Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Maja Sahadžić, Ph.D. Researcher, University of Antwerp

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 in Ukraine declared unconstitutional the article of the Criminal Code on criminal prosecution for the unlawful enrichment of officials.
  2. The Constitutional Court in Hungary ruled that a recent prohibition known as “Stop Soros” on promoting illegal migration in the Hungarian penal code is not against the constitution but its stipulations cannot be applied to activities “aimed at providing humanitarian treatment or reducing the suffering of the needy”.
  3. The Constitutional Court in Bulgaria declared that the provisions of the Judicial System Act stipulating that judges should be removed from office if they were charged with a crime committed in the exercise of their judicial functions is not unconstitutional.
  4. The Supreme Court in the United States of America ruled that the International Finance Corporation can be sued in United States courts.
  5. The Supreme Court in Israel rejected a petition to bar publication of the Attorney General’s findings in three investigations of the Israeli Prime Minister until after the elections in April.
  6. The Supreme Court in Philippines ordered the preventive suspension of two judges in two regional trial courts after learning they are distant relatives thus leaving the courts without judges to hear cases.
  7. The Supreme Court in Nigeria reserved a judgement in the case of alleged false declaration of assets involving the suspended Chief Justice until 17 May 2019.

In the News

  1. The Japanese Prime Minister vowed to proceed the relocation of a United States military base in Okinawa despite the relocation was rejected in a referendum held at the island.
  2. The Parliament in the United Kingdom voted overwhelmingly in favor of March vote on the extension of Article 50.
  3. Ukraine’s opposition leader and presidential candidate registered a bill amending the criminal code with the aim to return criminal responsibility for illicit enrichment of the nation’s officials.
  4. The Parliament in Egypt endorsed the constitutional amendments that will allow the President in office to stay in power until 2034.
  5. The Parliament in Denmark passed a “paradigm change” asylum bill that will increase restrictions on residence permits and and reduce a social welfare benefit.
  6. The European Parliament voted to approve a range of new vehicle safety standards including automatic detection of pedestrians and cyclists, and a new direct vision standard for lorries and buses to enable drivers to have a better view of other road users around their vehicles.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Vanessa MacDonnell and Paul Daly (eds.), The Canadian Constitution in Transition (University of Toronto Press, 2019) (featuring contributions from emerging and established scholars on the future of Canadian constitutional law)
  2. Tom Gerald Daly, Unfinished Revolutions: Constitutional Pasts and Futures in Ireland and Mexico, Estudos Internacionais (2018) (examining how both Ireland’s and Mexico’s constitutional histories for the past century relate to two ‘unfinished revolutions’, in which the hopes and aspirations of the initial revolutions in each state have been only partially realised).
  3. Paolo Dardanelli, John Kincaid, Alan Fenna, André Kaiser, André Lecours, and Ajay Kumar Singh, Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Theorizing Dynamic De/Centralization in Federations, Publius (2018) (developing a conceptual, methodological, and theoretical framework for analyzing dynamic de/centralization in federations and discussing its five main properties of direction, magnitude, tempo, form, and instruments)
  4. Patricia Popelier and Samantha Bielen, How courts decide federalism disputes: legal merit, attitudinal effects, and strategic considerations in the jurisprudence of the Belgian Constitutional Court, Publius (2018) (exploring how constitutional courts impact the centralization grade of multi-tiered systems through a classification for measuring court’s position in federalism disputes and tests what determines variations across decisions within one court)
  5. Alberto López-Basaguren, Leire Escajedo San-Epifanio (eds.) Claims for Secession and Federalism, A Comparative Study with a Special Focus on Spain (2019) (explaining the most important current seccessionist claims in Western Countries, discussing the relationship between the claims for secession and federal systems, and debating the topic that dominates the political agenda in Spain)
  6. Arthur Benz, Shared Rule vs Self-Rule? Bicameralism, Power-Sharing and the ‘Joint Decision Trap’, Perspectives on Federalism (2018) (identifying conditions for the risks of ineffective compromises and fails in joint decision-making and exploring appropriate ways to adjust institutional designs of bicameralism accordingly bearing in mind that significant institutional reforms of bicameral systems are difficult to achieve)
  7. Miguel Beltrán de Felipe, Myths and Realities of Secessionisms, A Constitutional Approach to the Catalonian Crisis (2019) (exploring some of the key issues of contemporary secessionist nationalism, including its relationship with sovereignty, the right to have a referendum, and the capacity of a particular territory to amend the constitution in order to admit secession)
  8. Francesco Palermo, Beyond Second Chambers: Alternative Representation of Territorial Interests and Their Reasons, Perspectives on Federalism (2018) (exploring the reasons behind the emergence of alternative, executive-based institutions linked to ineffectiveness of the second chambers as territorial bodies)
  9. Rivka Weill, Secession and the Prevalence of Both Militant Democracy and Eternity Clauses Worldwide, Cardozo Law Review (2018) (explaining how democracies engage in a delicate game to chase and eliminate secessionist political mobilization and arguing that constitutions’ treatment of secession reveals that “We the People” is a territorial concept)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Brazilian Journal of Public Policy invites papers for the special issue “Latin American Constitutionalism: What Have We Got In Common?”. The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2019.
  2. The research groups of the Faculty of Government and European Studies at the New University and the Re-forma welcome abstract for the international conference “Judicial Ideology under Empirical Scrutiny” on 16 September 2019 in Ljubljana. The deadline for submission of abstracts in 17 May 2019.
  3. The European Yearbook of Constitutional Law invites proposals for its 2020 issue on the theme of “The City in Constitutional Law”. The deadline for proposals is 30 April 2019.
  4. The Chicago-Kent College of Law accepts entries for the 2019 Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize. Eligible books and articles should focus on the tension between civil liberties and national security. The deadline for submissions is 1 July 2019.
  5. GNLU Journal of Law and Economics welcomes submission of papers focusing on the economic analysis of law. The deadline for submissions is 15 March 2019.
  6. The University of Potsdam invites proposals for the AHRI 2019 Conference “Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law: Challenges Ahead” on 6-7 September 2019 in Potsdam. The deadline for submissions is 8 March 2019.
  7. The Católica Research Centre for the Future of Law invites papers for the conference “The Law of Artificial Intelligence” on 19 September 2019 in Lisbon. The deadline for submissions is 17 May 2019.
  8. The Canterbury Christ Church University’s Politics and International Relations programme and the Centre for European Studies organize the Politics Summer School “Federalism, Conflict Resolution, and Good Governance” in Cantenbury on 10–24 August 2019.
  9. Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Quarterly invites submissions for its next volume. The deadline for submissions is 24 March 2019. 

Elsewhere Online

  1. Francesco Palermo, What does EU tells us about federalism, 50 Shades of Federalism
  2. Michael G Breen, The federalism debates in Nepal and Myanmar: from ethnic conflict to secession-risk management, 50 Shades of Federalism
  3. David R. Cameron, May wins vote in House after giving it power to reject no-deal Brexit and request article 50 extension if it rejects withdrawal agreement again, Yale MacMillan Center
  4. Oreste Pollicino and Giorgio Repetto, Not to be Pushed Aside: the Italian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice, Verfassungsblog
  5. Adeel Hussain, To Catch a Spy: India v. Pakistan at the ICJ, Verfassungsblog
  6. Natalia Brigagão, The story of Brazilian constitutional dignity – and why it matters to constitutional and human rights studies, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  7. Bilyana Petkova, Privacy as Europe’s First Amendment, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  8. Mark Elliott, The Healthcare Bill: A case study in the implications (and dangers) of legislating for Brexit, Public Law for Everyone
  9. Robert Craig, Why Royal Consent Is Required for the Proposed Article 50 Extension Bill, UK Constitutional Law Association
  10. Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, Hot off the bench: Constitutional Court confirms it is not necessary to hold a pre-suspension hearing, Lexology
  11. Adam Bemma, Constitutional Court to meet next week as Thai Raksa Chart faces ban over Princess Ubolratana nomination, Aljazeera


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