Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Monica Cappelletti, School of Law and Government, Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland

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 Moldova declared the unconstitutionality of certain provisions of the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, that bar access to case-files, during pre-trial investigation, to the victim of torture, civil party, suspect, the accused person, and to the party incurring civil liability.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Moldova held that some articles of the Contravention Code on the nullity of the administrative notice of violation of offences, such as injury of physical integrity or domestic violence, are unconstitutional since they prevent the authorities from meeting their positive procedural duties under Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
  3. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany declared void a statutory provision on civil and judicial service remuneration in the Land Baden-Württemberg providing for a lowering of the remuneration level in certain remuneration grades for civil servants and judges during the first three years of service.
  4. The Spanish Constitutional Court accepted for consideration the appeal against the anti-monarchy motion passed by the Catalan Parliament in October.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Russia has begun to consider the issue on the Chechen-Ingush border.
  6. The South African Constitutional Court heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of the use of corporal punishment in the home.

In the News

  1. The Libyan House of Representatives adopted a constitutional amendment and approved the formula for restructuring the Presidency Council (PC).
  2. The Kuwait’s National Assembly debated the constitutionality of questioning of the Prime Minister.
  3. The Philippines Parliament resumed plenary debates on a draft charter prepared by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that is separate from the federalism proposal of a consultative committee that President Duterte had created.
  4. The South Sudan National Constitution and Amendment Committee approved the Constitutional Amendment Bill to incorporate the peace agreement into the constitution.
  5. The Swiss Referendum to put the Swiss Constitution above international law has been rejected by voters.
  6. The Presidential decree in Ukraine allows suspension of constitutional rights during martial law.
  7. The Bulgarian President referred to the Constitutional Court with a request to declare certain provisions of the Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Corporate Income Tax Act as unconstitutional and non-conforming to international treaties.
  8. The Pakistan cabinet discussed changing province’s status in accordance with constitution.
  9. The Ethiopian Prime Minister discussed the electoral reform with the opposition.
  10. The Irish Government is going to ratify the two Status of Forces Agreements, otherwise known as SOFAs.
  11. The Cayman Islands pushes for constitutional reform to promote autonomy from United Kingdom.
  12. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act into law in Nigeria. 

New Scholarship

  1. Gyan Basnet, The Human Right to Development and Freedom from Poverty (2018) (examining the conceptual and practical implications of transforming the right to development from a political aspiration into a possible vehicle for the alleviation of poverty and its eventual eradication)
  2. Uladzislau Belavusau and Kristin Henrard, EU Anti-Discrimination Law beyond Gender (2018) (setting out to capture the striking developments and shortcomings that have taken place in the interpretation of relevant EU secondary law in the anti-discrimination field)
  3. Graham Butler, Implementing a Complete System of Legal Remedies in EU Foreign Affairs Law, (2018) 24 (3) Columbia Journal of European Law, p. 637–676 (analysing how a ‘complete system of legal remedies’, a thirty-year-old doctrine of European Union law from the Les Vert case, continues to shape the manner in which judicial review is conducted in EU foreign affairs law, and to broaden our understanding of how the Court continues to add pieces to the puzzle of EU foreign affairs law)
  4. Michael Dafel, The Constitutional Rebuilding of the South African Private Law (2018) (comparing how the judiciary and legislature give effect to constitutional rights within private law)
  5. Oran Doyle,The Constitution of Ireland: A Contextual Analysis (2018) (providing a critical analysis of Ireland’s Constitution, how it has developed, and future directions)
  6. Penny Green and Tony Ward, State Crime and Civil Activism (2018) (exploring the work of NGOs challenging state violence and corruption in six countries – Colombia, Tunisia, Kenya, Turkey, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea)
  7. Alexander Horne and Andrew Le Sueur, Parliament: Legislation and Accountability (2018) (providing a critical assessment of the UK Parliament’s two main constitutional roles-as a legislature and as the preeminent institution for calling government to account)
  8. Genevieve Lennon, Colin King, and Carole McCartney, Counter-terrorism, Constitutionalism and Miscarriages of Justice (2018) (exploring Professor Walker’s influence from three perspectives: historical reflection upon the development of the law and policy in relation to counter-terrorism and miscarriages of justice since the 1970s; critical analysis of the current law and policy; and future trajectory)
  9. Bronwen Manby, Citizenship in Africa: the Law of Belonging (2018) (providing a comprehensive exploration of nationality laws in Africa, placing them in their theoretical and historical context)
  10. Kálmán Pócza, Constitutional Politics and the Judiciary. Decision-making in Central and Eastern Europe (2018) (applying an innovative research methodology to quantify the impact and effect of court’s decisions on legislation and legislators, and measure the strength of judicial decisions in six CEE countries)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Warwick University (UK) organises the Conference “White Slavery in Transnational and International Context, 1880-1950” in June 21, 2019, and welcomes paper, poster and creative presentations for a one day interdisciplinary event. The deadline for the submission is January 31, 2019.
  2. The Portsmouth Law School at the University of Portsmouth and the European University Institute (EUI) organise a 2-day international conference on “Corruption Democracy and Human Rights: Exploring new avenues in the fight against corruption”. The conference will be hosted by the EUI in Florence on 20th and 21st of June 2019. The organisers welcome submissions of abstract of paper by February 26, 2019.
  3. The ESIL Interest Groups on International Environmental Law and International Bio Law organise an IG event on the occasion of the ESIL Research Forum in Göttingen on Wednesday 3 April 2019, and the topic is  ‘Sound Science-Based Regulation in the Post-Truth Era: Domestic and International Rule of Law Under Fire’. ESIL invites submissions of paper by December 30, 2018.
  4. The Fourth Illinois-Bologna conference on “Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives” will be held in Chicago on April 29- 30, 2019. The deadline for the call for papers is December 15, 2018.
  5. The 12th Annual Toronto Group Conference, hosted by the Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, will be held at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law on March 28th and 29th, 2019. The theme is “Resistance to International Law and the Global Legal Order”. The organisers welcome abstract of paper by December 14, 2018.
  6. The 20th International Roundtable for the Semiotics of Law (IRSL 2019), hosted by Instituto Jurídico da Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Coimbra (UCILeR – University of Coimbra Institute for Legal Research), Portugal, will take place from 23-25 May 2019. The organisers invite submissions of abstracts by January 15, 2019.
  7. The Rule of Law for Development Institute at Loyola University Chicago School of Law will convene a conference on “Rule of Law in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda” to be held at Loyola’s Rome, Italy campus on 1-2 February 2019. The organisers welcome abstract of papers by December 7, 2018.
  8. The Czech peer-reviewed journal Acta Universitatis Carolinea Studia Territorialia welcomes papers for the special issues on International Organizations throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries: Successes, Failures, Transformations, and Challenges. The deadline for the abstract submissions is January 15, 2019.
  9. The Southern Illinois Law Journal invites proposals at the upcoming annual symposium, which will focus on public health surveillance. Accepted presenters will have the opportunity to participate on an interdisciplinary panel of scholars, and to have their papers published in a special symposium issue of the journal. The deadline for the proposals is December 20, 2018.
  10. The Indian Journal of Constitutional & Administrative Law (IJCAL) welcomes submissions of papers for the third volume by December 31, 2018. 

Elsewhere Online

  1. Elisabeth Baier, A power struggle or something more? The current disqualification saga at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Volkerrechtsblog
  2. Cillian Bracken, Episode 5 of the Celmer Saga – The Irish High Court Holds Back, Verfassungsblog
  3. Eoin Carolan, Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Abortion as a Model for Democratic Change?: Reflections on Hope, Hype and the Practical Challenges of Sortition, IACL-AIDC Blog
  4. Fiona de Londras, The Citizens’ Assembly and the Disciplining of Activist Demands, IACL-AIDC Blog
  5. Mireia Grau Creus, Catalonia – Look at the Big Picture: The Alternative to There-is-no-Alternative, IACL-AIDC Blog
  6. Thorvaldur Gylfason, Iceland’s Ongoing Constitutional Fight, Verfassungsblog
  7. Karl Kössler, Streamlining Austria’s federation: Comprehensive reform after nearly a century?, Constitutionnet
  8. Dmitry Kurnosov, All Bark and no Bite? A Domestic Perspective on a Possible Russian Withdrawal from the Council of Europe, Verfassungsblog
  9. Pin Lean Lau, Affirmative Action in Malaysia: Constitutional Conflict with the ICERD?, Verfassungsblog
  10. Derek O’Brien, The End of the Caribbean Court of Justice? On failed constitutional referendums in Grenada, and Antigua and Barbuda, Constitutionnet
  11. Sarah Progin-Theuerkauf, Case C-713/17 Ayubi: A refugee is a refugee is a refugee (even with temporary right of residence), European Law Blog
  12. Argelia Queralt Jiménez, One Year After the (Symbolic) Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Catalonia: Some Facts and Figures, IACL-AIDC Blog
  13. Dana Schmalz, Will the ECtHR Shake up the European Asylum System?, Verfassungsblog
  14. Ben Ye, Can once valid legislation ‘become’ invalid? A case study of the High Court’s (now-lost) Nauru jurisdiction, AUSPUBLAW


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