Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Sandeep Suresh, LL.M in Comparative Constitutional Law (Central European University, Budapest)

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 comparative public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Comparative Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Indian Supreme Court observed that criticizing the government or its policies does not qualify as sedition.
  2. Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a law allowing force feeding of prisoners on hunger strikes.
  3. The Indian Supreme Court will consider the question of whether it is permissible to restrict free speech on the grounds of constitutional compassion and constitutional sensitivity.
  4. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Michigan’s appeal of an injunction that would not allow the state to ban straight-ticket voting.
  5. The Italian Supreme Court held that masturbating in public is not an illegal act.
  6. The German Constitutional Court ruled that if family members who live in the same household can reasonably be expected to manage the household out of pooled resources, the income and assets of another family member may be taken into account in determining an applicant’s neediness as required when granting benefits intended to secure the recipient’s existential needs.

In the News

  1. President Obama nominated a Muslim lawyer to be a U.S. District Court Judge. If the nomination is confirmed, he will be the first federal judge following Muslim faith.
  2. Justice Jasti Chelameswar, a senior judge of the Indian Supreme Court, refused to participate in the Supreme Court Collegium meetings showing his protest against the lack of transparency in its judicial appointments process.
  3. A group of Costa Rican citizens approached the Supreme Elections Tribunal with a request for a public referendum on formulating a new constitution.
  4. Two women rights groups in Kenya are set to file a petition to challenge the conduct of Parliament and the Attorney General with regards to the two thirds gender principle.
  5. The Indian President gave his assent to the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax paving way for a uniform system of indirect taxation in the country.
  6. The Aruban legislature voted to give official recognition to same-sex couples, giving them the right to register their unions and receive the benefits granted to other married people.

New Scholarship

  1. Graham Butler and Martin Ratcovich, Operation Sophia in Uncharted Waters: European and International Law Challenges for the EU Naval Mission in the Mediterranean Sea, Nordic Journal of International Law (2016) (analysing the main legal challenges facing the European Union Naval Force, EUNAVFOR Med (‘Operation Sophia’), established in 2015, to disrupt human smuggling and trafficking activities)
  2. Elaine Fahey, The Global Reach of EU Law (forthcoming 2017) (examining the conceptual development of the global reach and effects of EU law and the methodology of EU rule-making processes)
  3. Stephen Gardbaum, What is Judicial Supremacy?, in Comparative Constitutional Theory, Gary Jacobsohn and Miguel Schor (eds.) (forthcoming) (identifying, disaggregating, and assessing the utility of four distinct senses or conceptions of judicial supremacy in domestic and comparative constitutional theory)
  4. Gbohou Gnantin Hilaire Tegnan and Saldi Isra, Rule of Law and Human Rights Challenges in South East Asia: A Case Study of Legal Pluralism in Indonesia (2016) (discussing the practice of legal pluralism and its effects and the rule of law in Indonesia with the help of empirical data and survey results)
  5. Patrick Macklem, The Form and Substance of Aboriginal Rights: Assimilation, Recognition, Reconciliation, in The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution, N. Des Rosiers, P. Macklem and P. Oliver (eds.) (forthcoming 2017) (arguing that constitutional reconciliation can only commence by comprehending Aboriginal rights and title as protecting Indigenous interests associated with culture, territory, treaties and sovereignty in robust terms—terms, if met, which will have profound structural consequences for the constitutional relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada)
  6. Zsolt Kortvelyesi, Continuity, Discontinuity and Constitution-Making: A Comparative Account (2016) (presenting a comparative overview of how the formal source of a constitution’s authority is present, or misrepresented, in a constitution-making process and analyzing the Hungarian case, the adoption of the 2011 Fundamental Law in this light)
  7. Rehan Abeyratne, Upholding Judicial Supremacy in India: The NJAC Judgment in Comparative Perspective, George Washington International Law Review (forthcoming) (arguing that the Indian Supreme Court’s judgment on October 16, 2015 ruling the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) to be unconstitutional is flawed in two ways)
  8. Ernest Caldwell, Chinese Constitutionalism: Five-Power Constitution, in Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law, Rainer Grote, Franke Lachenmann and Rüdiger Wolfrum (eds.) (forthcoming) (discussing the contents and tumultuous history of the Chinese Constitution which provides for five branches of government as opposed to the general tradition of tripartite separation of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Thailand Institute of Justice will be organizing the Institute for Global Law & Policy Asian Regional Workshop in Bangkok from January 6-11, 2017. Interested applicants must submit their application by September 30, 2016.
  2. The American Constitution Society will be hosting the Junior Scholars Public Law Workshop at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco on January 5, 2017. Interested participants must submit their papers, in any field related to public law, by October 15, 2016 to 
  3. The School of Law at Trinity College, Dublin will hold the 2017 meeting of the Berkeley Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group from June 15-16, 2017. Participants must submit their presentation proposals or applications to participate as a discussant/panel chair by November 1, 2016.
  4. The Commonwealth Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy is inviting manuscripts for it upcoming issue – Volume 2, Issue 2. The deadline for submission is September 30, 2016.
  5. The Indian Journal of Constitutional Studies is inviting papers for its inaugural issue. Interested authors must submit their manuscripts to by September 15, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Lawrence Rosenthal, The Court after Scalia: Fourth Amendment jurisprudence at a crossroads, SCOTUSBlog
  2. Pranoto Iskandar, It’s time to flesh out the reform agenda, The Jakarta Post
  3. Chithra P. George, The Government Must Rethink the Surrogacy Bill, The Wire
  4. Sadhbh Walshe, Ireland’s Long Journey on Abortion, The New York Times
  5. M.D. Nalapat, Follow Turkey in Muslim personal law, Sunday Guardian Live


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