Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Simon Drugda, PhD Candidate at the University of Copenhagen

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 Constitutional Court of Germany held that sanctions imposed on recipients of unemployment benefits to enforce their cooperation obligations are in part unconstitutional.
  2. The Hungarian Constitutional Court will hold its sessions in one of Parliament’s office spaces for the next six months due to the renovation of the Court’s Donáti Street building.
  3. A judge with Turkish origin was selected as the President of the Constitutional Court in Macedonia on Wednesday, becoming the first Turk to serve as the chairman of the top judicial body. Presidents of the Constitutional Court of Macedonia are selected by their peers pursuant to Article 109 of the Constitutional.
  4. Korean police questioned the Mongolian Constitutional Court President over allegations that he sexually harassed a flight attendant on a Korean Air flight.
  5. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party has proposed two controversial former MPs among its nominees for the country’s Constitutional Court, against criticism from opposition politicians, who argue that the government is undermining judicial independence.
  6. The Court of the Justice of the European Union ruled that Poland violated EU law by distinguishing between the retirement age of male and female judges and prosecutors and when it gave the Minister of Justice more authority than allowed by law.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Malawi has suspended its requirement that lawyers and judges wear traditional white wigs and black robes in the courtroom as an early-season heatwave sweeps Malawi.
  8. The Standing Committee of Legal Affairs in Albania approved three candidates for the first vacancy at the Constitutional Court to be filled by Parliament. All three candidates have a final confirmation from the vetting institutions.
  9. The Supreme Court of Israel upheld a government decision to order a senior Human Rights Watch employee to leave.

In the News

  1. The US government notified the UN of its intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The US submitted a formal withdrawal notification to the UN, and the withdrawal will take effect one year from delivery of the notification.
  2. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a decision by a lower court that an accounting firm employed by President Donald Trump must comply with a subpoena to release the president’s tax returns.
  3. The President of Nepal removed governors of all seven national provinces.
  4. The Court of Justice of the European Union received a preliminary question from Malta on the judicial appointment procedure.
  5. The President of Slovakia vetoed a change in the electoral law that would extend the silence period, prohibiting the publication of opinion polls, from 14 to 50 days. The general election will be held on February 29, 2020. The Parliament may break the veto by an absolute majority of all MPs.

New Scholarship

  1. Shai Dothan, International Judicial Review: When Should International Courts Intervene? (2019) (critically examining under which conditions intervention by international courts into domestic affairs is recommended and evaluating the implications that international courts have on society)
  2. Anna Fruhstorfer and Michael Hein, Institutional interests and the politics of constitutional amendment, International Political Science Review (2019) (asking what affects the likelihood that a constitutional amendment will be adopted and showing that this is mainly driven by the initiator of a given amendment)
  3. Peter Beck, The Parts We Skip: A Taxonomy of Constitutional Irrelevancy, 34 Constitutional Commentary (2019) (identifying and categorising clauses in the US Constitution that are without legal force, because they are often skipped)
  4. Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, The International Court of Justice and the Individual, in Achilles Skordas (ed), Research Handbook on the International Court of Justice (forthcoming 2019) (studying the relationship between the ICJ and “the individual” in a broad sense, including both human beings and private companies)
  5. Timothy Zick, The First Amendment in the Trump Era (2019) (cataloguing and analysing the various First Amendment conflicts that have occurred during the Trump presidency)
  6. Roberto Niembro, La Justicia Constitucional de la Democracia Deliberativa (The Constitutional Justice of Deliberative Democracy) (2019) (proposing a theory of constitutional judges and the design of judicial review harmonized with the tenets of deliberative democracy, and defending a dialogic model of constitutional justice as an alternative route to judicial supremacy and parliamentary supremacy based on the discursive paradigm)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Indian law Society invites submissions for an international conference “For Remembering S.P. SATHE: 14th International Conference on Contemporary Trends in Comparative Public Law,” to be held on March 6-8, 2020. The deadline for submissions of abstracts is January 31, 2020.
  2. The National University of Singapore invites submissions for a workshop on “Artificial Justice,” to be held on March 18-19, 2020. The deadline for submission of abstracts is December 1, 2019. The organizer can provide round-trip economy flights and accommodation to all selected presenters.
  3. The Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Melbourne invites submissions for a workshop on “Federalism and Socio-economic Inequalities,” to be held on May 13, 2020. The deadline for submission of abstracts is December 15, 2019.
  4. The Faculty of Law of the University of Oxford, in association with All Souls College, is looking to appoint an outstanding legal scholar to the Vinerian Professorship of English Law. The deadline for applications is December 2, 2019.
  5. The University of Copenhagen invites applications for several positions, including: a PhD position in Law; a postdoc in responsible research and innovation in drug discovery and development at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL); Assistant Professorship in Law at the Department of Food and Resource Economics; and a tenure-track Assistant Professorship in Law.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Anthony Arnull, The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, UK Constitutional Law Association
  2. Mark Tushnet, Academic Constitutional Theory and Judicial Constitutional Practice, Balkinization
  3. Kate O’Regan, Equality, reconciliation and instability: the challenges before the South African Constitutional Court, UK Human Rights Blog
  4. Pierre Olivier Lobe, Cote d’Ivoire’s contested Electoral Commission and Ouattara’s third term: A recipe for political crisis?, ConstitutionNet
  5. Keiran Hardy, A Secretive State: The Collaery Trial and National Security Disclosures, AUSPUBLAW
  6. Cormac Devlin, From contract to role: using human rights to widen the personal scope of employment protections, OxHRH
  7. Emilio Peluso Neder Meyer, Thomas Bustamante, Marcelo Cattoni, Threats to Brazilian Democracy Gain Traction, Verfassungsblog


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