Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Sandeep Suresh, Faculty Member, Jindal Global Law School

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 Indian Supreme Court ordered that death row convicts are entitled to meet his family members, friends, lawyers, and doctors like other convicts.
  2. An Egyptian court will hear a petition challenging the existence of limits on presidential terms.
  3. Bolivia’s apex electoral court allowed President Evo Morales to contest presidential elections which will enable him to capture a fourth term in office despite a 2016 referendum vote against more than two consecutive terms for presidents.
  4. The Zambian Constitutional Court held that President Edgar Lungu can contest the presidential election in 2021 as he had not served a full term between 2015 and 2016.
  5. The Sri Lankan Supreme Court held that President Sirisena’s move to dissolve Parliament and conduct new elections was unconstitutional.

In the News

  1. The House of Representatives in Nigeria considered a bill to amend the 1999 Constitution and reintroduce the parliamentary system of government.
  2. Villagers in Chipinge, Zimbabwe sued an ethanol producing company for violating their fundamental rights like the right to agricultural land (Section 72 of the Constitution) by barring them from tilling their fields or accessing it without any legal basis.
  3. The President of Mexico proposed a law to put an end to presidential immunity from criminal prosecution in corruption cases.
  4. The King of Jordan ordered his government to formulate general pardon law to ease the pressures on citizens.
  5. A report by the Sixth Amendment Center revealed that the Oregon’s Public Defense system which is constitutionally required to provide effective counsel for indigent clients is so bureaucratic and structurally flawed.

New Scholarship

  1. Tzu-Yi Lin, Ming-Sung Kuo & Hui-Wen Chen, Seventy Years On: The Taiwan Constitutional Court and Judicial Activism in a Changing Constitutional Landscape, 48 Hong Kong Law Journal 995 (2018) (shedding new light on the relationship between the Taiwan Constitutional Court’s activism and the larger political transition to democracy)
  2. Symposium on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Future of Being Human, American Journal of International Law (Vol.112, 2018) (seven essays focusing on how to recast the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the challenges posed by new technologies).
  3. Michael Dafel, The Constitutional Rebuilding of the South African Private Law: A Choice Between Judicial and Legislative Law-Making, Apollo – University of Cambridge Repository (2018) (arguing that legislative schemes that give effect to constitutional rights are likely to contain an array of benefits that are absent or reduced in the judicial law-making process).
  4. Xin Zhang, Towards the Rule of Law: Judicial Control of Administrative Discretion in a Comparative Context, University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law (December 2018) (comparing judicial control of administrative discretion in the UK and China and arguing that despite the gap, China still has a tendency toward judicial initiative, which entails the “thick” meaning of the rule of law).
  5. Swati Jhaveri, Advancing Constitutional Justice in Singapore: Enhancing Access and Standing in Judicial Review Cases, Singapore Journal of Legal Studies (2017) (showing how the Singapore courts have provided some scope for developing a more circumscribed form of ‘representative’ standing in serious cases of illegality or unconstitutionality while ensuring that the court does not become involved in free-standing political debate).
  6. John William Draper, Preserving Life by Ranking Rights, 82 (157) Albany Law Review (2018/2019) (assessing various battlegrounds within the right to life like border walls, abortion, and the death penalty in order to rank groups of constitutional rights).
  7. Samuel Issacharoff, Judicial Review in Troubled Times: Stabilizing Democracy in a Second Best World, NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-51 (2018) (analyzing the role of judicial review especially in a time of populist challenges to the institutionalization of democratic politics).
  8. Piet Hein van Kempen and Joeri Bemelmans, EU Protection of the Substantive Criminal Law Principles of Guilt and Ne Bis in Idem Under the Charter of Fundamental Rights: Underdevelopment and Overdevelopment in an Incomplete Criminal Justice Framework, 9 (2) New Journal of European Criminal Law (2018) (examining the protection of fundamental rights by European Union law in the field of substantive criminal law and comparing it to the protection offered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)).

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Melbourne Law School (MLS) is inviting applications from early career researchers for the ‘Indian Equality Law Visiting Fellowship’. During their fellowship (4-5 weeks in Melbourne), each fellow will be expected to finalise a 10,000-word research paper on any aspect of Indian equality or anti-discrimination law, under the supervision of Associate Professor Tarunabh Khaitan. Interested candidates should send their applications to Ms. Kathryn Taylor ( by February 1, 2019.
  2. The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford is inviting papers from early career researchers for their workshop on ‘Political Parties, Partisanship, and the Constitution’. The workshop will be held from March 14-15, 2019 in Oxford. Interested scholars must abstracts of their papers to by January 11, 2019.
  3. University of Michigan Law School is inviting papers from junior scholars for the 5th Annual Junior Scholars Conference. The conference will be held from April 26-27, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Interested participants should submit abstracts of their papers to by January 12, 2019.
  4. The Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard is inviting applications for one-year (2019-2020) postdoctoral fellowships in connection with the Center’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation seminar on the topic of ‘Migration and the Humanities’. Applicants must have received a doctorate or terminal degree in or after May 2016. Applicants without a doctorate or terminal degree must demonstrate that they will receive a doctorate or terminal degree in a related discipline in or before August 2019. Applications must be sent in by January 2, 2019.
  5. Submissions are welcome a Workshop on ‘Constitutional Resilience in South Asia’. The workshop will be held from December 5-7, 2019 in Melbourne. Interested scholars must submit their paper proposals, a list of bibliographical references, and CV to Ms. Kathryn Taylor ( by February 15, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Paul Kildea, ‘Getting to ‘Yes’: Why our approach to winning referendums needs a rethink’, AUSPUBLAW
  2. Jaclyn L Neo and Wilson Tay Tze Vern, Restoring the Independence and Integrity of Malaysia’s Judiciary: Proposals for Reform and Challenges Ahead, Constitutionnet
  3. David R Cameron, Theresa May delays Brexit vote, seeks “further reassurances” on “backstop,” and survives no confidence vote, The Yale MacMillan Center
  4. Alma Stankovic, The Tale of Two Citizenships, Verfassungsblog
  5. Suhrith Parthasarathy, Criteria for the courts: on the appointment of judges, The Hindu
  6. Irina Crivet, ECtHR or CEDAW: Spoilt for Choice in Moldova?, Strasbourg Observers
  7. Lyman Stone, Is the U.S. Political System Really ‘Structurally Biased’?, National Review


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