Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Sandeep Suresh, Faculty Member, Jindal Global Law School (India)

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 Irish Supreme Court held that the courts have a jurisdiction to intervene where there is a significant and unremedied unlawful action by a parliamentary committee.
  2. The Hungarian Constitutional Court held that the ‘Stop Soros Legislation’ that criminalized some forms of support to illegal immigrants is not unconstitutional.
  3. The Indian Supreme Court will decide whether a criminal trial can be vitiated if the evidence of witnesses are taken in the absence of accused persons in a case which will probably expand the right to fair trial.
  4. Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt held that WhatsApp messages to close family members are defamation-free zone in which members may freely speak without fear of legal consequences.
  5. The Thai Constitutional Court dissolved the Thai Raksa Chart party for nominating Princess Ubolratana as the prime ministerial candidate.

In the News

  1. The Tennessee House of Representatives passed a law to ban abortions after the detection of fetal heartbeat which may be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. 
  2. The Delhi High Court in India issued notice to the Central Government and Election Commission in a public interest petition that challenges the denial of voting rights to prisoners.
  3. Women leaders in Somalia urged lawmakers to pass the electoral reforms bill to ensure 30% reservation for women in the Somalian Parliament.
  4. Pakistan amended the Election Act 2017 to allow the Election Commission to constitute benches to hear complaints regarding corrupt practices during elections in a speedier manner.
  5. The German government plans to formulate a law that would strip the German citizenship of persons who represent and fight for a foreign terror militia like the ISIS.

New Scholarship

  1. Asif Hameed, The Rule of Recognition and Sources of Law in Miller, Public Law (January 2019) (providing a defence of the UK Supreme Court’s reasoning in Miller about the status of EU law under UK law, and also assessing whether Miller is a one-off case or whether other treaty-based sources of law might warrant similar protection under the UK constitution).
  2. David Kosar, Beyond Judicial Councils: Forms, Rationales and Impact of Judicial Self-Governance in Europe, 19 (7) German Law Journal (2019) (arguing that judicial self-governance is much broader phenomenon than judicial councils and why it is high time to view judicial self-governance as a much more complex network of actors and bodies with different levels of participation of judges).
  3. Domenico Giannino, Are we looking up or are we looking out? The transnational constitutionalism of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: conventionality control and the fight against impunity, Transnational Legal Theory (2019) (arguing, via the case study of the revolutionary jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, that we are looking beyond the traditional elements of constitutional analysis, which are inseparable from the idea of sovereign State).
  4. Ling Li, Political-Legal Order and the Curious Double Character of China’s Courts, Asian Journal of Law and Society (March 2019) (analysing how politics and law in China are organically integrated in the institutional architecture of courts as designed by the Chinese Communist Party).
  5. Nausica Palazzo, The Strange Pairing: Building Alliances Between Queer Activists and Conservative Groups to Recognize New Families, 25 Michigan Journal of Gender & Law (2018) (noting that the most innovative reforms in the field of family law were pushed forward by conservative groups, argues that conservative fringe groups and queer activists should build alliances to introduce alternative regimes to marriage open to new families, such as non-conjugal families).
  6. Uwe Kischel, Comparative law (Oxford University Press, 2019) (offering a critical introduction to the central tenets of comparative legal scholarship).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. Submissions are invited from comparative law scholars around the world for a works-in-progress roundtable, to be held at the University of Texas at Austin on May 21-22, on all subjects of comparative law. The purpose of this round table is to offer scholars the opportunity to develop their ideas as they work toward submitting a draft–either an article or a book–for publication. A total stipend of $500 is available for participants.
  2. The Xiamen Academy of International Law is inviting applications for the 2019 Summer Program to be held from July 8-26, 2019. Interested candidates must submit applications by April 30, 2019.
  3. The Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC) released its ‘eighth Global Research Update on democratic decay’ (March 2019 – available here), containing new research worldwide from February and early March 2019; items suggested by DEM-DEC users; a rapidly expanding list of forthcoming research; a list of new resources added to the Links section; and – in honour of International Women’s Day on March 8 – a list of recommended reads on far right and populism by female scholars (compiled by Cas Mudde). A post introducing the Update will be published on the IACL-AIDC Blog on March 11 (Monday), followed by publication on Verfassungsblog.
  4. Friedrich Schiller University Jena is organizing an international conference on ‘100 Years of the Weimar Constitution: Constitution-Making and Its International Context’ to be held from April 4-5, 2019 in Weimar. The conference aims to undertake an international and comparative assessment of the Weimar Constitution of 1919. Both the linkages of the Weimar Constitution to contemporary developments and the international reception of the Weimar Constitution, including its long-term effects in international legal and intellectual discourses, will be analyzed. The event will be international and interdisciplinary. It will involve the perspectives of legal scholars, historians and political scientists. More information about the conference can be found online.
  5. University of Leipzig is inviting applications for the Summer School on ‘Human Rights in Theory and Practice’ to be held from September 1-7, 2019 in Leipzig. Interested applicants must note that the deadline for early bird registration is March 31, 2019.
  6. The Center for Constitutional Law at the University of Akron School of Law is inviting paper proposals for the conference on ‘The 19th Amendment at 100: From the Vote to Gender Equality’ to be held on September 20, 2019. Interested candidates must submit their proposals (short abstract of the paper and CV) to Prof. Tracy Thomas at by April 10, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Tom Hickey, Spectre of litigation now hovers over our parliamentarians, The Irish Times
  2. Bridgette W. Gunnels, How to force the Trump administration to follow the law on refugees, The Washington Post
  3. Armin von Bogdandy and Luke Dimitrios Spieker, Countering the Judicial Silencing of Critics: Novel Ways to Enforce European Values, Verfassungsblog
  4. Gautam Bhatia, The imperial cabinet and an acquiescent court, The Hindu
  5. Fulvia Staiano, Yeshtla v. the Netherlands: a missed opportunity to reflect on the discriminatory effects of States’ social policy choices, Strasbourg Observers
  6. Vikram David Amar and Jason Mazzone, How Much Deference Will be Given to Affirmative Action Plans Fashioned by Students, and to Affirmative Action Plans More Generally?, Verdict


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