Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Simon Drugda, Nagoya University Graduate School of Law (Japan)

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 Iraq ruled against Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s decision to scrap three vice-president positions.
  2. The Supreme Court of Indonesia revoked the environmental permit for a cement plant planned by the country’s largest, state-controlled, cement producer.
  3. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany rejected a legal challenge to the EU-Canada trade deal.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Bulgaria overturned an amendment to the Penal Code that removed the statute of limitations for the prosecution of crimes committed by senior functionaries of the Communist Party between 1944 and 1989.
  5. The Supreme Court of India ruled that a sex worker cannot lodge a sexual assault complaint against her customers if they refuse to pay.
  6. A Supreme Court Justice in the Philippines warned that President Rodrigo Duterte could be impeached if he gives up the country’s sovereign rights over the disputed Scarborough Shoal to China.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Croatia started proceedings in a 25-year-old constitutional appeal over the legality of abortion.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Turkey rejected an appeal for annulment, filed by the main opposition party, of decree laws issued by the government since the state of emergency on the grounds of non-competence.
  9. The Supreme Court of Venezuela allowed President Nicolas Maduro to put forth the country’s 2017 budget without going through the National Assembly. The Court approved the budget, which will be handed down by decree, despite a constitutional budgetary authority of the Congress.

In the News

  1. The Thai Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) submitted a revised draft charter to the government. Royal sanction of the charter was expected for early next month before King Bhumibol Adulyadej died on Thursday.
  2. The Uzbek Senate passed mass amnesty for prisoners ahead of their December 8th celebration of the adoption of the country’s constitution.
  3. The French Parliament adopted new legislation allowing transgender citizens to update their legal status without needing to undergo sterilization procedures.
  4. Grenada is to hold a referendum on a series of constitutional amendment bills, including a proposal to substitute the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the final court of appeal.
  5. The Nigerian security agency carried out anti-corruption raids targeting senior judges.
  6. The Parliament of Ivory Coast approved changing the constitution to ease nationality rules for presidential candidates.
  7. The Parliament of Burundi voted overwhelmingly to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, while Burundi’s government banned three U.N. investigators from its territory.
  8. Turkey’s government said it would revive efforts to change the constitution and expand the powers of the presidency.
  9. Brazil’s lower house approved a constitutional amendment bill to cap public spending. The bill will limit spending on health, education, social welfare, and public services until 2037.
  10. The Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency following a week of anti-government violence.
  11. The Spanish Council of Ministers approved of the submission of a new complaint to the Constitutional Court against the proposed bill on Catalan 2017 independence referendum.

New Scholarship

  1. Xenophon Contiades, Alkmene Fotiadou eds., Participatory Constitutional Change: The People as Amenders of the Constitution (2016) (exploring the recent trend of enhancing the role of the people in constitutional change)
  2. Vanessa MacDonnell, A Theory of Quasi-Constitutional Legislation, 53 Osgoode Hall Law Journal (2016) (arguing that quasi-constitutional legislation in Canada should be understood as implementing constitutional imperatives and contrasting quasi-constitutional legislation to constitutional statutes in the United Kingdom)
  3. Alice Donald and Philip Leach, Parliaments and the European Court of Human Rights (2016) (examining the role of national parliaments in the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in Ukraine, Romania, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Netherlands)
  4. Debtoru Chatterjee, Presidential Discretion (2016) (examining the scope and limitations of presidential discretionary powers through examples from India, Britain, and the Commonwealth)
  5. Laurens Lavrysen, Human Rights in a Positive State (2016) (critically engaging with the positive obligations case law of the European Court of Human Rights)
  6. Joanna Howe and Rosemary Owens eds., Temporary Labour Migration in the Global Era: The Regulatory Challenges (2016) (analyzing temporary labor migration programs from a sustained socio-legal perspective on a comparative basis)
  7. Francesca Bignami and David Zaring eds., Comparative Law and Regulation: Understanding the Global Regulatory Process (2016) (analyzing the entire gamut of regulatory law in over thirty different domestic and international jurisdictions)
  8. Louis J. Kotzé, Global Environmental Constitutionalism in the Anthropocene (2016) (offering a systematic conceptual framework for global environmental constitutionalism in the epoch of the Anthropocene)
  9. Andrew Lynch ed., Great Australian Dissents (2016) (examining the topic of judicial disagreement and dissents in Australian law)
  10. Christine Bell, Charmaine Rodrigues, Silvia Suteu, Tom Gerald Daly, and Jenna Sapiano, Constitution-Making and Political Settlements in Times of Transition, Global Constitutionalism, special section (forthcoming 2017) (addressing constitution-making and political settlements in times of transition and arguing that traditional constitutional devices have to be understood differently in times of transition where the constitution plays a constructivist role with respect to the forming of agreement rather than reflecting prior agreement)
  11. Rory O’Connell, The Political Constitution Ten years from Now – Dodo or Phoenix? Implications of the Brexit Referendum (2016) (examining implications of the Brexit referendum for the United Kingdom’s political constitution)
  12. Neil Walker, Constitutionalism and Pluralism: A Conflicted Relationship? in A. Lang and A. Wiener eds., Handbook of Global Constitutionalism (forthcoming) (exploring the ways in which constitutionalism seeks to entertain political pluralism and suggesting why this relationship is a conflicted one)
  13. Ana Bobic, Constitutional Pluralism Is Not Dead: An Analysis of Interactions between Constitutional Courts of Member States and the European Court of Justice, 18 German Law Journal (forthcoming 2016) (arguing that the exhibited self-restraint of both national constitutional jurisdictions and the European Court of Justice points to an awareness of the importance of preserving the pluralist setting)
  14. Arif Riza and Dardan Vuniqi, Juridical Sources of the Law in Kosova in Relation to the Public International Law (2016) (exploring the relationship of sources of law in Kosovo to public international law)
  15. Kevin M. Stack, Preambles As Guidance, 84 George Washington Law Review 1252 (2016) (situating regulatory preambles as a form of guidance within the principles of administrative law)
  16. Shamsul Falaah, Theocratic Constitutionalism: A Discourse on the Political System, Democracy, Judiciary and Human Rights Under Islamic Theocratic Constitutionalism, 2 Waikato Islamic Studies Review (2016) (analyzing the status of the political system, the role of the judiciary, and the mechanism of the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms under theocratic constitutionalism)
  17. Jack Landman Goldsmith III and John F. Manning, The Protean Take Care Clause, 164 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 837 (2016) (examining the uses of the Take Care Clause in jurisprudence of the United States Supreme Court)
  18. Helen Irving, What is a Citizen?, in Citizenship, Alienage, and the Modern Constitutional State: A Gendered History (2016) (challenging theories of citizenship as rights and citizenship as participation and offering instead an “existential” defense of citizenship that prioritizes protection of the citizen on the part of the state)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law invites submissions for its Sixth Annual YCC Global Conference in Istanbul, Turkey on April 28-29, 2017. Abstracts for submission are due by December 31, 2016.
  2. The IACL Research Group on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change, the University of Nicosia, and the Centre for European Constitutional Law invite submissions for a conference on Imposed Constitutions: Aspects of imposed constitutionalism,” to be held at the University of Nicosia on May 5-6, 2017. Abstracts for submission are due by December 20, 2016.
  3. The Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism at the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen (EURAC) and the University of Innsbruck invite applications for its cross-border postgraduate program “Winter School on Federalism and Governance 2017, to be held in spring 2017. Deadline for applications is October 23, 2016.
  4. The Socio-Legal Review (National Law School of India University) invites submissions for a volume on Crime and Society.” The deadline for submission for the first 2017 issue is November 1, 2016.
  5. The Centre for Constitutional Studies and University of Alberta, Faculty of Law invites papers for a conference on the theme “Reconciliation / Wahkohtowin,” to be held on September 21-23, 2017. Proposals for papers are due by November 17, 2016.
  6. The Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities (ASLCH) invites submissions for its twentieth annual conference on March 31 – April 1, 2017, at Stanford Law School. Panel and paper proposals are due by October 28, 2016.
  7. The Law and Humanities Research Center at Panthéon-Assas University invites submissions for its first international conference on “The Dark Sides of the Law in Common Law Countries” in Paris, France on June 15-17, 2017. The submission deadline is December 15, 2016.
  8. The University of Copenhagen, Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) invites submissions for a workshop on “Cognitive Sociology, Culture, and International Law” to be held on April 28-29, 2017. Abstracts are due by November 1, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Tom Ginsburg, Heavy Lies the Crown, Foreign Policy
  2. Colin P.A. Jones, 9/11: the day Japan’s Supreme Court went (slightly) postal, The Japan Times
  3. Avinash K. Dixit and David McAdams, Applying Game Theory to the Supreme Court Confirmation Fight, Harvard Business Review
  4. Kevin Aquilina, Removal tainted by bias, Times of Malta
  5. Katy Steinmetz, How Ruth Bader Ginsburg Found Her Voice, Time
  6. Elke Cloots, Can private undertakings hide behind “religious neutrality”?, Verfassungsblog
  7. Rim-Sarah Alouane, The French Council of State on the Burkini – Part 1: “Reflections on Public Order”, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  8. Brian Christopher Jones, Do not turn Brexit into Britain’s version of Bush v Gore, The Conversation
  9. Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, The ‘Great Repeal Bill’: Constitutional Chaos and Constitutional Crisis?, UK Constitutional Law Association
  10. Robert Craig, Report of Proceedings: Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, UK Constitutional Law Association
  11. Carlos Arturo Villagrán Sandoval, A Reflection on the “Dualism within Dualism” in the Interaction between International Law and Domestic Law in Guatemala, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  12. Simon Badran, Lebanon’s Presidential Vacancy: An Opening for Constitutional Reform?, ConstitutionNet
  13. Zoltán Szente, The Controversial Anti-Migrant Referendum in Hungary is Invalid, Constitution Making and Constitutional Change
  14. Amanda Taub and Max Fisher, Why Referendums Aren’t as Democratic as They Seem, The New York Times
  15. Katy Migiro, Factbox: Four landmark court rulings in Kenya’s battle over forced eviction, Reuters
  16. Paula Gerber, With the plebiscite set to be blocked, who will leave a legacy of marriage equality?, The Conversation
  17. Sissoko Bamassa and Guissé Aboubacar, Mali’s promising constitutional reform process: Cementing peace through devolution of power, ConstitutionNet
  18. Heo Jae-hyun, How South Korea must manage national security and freedom of conscience, The Hankyoreh


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