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 High Court of the UK ruled that the use of facial recognition technologies by public authorities does not amount to a violation of the right to privacy.
  2. The Supreme Court of the Philippines dismissed a petition aimed at the legalization of same-sex marriages.
  3. The Armenian Constitutional Court found a violation of the right to personal freedom in the arrest of former President Kocharyan.
  4. The High Court of the UK rejected the claim that Parliament’s suspension was an abuse of power.

In the News

  1. The Court of Session in Edinburgh has declined to rule on the legitimacy of the suspension of the UK Parliament.
  2. The Supreme Court of North Carolina ruled that partisan gerrymandering violates the free election clause of the State Constitution.
  3. The new Italian Government, headed by Prof. Giuseppe Conte, has been sworn in by the President of the Republic.
  4. The California state legislature approved new vaccine legislation reducing the space for medical exemptions that now awaits the Governor’s signature.
  5. Paolo Gentiloni, former President of Council of the Italian government, has been officially nominated to the EU Commission.
  6. The UK Parliament passed a bill to stop a no-deal Brexit. However, unless the Parliament makes progress on a withdrawal agreement, the UK will leave the EU by default on October 31.
  7. The Government of Australia is looking to modify legislation on data sharing and data protection, removing the fundamental element of consent.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia and Cristina Fasone (eds.), Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures. Bicameralism under Pressure (2019) (offering a comparative, historical and empirical analysis on the role and the efficiency of second chambers and the challenges bicameralism is currently facing)
  2. Kermit Roosevelt and Heath Khan, McCulloch v. Marbury, 34 Constitutional Commentary (2019) (dealing with the origin of judicial review within the US system and comparing two of the earliest decisions of the US Supreme Court on the matter)
  3. Jeanne M. Woods and Sarah Lambert, The Collapse of Democracy: The Flint Water Crisis from a Human Rights Perspective, 20 Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law (2019) (retracing the history of violations that were at the core of the water crisis and thus caused serious violations of human rights)
  4. Jayanth K. Krishnan, Bhopal in the Federal Courts: How Indian Victims Failed to Get Justice in the United States, Rutgers University Law Review (forthcoming 2020) (retracing the judicial history of the victims of the gas leak happened in Bhopal back in the 1980s and offering a critical overview of the relevant case law in the US federal courts).
  5. Ding Qi, The Power of the Supreme People’s Court. Reconceptualizing Judicial Power in Contemporary China (2019) (exploring recent developments within the case law of the highest court of China)
  6. Kevin Fandl, Presidential Power to Protect Dreamers: Abusive or Proper?, 36 Yale Law & Policy Review (2019) (arguing that the attempts of the administration to end the DACA program amounts to a flawed vision of the traditional relationship between the executive and the legislative branches)
  7. Stephen Gardbaum, Uncharismatic Revolutionary Constitutionalism, forthcoming in Richard Albert ed., Revolutionary Constitutionalism: Law, Legitimacy, Power (2020) (identifying the spontaneous or leaderless constitutionalist revolution as a distinct type and typically facing a different legitimacy problem compared with the more heralded one engineered by charismatic leadership)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Stanford Law School welcomes submissions for the “Borders: Laws of Physical and Conceptual Space” symposium, to be held at Stanford Law School on March 6-7, 2020. Abstracts of no more than 300 words and a one-paragraph bio must be submitted by September 30, 2019.
  2. The Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law welcomes submissions for the workshop on “Contested Norms of International Peace and Security Law”, to be held in Heidelberg on May 7-8, 2020. Abstracts no longer than 500 words must be submitted by November 24, 2019.
  3. The European University Institute welcomes submissions for the workshop on “Sociological Perspectives on International Economic Law and Human Rights Law”, to be held in Florence on May 8-9, 2020. Abstracts of maximum 300 words alongside a CV must be submitted by October 15, 2019.
  4. The Cambridge International Law Journal is inviting submissions for its ninth volume. Articles submitted by September 30, 2019, will be considered for the first issue of the ninth volume.
  5. The Nordic Journal of European Law is welcoming submissions relating to the topic of the rule of law for its 2019(2) issue. Papers must be submitted by September 27, 2019.
  6. The Review of Constitutional Studies/Revue d’études constitutionelles is now accepting submissions for its 24(2) and 25(1) issues. Papers must be submitted by November 1, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Alexandra Sinclair and Joe Tomlinson, Eliminating Effective Scrutiny: Prorogation, No Deal Brexit, and Statutory Instruments, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  2. Jacob Rowbottom, Political Purposes and the Prorogation of Parliament, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  3. Marc Schack, Did the US Stay “Well Below the Threshold of War” With its June Cyberattack on Iran?, EJIL: Talk!
  4. Joelle Grogan, The Next Few Day Will Reveal where the Heart of Power Lies in the British Constitution, Verfassungsblog
  5. Meg Russell, Alan Renwick and Robert Hazell, This prorogation is improper: the government should reverse it, The Constitution Unit
  6. Sàndor Lénárd, Modern technologies facilitate the genesis of the “surveillance state” – conversation with Professor Davide Gray, precedens.mandiner
  7. M. Detmold, The Proper Denial of Royal Assent, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  8. Pierre de Vos, On Freedom of Religion and the Right to Question Religious Beliefs and Practices, Constitutionally Speaking
  9. Maximilian Steinbeis, A Matter of Confidence, Verfassungsblog
  10. Laurent Pech, Dimitry Kochenov, Barbara Grabowska-Moroz, Joelle Grogan, The Commission’s Rule of Law Blueprint for Action: A Missed Opportunity to Fully Confront Legal Hooliganism, Verfassungsblog


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