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 Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled that the Prime Minister suspended Parliament illegally.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Italy ruled that it should not always be punishable to help someone “under intolerable physical and psychological suffering” to commit suicide.
  3. The Constitutional Court of South Africa set to rule on “common purpose” in rape cases. The legal question is whether or not people who share the intent to rape can be convicted even if they did not all physically rape the victim.
  4. The Constitutional Court of South Africa found that moderate and reasonable chastisement by a parent is unconstitutional.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Romania decided that the president must appoint interim ministers.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Montenegro instituted preliminary proceedings to consider non-working Sundays.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Thailand decided that the Prime Minister was not a state official when he ruled a decision that secures his position as prime minister.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Ecuador rejected a petition for local consultation on a mining ban.
  9. The Supreme Court of Spain ruled in favor of exhumation of Francisco Franco.
  10. The EU General Court overturned a European Commission decision that Starbucks benefited from illegal tax breaks in the Netherlands.

In the News

  1. The Slovak Parliament ended the long series of votes and selected the four missing candidates of the Constitutional Court of Slovakia.
  2. The speaker of the US House of Representatives announced a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
  3. The Austrian Parliament declared a “climate emergency” making climate change a priority issue just four days from elections.
  4. The European Union appointed the first head of the newly-created EU Public Prosecutor’s Office.
  5. A Haitian senator opened fire outside the Parliament injuring a photojournalist.
  6. The Parliament of the United Kingdom returned a day after the Supreme Court ruled that the decision to suspend sittings for five weeks was unlawful.
  7. The Israeli’s Prime Minister asked to form a new government after a post-election deadlock that has paralyzed the country’s political system.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia and Cristina Fasone (eds.), Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures: Bicameralism under Pressure (2019) (examining the challenges, difficulties, and prospects of reforming bicameralism in constitutional democracies)
  2. Patricia Popelier, Helen Xanthaki, João Tiago Silveira, Felix Uhlmann and William Robinson (eds.), Lawmaking in Multi-level Settings, Legislative Challenges in Federal Systems and the European Union (2019) (discussing systems where law-making is a shared responsibility assigned to various levels of authority).
  3. Francesco Palermo, Alice Valdesalici and Annika Kress (eds.), Comparing Fiscal Federalism (2018) (investigating intergovernmental financial relations and the current de jure and de facto allocation of financial and fiscal powers in compound states from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective).
  4. Kate Puddister, The Canadian Reference Power: Delegation to the Courts and the Navigation of Federalism, Publius (2019) (examining how reference cases have been used by governments in Canada, with particular attention to issues related to federalism).
  5. Melissa Crouch, The Constitution of Myanmar, A Contextual Analysis (2019) (analyzing the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar in its historical, political, and social context).
  6. Michael D. Gilbert, Mauricio Guim and Michael Weisbuch, Constitutional Locks, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper (2019) (studying constitutional “locks” as forced waiting periods for amendments).
  7. Angioletta Sperti, Constitutional Courts, Gay Rights and Sexual Orientation Equality (2019) (considering a wide-range of decisions by constitutional and international courts, from the decriminalization of sexual acts to the recognition of same-sex marriage and parental rights for same-sex couples).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Review of Constitutional Studies invites submissions of manuscripts in English or French for its issues 24(2) and 25(1). The deadline for submissions in 1 November 2019.
  2. The Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) Law Review welcomes submissions for its seventh volume.
  3. The University of Bologna Law Review invites applications for new Associate Editors. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2019.
  4. The Institute for Immigration and Social Integration at Ruppin Academic Center, the Association for Canadian Studies and the International Metropolis Project, invite proposals for the 6th Ruppin International Conference on “Immigration and Social Integration: Migration and Diasporas,” to be held in Ruppin on 18-20 May 2020. The deadline for submissions is 10 November 2019.
  5. The Maastricht Centre for European Law and the Maastricht European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity invite papers for the workshop on “Digitalisation, Ethics and EU Fundamental Rights,” to be held in Maastricht on 9-10 January 2020. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Fracesco Palermo, Editorial – ’70 Years of the German Basic Law’ Symposium, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  2. David R. Cameron, Another government in Italy, another election in Spain, Yale MacMillan Center
  3. David R. Cameron, After UK Supreme Court declares prorogation unlawful, Parliament resumes, Yale MacMillan Center
  4. Omphemetse S Sibanda, Ruling banning the spanking of children is both legally and morally sound, Daily Maverick
  5. Greg Weiner, The Not-So-Supreme Court, The Atlantic
  6. Ian Millhiser, The fight to end Roe v. Wade enters its endgame next week, Vox
  7. Thomas Stephens, The art of interpreting in Switzerland’s polyglot parliament,
  8. Michael Power and Avani Singh, South African High Court Finds Surveillance Law Unconstitutional, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  9. Gregor Kirchhof, The Financial Constitution of the Basic Law, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  10. Michelle Maziwisa, Giving a Voice to Subnational Authorities and Citizens in EU Trade Agreements, Eureka!
  11. Alex Green, Our Constitution, Accountability and the Limits of the Power to Prorogue, UK Constitutional Law Association
  12. Sam Fowles, Cherry/Miller: What’s Next?, UK Constitutional Law Association
  13. Oskar J. Gstrein, The Judgment That Will Be Forgotten, Verfassungsblog
  14. Michał Ziółkowski, Undemocratic but Formally Lawful: The Suspension of the Polish Parliament, Verfassungsblog
  15. Oliver Garner, Why the UK’s Government’s Demands on the Irish Backstop Would Violate the Sovereignty of the EU-27, Verfassungsblog
  16. Cheta Nwanze, Xenophobic attacks: Why the official outrage from Nigeria this time?, African Arguments


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