Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Nausica Palazzo, Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Trento

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 declared that states are failing to uphold citizens’ right to live free of pollution and that a persistent failure will entail a duty to compensate citizens.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Turkey found a violation of a sculptor’s freedom of expression when local authorities removed a statue on the Turkish-Armenian conflict upon Erdogan called it an “abomination.”
  3. The Constitutional Court of Zambia concluded that it lacks the power to assess compliance with the constitution of constitutional amendments.
  4. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has granted a six-month extension to the term of the Army head, after initially suspending it on constitutional grounds.
  5. The Italian Constitutional Court has released its opinion allowing assisted dying in extreme circumstances.
  6. The US Supreme Court has declined to review major issues, such as the constitutionality of campaign contribution limits in Alaska.
  7. Poland’s Parliament elected three controversial justices to the constitutional court, including the “architect” of laws blamed to erode the rule of law in the EU.
  8. The US Supreme Court has blocked a subpoena from the House aimed at forcing the disclosure of President Trump’s financial records. 

In the News

  1. The European Commission gave the green light to the European Commission lead by Ursula von der Leyen.
  2. The Greek Parliament approved a comprehensive set of constitutional amendments affecting 28 articles of the constitution, including the right to vote of Greeks living in a diaspora.
  3. Bolivia passed a law which annuls the results of last October’s ballot, paving the way for new elections.
  4. The Russian Parliament approved a restrictive law according to which only persons qualifying as “foreign agents” can communicate with foreign media outlets.
  5. The Prime Minister of Israel is indicted on charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust.
  6. Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights Act allowing sanctions to be imposed on individuals undermining freedoms and autonomy in Hong Kong.
  7. The Council of Europe (Framework of the ECHR) urged the Hungarian government to amend a bill that would undermine the independence of the judiciary.
  8. The Romanian Pro-EU president was re-elected by a landslide.
  9. The European Parliament is debating a motion to declare a “climate emergency.”

New Scholarship

  1. Janina Boughey, Human Rights and Judicial Review in Australia and Canada: The Newest Despotism? (Hart Publishing, 2019) (providing an in-depth analysis of the interaction between administrative law and human rights law in Australia and Canada)
  2. Rosa Celorio, Discrimination and the Regional Human Rights Protection Systems: The Enigma of Effectiveness, 40 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law (2019) (comparing the approach to discrimination issues of the regional human rights protection systems in the Americas and Europe, and examining their response to discrimination through the lens of effectiveness)
  3. Veronica Corcodel, Modern Law and Otherness: The Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion in Comparative Legal Thought (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019) (aiming at providing a greater understanding of how the “non-West” is constructed in Euro-American comparative law)
  4. Dominique Custos, Théorie de l’exécutif unitaire et contrôle présidentiel des agences indépendantes aux États-Unis, 170 Revue Française d’Administration Publique (2019) (exploring the most recent trends in the presidential oversight of independent agencies in the United States) [in French]
  5. Kevin E. Davis, Corruption as a Violation of International Human Rights: A Reply to Anne Peters, 29 European Journal of International Law (2019) (arguing that the key reason for treating corruption as a human rights violation is the possibility to produce information about the incidence and moral significance of corruption)
  6. Martti Koskenniemi, International Law and the Far Right: Reflections on Law and Cynicism (Fourth Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture) (Asser Press, 2019) (addressing the question of how to respond to the “cultural war” against the values associated with the “international” or the “global”)
  7. Marjan Peeters & Mariolina Eliantonio (eds.), Research Handbook on EU Environmental Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020) (discussing the EU role in steering towards environmentally friendly behavior, and the civil society’s use of environmental procedural rights)
  8. Nicholas Stephanopoulos, The Anti-Carolene Court, Supreme Court Review (forthcoming, 2019) (arguing that the last decision of the Supreme Court on gerrymandering betrays the famous instruction of the Court in Carolene to intervene to correct flaws in the political process)
  9. Susan M. Sterett and Lee D. Walker (eds.), Research Handbook on Law and Courts (Elgar, 2019) (offering a systematic analysis of new work on courts as governing institutions, by covering topics such as Courts’ centrality to governance, the push for diversity in their composition, and the impact of the digitalization of records)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law accepts submissions for a special symposium issue on any subject related to constitutional courts in general and the Austrian Constitutional Court in particular (Guest Editor: Yaniv Roznai). The deadline for submissions is January 1, 2020.
  2. The Humboldt University, Berlin, and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, invite papers for a conference on “Multiple Legalities: Conflict and Entanglement in the Global Legal Order” to be held on July 6-8, 2020 in Berlin. Abstracts of no more than 400 words should be sent to by January 15, 2020.
  3. The Nordic Political Science Association has issued a call for papers for “The populist radical right and its consequences for liberal democracy” workshop to be held in Reykjavik, on August 11-14, 2020. The deadline for abstracts is December 15, 2019.
  4. The Revista Temas Sociológicos, published by the Catholic University Silva Henríquez School of Sociology, invites articles for its 26th edition, whose dossier section will be dedicated to a reflection on “Law and Justice: Towards a Sociology of State Power.” The deadline is December 31, 2019.
  5. The University of Leiden is accepting applications for its summer schools, including courses on international arbitration, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2020.
  6. The Dublin Law and Politics Review invites submissions for its annual research conference on “Rule of Law and Populism and Sustainable Finance” to be held in Dublin on March 24-25, 2020. The Deadline is January 20, 2020.
  7. The Europe-Canada Network has launched the Young Scholar Essay Contest “Populism – a corrective or a threat to democracy?” open to young scholars (within 5 years after award of the PhD) based at Canadian universities. The deadline to apply is January 30, 2020.
  8. The EUI team working at the GREASE project on “Radicalisation, Secularism and the Governance of Religion” seeks to recruit a German-speaking researcher to conduct qualitative research on religiously inspired radicalization.
  9. The Revue Française d’Administration Publique published by the École Nationale d’Administration released its latest issue, which focuses on the impact of the Trump Presidency on public administration (“The US public administration in crises?”).

Elsewhere Online

  1. Felix-Anselm Van Lier, Chile’s Constitutional Moment, Open Democracy
  2. Philipp Renninger, Chinese (Anti-)­Constitutionalism, Verfassungsblog
  3. Mark Joseph Stern, Brett Kavanaugh Is Ready to Join the Supreme Court’s Conservatives to Tear Down Key Federal Regulations, Slate
  4. Copyright wounds to be reopened in EU top court: Judges are asked whether Google’s YouTube can be held legally responsible for copyright infringement, Politico
  5. Episode 15: Inside the Pentagon with former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (The American Society of International Law’s podcast “International Law Behind the Headlines”), ASIL website
  6. John Morijn & Barbara Grabowska-Moroz, Supporting Wojciech Sadurski in a Warsaw Courtroom, Verfassungsblog
  7. Aakarsh Banyal, Constitutional Redesign of the Federal Balance: India and Article 370, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  8. David Torrance, ‘Taking the border out of politics’ – the Northern Ireland referendum of March 1973, The Constitution Unit
  9. Ganesh Sahathevan, Malaysia’s Court of Appeal says Menteris Besar (and Prime Ministers) can be removed with show of SDS, and any legal challenge will be rejected on the basis that it would be a futile “academic” exercise, Realpolitikasia
  10.  Lisa Hilbink & Valentina Salas, Path to a New Constitution in Chile: How the Unthinkable Became the Inescapable, ConstitutionNet
  11. Balingene Kahombo, The Gambia and the Rohingya’s nightmare: which opportunity for individual criminal accountability after the possible ICJ decision against Myanmar for genocide?, The Völkerrechtsblog
  12.  Eugene Volokh, “Meet Me in the Middle” Podcast on the Second Amendment, The Volokh Conspiracy
  13.  Andrew Koppelman, Conservatives Have a New Defense for Anti-Gay Discrimination, The American Prospect


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