Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Patrick Yingling, Reed Smith LLP

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 German Constitutional Court held that extraditions based on a European arrest warrant are not impermissible merely because the right not to incriminate oneself is not guaranteed to the same extent in the requesting state as under German law.
  2. The Zambia Supreme Court denied an application by the country’s main opposition party to stop the inauguration of President Edgar Lungu.
  3. Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled that the implementation of a law allowing the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strikes is constitutional.
  4. Ukraine’s Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the demand that permission be received from the local authorities for holding public religious events.
  5. Bosnia’s Constitutional Court upheld a ban on a “discriminatory” national holiday in the country’s autonomous Serb Republic, setting the regional government on a collision course with the deeply divided country’s central authorities in Sarajevo.

In the News

  1. Uganda’s parliament rejected a constitutional amendment proposal to extend age limits for electoral commissioners and judges.
  2. Lawmakers in Turkmenistan adopted amendments to the country’s constitution that pave the way for a life-long presidency for the incumbent leader.
  3. Cyprus’s parliament approved an amendment to strike out a provision in the constitution that enables the imposition of the death penalty.
  4. Former PM Sir Geoffrey Palmer published a draft of a proposed codified constitution for New Zealand.
  5. As Russia holds national elections for 450 seats in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, claims of election fraud and other violations surfaced on Sunday. 
  6. Thailand’s military government announced that it will prosecute cases concerning national security and “royal insult” in civilian courts. 
  7. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will introduce legislation to hold a national vote on same-sex marriage after the plebiscite was approved by the Cabinet.
  8. Canada will press the United States to alter a border policy that has barred Canadians who admit to having used marijuana from traveling to the United States.

New Scholarship

  1. Constitucionalismo progresista: retos y perspectivas. Un homenaje a Mark Tushnet (Roberto Gargarella and Roberto Niembro Ortego eds.) (2016) (a compilation of papers discussing the challenges and prospects of progressive constitutionalism) (in Spanish)
  2. Donald Markwell, Constitutional conventions and the headship of state: Australian experience (2016) (discussing conventions and other practices relating to the Crown in Australia’s Westminster-style system of government)
  3. Rosalind Dixon, Constitutional Carve-outs, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (2016) (examining constitutional carve-outs with reference to detailed constitutional case studies from India, South Africa and Australia)
  4. Mario A. Cajas Sarria, The Constitutional Justice of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla: Between the Constitutional Tribunal and the Constitutional Affairs Chamber. Colombia, 1953-1957, Historia Constitucional (2016) (examining the reforms and attempts to reform the justice system by General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, who ruled Colombia between 1953 and 1957) (in Spanish)
  5. Bernardo Giorgio Mattarella, The Ongoing Constitutional and Administrative Reforms in Italy (2016) (examining important reforms under way in Italy: the constitutional reform, approved by Parliament in January 2016; the electoral law for the Chamber of Deputies, approved few months earlier; and the administrative reform, which is being implemented)
  6. Gabrielle J. Appleby and Adam Webster, Executive Power under the Constitution: A Presidential and Parliamentary System Compared, University of Colorado Law Review (2016) (examining the factors that led to the Australian system of government blending features of the federal system of the United States with the parliamentary system of the United Kingdom)
  7. The European Journal of Legal Studies has released a new issue: Volume 9, Issue 1 (2016)
  8. Ralf Michaels, Does Brexit Spell the Death of Transnational Law?, German Law Journal (2016) (suggesting that hopes to return from transnational law to the nation state of the 19th century are futile but that transnational law must take serious the pleas of those who feel left out from it in order to remain fruitful)
  9. Carina Barbosa Gouvêa, UN’s interventions on the constitution-making process in political transition States: the role of the UN in the rescue of the democratic order (2016) (examining the institutional ability of the United Nations to contribute to the generation of a legitimate order in countries passing through redemocratization) (in Portuguese)
  10. Federico Fabbrini, How Brexit Opens a Window of Opportunity for Treaty Reform in the EU (2016) (examining from an EU law perspective some of the most immediate constitutional reforms that the EU and the member states will have to face as a result of Brexit)
  11. Thorvaldur Gylfason, Chain of Legitimacy: Constitution Making in Iceland, CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6018 (2016) (offering an account of the constitution-making process from 2010-2013, including the work of the Constituent Assembly, and describing Parliament’s ongoing attempt to undermine the substance of the constitutional bill accepted by two thirds of the voters in the 2012 referendum)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Board of Editors of the Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Quarterly (CALQ) has issued a call for submissions for its next issue, Volume 3.2. The deadline is November 27, 2016.
  2. The IGLP Asian Regional Workshop, hosted and sponsored by the Thailand Institute of Justice, will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from January 6-11, 2017. Applications are due by September 30, 2016.
  3. The Barak Center for Interdisciplinary Research at the Hebrew University has issued as call for papers for a Multidisciplinary Volume and Conference on “Law as Religion, Religion as Law” to be held on June 5-7, 2017 in Jerusalem. The deadline for abstracts is October 26, 2016.
  4. The law and humanities research center at Panthéon-Assas University invites submissions for its first international conference in Paris, France on June 15-17, 2017. Papers may discuss any dark issues in the law in common law countries. Submissions are due December 15, 2016.
  5. The International Bar Association and the European Law Students Association will host the IBA-ELSA Law Students’ Conference on November 12-13 in London, England. The goal of the conference is to gather law students at all levels of their legal education and learn about international courts and tribunals while providing tips on networking and building a career in the law.


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