Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Chiara Graziani, Ph.D. Candidate and Research Fellow in Constitutional Law, University of Genoa, 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 European Court of Human Rights ruled that Turkey violated art. 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (prohibition of torture) in a case regarding the detention of immigrants pending their deportation.
  2. The European Court of Human Rights held that Italy’s tough prison regime for those who committed mafia-type crimes and refused to cooperate with the justice system violates art. 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights.  
  3. The Supreme Court of Spain convicted 12 former Catalan politicians for their role in the secession bid in 2017.
  4. The Scotland Supreme Court delayed its decision on whether to order Boris Johnson to ask for a Brexit extension if he cannot secure a deal.
  5. The Conseil Constitutionnel of France upheld a law banning palm oil from biofuel scheme.
  6. The UK Supreme Court handed down a judgment on whether a District Judge qualifies as a ‘worker’ or a ‘person in Crown employment’ for the purpose of the protection given to whistle-blowers.

In the News

  1. The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, jointly announced agreement on a new Brexit deal, despite the refusal of the Democratic Unionist party to back it.
  2. New provisions on national cybersecurity were adopted by the Italian government.
  3. A new law criminalizing abuse of authority was enacted in Brazil.
  4. Drone flight guidelines were amended in Japan.
  5. US President Donald Trump vetoed a joint resolution of Congress aimed at terminating his declaration of a national emergency on the Southern border with Mexico.
  6. The European Commission filed a case against Poland over new measures on the judiciary.

New Scholarship

  1. Jeremy D. Bailey, Populism and Presidential Representation, Critical Review (2019) (discussing questions raised by populism about the extent to which public opinion should be a legitimate foundation for executive power)
  2. Michael D. Breidenbach and Owen Anderson (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the First Amendment and Religious Liberty (2020) (addressing the religion clauses of the First Amendment with a focus on its philosophical foundations, historical developments, and legal and political implications)
  3. Björn Dressel and Cristina Regina Bonoan, Southeast Asia’s Troubling Elections: Duterte Versus the Rule of Law, 30 Journal of Democracy (2019) (analyzing efforts to undermine the Philippines’ post-1987 constitutional order through legal means under the current Duterte presidency)
  4. Elspeth Guild, Steve Peers, Jonathan Tomkin, The EU Citizenship Directive: A Commentary (2019) (commenting the EU Citizenship Directive with a focus on most recent case law and on rights of EU and UK citizens after Brexit)
  5. Olivier Duhamel, Guillaume Tusseau, Droit constitutionnel et institutions politiques (2020) (addressing latest developments on French constitutional law and keeping an eye on theoretical and comparative aspects)
  6. Valsamis Mitsilegas, Saskia Hufnagel, Anton Moiseienko (eds.), Research Handbook on Transnational Crime (2019) (addressing the challenges of transnational crime in an interconnected world from a multidisciplinary perspective)
  7. Sybil Sharpe, Search and Surveillance. The Movement from Evidence to Information (2019) (providing a new definition of the powers of law enforcers to gather evidence and information for use in criminal proceedings, drawing upon international case studies)
  8. Stephen Skinner, Lethal Force, the Right to Life and the ECHR (2019) (addressing the ECtHR’s case law on the use of lethal force and examining the connection, set by the Court, between the right to life and democratic society)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Trinity College at Oxford University welcomes applications for a Junior Research Fellow in Constitutional Law and/or Constitutional Theory. Applications should be submitted no later than November 14, 2019.
  2. The Law and Society Association’s Socio-Legal Approaches to Property Collaborative Research Network (SLAP-CRN) invites submissions from scholars at any stage of their careers on any issues related to the treatment of land and other property no later than October 25, 2019. Papers will be presented at the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, May 28-31, 2020 in Denver, Colorado.
  3. The Department of Law of the University of Pisa hosts a two-days international workshop on ‘Gender based approaches to the law and juris dictio in the European Union’ on June 19-20, in Pisa, within the frame of the European Law & Gender Jean Monnet Module. Abstract proposals are accepted until January 15, 2020.
  4. The Universidad Austral de Chile issued a call for papers for a Seminar on “Intellectual, Cognitive and Psychosocial Disability in Latin America: legal approaches and reforms”, to be held in Santiago de Chile on June 4-5, 2020. The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2020.
  5. The Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) issues a call for papers for its 2020 Annual Meeting, with the theme: UN @ 75: The Future of Partnership and Multilateralism. The conference will be held June 25-27, 2020 at London Metropolitan University. The deadline for submissions of proposal is February 10, 2020.
  6. The Law Department of Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique (UPT) and the Instituto Jurídico Portucalense invite submissions to attend its 2020 Conference on “Have Fundamental Rights gone too far?”. Proposals have to be sent no later than February 15, 2020. The Conference will be held in Porto on May 7-8, 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Theodore Christakis, 21 Thoughts and Questions about the UK-US CLOUD Act Agreement: (and an Explanation of How it Works – with Charts), European Law Blog
  2. Pedro Felipe de Oliveira Santos, What Kind of Judge are You?, IACL-AIDC Blog
  3. Daniel Halberstam, EU Brexit Litigation: A Short Guide to the Perplexed, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog
  4. Oliver Garner, Could the European Council Impose a ‘Qualitative Condition’ to Hold a Second Referendum or General Election on a New Brexit Extension?, European Law Blog
  5. Giorgio Grasso, The European Ombudsman as an Insurmountable Roadblock?, Verfassungsblog
  6. César Landa Arroyo, Is the Dissolution of the Peruvian Congress a Constitutional Measure?, IACL-AIDC Blog
  7. Ben Saul, United Nations Backslides on Human Rights in Counterterrorism, Lawfare
  8. Lorna Woods, The CJEU rules on consent to cookies under data protection law, EU Law Analysis


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