Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Gaurav Mukherjee, S.J.D. Candidate in Comparative Constitutional Law, Central European University, Budapest and Indian Equality Law Visiting Fellow, University of Melbourne.

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 India holds hearings on the validity of civil liberties restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.
  2. The Supreme Court of India referred unresolved questions in a case on the entry of women into places of worship to a larger bench.
  3. In a case that could reach the Supreme Court of Canada, a union federation representing 45,000 teachers in Quebec sues the province over a ban on the wearing of religious symbols by many public employees.
  4. The Supreme Court of India held that the office of the Chief Justice of India would be covered under the ambit of the Right to Information Act, which was transparency legislation enacted to provide citizens information from the government.
  5. The Supreme Court of Russia ordered the closure of a prominent human rights group for “breaking regulations.”

In the News

  1. The High Court of Justice of England and Wales held that a private television broadcaster could exclude Liberal Democratic and SNP candidates from a TV debate.
  2. The Parliament in Maldives voted to remove Chief Justice Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi and Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla from their office after a recommendation from the Judicial Service Commission for  alleged misconduct related to 17 instances where the apex court violated the constitution or usurped powers of parliament and other state institutions.
  3. The Constitutional Review Commission of the Gambia released a draft constitution which contains detailed provisions on, inter alia, term limits of the president and independent accountability bodies.
  4. Chile will hold a  referendum to replace the country’s dictatorship-era Constitution next year after nearly a month of civil unrest. The constitutional change has been a key demand of protesters .
  5. Legislators in the Cayman Islands accepted the United Kingdom’s proposed constitutional changes which include: a mandatory requirement for consultation on any proposed legislation or Orders in Council that will directly impact the Cayman Islands, the removal of key reserve powers from the governor to write legislation, disallow legislation and write standing orders.
  6. The Minister of State for Media Affairs of Jordan stated that the recent activity of the government concerning the merger and cancellation of various independent commissions requires a legal basis.
  7. The National Assembly of Nigeria expressed an interest in amending its Constitution to provide for a smooth transition of legislative powers.
  8. The Chinese Government criticized the decision of the Hong Kong High Court on the government’s mask ban against protesters, which the Court found unconstitutional. Judgment is available here.
  9. The Thai cabinet nominated six experts from outside the government to sit the committee with the competence to vet constitutional amendments.
  10. The new Interim President of Bolivia, Jeanine Anez, expressed her intention to hold an election soon and denied accusations of a coup by former leader Evo Morales. The Interim President has up to 90 days to call for an election pursuant to Article 169(I.) of the Bolivian Constitution .

New Scholarship

  1. Dimitry Kochenov, Citizenship (2019) (providing key elements of the concept of citizenship: status, rights, duties, and politics, as enacted in its granting and enjoyment).
  2. Timothy Zick, The First Amendment in the Trump Era (2019) (examining the growing number of First Amendment controversies in the Trump Era by tracing them to the concept of dissent while examining their connection with episodes throughout American history).
  3. Gary Lawson and Guy I. Seidman, Deference: The Legal Concept and the Legal Practice (2019) (presenting the first systematic study of deference in the law in a number of doctrinal manifestations, as a broad concept and practice which draws on material from actual court practice rather than ideal theory).
  4. Joshua C. Gellers and Trevor J. Cheatham, Sustainable Development Goals and Environmental Justice: Realization through Disaggregation? 36 Wisconsin International Law Journal (2019) (examining the extent to which the UN Sustainable Development Goals and voluntary national reviews reflect principles of environmental justice).
  5. Petra Schleiter, Georgina Evans, The Changing Confidence Relationship Between the UK Executive and Parliament in Comparative Context 72 Parliamentary Affairs 1 (2019) (examining how the changes introduced by The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 strengthens parliament vis-à-vis the government, and discusses their implications against the background of contemporary constitutional practise in developed parliamentary democracies).
  6. Rivka Weill, From Earl Grey to Boris Johnson: Brexit and the Anglo-American Constitutional Model (2019) (historically and doctrinally arguing how Britain has been operating under a common Anglo-American constitutional model for the past 200 years and highlights its implications for comparative constitutional law).
  7. Andrew Fagan,  The Gentrification of Human Rights 41(2) Human Rights Quarterly 283 (2019) (outlining the concept of the gentrification of human rights, while also seeking to demonstrate how gentrification restricts the ability of human rights to engage robustly with rising deprivation, inequality, and marginalization within affluent, “liberal-democratic” societies”).
  8. Ben T. C. Warwick, Unwinding Retrogression: Examining the Practice of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights? Human Rights Law Review 1 (2019) (providing a brief history of non-retrogression and identifies what backwardness the doctrine seeks to regulate, its doctrinal position and the steps needed to prove it in practice).
  9. European Law Journal, Special Issue (Jürgen Habermas) (2019) (bringing together a range of scholars to discuss Habermas’ contributions).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Law Faculty at the Comenius University in Bratislava and the Central and Eastern European Chapter of the ICON-S organize a regional workshop on November 26, 2019, of authors who contributed to the I·CONnect-Clough Center 2018 Global Review of Constitutional Law.
  2. Prof Anuscheh Farahat (Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg) & Dr Ingrid Leijten (Leiden University), members of the Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nuremberg (CHREN) announced a conference on “Human Rights Overreach.” Interested applicant should send an abstract by December 20, 2019, to Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words and set out the topic and main argument of the paper, as well as its relation to conference them
  3. Queen’s University Belfast is recruiting a Research Fellow in the Colonialism and Transition Project.
  4. The Cork Online Law Review invites submissions for its 19th Edition, to be published on the website and in hard copy in early March 2020. The initial deadline is December 1, 2019, and the final deadline is January 13, 2020. All interested parties should submit their articles and enquiries to
  5. The ILS Law College, Pune submission of abstracts for its conference honoring former Prof. S.P. Sathe on Contemporary Trends in Comparative Public Law. Abstracts due by December 16, 2019.
  6. The Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Arts at the University of Hong Kong will hold its first law and humanities summer school on June 8-13, 2020. Applications are due by January 6, 2020.
  7. The University of East Anglia invites applications for Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentship (Masters and PhD) awards to work with various departments at the intersection of other social sciences.
  8. The International IDEA published a report on “The Global State of Democracy 2019 Report: Addressing the Ills, Reviving the Promise” which is packaged as a “global health check of democracy ”that aims to influence the global democracy debate, by nuancing the current doom and gloom narrative and proposing solutions to current challenges”.
  9. CUNY Law Review invites scholars, legal practitioners, advocates, and organizers to submit articles for consideration for publication in an upcoming volume of CUNY Law Review, dedicated to an upcoming symposium on democracy, especially on issues relating to 2020 Census, voter disenfranchisement, election security/hacking, lack of oversight over ballot counting technology.
  10. The student chapter of the American Constitution Society and Law Review at Barry University School of Law and Texas A&M University School of Law are hosting the Fifth Annual Constitutional Law Scholars Forum at the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law Campus in Orlando, FL. More information is available here. The deadline to submit proposals is December 1, 2019.
  11. The Harvard Law Review published a series of infographics on the Supreme Court of the United States.
  12. The International Association of Centre for Federal Studies (IACFS) announced the Ronald L. Watts Young Researcher Award 2020 for the best unpublished article or paper on an aspect of federalism. Nominations and papers must be submitted to by April 30, 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Gráinne de Búrca, John Morijn, Maximilian Steinbeis, Stand with Wojciech Sadurski: his freedom of expression is (y)ours, Verfassungsblog
  2. Mark Graber, McCulloch and Fundamental Rights Regimes, Balkinization
  3. Christos Panayiotides, Building a federated system of governance, Cyprus Mail
  4. Jeff King and Stephen Tierney, The Constitution Committee Reports on the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog
  5. David R. Cameron, After Spain’s left parties agree on coalition, road to power goes through Catalonia, Yale MacMillan Centre
  6. A.G. Noorani, Supreme Court denies justice, Frontline
  7. Moussa Diop, Senegal and its national political dialogue in a time of inclusive democracy, ConstitutionNet
  8. Raul Sanchez Urribarri, Venezuela: Between Autocracy and Hope for Acceptable Elections, ConstitutionNet
  9. Mariana Velasco Rivera, Justifying a Coup d’État in the Name of Democracy?, Verfassungsblog
  10. Carlo Fusaro, The End of Parliamentary Government in Europe, Verfassungsblog


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