Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Davide Bacis, PhD Student in Constitutional Law, University of Pavia (Italy)

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 US Supreme Court held 7-2 that if the police can show probable cause, the arrest cannot be regarded as a retaliation for exercising free speech.
  2. The US Supreme Court upheld the Indiana abortion law that mandates clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains, while staying the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals decision banning the prohibition on abortions motivated by race, sex or disability.
  3. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Spanish judges did not violate the rights of Catalan secession leaders.
  4. The Court of Justice of the European Union held that German public prosecutors lack the required independence to issue European arrest warrants.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine will determine the form of constitutional proceedings regarding the presidential decree dissolving Parliament.

In the News

  1. The President of Austria appointed Brigitte Bierlein, the President of the Constitutional Court, as Chancellor. Bierlein would have left the office at the end year because of the 70-year compulsory retirement age for constitutional judges.
  2. The EU Commission requested Italy to provide clarifications on the lack of progress regarding debt reduction.
  3. Following the European Parliament elections, the European People’s Party, the S&D, the Liberals and the Green party are focused on the appointment of the President of the EU Commission.
  4. The UK Prime Minister resigned and will leave office on June 7, 2019.
  5. The governor of Louisiana signed a bill banning abortion after the first six weeks into law.
  6. President Trump announced new tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico in an effort to solve the immigration problem.
  7. Egils Levits, a judge of the Court of Justice of the European Union, has been elected President of Latvia by the Parliament.
  8. The Supreme Court of Ireland denied Facebook a request to halt the referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the transfer of EU citizens’ data to the US.

New Scholarship

  1. Tawhida Ahmed and Elaine Fahey, On Brexit: Law, Justices and Injustices (2019 forthcoming) (exploring the variety of methodological approaches within the legal field to Brexit and outlining why the phenomenon is challenging to explore)
  2. Petra Bárd and Anna Śledzinska-Simon, Rule of law infringement procedures. A proposal to extend EU’s rule of law toolbox, CEPS Papers in Liberty and Security in Europe (2019) (proposing a “rule of law infringement” procedure that has both a fast-track and a freezing component, as a tool to effectively address rule of law violations by Member States in the European Union)
  3. William Partlett, Criminal Law and Cooperative Federalism, 56 American Criminal Law Review (2019) (arguing that cooperative federalism, largely resorted to in drug and gun crimes in the US, presents a variety of constitutional issues by both threatening constitutional rights of the individual and by weakening states’ ability to operate as political entities)
  4. Jeremy Pilaar, Assessing the Gig Economy in Comparative Perspective: How Platform Work Challenges the French and American Legal Orders, 27 Journal of Law and Policy (2019) (analyzing whether platform work amounts to a challenge for the legal system by means of two comparative theories elaborated within the French and the US legal systems)
  5. Richard M. Re and Alicia Solow-Niederman, Developing Artificially Intelligent Justice, Stanford Technology Law Review (2019 forthcoming) (examining the potential effects AI might have on judicial adjudication, especially in those areas where “equitable justice” or discretionary judgments are vital)
  6. Laura Grenfell, Legal Pluralism and the Rule of Law in East Timor, 19 Leiden Journal of International Law (2019) (arguing that legal pluralism must be properly turned in favor of the establishing of the rule of law in transitional countries, of which East Timor represent a fitting example)
  7. Nicholas W. Barber, Populist Leaders and Political Parties, 20 German Law Journal (2019) (reflecting on the interaction between populism and political parties, arguing that political parties should act as a medium between politics and the people and that populism represents a threat to their proper functioning)
  8. Anna Jonsson Cornell and Marco Goldoni, National and Regional Parliaments in the EU-Legislative Procedure Post-Lisbon. The Impact of the Early Warning Mechanism (2019) (examining the new role of national parliaments in the EU legislative procedures and how this new role has impacted on their relationship with EU institutions)
  9. Mtendeweka Owen Mhango, Justiciability of Political Questions in South Africa: A Comparative Analysis (2019) (arguing that South African courts should develop a political question doctrine in comparison to the US, Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria)
  10. Jeff King, The Democratic Case for a Written Constitution, Current Legal Problems (2019) (setting out the democratic case for a written constitution and contrasting it with the rights-based and clarity-based cases)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The City Law School invites interested participants to the 2019 Global Law Research Dialogue Series that will be held on June 18, July 3 and July 16, 2019 in London.
  2. The Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, University of New South Wales, welcomes submissions for its 2019 Postgraduate Workshop in Public Law, to be held in Sydney on September 23-24, 2019. Abstract of no more than 400 words should be submitted by July 31, 2019.
  3. Yale Law School welcomes submissions for its 9th Annual Doctoral Scholarship Conference, to be held in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 8-9, 2019. To apply, abstracts of up to 1500 words and a brief biographical note must be submitted by July 8, 2019.
  4. The University of Salerno (Italy) welcomes application for its Jean Monnet Summer School on Human Rights and Health that will take place in Salerno, on July 1-5 2019.
  5. The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals (published by Brill) welcomes submissions for the Rosalyn Higgins Prize. Unpublished articles between 6500 and 8000 words should be submitted by August 31, 2019.
  6. The University College of London invites participation to the Conference: Foundational Concepts in Constitutional Theory, that will take place on July 10-12, 2019.
  7. Bocconi University (Milan, Italy), invites participation to the 2019 IACL Workshop on “Counter-Terrorism at the Crossroad between International, Regional and Domestic Law,” that will take place on June 13-14, 2019.
  8. The National Research University (Moscow) welcomes submissions for the Conference on “Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property: Emergence of New International Customary Law Rules – by Whom?” that will take place on October 3-4, 2019. Abstracts of 400-600 words, alongside a CV, must be submitted by July 1, 2019.
  9. The T.M.C. Asser Institute, the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER) and the ESIL Interest Group on the EU as a Global Actor invite submissions of abstracts for a workshop on “EU Trade Agreements and the Duty to Respect Human Rights Abroad,” that will take place in The Hague, on December 11, 2019. Abstracts of max 500 words must be submitted by July 15, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. David R. Cameron, European Council takes stock of Parliament election, starts selection of new EU leaders, Yale Macmillan Center
  2. Bertil Emrah Oder, A Do-Over for Istanbul: Gripping Electoral Law and Democratic Resilience, Verfassungsblog
  3. Or Bassok and Ruth Gavison, It’s not the Supreme Court’s job to fix the Nation-State Law, The Times of Israel
  4. Başak Çalı, No Going Nuclear in Strasbourg. The Infringement Decision in Ilgar Mammadov v. Azerbaijan by the European Court of Human Rights, Verfassungsblog
  5. Mark Dawson, Should the EU Think Twice Before Dumping its Spitzenkandidaten?, Verfassungsblog
  6. Yurika Ishii, The Distinction between Military and Law Enforcement Activities: Comments on Case Concerning the Detention of Three Ukrainian Naval Vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), Provisional Measures Order, EJIL: Talk!
  7. Eleni Frantziou, Administrative Formalities and Collective Disenfranchisement: The Situation of EU Citizens in the UK #DeniedaVote during the European Parliament Elections 2019, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  8. Matt Floro and Jasper Brown, Judicial Review and Inferences about Briefing Notes, AUSPUBLAW
  9. Vanessa MacDonnell, Se-shauna Wheatle, Contemporary Perspectives on Unwritten Constitutional Principles, IACL-AIDC Blog
  10. Kate Glover Berger, The Demands of Unwritten Constitutionalism on Institutional Design, IACL-AIDC Blog


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