Rights found that Turkey violated art. 5 of the Convention with the pre-trial detention of Selahattin Demirtas.
  10. The Constitutional Court of Moldova declared the unconstitutionality of a provision that grants disability pensions based on the actual contribution period.
  11. The Federal Constitutional Tribunal of Germany held that the Constitution does not oblige courts to investigate further when facing limits in scientific knowledge.

In the News

  1. The Polish Parliament passed legislation to reinstate Supreme Court Justices who were forced to retire.
  2. The Spanish Senate approved a controversial online data protection law.
  3. The Australian Prime Minister urged Parliament to pass a law allowing police to access encrypted messages.
  4. The President of Sri Lanka prevented members of his cabinet from making key appointments in state institutions.
  5. The Law Council expressed critical views on the Australian counter-terrorism law on the automatic loss of citizenship for individuals convicted for terrorism related crimes.
  6. The EU Commission began proceedings against Italy over the 2019 budget plan.
  7. The French Parliament passed a law aimed at granting judges the power to order the immediate removal of fake news during election campaigns.

New Scholarship

  1. R. T. Anderson (2018), Indigenous Rights to Water and Environmental Protection (examining the right of the so called Indian nations within the United States on water supplies and environmental protection for their land).
  2. R. Grozdanova (2018), The Normalisation of Secrecy in the UK and the Netherlands: Individuals, the Courts and the Counter-Terrorism Framework (providing a comparison on how UK and Dutch courts deal with sensitive intelligence information).
  3. G. T. Davis (2018), Does the Court of Justice Own the Treaties? Interpretative Pluralism as a Solution to Over-Constitutionalisation (arguing for interpretative pluralism on the EU Treaties sin order to allow for wider participation in the construction of EU law).
  4. I. Bantekas and C. Lumina (2018), Sovereign Debt and Human Rights (providing a thorough analysis of how national debts impact on human rights and potentially violate them).
  5. K. J. Alter, E.M. Hafner-Burton and L. Helfer (2018), Theorizing the Judicialization of International Relations (examining the phenomenon of judicialization of international relations and the shift of power from politics and the legislators towards judicial bodies).
  6. K. van Leeuwen (2018), Paving the Road to “Legal Revolution”: The Dutch Origins of the First Preliminary References in European Law (1957-1963) (analyzing the active role of Dutch courts in shaping European law through the first preliminary references).
  7. L. Violini, A. Baraggia (eds.) (2018), The Fragmented Landscape of Fundamental Rights Protection in Europe (focusing on the complex nature of fundamental rights protection within the European legal system).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. Radboud University encourages submissions for the conference “It takes two to tango. The preliminary reference dance between the Court of Justice of the European Union and national courts” that will be held in Nijmegen on June 14, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 600 words must be submitted within January 1, 2019.
  2. The University of Geneva welcomes submissions for the workshop “The EU and the Crisis of the International Liberal Order: A Systemic Crisis?” that will be held in Geneva on April 4 and 5, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 500 words are to be submitted within December 10, 2018.
  3. The University of Exeter welcomes paper proposals for the conference “Legal Resilience in an Era of Hybrid Threats” that will be held in Exeter on April 8 to 10, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 600 words must be submitted within November 30, 2018.
  4. Papers proposals are welcome for the Fourth Illinois-Bologna conference on “Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives” that will be held in Chicago on April 29 and 30, 2019. A 500-1000 words proposal is to be sent alongside a CV by December 15, 2018.
  5. The Urban Law Center at Fordham University and the University of New South Wales welcome submissions for the “Sixth Annual International and Comparative Urban Law Conference” that will be held in Sydney on July 11 and 12, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 500 words are to be sent no later than January 10, 2019.
  6. The Portsmouth Law School and the European University Institute welcome submissions for the conference “Corruption, Democracy and Human Rights” that will be held in Florence, Italy on June 20 and 21, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 500 words by February 26, 2019.
  7. The University of Aberdeen welcomes application for a PhD on the topic “Sovereignty and the state”, starting in September 2019 and lasting 3 years. Applications must be submitted within January 20, 2019.
  8. The University of Aberdeen welcomes application for a PhD on the topic “Rule of law and constitutionalism”, starting in September 2019 and lasting 3 years. Applications must be submitted within January 20, 2019.
  9. The Law and Development Institute and the University of Dubai college of Law encourage submissions for the 2019 Law and Development Conference “Law and Development: From the Islamic Perspective” that will be held in Dubai on December 6, 2019. Abstracts must be submitted by February 1, 2019.
  10. The University of Nottingham welcomes submissions for the Twentieth Annual Student Human Rights Conference on “The European Court of Human Rights: 60 Years of Success?” that will be held in Nottingham on March 29, 2019. Abstracts of no more than 1000 words must be submitted by December 13, 2018.

Elsewhere Online

  1. A. Nazeer, Opportunism on the Bench – The Maldivian Supreme Court’s Decision Upholding the 2018 Election Result, Verfassungsblog
  2. A. Buser, Justiciability of Security Exceptions in the US Steel (and other) Disputes: Some Middle-Ground Options and the Requirements of Article XXI lit. b (i)-(iii), EJIL: Talk!
  3. M. Elliott and S. Tierney: House of Lords Constitution Committee Reports on Delegated Powers, UK Constitutional Law Association
  4. C. White, Northern Ireland Worker’s Rights and the Draft Withdrawal Agreement: The Quasi-Constitutional Entrenchment of EU-derived Labour Law Rights, UK Constitutional Law Association
  5. J. Vidmat, Palestine v United States: Why the ICJ does not need to decide whether Palestine is a state, EJIL: Talk!
  6. A. Peters, The Global Compact for Migration: to sign or not to sign?, EJIL: Talk!
  7. J. Sheldon, Intergovernmental relations: a blueprint for reform, The Constitution Unit
  8. E. Bougiakiotis, E.S. v Austria: Blasphemy Laws and the Double Standards of the European Court of Human Rights, UK Constitutional Law Association
  9. D. Byman, Was Syria Different? Anticipating the Next Islamic State, Lawfare
  10. R. Uitz, Europe’s Rule of Law Dialogues: Process With No End in Sight, Verfassungsblog


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